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(THE ANGUILLIAN) — There have long been many rich, famous and well-meaning investors and other persons across the globe desirous of securing a piece of Anguilla as a second home. They have sought to achieve this through alien landholding licenses and so forth. Now, there is a new opportunity for them to own property and live on the island if they “put their money where their mouth is”, to use a well-beaten phrase. That possibility is being provided through the brand new Anguilla Residency by Investment (ARBI) Programme.
This alternative avenue for investors and for Anguilla was presented at an information session at the Teachers’ Resource Centre on Thursday, August 23, 2018. It was attended by a capacity audience which included representatives of real estate companies, lawyers and members of the general public – all keenly interested in the benefits of attracting investment opportunities for Anguilla. There, to outline the programme, answer questions and provide explanations, were Chief Minister and Minister of Finance, Economic Development, Tourism, Investment, and Commerce, Mr. Victor Banks; Permanent Secretary, Tourism and Economic Development, Mr. Larry Franklin; Permanent Secretary, Home Affairs, Mrs. Chanelle Petty Barrett; and the Presenter, Mrs. Shantelle Richardson of the Ministry of Finance.
Chief Minister Banks pointed out that the Anguilla Government’s intention is “to fashion a programme that fits our needs” in a responsible manner. He observed that “one of the key elements of the programme is due diligence. It is not done arbitrarily. It is done by agencies that are very much involved in providing that kind of service.”
The Chief Minister continued: “These services are not cheap. As a consequence, persons who are interested in taking up the residency programme, or the citizenship programme, as obtained in other parts of the region, will have to go through a rigorous process. They have to go through that process because, obviously, throughout the world there are more and more people who are looking and watching to see how these programmes work; to see whether they are transparent and accountable…Of course, citizens will want to know that persons who benefit from those programmes are people who are here to promote and assist us in our development; people who are not corrupt and have integrity and objectives that we can support comfortably…”
The purpose of the ARBI Programme has been outlined as follows:
• It recognises government’s interest in providing an ‘elevated’ status to visitors who make significant financial investments into the island.
• It formalizes and clearly defines the requirements for the grant of PR status via investment in an effort to encourage further investment into the island.
• It is intended to promote growth by encouraging investment into our island, capitalizing the Government’s capital development fund which will allow critical investment in priority projects for the good of our island.
The benefits of residency in Anguilla, as explained in the programme document, are:
• An attractive option for persons who already have ties here and wish to formally make Anguilla their second home, by conferring the right to reside in Anguilla year-round without being subject to immigration control.
• Additionally, persons migrating from the highly-developed nations can benefit from the transition to a low-tax jurisdiction that boasts slower paced living, a clean environment, low air pollution, low crime rates and a relatively good quality of life set amidst a tropical climate, amazing food, people and beautiful beaches.
• It is also equally appealing to those who continue to live abroad but desire an alternate country of residence for themselves and their family members for tax planning and other purposes.
Phase 1 of the launch of the programme is tentatively projected for the 4th quarter of 2018; and phase 2 tentatively for the 1st quarter of 2019.
Among other information provided is the Real Estate Investment Route. In order to qualify for residency in Anguilla under the real estate investment option, an applicant must buy or construct real estate on the island valued at a minimum of US$750,000 including the value of the land on which the home is located. This route also qualifies a family of up to 4 for a permit of permanent residence. For additional family members the minimum value of the property is increased to US$100,000 each. Eligible properties can be homes, villas, condominiums, hotel units or other forms of property.
The other category of the investment programme is the Capital Development Fund. The minimum investment in this area is US$150,000. It is a special fund to be established by the Government of Anguilla. Its purpose is to finance public sector projects in an effort to grow, develop and diversify Anguilla’s economy and fund meaningful social projects. The fund will be separate from the Government’s consolidated fund and managed and administered prudently.
The presentation of the Anguilla Residency by Investment Programme was followed by a very lively question and answer period. The responses from persons on the floor were overall positive, supportive and cautious. Only one person objected entirely to the ARBI.