Bahamas Residency by Investment
The Bahamas is a tropical haven with 700 islands, breathtaking beaches, and no taxes. The country is not only renowned for its natural beauty, but also for its financial services industry. The Bahamas is the third richest country in the Americas, with a Gross National Product (GNP) that is one of the highest in the region. Additionally, the Bahamas was a former British colony and has a British monarch as the head of state, which may change soon.
If you dream of living in a tax-free country that protects your assets while also offering the opportunity to explore hundreds of islands, sandy beaches, and a vibrant culture, then the Bahamas may be the perfect place for you. This article will discuss establishing a temporary or permanent residency in the Bahamas, but first, let's explore some of the benefits of living in the Bahamas.
Benefits of Living in the Bahamas
Live a Tax-Free Life
The main attraction of the Bahamas is its tax-free regime. You don't have to pay personal income tax, corporate income tax, capital gains tax, sales tax, withholding tax, gift or inheritance tax, or other probate fees. The government earns revenue through indirect taxes such as VAT, stamp duty, real estate tax, customs duty, and excise duty. Becoming a tax resident is as simple as spending more than 183 days a year in the Bahamas.
Easy to Adapt
The official language spoken in the Bahamas is English, and the currency is the Bahamian dollar (pegged 1:1 with USD), making the transition easy for English-speaking foreign investors, entrepreneurs, and retirees. The country and its people are also very open to foreigners.
Bahamian citizens can enjoy visa-free travel to 142 countries, including China, Japan, and Singapore. Since the Bahamas is a part of the Commonwealth of Nations, Bahamian citizens can stay visa-free in the UK for 180 days and can travel to the US without a US visa through Nassau International Airport or Freeport. Citizens of the Bahamas only require an electronic permit while traveling to Canada.
How to Establish Residency in the Bahamas
The Bahamian government issues residence permits allowing you to enter and stay in the country for different durations. There are three popular residence permits issued by the Bahamian government that allow you to stay in the country for up to one year or more.
Annual Permit (Permit to Reside)
An annual permit is a one-year renewable residence permit issued to foreigners who want to stay long-term in the country without working. Since an annual permit holder cannot work in the country, this permit option is popular among the family members (spouses and dependants) of foreigners with work obligations in the Bahamas.
Homeowner's ID Card
The Homeowner's ID Card is given to a foreigner who owns a home (residential real estate) in the Bahamas. The card can be renewed annually, and the cardholders can enter and stay in the country for up to one year. Unlike many other Caribbean countries, foreigners can buy real estate in the Bahamas without a license or government approval unless they plan to rent it out, develop it commercially, or purchase over two acres of land.
Certificate of Permanent Residence
The certificate of permanent residence will be issued to foreigners for a lifetime unless revoked. It will allow them to live and work in the country without a work permit. Moreover, residents must live ninety days per year in the country to maintain permanent residency status. The permanent residence permit will be issued to foreigners willing to invest a considerable amount into the country, making it the first Bahamas residency by investment program.
Bahamas Residency By Investment Program
Starting from July 2021, a new clause has been added to the Immigration Act 2021, which creates the Bahamas residency by investment program. This program is designed to attract foreign investors who are willing to make a substantial investment in the country's economy. The investment options include:
- Real Estate Investment: A minimum investment of $750,000 in a single-family home or condominium in a government-approved development.
- Business Investment: A minimum investment of $1.5 million in an existing or new business that generates at least 10 jobs for Bahamians.
- Mixed Investment: A minimum investment of $2 million in a combination of real estate and business investments.
Investors who meet the program's requirements can receive a certificate of permanent residency, which allows them to live and work in the Bahamas without a work permit. Moreover, the program also offers a fast-track process for investors to become Bahamian citizens after five years of permanent residency.
The Bahamas offers a unique lifestyle with its tropical beauty and tax-free regime. The country's economy is stable and offers many opportunities for investors, entrepreneurs, and retirees. The process of establishing residency in the Bahamas is relatively straightforward and offers various options to suit different needs. The new Bahamas residency by investment program is a great opportunity for foreign investors who are willing to make a substantial investment in the country's economy.