Come August 15, the government of Antigua and Barbuda will be forging forward with the commissioning of an official office for the still controversial Citizenship by Investment Program (CIP).
Media reports this week suggests that an office space has long been identified and is currently being outfitted to suit the operations.
A large cross-section of Antigua and Barbuda has come out against the CIP program calling it the outright “sale” of their “birthright”.
But the government has long maintained that the program was in fact a common practice in countries around the world and was, in Antigua’s case, an financial endeavour designed to stimulate economic activity and increase opportunities for locals.
It has been previously opined in Antigua and Barbuda that the program might attract criminals, fugitives and maybe even terrorists looking for a safe haven in the Caribbean.
One of the main attractions of the program here is visa-free travel, as Antigua Passport holders have the ability to travel to many European countries, including the United Kingdom and Ireland, for up to 60-days without a visa. The same privilege is afforded to travel to Canada and elsewhere.
The Opposition Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party has spoken out against the program in Parliament, with leader Hon. Gaston Browne noting that while he has no philosophical issue with the initiative, he must respect the wishes of the masses which are largely against the move.