A GUIDE TO REAL ESTATE ON ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA
Produced by North South Net International, Ltd. and Island Living Antigua
INVESTING IN ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA
SEARCHING FOR YOUR PIECE OF PARADISE? INVEST IN PROPERTY AND YOU MAY BECOME A CITIZEN OF ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA. ith some of the most sought-after properties in the Caribbean, Antigua and Barbuda presents an attractive environment for investing in real
estate. As a result, Antigua and Barbuda’s real estate sector has witnessed an increase in interest from foreign buyers in recent years. In addition, Antigua and Barbuda’s Citizenship by Investment Program (CIP), which is one of the most recent CIPs in the world, is currently attracting the attention of overseas investors who are seeking a second citizenship and alternative residency, as well as international investment opportunities. In this connection, the government of Antigua and Barbuda has recently approved a number of real estate development projects that qualify for citizenship. The programme presents a win-win proposition for the economy of Antigua and Barbuda, as well as for investors seeking profitable returns on investment (ROI) within a stable business environment. Once you have chosen to invest in a property in Antigua and Barbuda, its location will have a significant impact on the value of the property and influence your lifestyle. Antigua and Barbuda has been blessed with 365 stunning white-sand beaches and is surrounded by the azure seas of the Atlantic Ocean and the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea. Take into consideration whether you want to be able to walk straight out onto one of the island’s stunning beaches or to wake up each morning with spectacular views over the sea and the surrounding islands. The cost of a luxurious beachfront villa may well run into the millions of dollars, but if the property is
higher up in the hills, a short distance inland, the price may be significantly lower. The choice is yours, and with many residential projects currently under development, there exists a wide range of real estate options available across the island.
A PLETHORA OF OPTIONS The west coast, with its stunning vistas of beaches and crystalline seas, has been very popular with overseas investors. Jolly Harbour offers a plethora of real estate options, from marina-front condos to luxury beachfront villas. This secure, friendly, gated community offers a wide range of facilities, including a sports complex; a commercial centre with shops, banks and restaurants; an 18-hole golf course and an excellent supermarket — everything you need for day-to-day living. Just outside Jolly Harbour, on a spectacular peninsula of untouched hillsides surrounded by white-sand beaches, is Pearns Point – The Peninsula. This USD $300 million high-end residential development offers 59 plots over 141 acres. The Peninsula ensures unrivalled security yet maintains convenient accessibility. Pearns Point has some of the largest beach plots available in the world, and at over an acre these will not be ordinary beachfront homes. Pearns Point will also be home to a branded five-star boutique hotel clubhouse. Tamarind Hills is a new development on the southwest corner of the island with views over the ocean and the neighbouring island of Montserrat. The developers are building a stunning collection of apartments and villas designed with a contemporary Caribbean feel. These beachfront freehold homes are a fantastic rental opportunity, especially with the rental programme that is being offered.
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English Harbour, the yachting capital of the Eastern Caribbean and home to Antigua Sailing Week, is another area growing in popularity with overseas investors. There are a number of CIPapproved real estate projects in the area. South Point Antigua is a premium boutique condo hotel development featuring an exclusive waterfront location, breathtaking views over the harbour and five-star services. The development blends elements of local architecture, feng shui, and minimal-design interiors to create a unique Caribbean flair. These condos are available for individual or shared ownership.
BEAUTY AND SERENITY Windward Estates, on the bluff at the entrance to Falmouth Harbour, offers a collection of dream villas. Each villa within this gated community is being built to respect the natural beauty and the serenity of the location. Nonsuch Bay Resort is currently one of the largest ongoing developments in Antigua and Barbuda. This gated community is laid out over 40 acres of land
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surrounded by water on three sides on the eastern coast of Antigua at the western end of beautiful Nonsuch Bay. The first phase of the project has now been completed with 62 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, as well as 19 villas and 15 three-bedroom townhouses along with a clubhouse and restaurant, and a yacht and sailing school. The second phase will consist of 188 additional units, a marina village with restaurants, cafés and boutiques, tennis and squash courts, parking, a helipad, and a spa and fitness centre. An upcoming resort on the north coast is the Hodges Bay Club. Set on nine acres of lush tropical gardens, Hodges Bay is an exclusive beachfront resort and residential community blending contemporary style with the charm and character of the island. The resort will provide sophisticated hotel accommodation, residential villas and executive residences along with distinctive dining options and extensive leisure facilities. As many of the real estate offerings are located within properties that are
“With many residential projects currently under development, there exists a wide range of real estate options available across the island.”
