Long stay Visa Initiative sparks international interest

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(Pointe Xpress)

The government of Antigua and Barbuda is currently finalizing plans for the rollout of the proposed residency programme announced by the Cabinet earlier this month.

Chief of Staff in the Office of the Prime Minister, Lionel ‘Max’ Hurst, indicated that this residency programme, “Would allow those professionals who can work from home, known as knowledge workers, and high-net-worth individuals to decide to become resident on Antigua for up to 2 years in the first instance.

“The remote workers’ residency programme would add significantly to numbers of wealthy people who choose to spend considerable lengths of time in the beautiful setting of an Antiguan landscape while creating value for the Antigua and Barbuda economy. They would be subject to due diligence and COVID testing.”

The expected fee for this programme is US$300 for the first applicant, US$200 for a spouse, and US$100 for each child or dependent.

“Antigua and Barbuda, has been successful in managing the spread and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and offers a unique setting to work comfortably in the paradise we call home. All applicants would be subject to due diligence and COVID-19 pretesting,” Prime Minister Gaston Browne commented on the residency initiative.

Economic Envoy, Calvin Ayre, indicated that he is in support of, and looks forward to the programme.

“With one of the focuses of the Ayre Group being real estate, Ayre is ready to offer first class accommodation, fully equipped with high speed internet and nearby to convenient amenities and, of course, the beach.

Having established his Ayre Group headquarters in Antigua and Barbuda, he strongly considers the island as a prime location for high net worth individuals to be able to live and work.

“It is his hope that others, especially knowledge-based experts, will, in turn, be motivated to invest and contribute to the diversification of the workforce, through a transfer of knowledge,” a release from the Ayre Group read.

Arton Capital, a global citizenship financial advisory services firm based in Canada also highlighted the program in their networks.

“Home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches – and with strong Wi-Fi and internet coverage across the islands, Digital Nomad residents of Antigua and Barbuda will have the opportunity to enjoy the ease of life in paradise while running their businesses, communicating with loved ones, and even attending classes and seminars entirely online,” a statement from the global group said.

Minister of Tourism and Investment, Charles ‘Max’ Fernandez also stated that “The long-stay visa program fits perfectly with our tourism marketing strategy of “your space in the sun.”

It is a signal to visitors that we are safe, open, and ready to accommodate you in our 95 miles of superb coastline beaches.

“The perfect way to work, while vacationing in a safe space. Imagine getting the opportunity to work in a near-perfect climate with access to over 365 beaches and adequate telecommunication infrastructure all year round?

This is what a long-stay visa option will offer visitors from all over the world.”