The government of Antigua and Barbuda said citizens from six countries are not eligible for its citizenship-by-investment program (CIP), according to reports reaching here from the twin-island nation on Wednesday.
A statement released by Antigua and Barbuda said the government does not accept application of citizens from Afghanistan, Iraq, the Democratic Republic of Korea, Somalia, Yemen and Iran to safeguard integrity of the program.
The program offers three options to obtain the passport, including a 250,000-U.S.-dollar donation to the country’s national development fund, a real estate investment of 400,000 U.S. dollars and a business investment of 1.5 million U.S. dollars.
Antigua and Barbuda launched the plan to sell passports for investment in a bid “to haul the economy back onto the road of development” last year.
Antigua and Barbuda is not the only country in the Caribbean with arrangement of this kind. In 1984, St. Kitts and Nevis became the first country in the region to offer such a program. The list has then been enlarged as St. Lucia, Dominica, Grenada, and the Turks and Caicos took similar policies.
However, the method taken by the Caribbean nations to garner quick money has raised concerns from other countries recently.
Last month, Canada revoked its visa-free policy for St. Kitts and Nevis citizens “due to concerns about the issuance of passports and identity management practices within its citizenship-by-investment program.”
Critics said the statement from the Antigua and Barbuda government is to dismiss these concerns.