The United Progressive Party (UPP) is pledging a review of the country’s Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP), once it is elected to office, since the programme’s viability is now threatened by a number of likely bans.
Antigua and Barbuda lost visa-free access to Canada in June 2017. It now stands to lose similar privileges with Europe’s Schengen region because of the controversial passport programme.
Harold Lovell, UPP Political Leader, says the situation must be seriously addressed to protect the integrity of the CIP and the country on a whole. And he accuses the Gaston Browne Administration of mismanaging the programme.
Antigua and Barbuda has since made an effort to sidestep the ultimatum from the European Union’s Parliament: that countries selling passports should do away with their citizenship by investment (CBI) programmes or lose visa-free access to the Schengen area.
The Cabinet, last Wednesday, March 16, proposed the creation of a CIP Regulatory Commission among the Caribbean countries that market their citizenship.
This Commission, according to the Cabinet Notes, “would seek to blunt the announcement that European countries are moving to block CIP states from enjoying the privileges of Schengen visa waivers.”
In addition, a decision was taken to further amend the local CIP legislation and rebrand the initiative as the “Residency and Citizenship by Investment Programme.”
Under this new thrust, persons wishing to establish residence in Antigua and Barbuda will be able to do so under conditions that are identical to the citizenship programme of the United States, Cabinet said.
This will allow applicants to retain the citizenship of their birth place and yet enjoy virtually all the benefits of the Citizenship by Investment Programme. (REAL NEWS)
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