The Antigua and Barbuda Department of Immigration opened its new Residence Permit Programme, pursuant to the Immigration and Passport Act 2014. The new programme will replace the status of “Temporary Residence” which was previously issued under the Immigration and Passport Act, CAP 208.

The Benefits gained from acquiring a Residence Permit includes an Applicant’s ability to live, work or study in Antigua and Barbuda; Holders of a Residence Permit will, however, lose their status if they remain outside of Antigua and Barbuda for six months or more, commit a criminal offence in Antigua and Barbuda or anywhere else or if for some reason is deemed persona non grata by Cabinet.

The Residence Permit programme comes into effect on the 15th June, 2016 and persons deemed eligible to apply include;

  1. Individuals who have been lawfully resident in Antigua and Barbuda for a minimum of four (4) years immediately preceding the date of the application; or
  2. Individuals who are married to a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda and are living together as husband and wife for a minimum of one (1) year.

Antigua and Barbuda immigration office offers various types of residence permits under several categories

A Resident Permit status allows non-nationals to reside in Antigua and Barbuda and may be granted for a period of one (1) year to three (3) years.

Permanent Residents

Permanent residenceClassResidency Requirement
Work permit holders (residency)A4 years
MarriageB1 year (after)
StudentsC1 years
Entrepreneurs or investorsD2 years
Home owners/ retired residentsE2 years
Persons of Independent MeansF2 years

Digital Nomads

The government has also launched a new digital nomad residency visa program to nomads who wish to live and work from beaches.

Residence Rights

A holder of a resident permit has the right:

  • To receive most social benefits that Antiguan citizens receive, including health care coverage etc.
  • To live, work or study anywhere in Antigua.
  • To apply for Antiguan Citizenship after seven years of residing legally in the state of Antigua and Barbuda.
  • To protection under Antigua and Barbuda Law.

Holders of Resident Permits must pay taxes, and respect all Antigua & Barbuda laws.

Residence Card

The Antigua Barbuda Resident Permit Card is the official proof of your status as a resident in Antigua and Barbuda. This wallet-sized plastic card is required for all holders of resident permit of Antigua and Barbuda seeking to re-enter the state on a commercial carrier via sea or air. If you leave the country, you will need this card to return to Antigua and Barbuda.

Naturalizing for Citizenship

An application for citizenship can be made to the Passport Office on Queen Elizabeth Highway based on citizenship act or a period being ordinary resident of not less than seven years ending with the date of his application, of which not less than five years in the aggregate must have been spent in Antigua and Barbuda, or for such shorter period so ending as the Minister may in the special circumstances of any particular case accept application.