I can’t promise that we won’t apply visa regimes to countries where there are concerns – UK official


The British High Commissioner has provided clarity on the review that is currently being done on Citizenship by Investment Programmes (CIP) in Antigua and Barbuda and other countries.

During a recent appearance on Observer AM, Resident British Commissioner to Antigua and Barbuda Lindsy Thompson explained that due to discrepancies with its Residency by Investment programme, the UK government became cautious that such routes “were not secure” and raised several red flags that could eventually undermine the country’s immigration system.

That residency programme was shut down by the UK last year but because of those risks, it has now influenced them to look into the CIP.

Thompson sought to assure listeners that the review is meant to examine risks and that it is not limited to the English-speaking Caribbean.

“We constantly review our immigration system and we were not satisfied that that route to residency was secure enough,” she said.

“There was a potential for misuse. Now, when you have gone through that experience it naturally makes you look at all the other routes that people can enter the UK and of course CIP, those countries like Antigua and Barbuda who have high value passports, citizens can enter the UK visa-free are naturally one thing we look at.

“What we are looking to see is where are the risks, what are they, so that’s what we are doing,” Thompson explained.

Recently, a meeting was held between Thompson, the Chief Executive Officer of the country’s Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) Charmaine Quinland-Donovan, and Prime Minister Gaston Browne regarding this matter.

Thompson revealed her team has so far established a good working relationship with the Prime Minister, the CIU and others that are directly supervising the programme.

As it relates to the risk associated for Antigua and Barbuda, which depends heavily on its CIP as a main revenue earner, Thompson mentioned that there is a possibility visa limitations could be implemented if there are concerns.

This is the case for all the countries under the review, she clarified.

“The UK is looking at these schemes on a whole, on a global basis. I can’t promise that we won’t apply visa regimes to countries where there are concerns. We have, just like any other nation, like Antigua and Barbuda, to protect our borders and where we see there are risks and a sufficient threat then, obviously, we are obliged to our citizens to take those measures. But what I will say is we have great cooperation here in Antigua and Barbuda.

“Where there isn’t a threat, where there isn’t a risk, where there is great cooperation, it’s very hard to see why we would want to apply any kind of measure,” she added.

The government has remained confident that Antigua and Barbuda will not be among the list of countries hit with visa limitations.

Just last week, Cabinet spokesperson Melford Nicholas said the Cabinet spoke to Quinland-Donovan, who assured them that there were no issues.

Nicholas indicated that the government believes its CIP security protocols are stringent.

Antigua and Barbuda is among nearly a dozen countries globally that offer a CIP programme, with access to the EU’s coveted Schengen Area – 27 European countries that have officially abolished all passport and other controls at their mutual borders – being a major attraction.

However, the European Parliament has been adamant that third parties should not have such easy access to its member states, especially from coming through “friendly” countries that currently benefit from visa-free travel. (Observer Newsco)

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  1. We keep saying to our officials that the world is watching. If you make Antiguans lose visa free status to the UK, there will be hell to pay!

  2. This is an urgent appeal to the Prime Minister.

    You now have to address this serious issue. If the British Commissioner Lindsy Thompson is talking about the concerns about CIP and possible visa restrictions, then you can bet your bottom dollar that a UK government official has been in touch with her and bent her ears.

    The longer you fail to address this situation PM, then the future for visa free travel will look more and more unlikely for entrepreneurial Antiguans to conduct their business affairs.

    Prime Minister Browne, this serious issue isn’t going away any time soon. Come out, come out wherever you are!


  3. Just as Canada did when they had similar concerns, we might shortly be seeing a similar occurrence. This is regrettable for the ordinary citizens. Politicians and diplomats would not understand the horrors and hassle of having to apply for a visa.

  4. This is a double edged sword. It will affect our indigenous Antiguans and those that gained citizenship in the legally correct way,like our Caribbean brothers and sisters that live here for decades and call Antigua their home. When this is done the other Europeans countries will follow and the CIP will not be viable. So it is better to stop this CIP transaction and save our visa free access to England and the rest of Europe. It’s time to me more innovative. Also time to stop the waste. We still have tourism doing very well and growing. Let’s clean up Antigua and add some beautiful landscape- tropical flowering trees and flowers. Some nice mini parks with benches etc.
    let us pay attention to our youth development programs and stop the growing youth violence.
    No more Baba and Cool get rich on our nation poor people back. Then we praise Mr.Smoothie for sponsorship of carnival queen, sporting events.
    Back to CIP – Do you know that lot of the people that gain Antigua passport through CIP never set foot on Antigua. They Buy our passport and then travel to their desired destinations.
    I am not celebrating the lost of the CIP at all. It was a quick fix for the Caribbean countries while it lasted. Notice I am now writing in past tense. The world is at war and the dangers that can come through this program must be of concern to sovereign nations. There are very dangerous men and women out there that will use the CIP and gain access to European countries just to inflict harm. This is the reality of the situation.

