In an official memorandum dated December 15, 2023, issued by the Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU), CEO Charmaine Quinland Donovan revealed several exceptional circumstances under which approved applicants can be exempted from the 5-day residency requirement. These exceptions include elderly and sick individuals, along with other special cases. As per the citizenship regulations through investment, approved applicants receive citizenship and passports valid for five years, requiring a minimum 5-day visit within this period to be eligible for a 10-year passport renewal. Previously suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic due to travel restrictions, this requirement was reinstated from June 30, 2023.
The exceptional cases for the 5-Day residency requirement waiver, as included in the latest CIU memo and agreed upon by the Antigua and Barbuda Cabinet on December 6, 2023, are:
- Transitional period for decision implementation: Individuals who applied for passport renewal before July 20, 2023, the date on which CIU’s Five Day Waiver Suspension Memorandum was issued.
- Minors: In cases where all adults in the application have complied with the visit requirements in Antigua and Barbuda, and where their current passports have less than 6 months’ validity, while the minors in the same application have not yet visited. Subsequently, for these dependents to be eligible for a 10-year Antigua and Barbuda passport, they must fulfill the residency requirement.
- Elderly Applicants: Successful applicants aged 80 or above, at the time of receiving citizenship or within the first five years thereafter.
- Disabled Individuals: Those unable to travel to Antigua and Barbuda due to severe health conditions or disabilities must provide evidence, including a medical report and a sworn affidavit (or a guardian’s affidavit for minors), to confirm their condition and inability to travel.
These updates reflect the flexibility of the Antigua and Barbuda government in addressing the needs of its citizens by investment program participants. It’s noteworthy that the Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment program was launched in 2013 to fund public sector projects and boost the local economy, allowing foreign investors and their families to acquire Antigua and Barbuda’s citizenship and a passport that enables visa-free travel to over 150 destinations worldwide.