Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Unit announced to extend the recall of all machine-readable passports to June 30th, 2020 due to the deluge of applications for the country’s Citizenship by Investment Program (CIP). As of July 1st, 2020, only ePassports (biometric passports) are valid for travelling.
The recall of machine-readable passports of Antigua and Barbuda was first planned to conclude on December 31st, 2019. As the government noticed that the recall has already affected the processing of Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Program applications in the past few months, the deadline is now extended by 6 months.
It sounds to be a piece of good news for those who acquired Antiguan passports via Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Program between December 31st, 2014 and June 30th, 2015. The postponement enables this batch of holders to apply for passport renewal and obtain ePassports (biometric passports) with a validity of 10 years directly.
In accordance with the Antiguan CIP’s relevant rules, passports granted under first-time issuance have a validity of 5 years, and only passports with a remaining duration of validity no more than 6 months can be renewed. Therefore, before adjustment, these successful applicants shall apply for passport replacement first to acquire an ePassport with the same validity as the old one, and then apply for passport renewal when the remaining validity is less than 6 months.
Now, these Antiguan passport holders do not have to be confronted with inconvenience of travelling twice within a short period of time. After obtaining the biometric passport, they can continue to enjoy the outstanding visa-free mobility of this strongest passport in Caribbean region. The passport of Antigua and Barbuda has topped the list of OECS since November 4th, 2019, granting its holders visa-free entry to 165 jurisdictions around the world.
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