  5. Under Gaston Browne, the Antigua passport will soon become entirely useless. We will end up like Jamaica where we cannot travel anywhere without a visa. When Gaston entered government, Antiguans could travel to Canada, the UK and the EU without a visa. Very shortly under Gaston Browne, Antiguans will not be able to travel to any of those countries without a visa AND the CIP will be a dead program as foreigners will not want our useless passport any longer.

  6. The dunce them put him back in power me nether blue r red me nutral this man all for him self so lower class people 🤬 cause them put he back so u all suffer an stop complain all cause of the old heads them like them no k but the younger ones

  7. When government becomes desperate and lack innovation to grow the economy…they turned to programs like CIP which holds no real investment to the country but a gateway to Europe to the passport buyer.
    We may be inclined to blame the Gaston Browne administration…but truth be told it goes back to the UPP government in spite of their tax measures re: the personal income tax, the ABST…they failed to grow the economy and hence easy money ..let’s sell our passport and slide down the rabbit hold began.
    But question…how can we the citizens of Antigua stop this abuse of our passport…we are the ones who will feel in the end…can’t go to Canada….can’t to Europe and soon the middle east which is becoming very attractive.
    WHAT CAN WE DO…for stop playing politics and put country first… remember the former prime Minister Baldwin Spencer ” our passport is not for sale”. Won the Government..start selling passport…then up comes Max Hurst in opposition..” our passport is not for sale” . Wins government..continue selling passport and the people said nothing..
    We need to hold these politicians and want to politicians to the promises they make…and stop this every 5 years cock fights…
    Before it’s too late.

  8. If successive governments weren’t so afraid of their paymasters in the private sector we would not have an income problem. They see fit to try and bleed the little man that they can’t make a way forward but the big companies aren’t paying there fair share. Tax them more, make it harder to pass on said tax to the consumer, stop giving duty frees left right and center and we can make it by living in our means.

  9. Thank you mister prime minister for fucking up antigua again this was long time coming

  10. We have stated all the problems and possible outcome of no visa free travel to EU, UK and more.

    Let’s write suggestions and support the government whether RED OR BLUE or whatever colour and make this country a batter place to live.

    • @ Praying, you sound like you voted red, and now you talk about making this country a better place to live?

      And remember, prayer without works/actions is meaningless (as the good book says).


  11. Raise your hands if your shocked or surprised. What is wrong with Gaston????? Oh right, these restrictions won’t affect him since he is rich.

  12. Serve Antiguans right! They done enjoy that filthy lucre and now it’s time to pay. Greed is indeed one of the seven deadly sins.

  13. If the position party would stop spending lies like ” human trafficking and 4 billion dollars” which can’t fit in a passenger aircraft, what do you expect those countries to do when propagandas are being spread throughout the country and the rest of the world.

    People around the world are listening to what’s been said about our country by our own country men and women. It’s foolish to use our voices to disrupt the livelihood of all people, just to pull down one man. It’s also dangerous to accuse and say things without any credible evidence to support what’s been said. If I say that COVID was developed in a lab in Barbuda, even though Barbuda doesn’t have a lab, there are people who would believe that lying story if spread around the country by certain individuals. That’s a fact!

    It’s not Gaston who’s making things harder, it’s the vindictive nature of some people who would stop at nothing in order to bring down Gaston and destroy the country in the process. Our actions carry seriously damaging consequences. Let’s be wise!

  14. Just another move by the British to keep former slaves from visiting, wind rush failed so they trying this. Do we query anyone one who comes to our shores with a British passport? Do we query the due diligence of the British in issuing their passports. It is time we stop acting like slaves with serious mental issues.

  15. We had offshore banking and that was an issue. We had online gaming and that was an issue. We have CIP and that is an issue. Mark my word when we have a thriving marijuana industry that is able to provide much needed revenues to the treasury, that will also become an issue.

    Apparently all the Caribbean will be good for is to act as servants in the tourism sector. Black people serving the white man again. Even in most hotels, the top positions are held by the imported white man. Tourism is not sustainable! Climate change, recessions, war, covid, off season etc has proven that IT IS NOT SUSTAINABLE!! They just want to keep their thumb on us and keep us down.

    I am not saying that CIP around the world doesn’t need improving, but come on man!!! All they want to do is keep us poor and to keep us coming to them for handouts and literally begging. It will never end. One step forward and three steps backward. They kept us down during and after slavery and now that we are becoming independent, it’s a problem.

    Time for the Caribbean to rise up and say F**K Y*U to all of them. UK can’t even keep migrants from crossing the English Channel. They can’t even secure their own borders!! CIP is not your problem. Proper staffing and training is what you need!

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