already operating successfully, returns on investment may
be realised sooner; and with resorts achieving a high occupancy rate, investors are able to make wise decisions based on solid and substantial evidence. Antigua and Barbuda offers investors the opportunity to gain an alternative citizenship passport, which is a powerful tool for international tax planning, offering mobility and freedom to travel and extra privacy in banking, as well as the safety of an additional country to reside in. For more information on any of these real estate developments, contact Island Living Antigua at firstname.lastname@example.org. Gaye Hechme is managing director of Island Living Investment Services, Ltd.
PASSPORT TO PROSPERITY A NEW LAW CLEARS THE WAY FOR FOREIGN INVESTORS TO BECOME CITIZENS OF ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA. n this age of advancing technol-
processing and due-diligence background
ogy, instant communication and increased mobility, becoming a
checks, an extremely involved and stringent procedure.
global citizen has never been more desirable. That’s why Antigua and Barbuda’s relatively new Citizenship by Investment Program (CIP) is proving to be popular amongst investors. Speedy
The CIU employs a multi-tiered process that involves, but is not limited to, searches in global sanctions and embargo lists, alerts and watch lists issued by financial regulators and law-enforcement and
processing and the quality of real estate offerings available give the programme a
other governmental agencies from around the world. These lists contain profiles of
serious competitive advantage. Like many countries, Antigua and Barbuda suffered a major setback after the 2008 global economic crisis. Consumers in source markets — Europe, the United
high-risk and “potentially” high-risk individuals and entities, Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) and their relatives and close associates, high-profile criminals and blacklisted entities. Also
Kingdom and the United States — experienced a reduction in disposable incomes and began travelling less frequently. Because tourism is the main driver of the economy in Antigua and Barbuda, the
included are individuals and entities appearing on lists such as the World Bank Ineligible Firms List, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
government saw the CIP as the most effective way to jump-start the economy
The unit engages the services of international DD providers to conduct
by re-attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), renewing interest in the real estate market and spurring growth in the general economy.
extensive research on all members of the applying family in every place they would have lived for more than six months during the past 10 years. The CIU also collaborates with regional and international law-enforcement agencies, and focuses on such matters as direct or indirect involvement with terrorism, international investigations or cross-border money-laundering activities. It is only after this process is completed that a decision is rendered. If derogatory information is discovered at any of these stages, the applicant is denied. If approved, applicants and their families may apply for citizenship by: • Investing a minimum of USD $400,000 in an approved real estate project • Investing a minimum of USD $400,000 in an approved business • Contributing USD $100,000 to the National Development Fund
HOW IT WORKS The Antigua and Barbuda CIP Act was passed in April 2013. The Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) was staffed on August 26, 2013, and opened for business on October 10, 2013. The first application was received in November of that year, and the first citizenship was granted in February 2014. Under the CIP Act, amended in April 2016, applicants 18 and older must submit to a rigorous Due Diligence (DD) or background check process. All applicants must apply through a locally licensed agent: a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda or a lawful resident of no fewer than seven years. Applicants then are subject to
In addition, applicants must pay varying processing fees. The only residency stipulation is that new citizens spend at least five days on Antigua or Barbuda in the five years following the granting of citizenship.
SERIOUSLY SUCCESSFUL The CIU takes its responsibility seriously, and all of the unit’s international partners are involved in the vetting process. That’s a prime reason that the CIP has enjoyed rapid success. The CIU staff, composed mostly of individuals from the private sector, offers a turnaround time of about 60 days and is one of the most efficient units in the region. Also, Antigua and Barbuda has maintained a strong presence in the high-end tourism sector for more than four decades and so already has certain infrastructures in place, making the country an attractive portal for real estate and business investors. The twin-island state, moreover, has learned from already-established programmes and thus models its real estate offerings and escrow arrangements accordingly. The unit, for example, exerts some control over management of escrow accounts. That gives investors confidence that developers will deliver on their promises. It’s also important to note that the CIU has been very visible in the international community by participating in industry conferences and establishing a strong presence in several high-quality publications. Visibility, a culture of efficiency, a robust due-diligence process and a climate of transparency and accountability have prompted international industry partners like Henley & Partners and Arton Capital to endorse Antigua and Barbuda as the number one programme in the region. Henley & Partners went a step further and ranked the programme third globally.
