The Government of Antigua and Barbuda has decided to reopen, albeit very cautiously, its Citizenship by Investment Program in favor of Russian and Belarusian nationals provided they are not affected by sanctions adopted by the United Nations, the United States of America, the United Kingdom and the European Union.
Applicants from the aforementioned countries, however, will be subject to a very strict evaluation. In fact, the current already very high level of due diligence will be further enhanced with automatic rejection, for example, in cases of any applicants with criminal records related to money-laundering, terrorist financing, tax evasion and participating or promoting military or other aggression against states. Applicants will also have to provide criminal records from all countries in which they have resided or otherwise had any kind of relationship.
Rules with respect to nationals of other countries, however, will remain unchanged.
The Government of Antigua and Barbuda proves that it wants to assign great importance to its own internal security as well as that of members of the international community by deciding to proceed with the evaluation of the applications in a serious and transparent manner.
Last March, the five CBI countries (Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St. Kitt’s and Nevis, St. Lucia and Grenada) had mutually agreed to suspend the consideration of applications from Russian and Belarusian citizens. The decision had been primarily motivated by the impossibility of being able to conduct adequate due diligence also in view of the fact that the lists of sanctioned individuals were still in process. Four months later, however, such a restrictive approach that ends up unfairly discriminating against millions of Russian and Belarusian citizens, who may have been persecuted or otherwise disagreed with the policies of their countries of origin, in their right to self-determination and to decide where to live, no longer appeared sustainable.
On the other hand, the suspension of applications by citizens from these countries has resulted in a very significant contraction to the detriment of the 5 CBI countries, both in direct economic terms (due to the lower income from the applications themselves) and in terms of the contribution to development that the new citizens are able to offer to the host countries through their resources of knowledge and experience.
Non-sanctioned Russian and Belarusian citizens are now welcome to apply in Antigua and Barbuda for Citizenship by Investment Program.