(Antigua Observer) -- Antigua and Barbuda has been rated the best Citizenship by Investment (CBI) destination in the Caribbean, and the fourth best globally.
The ranking is set out in the Global Residence and Citizenship Programmes 2017–2018 report, which was prepared by the firm Henley and Partners.
According to the report, Antigua and Barbuda scored 61 out of 100 on the Global Citizenship Programme Index (GCPI) giving it the fourth place ranking out of eight programmes.
The top three ranked programmes were those in Malta, Cyprus, and Austria respectively, while Antigua and Barbuda was followed by Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and Dominica in that order.
The programmes were evaluated according to 10 indicators: Reputation, quality of life, visa-free access, processing time and quality of processing, compliance, financial requirements, residence requirements, relocation flexibility, physical visit requirements, and transparency. Each indicator had an equal weighting of 10, producing a total score out of 100 for each country.
According to the report, Antigua and Barbuda scored well for processing time and quality of processing, compliance, investment requirements, transparency and relocation flexibility. It also scored highly in residence requirements and visa-free access.
However, those high marks are currently not translating to dollars with the government last month slashing the cost for citizenship under the National Development Fund (NDF) by 50 percent, from U.S. $200,000 to U.S. $100,000.
According to Prime Minister Gaston Browne, the programme has been doing poorly this year with only three applications under the NDF in the two months prior. That equates to just U.S. $600,000 in revenue.