CITIZENSHIP BENEFITS To date, more than 1,000 families are enjoying the benefits of Antigua and Barbuda’s Citizenship by Investment Program. These include: • A straightforward application process, no minimum net-worth requirement or previous business experience, with a ISLAND LIVING 2018
decision usually rendered in 60 to 90 days • Living in a safe, stable “Westminster-
tion undergoes regular peer evaluation by the Caribbean Financial Action Task
style” democracy modelled after that of the United Kingdom
Force, as well as reviews by the World
• Free movement into and out of Antigua and the ability to work or
Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), giving enhanced scrutiny to the
start a business • No restrictions on dual nationality • Visa-free access to 134 countries • Stable currency: USD $1 = EC (XCD) $2.70 (XCD) since 1976 • Recent elimination of personal income tax • Avoidance of the 5 percent non-citizens’ licence on purchase of real estate • No tax on worldwide income, inheritance, capital gains or investment returns • A well-established legal and regulatory framework, supporting civil and commercial relationships • Citizenship for life, once residency requirement is met, in an active, committed member-state of the international community
NATIONAL BENEFITS Antigua and Barbuda was the first Caribbean nation to permit investment in approved businesses, an initiative that other jurisdictions are now copying. The CIP has spurred resurgence in the country’s real estate sector and renewed interest in the hotel sector. This economic boost has allowed the
THE CARIBBEAN ISLAND NATION IS MAKING ITS MARK ON THE GLOBAL FINANCIAL STAGE.
financial centre’s operations. Antigua balances the client’s needs for confidentiality with the requirements of
ntigua and Barbuda, in
meeting international financial regulatory standards through Tax Exchange Information Agreements with the United
the eastern Caribbean, is a crossroads for financial
lia, Netherlands, Ireland, Belgium and a
services within the rest of the West Indies. In addition, the country’s 30-year-old financial centre operates within a time zone convenient to providing international financial services. Although best known for its 365 white-sand beaches, Antigua enjoys a growing reputation as a trusted Caribbean destination for both tourism and international financial services. The government is vigorously pursuing programmes to enhance and strengthen these two sectors as key pillars of the economy. Antigua’s international financial centre is relatively small, but there is every indication that the nation’s stable, sovereign jurisdiction is attracting clients seeking more personal attention for their wealth-management portfolios. As the world recovers from the 2008 financial crisis, the Caribbean has seen a resurgence of business. Antigua and Barbuda, for example, was the fastestgrowing economy in the Caribbean region in 2016 and resisted a wave of accelerating inflation, according to a report by the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). Antigua and Barbuda is positioned as an up-market tourism destination for the more discriminating visitor and similarly appeals to client relationships for banking services.
country to look at projects focusing on environmentally responsible technologies such as solar energy and reverse osmosis. Revenue flows from CIP, in fact, are expected to foster cottage industries such as agro-processing, improve the agricultural sector and support creation of new industries, thereby ensuring diversification of the economy. In the meantime, the local populace benefits from direct contributions to social-development programmes, as the CIP creates more employment opportunities to improve the economic livelihood of Antiguans and Barbudans.
For more information about the Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Program, visit www.cip.gov.ag or email email@example.com.
Antigua has successfully reshaped its regulatory and business operations to provide a safe harbour for Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs), and to attract businesses looking for a more stable environment.
