Anguilla’s House of Assembly, (also known as Anguilla’s Parliament) on the 29thof May 2019 passed the Anguilla Economic Resident Act 2019, also named as the AERA. The AERA offers a legal foundation for residence through way of an investment program. Also created, was the Select Anguilla Agency Act 2019 which determined Select Anguilla as its agency.
The AERA will offer and grant permanent residence, only to applicants who qualify to make an investment in real estate projects that are approved, or those able to make a contribution to the Capital Development Fund (CDF). The amount needed for contribution for the Capital Development Fund has not been made clear as of yet, but this will be revealed soon through the regulations. Also available is a Residence for Tax Purposes (RTP) programme which allows applicants to apply for tax residence if they can meet the below measures:
- Applicants are required to pay an annual lump sum for five years (the amount will be prescribed once the RBIP and RTP regulations & guidelines are issued).
- Applicants must be a physical resident of Anguilla for at least 45 days each calendar year.
- Applicants must own and sustain approved real estate in Anguilla that is valued at the amount that is prescribed.
- Applicants must determine some links to Anguilla which can only be described as genuine, according to the guidelines published by the Select Agency.
- Applicants must declare in writing, that they agree to pay the annual lump sum tax payments for 5 years.
- Applicants are required to annually make a declaration in writing, confirming that the they reside physically in another country for fewer than 183 days each year, but that their crucial and main interest is in Anguilla.
Select Anguilla will hold the exclusivity and rights to run the programs through the AERA, i.e. it will be run similarly to Citizenship by Investment programs. To come, is the second phase of the government of Anguilla’s RBIP program, to be held in Geneva at the International Migration Council Forum (3rdto 6th June 2019). One of the topics of discussion will include the complete options under the AERA. Amongst speakers will be the newly titled Premier, the Hon. Victor F Banks and Mr. Phillip Kisob, head of Select Anguilla Ltd.
In 2018, Anguilla introduced the initial phase of its program by implementing what is known as the Permanent Residence Permit Regulations, 2018. This was put into effect and labelled the ‘retroactive phase’, due to people with second homes in Anguilla, becoming suitable automatically. Several amendments later, meant that non- Anguillans can become permanent residents, if they meet the below requirements:
Applicants must legally own a home in Anguilla. It has to have been bought or built before the 30thof September 2018 and the property’s value must follow the below eligibility:
- If purchased or constructed fewer than two years ago, the value must be US$750,000.
- If purchased or constructed between two and five years ago, the value must be US$600,000.
- If purchased or constructed more than five years ago the value must be US$500,000.
Applicant must be 18 years old minimum and can apply for themselves and up to three dependents. In excess of the values shown above, applicants can apply for 1 more additional dependent for every US $100,000.
A dependent is stated as:
- A spouse (of the applicant).
- A child (of the applicant) or the applicant’s spouse. This child must be under 18 years of age.
- A child of at least 18 years of age who may be physically or mentally challenged, whom is supported completely by the applicant.
- The applicants or the applicant’s spouses’ child aged under twenty-six years old and is currently enrolled in full time study. The child must be financially dependent on the parent/s.
At the point of working out the home’s valuation, the value of the land on the specific location will be considered. Then the Department of Lands and Survey of the Government of Anguilla will confirm the value of the home. The 30thof June 2019 is the deadline for the Retroactive Phase. The program in Anguilla was not established to contest with the citizenship by investment program, reason being that Anguilla is defined as a British Overseas territory, so in order to live and work in Anguilla, one must first be granted a British Passport through Britain, then the matter of qualifying as an Anguillan is determined by the Anguilla Constitution of 1982.
Persons who can have the right to work and live in Anguilla without restrictions or immigration controls, will not receive an Anguillan passport, rather they will receive a British Overseas Territories Citizen Passport. This will be subject to the terms of the BNA (British Nationality Act) and will make them British Citizens simultaneously subject to the BNA, meaning these persons will hold a British passport. Though the program may grant permanent residence to those who apply and succeed, persons in need of the permit, cannot vote, should apply for work permits and will not be allowed to run for office.
Nevertheless, following five years legally living on the island, anyone with permanent residence, will be able to apply to receive BOTC (British Overseas Territories citizenship)/a UK passport.
By Idman Omar
Astons is a leading global immigration advisory firm with offices in London, Moscow, Dubai, Cyprus and China and offers residency & citizenship investment solutions in the UK, EU & the Caribbean.
For further information or to discuss your personal circumstances in a private consultation, please contact Astons at [email protected] or call +44 207 292 2977.