Antigua CIP’s Changes: Higher Commissions, Higher Fees, Fewer Restrictions

In a letter circulated Monday, the Antigua & Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) informs stakeholders of a slew of significant amendments to program policy.

Read the circular here.

Among the changes are higher commissions for agents, higher fees for those applying under the National Development Fund (NDF) option, and a relaxation of restrictions on certain nationalities.

Previously introduced minimum investment reductions – IMI has commented before that nothing is so permanent as a “limited time offer” on Caribbean CIP-investment requirements – are to be retained. That means that while, formally, the minimum investment requirement on real estate remains at US$400,000, the US$200,000 “co-application” option is here to stay.

CIP investors, furthermore, are now officially permitted to re-sell their qualifying property, whether in the form of units or shares, to subsequent CIP-applicants, but only once. A property initially sold to a CIP applicant, then, may be sold onwards to a new CIP applicant who, in turn, may only sell it to non-CIP investors.

Of interest to Licensed Agents is that their commission structure has become more generous. While previously commissions had started at 10%, they will now amount to 15% for those agents that submit between one and fifty files. For those submitting 51-75 applications, that rate rises to 20%. For volumes greater than 75, a 25% commission will apply, although it is unlikely any single agent will reach that threshold, a quandary mirrored by Saint Lucia.

Antigua appears to be passing on the cost of higher commissions to its applicants; the NDF processing fee is now US$30,000, up from US$25,000 in the past. Processing fees for the real estate and business investment options, meanwhile, have been drastically cut, from US$50,000 to US$30,000 (effective April 1st).

The CIU also has good news for prospective applicants from Iraq; they are no longer barred from applying. Restrictions on the remaining restricted nationalities – Irani, North Korean, Somali, Sudanese, and Yemeni – will also soften. While previously, such nationals were only eligible if they were permanent residents of the US, the UK, Canada, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Australia, or New Zealand, they will now be permitted to apply as long as they are not resident in any of the restricted countries.

Antigua is also hoping to tap the hitherto unexplored market of stateless persons, particularly those in Brunei, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and UAE. “This list is subject to review and may be expanded or amended as necessary,” said the circular.

Want to know more about the Antigua & Barbuda CIP? To see recent articles, statistics, properties, and more, visit its Program Page. To see which firms can assist with applications to the program, visit the Residence & Citizenship by Investment Company Directory.

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