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The country, in addition, is a full member of the Group of International Finance Centre Supervisors. The jurisdic-
States, United Kingdom, France, Austradozen other countries. The jurisdiction has been found to be in compliance with the highest international standards of transparency and exchange of information as set by the Global Forum of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Complying with these requirements keeps Antigua and Barbuda on the OECD’s “white list.” The island nation is also cooperative with the United States’ Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). All banks have been duly registered and work through an approved Inter-Governmental Agency (IGA) arrangement. Another plus is that the jurisdiction is a member of the Egmont Group, which provides a platform for the secure exchange of expertise and collaboration amongst 156 financial intelligence units worldwide to fight money laundering and financing of terrorism.
SUPPORT FOR BUSINESS Antigua provides ideal support for information technology services and internet-driven business opportunities that demand more sophisticated financial services. The Antigua & Barbuda Investment Authority assists investment enquiries and identifies related incentives for certain investment categories. International business companies (IBCs), trusts and foundations also benefit from a tax-neutral business environment. There is a fully experienced and professional sector composed of attorneys and licensed company providers that can assist in clearing names, registration of
BUSINESS-FRIENDLY ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA WORKS TO ATTRACT CAPITAL FROM AROUND THE GLOBE. ost visitors to Antigua and Barbuda cannot fail to be impressed by the climate corporate entities and trusts, and referral of clients for bank account relationships in the jurisdiction. That Antigua and Barbuda is a small, sovereign, stable, tourism-related jurisdiction that complies with international regulations is appealing to many investors. The country is increasingly attractive to international investors from Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Far East seeking private banking services and wishing to balance their portfolios with real estate investments in the jurisdiction. Antigua’s international financial centre enjoys the commitment of its public and private sectors to meet the challenges of a connected financial world. It has appropriately reorganised itself to meet the requirements of modern business and the surge of global demands for financial solutions to serve international business, wealth management and ecommerce services. It is redefining the role of international banking relationships and complementing business opportunities that need technology-driven solutions. The combination of well-regulated financial service providers and the ability to offer modern financial services in a stable environment makes Antigua and Barbuda a premier location for doing global business. Brian Stuart-Young is chief executive officer of Global Bank of Commerce, Ltd., in St. John’s, Antigua.
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stuff of dreams from a real estate developer’s perspective. Private property ownership laws — based on United
and natural beauty of the island, the peace and stability of the government, and the friendliness of the people. Given the unpredictable and often turbulent events around the world these
Kingdom common law — are well developed and supported by the islands’ High Court system. The government is always seeking inward investment, so projects that meet
days, more people might be thinking: What would it be like to live or do business here?
certain criteria benefit from government support in terms of generous tax incen-
Grant Thornton, the leading financial services provider in Antigua, is helping investors who are considering such a move. In a developing country like Antigua and Barbuda, there are opportunities to
tives and other waivers. The government also is approachable, offering easy access to key decision-makers. Antigua’s infrastructure continues to develop at a rapid pace, as evidenced by
make successful investments in many different areas, including several industry sectors that are yet untapped. Tourism is by far the largest sector of the economy, and there are other opportunities in agriculture, offshore banking and online gaming. There are also three offshore medical schools that contribute significantly to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which is one of the highest per capita in the sub-region. Antigua is scenic but also cosmopolitan, with a high quality of life and superb air links. The country, for example, offers daily flights to Europe, the United States, Canada and the wider Caribbean. The twin-island nation also has an “open” economy, with no foreign-exchange controls or other barriers to repatriation of profits. The EC dollar is pegged to the U.S. dollar, which helps with financial stability. Throughout the islands are many stunning, untouched areas that are the
the country’s new state-of-the-art airport. In addition, the English-speaking workforce is highly literate and well educated; work permits, as needed, are issued for non-CARICOM nationals to fill local skills gaps.
QUALITY OF LIFE Antigua and Barbuda is famed for its perennial tropical climate. Outdoor pursuits such as sailing, tennis and golf are enjoyed year-round. The country has a wonderful, relaxed feel due in large part to its friendly, cosmopolitan populace. And new residents are impressed by the quality of health care, including a modern hospital and many private, specialist medical practitioners. Those shopping for a home find a wide range of real estate options, including properties with stunning ocean views. Knowledgeable real estate agents are on hand to help buyers find their dream homes.
