Antigua and Barbuda Overview
Located in the Eastern Caribbean, Antigua and Barbuda is a beautifully independent Commonwealth state. Having later become a British settlement, Christopher Columbus firstly discovered the state in 1493. The settlement later became Britain’s main naval base from which it patrolled the West Indies.
Antigua is 14 miles long and 11 miles wide, and its flatland topography was well suited to produce its early crops of tobacco, cotton and ginger. However, the main industry revolved around sugar cane farming which lasted for over 200 years. Today, following its independence from Britain in 1981, Antigua’s key industry is tourism and related service industries. The next largest employers are the finance services industry and the government.
Antigua and Barbuda are considered a constitutional monarchy because of it’s British-style parliamentary system of government. An appointed (by the Queen herself) Governor General represents her as the Head of State. The Government is composed of a mere two chambers: the elected 17 member House of Representatives, led by the Prime Minister; and the 17 member Senate. 11 of the Senate members are appointed by the Governor General under the guidance of the Prime Minister, four members are appointed under the direction of the Leader of the Opposition and two by the Governor General. Every five years, elections are held…but can be called earlier if need be.
Considered to be one of the most beautiful places in the world, the lush tropical island of Antigua is an inviting paradise with approx. 400 beaches of clear turquoise waters. Tourism is the key driver of gross domestic product and generates around 60 percent of the island’s income as a result.
In recent years, Antigua has experienced a challenging economic environment. The Government, however, has been credited with its implementation of the National Economic and Social Transformation Plan and a debt restructuring effort. The introduction of a citizenship-by-investment program is one of the initiatives to support the island nation’s economy.
Antigua’s on-going commitment to serving its tourism industry is demonstrated with the airport expansion project. The expansion of the airport is worth a whopping US$45 million and includes three passenger jet bridges and just over two dozen check-in counters. Other than increasing efficiency, this will also allow an increase in scheduled, charter and inter-island flights. Already, there are one-way flights to Antigua from London, New York, Miami and Toronto in place.
A large benefit for residents of Antigua and Barbuda is the fact that there is no capital gains tax or estate taxes. Citizens are not taxed on their worldwide income–only on income sourced within Antigua and Barbuda.
In the state of Antigua and Barbuda, the currency is the Eastern Caribbean dollar (EC$). Antigua is a member of the United Nations (UN), the British Commonwealth, Caricom and the Organisation of American States (OAS), among many other international organizations.
Antigua and Barbuda Passport
The passport will be valid for a period of 5 years and will be considered for renewal subject to the recipient having spent a total of five days in Antigua and Barbuda, since gaining citizenship, within the five year period. The passport does not afford automatic voting rights and persons would need to qualify as outlined in the Representation of the People Act.
The passport will afford the holder visa free travel to 131 countries that includes Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, U.K. and the European Union.
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