With a booming economy, high standard of living, abundant employment and business opportunities, plenty of fun activities to do and unique local attractions to visit, United Arab Emirates is surely a great place to call home. However, according to a report, six in 10 UAE residents wish to live in a different place aside from their home country.
The reasons behind this popular aspiration among residents vary. Some want to have a second home in a country that offers a more laid-back lifestyle. Others wish to experience certain investment- and tax-related benefits that some nations provide immigrants.
UAE residents can enjoy these perks and more when they apply for citizenship by investment from countries that offer this immigration pathway.
These citizenship by investment programs are fast, legal ways to get a second passport and become citizens of the issuing country.
Antigua and Barbuda as a Destination for UAE Residents
Although there are various countries that have second citizenship routes, there are many reasons why Antigua and Barbuda’s program stands out.
If you are residing in the UAE and are considering your options for immigrating or owning a second home in another country, below are the specific reasons why you should give a thought to applying for an Antigua and Barbuda citizenship:
1. Opportunity to get a second passport
A notable benefit of getting Antigua and Barbuda citizenship is that you will get one of the most powerful passports in the world.
The Antigua and Barbuda passport, which currently ranks 24th, allows holders visa-free entry or visa on arrival entry to over 130 countries. These include:
- United Kingdom
- EU Schengen zone
- Hong Kong
- British Commonwealth countries such as Botswana, Swaziland, Tunisia, and Vanuatu
- All Caribbean countries including Dominica, Grenada, and St. Kitts and Nevis
This benefit may not be much of a pull for UAE citizens since the passport issued by this country has a higher ranking. However, if you are a foreigner here, based on current immigration rules, you won’t be able to become a legal citizen anytime soon unless you marry an Emirati or prove you have an Emirati parent.
You can also try to fulfil the residence requirement for naturalization; however, your application will only be considered if you meet the residence requirement of staying at least 30 years in the UAE and other preconditions.
With Antigua and Barbuda’s second citizenship program, you will enjoy more stress-free travels and save time and money on applying for entry visas to your destinations. You will get your passport faster, too.
2. Faster processing time
As already mentioned, acquiring an Antigua and Barbuda passport won’t take long.
The usual processing time for application is three to four months. The total length can be shorter or longer, depending on how soon you can submit all requirements and complete the payments.
It is also worth adding here that the application process is quicker since you do not need to undergo an interview.
3. Requirements are not too strict
To be eligible for the Antigua and Barbuda citizenship by investment program, you need to have an outstanding character with no criminal background and be in excellent health.
Since the program requires a significant amount of investment, you need to have a high personal net worth as well.
These requirements are standard for nearly all kinds of immigration pathways offered by numerous countries. As such, you won’t have difficulties meeting them.
However, another factor that contributes to the fast application process for Antigua and Barbuda citizenship is that the other requirements are not too strict.
For instance, there is no minimum level of English language proficiency requirement. Additionally, applicants do not have to meet any education, work, or business requisites.
Applicants are not required to travel to Antigua and Barbuda throughout the application stage as well.
Lastly, the residency requirements are minimal. You can stay in Antigua and Barbuda for any length of time. Once you have your passport, to renew it, you only need to spend at least five days within the country during your first five years of stay here.
More importantly, you don’t need to renounce your current citizenship even if you have an Antigua and Barbuda passport. Because of this, you will have access to all the benefits given by both countries.
4. Three investment options to choose from
Another excellent reason why you should consider getting a second passport from Antigua and Barbuda is that you have three investment routes to select from. Because of this, you will find an option that meets your budget, lifestyle, and other needs.
The three citizenship by investment routes are:
- Government donation
This option requires you to make a donation to the government of at least US$ 100,000. The main benefit of this option is that it requires less investment.
- Real estate investment
This route allows you to own a home in Antigua and get a second passport at the same time. The main requirement is to purchase a government-approved residential property that is worth at least US$ 200,000.
You can also turn the property into a rental if you do not plan on staying long-term in Antigua and Barbuda, thereby giving you an additional source of income. You can also resell it in the future.
- Business investment
This option requires you to invest in a local business. Presently, the minimum outlay is US$ 400,000.
5. Opportunity to have a second home in Antigua and Barbuda
If you want to have a home in Antigua where you can spend your holidays or retirement in, investing in a residential property is your best second citizenship route.
The government-approved properties are strategically located around Antigua. Because of this, you will have a home with easy access to beautiful beaches and other places you need to frequently visit, such as markets and pharmacies.
Moreover, these properties are located in safe and secure communities, thereby giving you peace of mind whenever you are in the country.
With a home of your own and an Antigua and Barbuda passport, you can stay here anytime you want, spend time at the beach of your choice and enjoy some peace and relaxation or indulge in your favorite water sports.
6. Access to tax benefits
Lastly, Antigua and Barbuda has one of the best tax benefits for immigrants.
Once you become a citizen of this country, you won’t be taxed on your worldwide income. You won’t pay wealth, capital gains, estate, and inheritance taxes as well.
These are benefits that entrepreneurs will find hard to skip out on.
Although the UAE is not lacking in employment, business, and entertainment or leisure opportunities, if you have the finances and want to get a second passport legally, consider obtaining Antigua and Barbuda citizenship through their investment program.
Kal Kennard is a Partner at Citizens International, a white-glove specialist firm offering private client services necessary for citizenship investment into the Caribbean, North America and Europe. Based in the Caribbean for the past 15 years, she is an experienced consultant who works directly with many professional partners and advises clients worldwide.