How To Apply For A Visa In Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda is an attractive destination to many expats. For citizens of many countries, including the UK, the USA, Canada, the Commonwealth, and all EU members, no visa is required for stays there of up to six months. Multiple-entry visas are also available if you will be making regular trips. If you wish to work or to retire there, work and residence permits are required, and to obtain these, you will need to be able to fulfil certain conditions. However, the documentation required is straightforward in most cases, and, although there are fees to pay, they are not prohibitive. There is also a scheme for citizenship by investment for foreign nationals. Any dependants who are named on your residence application also gain residence when your application is approved.

Citizens of countries who do not need a short-stay visa

Visitors and business travellers from over a hundred countries do not need to apply for a visa for visits of up to six months. You must, however, have a valid passport, with at least six months to run, a return or onward ticket, and proof of accommodation within Antigua and Barbuda. If asked, you must also be able to show evidence that you can support yourself while in the country. A full list of countries whose citizens do not require visas for such visits can be found on the website of the Antiguan and Barbudan consulates in your home country. In addition, cruise visitors and passengers in transit do not require a visa, as long as they do not stay in Antigua and Barbuda overnight and have proof of their onward journey.

Visitors and business travellers from over a hundred countries do not need to apply for a visa for Antigua and Barbuda for visits of up to six months.
Short-stay visas

If you do require a visa, you must apply online, using the visa application form found on the website of the Antiguan and Barbudan consulate. You must support your application with a valid passport or official identification document, which has at least six months to run, confirmation of travel in the form of a return or onward ticket, and two colour passport-size photographs. Citizens of certain countries may be asked for further documentation; you will be asked for this after completing your visa application form. You must also pay a fee – at time of writing, this is US$100/ £76/€90 – which is not refundable. Everyone travelling, including dependent children, must have their own visa. If you intend to make multiple trips within a year, you can apply for a multiple-entry visa using the same form and with the same supporting documentation. These are valid for one or two years. Fees start at US$200/£152/€180. The processing time for a short-stay visa is usually around 10 days.

Visa extensions

Visas can be extended by application to the Chief Immigration Officer. You must apply in person, and must provide a valid passport, proof you can support yourself, a valid airline ticket, a passport-size photograph, the relevant application form, and a visa fee of (at present) $300/£228/€270. You may also be asked to supply proof of accommodation, proof of health insurance coverage, proof of income or, if you have bought property locally, of investment, and a sponsorship form or work permit. Extensions are granted for 90 days or the duration of a work permit.

Work visas

Employers in Antigua and Barbuda are required by law to employ locals wherever possible. If you are offered a job, your employer must be able to prove that no Antiguan and Barbudan is available to fulfil that role and that the role was advertised widely within the country. They must then apply for a work permit for you, and pay a large fee, which is non-refundable. As the potential employee, you must supply identification in the form of a valid passport, with at least six months to run and two blank pages, proof that you are in good health and do not have a criminal record, proof of accommodation, and proof of your future employment.

Residency

If you have been resident in Antigua and Barbuda for four years, or have been married to a citizen for at least one year and living in the country, you can apply for residency. This allows you and any dependants named in the application to remain in the country and apply for work without a work permit. You may also be eligible to apply for residence if you have, and can prove you have, independent means, and have lived in the country for two years, or are an entrepreneur or investor who has held a work permit for two years. Documentation varies according to the type of residency. In all cases, you must supply:

• Your passport
• A medical certificate proving you are in good health
• A police certificate proving you have no criminal convictions or history
• Proof of insurance

If you are married to a citizen, your spouse must accompany you when you apply, and you must additionally supply:

• Your marriage certificate
• Your spouse’s passport
• Proof of your spouse’s citizenship

If you hold a work permit, you must have resided in the country for four years, and must additionally supply:

• Your work permit
• Proof you have paid taxes locally
• A return ticket

If you are an entrepreneur or investor, you must have resided in the country for two years. You must additionally supply:

• An official business registration certificate
• Proof you have paid taxes locally

If you have independent means, you must have resided in the country for two years. You must additionally supply:

• Proof you can support yourself financially
• Proof of property ownership
• Proof you have paid taxes locally

Residence is granted initially for one to three years.

If you have been resident in Antigua and Barbuda for four years, or have been married to a citizen for at least one year and living in the country, you can apply for residency.

Useful links

For more information, you can visit the following websites:

Antigua and Barbuda High Commission, United Kingdom website – information on visas
Department of Immigration website – information on extending your stay
Department of Immigration website – information on residency permits