Frequently Asked Questions for Resident Permit

 

Q         For how long is a residence permit valid?

A         Resident Permit is granted for three (3) years, unless the resident permit is specifically applied for a shorter period.

 

If the reason for the stay in Antigua and Barbuda is a temporary permit for studies, which will be completed within a certain period of time known in advance, the permit can be granted, on discretion, for a shorter period; however, not for more than three (3) years.

 

Q         For how long can a permit be extended?

A         A person who has a continuous residence permit may be granted a Resident Permit of no more than three (3) years at a time. A person who has a student resident permit may be granted a resident permit of one year at a time or a Resident Permit to cover the remaining time for studies if known.

 

Q         Can a student permit be changed to a normal Resident Permit?

A         A person who has been granted a student resident permit can apply for a normal resident permit if the grounds for residency have changed during the stay in the country, for example because of marriage or if they have attained the four year residency requirement.

 

Q         On what basis can a resident permit be granted?

A         A Resident Permit can be granted to a person who, by virtue of a residency, has lawfully resided in Antigua and Barbuda for four years without interruption. Furthermore, the applicant must meet the requirements set for the granting of a resident permit.

Resident permit may be granted to other classification of persons such as follows:

  • A student after one year of attending a tertiary educational institution,
  • A person of independent means after residing in Antigua and Barbuda for two years;
  • A government employee
  • An entrepreneur or investors who has acquired two years of work permit in Antigua and Barbuda

 

  • A person after one year of marriage to a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda.

 

Q         Is the applicant not allowed to leave Antigua and Barbuda for four years prior to the application for a Resident Permit?

A         There may be no breaks of less than six (6) months continuously between the periods of lawful continuous residency. Furthermore, when applying for a residence permit, the applicant must have a valid work permit.

The applicant must show their intention to permanently reside in Antigua and Barbuda and must reside in Antigua and Barbuda for at least half of the time during which the residence permit is valid.

 

Q         Are the grounds for a Resident Permit always the same?

A         The grounds for granting a Resident Permit is not the same throughout the residency requirement period. The grounds may change. For example, a person who was granted a Residence Permit on the basis of employment in the Government sector or as a student may have married while residing in Antigua and Barbuda and received a resident permit on that basis.

 

Q         Can a Resident Permit be revoked?

A         A Residence Permit is revoked if the person who has been granted the permit

  • has moved away from Antigua and Barbuda on a permanent basis, or
  • organises or engages in subversive political activity, or organises, causes or promotes racism within Antigua and Barbuda;

 

  • gives, in the application for permission to remain in Antigua and Barbuda, information that the Chief Immigration Officer has reasons to believe is false in a material particular or concealed a material fact;

 

  • is convicted of an offence against the laws of Antigua and Barbuda including serious offence reasonably believed to be facilitating the commission of any serious offence in Antigua and Barbuda;

 

  • is convicted of an offence under the laws of another country, the nature of which offence would, in the opinion of the Chief Immigration Officer, make his or her continued presence in Antigua and Barbuda contrary to the public interest;

 

  • becomes a charge on the Consolidated Fund;

 

  • is reasonably believed to be living on or receiving the proceeds of crimes;

 

  • is deemed by the Cabinet to be an undesirable resident of Antigua and Barbuda;

 

  • resides outside Antigua and Barbuda continuously for a period of 6 months or more; or
  • (i) is reasonably believed to be, or has been, engaging in activities that are or are likely to be prejudicial to the national security of Antigua and Barbuda or the maintenance of law, public

 

  • A Resident Permit can also be revoked if the grounds for granting the permit no longer exist.

 

Q         When, at what stage and where do I apply for a renewal of my residence permit?

A         You must apply for a renewal to your resident permit at the Immigration Department three months before your permit expires. The Chief Immigration Officer will decide whether the renewal is to be granted.

Q         I have a Residence Permit (C permit) for Students. What is required to apply for its replacement with a Normal Residence Permit (A permit)?

A         When you are residing in Antigua and Barbuda with a Student residence permit, you may apply for a class A residence permit if the grounds for your residence become continuous in nature for four (4) years or more.

 

Q         If you have a residence permit on the basis of a dependent of a holder of a Resident Permit, and a have ceased to be a dependent; or a student and have ceased to be a student at a tertiary educational Institution

A         you may apply for a Residence Permit after residing lawfully for four (4) years in Antigua and Barbuda; or

You may apply under the grounds of marriage (if married to a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda)

Q         If you have been granted a residence permit on the basis of studies

A         The Student Resident Permit may not be replaced with a Class A Resident Permit as long as the purpose of your residence in Antigua and Barbuda is studying.

A student’s residence permit is always temporary.

If a holder of a student resident permit marries a person who is a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda, you may apply for a residence permit on new grounds.

In this case you may apply for a new residence permit at any time during the validity of your Student Residence Permit, The application should be submitted to the Immigration Department Headquarters. See also the reply to the question “When, at what stage do I apply for an extension to my residence permit?

 

Q         When can I apply for  Residence permit for business purposes

A         you may apply for a Residence Permit under the grounds for business after you have resided in Antigua and Barbuda for two years without interruption. If you have had two (2) work permits, they must follow each other without interruption.