Whilst Antigua is not a tax haven, residents pay no personal income tax, inheritance tax or capital gains tax. Business profits are taxed at up to 25 percent, and there are a variety of transaction taxes, including a Value-Added Tax (VAT) at 15 percent. In recent years, the business-friendly island nation has made great efforts to pave the way for investors who might be considering basing operations in Antigua and Barbuda. Permanent Residency status is obtainable with a minimum residence requirement of only 30 days per year and payment of a flat tax of USD $20,000 per year. And thanks to a new law, the country has widened the path to citizenship. Under the Citizenship by Investment Program (CIP), individuals and their families can apply for Antigua and Barbuda citizenship by making a qualifying investment in real estate or business, or contributing to the National Development Fund. Investors who make the move to Antigua and Barbuda will find guidance at
Grant Thornton. The company is licensed to submit citizenship applications under the CIP and offers application services, tax and residency advice, outsourcing services and escrow services. The firm’s staff also offers expertise with audits, taxes, corporate services, Internet Technology
consulting, outsourcing and general advisory services. The firm is a member firm of the Grant Thornton International network. Robert Wilkinson is a partner with Grant Thornton in St. John’s, Antigua.
Unlock Antigua Helping you set up and thrive Doing business or living in a new country can be challenging. As Antigua’s leading professional service firm, our Unlock Antigua service can provide expert advice and insight to support you every step of the way in achieving your business or lifestyle goals: • location advice • back office services • structuring and set-up • financing • taxation • business growth support • work and residency • audit and assurance. • citizenship-by-investment
Contact us to find out more:
E firstname.lastname@example.org W grantthornton.ag
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designed for contemporar y caribbean living
amarind Hills is is one of the most exciting recent developments in the Eastern Caribbean. Created by the internationally acclaimed architects Lane Pettigrew an Rob Denning to take the maximum advantage of its stunning location between two of Antiguaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most beautiful beaches, all properties boast magnificent west facing views, floating infinity edged pools with huge wrap around terraces, and the finest European kitchens and bathrooms. There are a range of one to four bedroom villas, apartments and cottages available for rental and sale on a freehold basis, and owners are free to use their property as often as they choose. A fully managed rental programme is available for those who wish to benefit from a returnon their investment. Alternatively owners can live in their property year round, enjoying all the on-site facilities of a five star resort. Most properties eature private infinity edged pools, floor to ceiling
development experience, and are extremely excited by what they feel is the combination of a world class product on a uniquely beautiful location. Construction has gone well to date with the first three phases handed over. Newly designed one bedroom apartments are now also under way and visitors
glass walls, high speed wi-fi, cable TV, built in entertainment systems and many offer private areas for media rooms,
are welcome at all times to visit the show homes and sales and marketing suites
personal gyms or offices.
For a no obligations site tour visit the on site sales office and show home at and yoga studios. Other facilities will include a beach club, Ffryes Beach. Call +1 268 562 7380 or jetty including bar, day moorings, 24 hour concierge email: email@example.com For complete relaxation and reinvigoration in 2018 the resort will have a signature spa, fully equipped gym, pilates
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et et on on aa sunset sunset facing facing bluff bluff on on Antigua’s Antigua’s glorious glorious west west coast coast between between Darkwood Darkwood and and Ffrye’s, Ffrye’s, two two of ofAntigua’s Antigua’smost mostbeautiful beautifulbeaches, beaches,Tamarind TamarindHills Hills takes takes five five star star luxury luxury to to new new heights heights with with aa stunning stunning collection collection of of residences residences designed designed for for contemporary contemporary Caribbean Caribbean living. living.
•• Beach Beach and and ocean ocean front front villas, villas,townhouses townhouses and and apartments apartments for for sale sale on on freehold freehold basis basis •• Full Full management management and and rental rental programme programme available available •• Beach Beach club, club,restaurant, restaurant,boardwalk boardwalk and and shopping shopping galleria* galleria* •• Beauty Beauty salon, salon,gym, gym,and and spa* spa* •• Prices Prices from from $400,000 $400,000 upwards upwards •• Approved Approved project project under under the theAntiguan Antiguan •• Citizenship Citizenship by by Investment Investment Programme Programme **Facilities Facilitiescompleted completedinin2018 2018