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(ANTIGUA OBSERVER) – Two hundred and forty-one (241) people became Citizen By Investment (CIP) registered citizens of Antigua and Barbuda during the first half of 2019 alone.
CIP figures for the second half of 2019 have not yet been released but are expected to be tabled in parliament sometime in 2020.
The major recipients on the list includes; 71 people from China, 19 from Bangladesh, 17 from Libya, 16 from Russia, 13 from Syria, 12 from Lebanon, 10 from Nigeria and 9 from Egypt.
During that six-month period, there were also two applicants from Iraq, one of seven countries banned from applying for Antigua and Barbuda citizenship. These applicants are likely to be permanent residents of Canada, the United States of America or the United Kingdom, as that is the only exception to the 2017 ban.
According to documents outlining applications under the CIP from January 1st to June 30th, 2019, these people all received citizenship, most of them through the National Development Fund (NDF) option.
This option is used to fund government sponsored projects, including public-private partnerships and approved charitable investments.
According to the document, investments by NDF account for 96.68 percent of the applicants, meaning that 233 people paid a minimum one-time payment of between US$100,000 to US$125,000 per application to become citizens in the state.
Five people (2.07 percent) applied under the real estate option (US$ 400,000 or more) and three (1.24 per cent) under the business investment option (US $1.5 million and above).
An estimate of the financial contributions, excluding processing fees, total US$30 million dollars (XCD $81m)
The addition, these 241 people brought the number of CIP nationals to 2,188 since the inception of the programme in 2013.