Antigua and Barbuda joins the ranks of countries now offering long-term visas for digital nomads. Countries as varied as Bermuda and Estonia have started to see the value of having successful individuals live for extended stays, spending outside money in their economies. Digital nomads might not spend as much per-day as a tourist, but they make up for it in number of days.
Having spent an all-too-short stay on Antigua and Barbuda I can attest to their claim of beautiful beaches (365 of them!) and friendly, welcoming locals.
Here’s a look at the details of the visa.
Antigua and Barbuda Nomad Digital Residence Visa
Like other similar programs, you have to be a fairly successful digital nomad before you apply. This isn’t a “hey, that’d be cool” thing to try with no history of remote work. It’s also not particularly cheap to apply, but then, if you’re making the kind of money needed to be eligible, it’s not a big ask. Here are the requirements:
- Evidence that the non-refundable fee was paid. That’s $1,500 for an individual, $2,000 for a couple, and $3,000 for a family
- A passport photo of each applicant and copy of the main passport page.
- A certificate indicating medical insurance coverage for the period of their intended stay in Antigua.
This is an interesting one, but it makes sense. They want you to be completely self-sufficient while you’re there, not a drain on their social services. You have access to local medical care, of course, but you’ll either need to pay cash or via your own insurance. It’s worth noting that 1) medical costs are far lower in countries that aren’t the US, and 2) most US-based insurance won’t cover you outside the country. So this requirement is a bit trickier than it first seems.
- Police clearance for each applicant over the age of 16.
- Proof of relationship to dependents for whom application is made by main applicant
- Evidence of employment, including self-employment
It’s not particularly clear how you’re required to prove this. Having needed to convince multiple agencies during my career as a freelancer that yes, I do actually have a job, I hope the Antigua and Barbuda government is understanding that it might not be one thing that constitutes “employed.”
- A declaration by the main applicant, certifying (a) expected income of no less than US$50,000 (Fifty thousand US dollars) or its equivalent in other currencies, for each year of the 2 years in Antigua, and (b) that he/she has the means to support himself/herself and accompanying dependents during their stay in Antigua and Barbuda.
This is the main point, of course. That you’re able to comfortably support yourself during your stay, and that you’ve got a track record of doing so elsewhere. This isn’t radically different than other digital nomad visas.
“As a multicultural society, our people have been welcoming visitors to our country for almost a hundred years. We know how to look after guests and make them feel at home. That’s why we are rated as one of the top tourism destinations in the world, as research would confirm.” – Prime Minister Gaston Browne
The visa is good for 2 years after you first arrive in the country. Not surprisingly, it does not give you the ability to work for a local company. Like other digital nomad visas, the idea isn’t to take away jobs from locals, but to bring foreign currency into the country.
One last logical requirement is you’ll need to have secured a place to stay before you arrive. Not for the entire two years, but at least to start out.
For more info, check out the government’s website about the visa, AntiguaNomadResidence.com.