In a historic move, Antigua and Barbuda and China have signed a mutual visa waiver agreement, allowing citizens of both countries visa-free travel privileges. This milestone was reached during the visit of Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister, the Honorable Gaston Browne, along with his accompanying delegation, to the People’s Republic of China from January 22 to 28, 2024.
The visa exemption agreement was signed by Mr. Wang Yi, China’s Foreign Minister, and the Honorable Chet Greene, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Antigua and Barbuda. This visa waiver pact is among a series of collaborative agreements signed between the two countries on the sidelines of the visit, encompassing diverse areas such as health, education, development, investment, and tourism. This period showcases a notable advancement in Chinese diplomatic efforts, with the country sealing several visa waiver agreements since the beginning of the year, including pacts with Thailand, Singapore, and now Antigua and Barbuda.
Upon implementation of this agreement, Antigua and Barbuda’s citizens will enjoy the privilege of visa-free travel to China, enhancing the Antiguan passport’s reach to 154 visa-free destinations and bolstering its global ranking. Antigua and Barbuda will join four other Caribbean countries – Grenada, Dominica, Barbados, and the Bahamas – whose citizens can travel to China without a visa. Notably, Dominica signed a similar agreement with China in November 2021, which came into effect the following year. Recognizing China’s status as a key global trade and investment hub, the privilege of visa-free entry is a significant advantage for passport holders of these countries, further enhancing the appeal of the citizenship by investment programs offered by Dominica, Grenada, and Antigua and Barbuda.
On the other hand, this development is not expected to impact the Chinese passport ranking, as Antigua and Barbuda had already unilaterally allowed Chinese tourists to enter without a visa prior to the formalization of this agreement.