Canada Revokes Antigua & Barbuda’s Visa-Free Privilege

BREAKING: Effective immediately, Canada reinstates visa requirements for citizens of Antigua and Barbuda.

Via Antigua Observer: “The Government of Antigua and Barbuda regrets that it has to inform that the Government of Canada has decided to end visa-free travel for citizens of Antigua and Barbuda.  This decision relates to concerns over persons who obtain passports under Citizenship by Investment Programmes in the Caribbean.

The Canadian High Commissioner to Antigua and Barbuda, stationed in Trinidad, advised Prime Minister Gaston Browne of this development late on Friday prior to an official announcement today.  At the time, the Canadian official said that a concern is that Antigua and Barbuda’s Citizenship by Investment Programme is not a residency programme.  In response, Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne pointed to the intense vetting of its CIP system, the revenues to the people of Antigua and Barbuda when the terms of trade and aid have declined and the banking system is threatened.”

What are the implications of this revocation of visa-free travel to Canada for one of the world’s most reputable CIPs? What does this portend for other citizenship by investment programs? What caused this sudden decision? Considering more than half of Antigua’s applicants are Chinese, many of whom see visa-free access to Canada as crucial, will demand for Antiguan passports now plummet?

Investment Migration Insider will be back for more on this story, later today.

Read the full press statement from the Canadian government here.