The Government has set up a task force to look into the feasibility of an economic citizenship programme that would see foreign investors being offered Antiguan citizenship and a passport if they can afford it.
"The task force will identify the risks of such a programme, examine the business benefits of economic citizenship, and determine safeguards to maintain the integrity of the Antigua and Barbuda passport,"' a government statement said.
Also included in the body's terms of reference is pinpointing the best strategic options available to support investment and residential tourism.
The Economic Citizenship Task Force comprises representatives from the Office of National Drug and Money Laundering Control Policy, the Attorney General's Office, the Bar Association, the Immigration Department, the tourism sector, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Antigua Barbuda Investment Authority.
The task force will present Cabinet with a position paper following its investigations.
Economic citizenship programmes are already in place in the Eastern Caribbean states of Dominica and St. Kitts and Nevis.
In St. Kitts and Nevis where one was established in 1984, an investment of at least US$350,000 in a designated real estate project is required for an investor to be considered for the programme.
In Dominica, however, there is no requirement for the applicant to make an investment in real estate. Instead, under the programme which began in 1991, massive fees are charged to get the citizenship.
Both countries offer full, non-revocable lifetime citizenship.