Bahamas Residence by Investment Program
Bahamas Residency by Investment - Become a Bahamas resident by investing
What is the Bahamas residency by investment program?
In July 2021, a new clause in Bahamian immigration law was created to allow for permanent residency by investment. The enacting legislation is the Immigration Act, Chapter 191. Before 2021, Bahamian immigration law provided no direct path to permanent residency, and applicants had to first apply for a residence permit or homeowner’s ID card, and subsequently apply for permanent residency status after one year.
The new program under Chapter 191 bypasses these extra steps, making it more efficient for investors to gain permanent residency immediately, and requiring no renewals. It will also allow permanent residents to apply for citizenship through naturalization after ten years.
The Bahamas residency by investment process takes an average of three months, but can take as little as three weeks through an expedited process requiring a higher investment. The program requires you to live in the Bahamas for a least 90 days per calendar year to maintain residency status.
Interested in becoming a Bahamas resident? J.H. Marlin can help you!
Main Advantages for Bahamas Residency Visa Program
The different routes to Residency by Investment in the Bahamas
The residency by investment program in the Bahamas offers two types of investment options for those applying for a residency visa. You have the option to invest in either of these options, or as a combination of both options. Either way, the investment must be kept for at least 10 years.
1. Investing in Real Estate
Buying residential real estate property on the islands. This investment must be kept for at least 10 years.
2. Economic Investment in Bahamas’ economy
Investing in the economy of the Bahamas, by financing a business that hires Bahamians in priority sectors, including tourism, marina construction, information technology, or medicine.
Minimum Investment for Residency in the Bahamas
The minimum amount of the required investment is not specified under Bahamian legislation. The investment is instead reviewed and approved by the Ministry of Financial Services, Trade, Industry and Migration of the Bahamas.
Currently, the amount of the investment directly translates to the processing time of your application. The more you invest, the quicker the processing period. The expedited procedure for processing permanent residency applications takes about three weeks.
The official website of the Bahamas Migration Service dictates that the minimum investment needed to accelerate your application is US$ 750,000, but authorities dictate that the expedited process requires a minimum of US$ 1.5 million investment. Generally, applications with investments of less than a total of US$ 500,000 are not accepted.
Option for Citizenship in the Bahamas
Permanent residents of the Bahamas can obtain Bahamian citizenship by naturalization. To be eligible, one must maintain permanent residency status for a minimum of ten years. Within that time period, a minimum of 6 years must be spent in the Bahamas.
Because the Bahamas does not recognize dual citizenship, to receive a Bahamian passport, you would have to renounce your original citizenship. However, a Bahamian passport allows you to travel visa-free to over 155 countries, including the Schengen Area, China, the United States, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Because the Bahamas is part of the Commonwealth of Nations, Bahamian citizens can travel visa-free to Commonwealth countries like the United Kingdom and Canada.
What is the procedure for Residency Application in the Bahamas?
One can expect that the application process for residency in Bahamas to include the following:
- Clients contact JH Marlin
- Initial due diligence checks are performed to determine eligibility
- Client agreement is signed, and retainer is paid
- Files are prepared and required documents are collected
- Investment is made before applying for permanent residence. Business plan must be approved by proper authority, or real estate purchase agreement and landholding license must be obtained.
- Once investment is accepted, documents and application are submitted to the government. Fees are paid to Public Treasury.
- Immigration Department processes application.
- If approved, a residency permit will be issued after around 3 months.
- After 10 years as a resident, you may apply for citizenship, given that you spend six of these years living in the Bahamas.
Documents Required for Bahamas Residency Application
- Certified copy of passport
- Police clearance certificate
- Two personal references
- Certified copy of marriage certificate (if applicable)
- Certified copy of birth certificate
- Proof of net wealth
- Medical certificate
- For real estate option:
- Copy of real estate land acquisition and purchase site plan
- Number assigned to real estate land
- Proof of real estate tax payment
- For business option
- Character reference
- Environmental impact assessment
- Proof of financial capability
- Business plan (approved by relevant authority)
Why work with JH Marlin to become a Bahamas resident by investing?
JH Marlin Law has helped clients choose the citizenship program that is right for them for years.
As an experienced licensed agent for citizenship, we can do a detailed analysis of your personal circumstances and provide further information about different citizenship by investment options and corresponding processing times. We will assist you with all the required citizenship documents for you to have a successful application and coordinate with any other parties or local agents involved in the process.
JH Marlin Law has handled hundreds of citizenship and residency applications. We can help you throughout the entire process.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there minimum income or net worth requirements?
No, applicants only have to prove payment of their investment, usually a minimum of US$ 500,000.
Are there any education or work experience requirements?
No. Investors do not have to have any particular education background or work experience.
Is there a language requirement or language test?
No, there is no language requirement or test for Bahamas residency. The official language of the Bahamas is English.
How long is the residence card valid for?
The permanent residence card is valid indefinitely. In other words, residency is granted permanently.
Can the applicant work legally in the Bahamas?
Yes, as permanent residents, you are eligible to live, work*, and travel in the Bahamas.
Is it possible to apply for citizenship?
Yes, to qualify for citizenship, a resident of the Bahamas must have resided in the Bahamas for a minimum of ten years, with at least six years spent living in the Bahamas
Does the Bahamas allow dual citizenship?
No, the Bahamas does not recognize dual citizenship. The main applicant and their family (if applicable) must renounce their citizenship of their home country after obtaining citizenship in the Bahamas.
Can permanent residency status be revoked?
Yes, permanent residency can be revoked for several reasons. Firstly, if an investor violates the terms of the investment program. This could happen if they sell their home or business before the ten-year required holding period has expired. If the investor lives outside the Bahamas for three years, residency will be revoked. Additionally, relatives of the investor can lose their permanent resident status if they are no longer financially dependent on the applicant.
Bahamas: General Information
The Bahamas is an independent nation in the Caribbean with its own system of government. It gained independence from Britain in the 1970s, but its roots still linger through its common law system and English official language.
The Bahamas is a tropical paradise, made up of over 700 islands, including Grand Bahama and its very own Paradise Island. This archipelago is located in the Caribbean Sea, with easy connectivity to the United States and other international destinations.
Due to its beautiful beaches, breathtaking landscapes, and warm weather, it is home to many tourists every year. In fact, tourism is the Bahamas’ largest economic sector and accounts for more than half the local workforce. This has fuelled the country’s infrastructure. On the islands you will find high-end hotels and resorts, contributing to a high quality of life.
Other major economic sectors include banking and international financial services. The country also serves as a tax haven, with no corporate, income, wealth, or capital gains tax. The Bahamas is one of the wealthiest countries in the Caribbean and Americas by GDP per capita. As a result, it is attractive as a secondary home to many wealthy expats and tis government has created a program allowing foreign investors to apply for residency in exchange for an investment into the Bahamian economy.
Location: 25° N & 78° W | Caribbean Sea
Size: 13,880 km2
Population: 400 k
Currency: Bahamian Dollar (B$)
Government: Constitutional Monarchy
Economy: Market-Based | Tourism | International Financial Services
Religion: Multidenominational Christianity | Protestant | Roman Catholicism