Your residence will be considered uninterrupted if you have been outside of Antigua and Barbuda for no less than six months and that you have resided in Antigua and Barbuda for at least half the validity period of your residence permit.

 

Q         When may I be granted a Residence Permit (A permit) and how do I apply for one?

A         You may be granted a Residence Permit (A permit) after you have resided lawfully in Antigua and Barbuda for four years without interruption. Your work permit must be valid when you apply for a Residence Permit.

If you have had at least four (4) work permits, your work permits must have followed each other without interruption.

The basis for granting a Resident Permit (Class A permit) need not have remained the same throughout the entire period of four years. The basis for the residence permit may have changed from employment to marriage, for instance. If the nature of the permit is a Student Resident Permit, a Residence Permit cannot be granted until you have resided in Antigua and Barbuda for four years without interruption.

Your residence will be considered uninterrupted if you have resided in Antigua and Barbuda at least half of the validity period of you residence permit. If, however, you notify the Immigration Department through written correspondence of your moving abroad, your residence permit may be cancelled (read also the answer to question “Can a permit be revoked?”).

Applications for Resident Permits must be submitted to the Immigration Department on the prescribed form. The Chief Immigration officer will decide on the granting of a permit.

 

Q         What are the categories of Resident certificate residency requirements?

A         The categories of Resident Permit are as follows

Permanent residence Class Residency Requirement
work permit holders (residency) A 4 years
Marriage B 1 year (after)
Students C 1 years
Entrepreneurs or investors D 2 years
Home owners/ retired residents E 2 years
Persons of Independent Means F 2 years

 

Q         What can holders of Resident Permit do?

A         A holder of a resident permit has the right:

  • To receive most social benefits that Antiguan citizens receive, including health care coverage etc.
  • To live, work or study anywhere in Antigua.
  • To apply for Antiguan Citizenship after seven years of residing legally in the state of Antigua and Barbuda.
  • To protection under Antigua and Barbuda Law.

 

Holders of Resident Permits must pay taxes, and respect all Antigua & Barbuda laws.

 

 

Q         What a holder of a Resident Permit cannot do?

A         A holder of a Resident Permit cannot:

  • Vote or run for political office.
  • Remain in Antigua and Barbuda if they are convicted of a serious criminal offence and have been told to leave the country.
  • Dependents of Work permit holders may not seek employment
  • Holder of a non-worker resident certificate should not seek employment

 

 

Q         Length of Resident Permit status

A         A Resident Permit status allows non-nationals to reside in Antigua and Barbuda and may be granted for a period of one (1) year to three (3) years.

 

Q         What instrument will I receive as a Resident Permit Holder

A         The Resident Permit Card is the official proof of your status as a resident in Antigua and Barbuda. This wallet-sized plastic card is required for all holders of resident permit of Antigua and Barbuda seeking to re-enter the state on a commercial carrier via sea or air. If you leave the country, you will need this card to return to Antigua and Barbuda.

 

Q         What are the required documentation needed for applying for a resident permit?

A         Documents required for the application of a resident permit is dependent on the type of Resident Permit. These are as follows:

1.     Married to a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda

  • a copy of the marriage certificate
  • Accompanied by spouse
  • Proof of spouse’s citizenship
  • His/Her Passport
  • A police certificate of Character
  • A health Certificate
  • Proof of insurance ***

 

2.     A student attending an educational institution

  • The acceptance letter from the school
  • Report from School (after one year of attendance)
  • A place of residence
  • A sponsorship letter – notarized.
  • A letter of Financial support which states that the applicant is financially able of supporting himself while residing and attending school.
  • His/her passport
  • A police certificate of Character
  • A health Certificate
  • Proof of insurance ***

 

*** Students are not permitted to work while holding this status***

3.     Employees within the Public sector of Antigua and Barbuda

  • A letter from the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry that he is attached.
  • His/her passport
  • Police record
  • A return ticket

Persons who are no longer employed by the Government of Antigua and Barbuda must return to the department to cancel the endorsement.

 

4.     Work Permit Holders

  • Must be residing in Antigua and Barbuda for a minimum of four (4) years
    • Has an approved work permit signed by the Minister at the time of application
    • Receipts showing his/her contribution of taxes.
    • A police certificate of Character
    • A health Certificate
    • Proof of insurance ***
    • A return ticket
    • His/her passport

 

5.     Entrepreneurs or investors

  • Must be residing in Antigua and Barbuda for a minimum of two (2)years
  • Must be in possession of his/her passport
  • Must be in possession of his business registration certificate
  • A police record
  • Receipts showing his/her contribution of taxes.
  • A police certificate of Character
  • A health Certificate
  • Proof of insurance ***

6.     Persons of Independent Means

  • Have lawfully resides in Antigua and Barbuda for a minimum of five (5) years
    • Passport
    • Proof of property ownership
    • Proof of financial sustainability.
    • Receipts showing his/her contribution of taxes.
    • A police certificate of Character
    • A health Certificate
    • Proof of insurance ***

Q         I have submitted my application for Resident Permit and my work permit has now expired. What must I do to keep working?

A         You must continue the processing of your work permit until the decision of the application is received.