Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Thursday, May 16, 2019

ANTIGUA IS RESTRICTING ENTRY OF ITS CBI PASSPORT HOLDERS TO BARBUDA


The Prime Minister of Antigua & Barbuda, Gaston Browne, has announced that his country is now restricting entry to the sister island of Barbuda to "belongers," the indigenous population of the island, which is now about to experience a development boom. Government security checks in Antigua, as well as on Barbuda will check individuals to verify their status.

Given that the majority of individuals who have acquired costly Citizenship by Investment (BCI/CIP) passports in recent years are affluent Chinese, it is obvious that these new restrictions are directed at them. Browne, while not naming the ethnic group or nationality by name, has referred to the class of "unwanted" individuals now barred from Barbuda as "Billionaires."

Whether these new restrictions, which will apply to all Antigua CBI passport holders who want to relocate to Barbuda, will face court challenges is not known; We note that Antiguans also are restricted. There is also the matter of freedom of movement, guaranteed to individuals who are nationals of  the Caribbean region, the CARICOM community, by law.

It appears that Antigua has stepped into a major legal controversy, on several fronts, but its restrictions upon CBI passport holders could negatively impact the CIP program,  and cause unintended consequences.

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