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Visas

Antigua and Barbuda - Visas


The Department of Immigration for Antigua and Barbuda is part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Immigration.

They have an official website which you should use for accessing services and paying fees. All countries experience problems with fake websites trying to sell visa services for much higher fees than applicants pay directly to the government, so be wary of scams like these.

You will, however, notice that the site has several pages and links that do not work properly. The site is also not secure since, like so many websites in Antigua, the upgrade to https pages with SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate has not yet occurred. Thankfully, payment for the e-visa goes through to a separate https secure page which is appropriate for financial transactions.

Do I Need Vaccinations For Antigua and Barbuda?

If you are concerned about the vaccinations you need before arriving in Antigua and Barbuda, head to the Health section of this country guide.

Don’t forget to organise health insurance. If you don’t and are affected by an accident or sudden illness, it could be one of the most expensive mistakes you ever make.

Do I Need A Visa To Visit Antigua And Barbuda?

Citizens from more than a hundred countries do not need a tourist visa to visit Antigua and Barbuda. A valid passport and onward or return ticket must be held. Citizens of the US, UK and Canada are included on this list. An official list of the exempt countries can be found on the Department of Immigration website.

This visa-free visit can be for holiday or business purposes. You must hold a booking or confirmation for accommodation, and have enough money to fully support yourself throughout the entire stay. You visit can last for a maximum of six months.

If you will be visiting several times over the course of a year or two, apply for a multi-entry visa.

For citizens of other countries which do require a visa even for a short visit, this requirement is waived if you arrive on a cruise ship and leave the same day.

Similarly, if you are in transit for up to 24 hours, you can arrive and stay visa-free as long as you have proof of your onward journey and do not leave the airport.

Everyone else must apply for a visa. If it is for a short stay, use the e-visa system. This is the online visa for Antigua and Barbuda. Under exceptional circumstances, these can take up to 30 days to process, but nearly all are finalised within seven days.

Some people may obtain a tourist visa on arrival, but this is twice the cost of an e-visa.

If you want to work or settle in Antigua and Barbuda, you must apply for the appropriate visa.

Work Permits For Antigua And Barbuda

The government encourages employers on Antigua and Barbuda to recruit workers from the local population.

If an international worker is recruited, the employer must make an application for a work permit and pay a substantial, non-refundable fee. The prospective employee has to supply an identification, health and criminal record evidence, and must also provide substantial documentary proof that they followed the correct procedure. They must show evidence that they advertised and interviewed in the area, and that they had good reason not to select any of the local applicants who came forward.

This means if the job you’re interested in is low skilled and doesn’t require specialist qualifications, your work permit is unlikely to be successful. In addition, employers will only want to spend time and money making a work permit application if they really need to.

You can find out more about working in Antigua and Barbuda in the Finding Employment section of this country guide.

How To Obtain Residency In Antigua And Barbuda

Once you have lived in Antigua and Barbuda for at least four years, you can apply for residency.

This allows you to remain in the country permanently along with any named dependants. You will also be free to accept employment with any employer for any job without having to obtain a work permit.

If you have married an Antiguan citizen, you only have to wait one year before making your residency application.

You must have entered the country legally, and have a clean conviction record, which will be submitted as part of your application process. All birth and marriage certificates will be required.

A medical practitioner approved by the Immigration Department will need to provide you with a health certificate as part of your application documents.

Additionally, a letter from the Statutory Boards must be submitted, confirming your payment of local taxes.

How To Become A Citizen Of Antigua And Barbuda

The Citizenship by Investment (CIP) programme is discussed in the next section. If you have the funds, this is the easiest way to apply for citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda.

However, if you do not have the necessary wealth to apply by this route, you can make an ordinary application for citizenship at the Passport Office on Queen Elizabeth Highway.

You’ll need to have your original passport, showing the date you first arrived in Antigua and Barbuda. If you are unable to provide this evidence, the Immigration Department will, for a fee, look into providing alternative confirmation of the date.

Once you have made a citizenship application and paid the fee, you must phone the Immigration Department and request an appointment with them as soon as possible. You only have a month to be seen, so do not delay making the appointment.

Those who have been married for more than three years to a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda do not have to be interviewed by the Immigration Department as part of the citizenship application process; everyone else must undertake this interview. You will be given a list of documents to bring along with you. Check this list carefully and compile the evidence in plenty of time.

You’ll need to get a police record check from any country where you have lived for more than six months, so it may take you a few weeks to organise and receive these documents. Your local police record check is only valid for 24 hours, so remember to obtain this the day before the interview.

Citizenship By Investment (CIP) In Antigua And Barbuda

The Citizenship by Investment programme was brought on to the Antigua and Barbuda statute books in 2014, with an amendment in 2016.

This is a way for wealthy individuals to gain citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda without having to live there before or after the application. In return, the new citizen can come and go from Antigua and Barbuda as they please, and also gains visa-free access to more than a hundred other countries around the globe.

Successful applicants must be present on the islands for a minimum of five days over the first five years of citizenship.

Those who stay on Antigua and Barbuda for 183 days a year are treated as residents for tax purposes. Antigua and Barbuda do not charge personal income tax, capital gains tax or inheritance tax.

One of three investments must be made as part of the process to become a CIP citizen:

• A non-refundable contribution of US$200,000 to the National Development Fund. In 2018, a special time-limited reduction rate was offered of US$100,000 for a family of four or US$125,000 for a family of five or more.
• A property purchase from an approved real estate project for at least US$400,000. The 2018 time-limited offer reduced this to $200,000 per individual if two related parties applied together.
• An investment of a minimum of US$1,500,000 directly into an eligible business as a sole investor, or a joint investment that totals at least US$5,000,000 in in an eligible business; the joint investment must involve at least two persons, each individually investing at least US$400,000.

In order to qualify for this category of citizenship, you must be over the age of 18, in good health and not at any time or location have received a prison sentence in excess of six months, unless you were formally pardoned.

Additionally, you must not be the subject of a criminal investigation, be a potential national security risk to Antigua and Barbuda, or be involved with any activity which may be likely to bring the nation into disrepute.

If you have previously been denied a visa to a country with which Antigua and Barbuda enjoys visa-free travel, and not subsequently been issued with one from that country at a later date, your application for citizenship will be rejected.


Read more about this country



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