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"Valderine is an exceptional Realtor who goes out of her way to accommodate all of your real estate needs. She is extremely detailed and cares about ensuring all of your questions/concerns are properly and timely addressed. Valderine goes the extra mile to make certain you are very comfortable with your real estate investment decision before any commitment is made. I would highly recommend her as one of the top experienced Realtors in The Bahamas!"

Sandra Payne
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Premier Collection

NORMAN'S CAY LUXURY BEACH VILLA

NORMAN'S CAY LUXURY BEACH VILLA Type: For Sale
Location: Norman's Cay

$2,500,000

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Burnside Cay, Lake Cunningham

Burnside Cay, Lake Cunningham Type: For Sale
Location: New Providence/Paradise Island

$1,000,000

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Obtaining Bahamas Residency Status

There are many great reasons for wanting to live in the Bahamas. First and foremost, obtaining residency status in the Bahamas can offer significant tax advantages to persons from countries with high personal and corporate income taxes and/or inheritance tax. The Bahamas has no form of personal income tax on revenue earned either in the Bahamas or any other country.

As a non-Bahamian owning a home in the Bahamas and without resident status, you may stay in the country for up to 3 months at a time before being required to exit and then re-enter the Bahamas. This works well for those that plan to maintain a home in their country of origin as well as one in the Bahamas, but for those intending to spend 9 months or more annually in the Bahamas, acquiring permanent residency is advised.

Many Americans, Canadians and Europeans achieve annual residency status in the Bahamas via the purchase of real property located on one of the islands of the Bahamas. Due to its simplicity, this route is considered a preferred method of obtaining official residency status. Thanks to the availability of this option, the Bahamas boasts a thriving population of expatriates.

Obtaining Residency status by purchasing a home

In order to obtain permanent residency status via the purchase of property (condominium or home), the purchased property must have a minimum valuation of US$500,000. As added incentive for those making larger investments, laws were changed in 2011 to allow ‘fast-track’ processing for foreigners purchasing homes in the Bahamas worth at least US$1.5 million.

Once the property has been purchased, an annual homeowner's residence card may be applied for from the Director of Immigration. This card entitles the owner, spouse and any minor child or children endorsed on the card to enter and remain in The Bahamas for the validity of the card. The card must be renewed annually. This program was put in place to facilitate entry into The Bahamas with minimal formalities.

While engaging the services of a local attorney is not required by law, the intricacies of the English Common Law system upon which the Bahamian legal system is based, would mean that we strongly advise that the counsel of a local attorney should be sought.

Address for the Bahamas Investment Authority

Bahamas Investment Authority
Office of the Prime Minister
Cecil Wallace Whitfield Centre
PO Box CB 10980
Nassau, Bahamas
T: 242 327-5970

Applying for residency status for a spouse

Many foreign-nationals obtain permanent residency status in the Bahamas prior to becoming married. Once married, and in order for their spouse of foreign nationality to legally live with them in the Bahamas, the spouse that already has official permanent resident status must apply for their foreign-born spouse to be endorsed on their existing certificate of residency.

According to the Immigration section of the Bahamas Government’s website (Bahamas.gov.bs), the following must be submitted to the Immigration department by all persons seeking permanent residency and must accompany their application:

• Two (2) passport size photographs (in colour) with name printed on the reverse side;

• Original birth certificate (Bahamian) or certified copy (foreign) with English translation, sealed by the appropriate Consular Office where applicable, with a $4.00 Bahamian postage stamp affixed to the translation;

• An original police certificate (issued not more than six (6) months prior to the submission of the application);

• An original medical certificate (not more than thirty (30) days prior to the submission of the application);

• Two original character references (by Bahamian citizens known to applicant for at least five (5) years);

• Financial reference (citing a figure range, and verifying economic worth) from a reputable bank or financial institution;

• Parents’ birth or marriage certificate (where applicable);

• If the applicant is/was married, he/she is also required to submit an original certified copy of his/her marriage certificate, spouse’s birth/death certificate, legal separation document or final divorce decree, if applicable.

Once all requirements are met and the application is approved, the individual receives a Permanent Residence Certificate, with a photograph affixed, sealed, dated and signed by the Minister responsible for Immigration matters.

Address for Bahamas Immigration Department

Hawkins Hill  
P.O. Box N-831  
Nassau, N.P. The Bahamas  
T: 242-322-8504 / 242-322-7530  
F: 242-326-0977  
E: immigration@bahamas.gov.bs  
W: www.bahamas.gov.bs/immigration  

Obtaining or applying for a work permit

Many expatriates living in the Bahamas have applied for, and been granted, ‘Economic’ Permanent Residency by purchasing a home with a minimum valuation of US$500,000. Acquiring ‘economic’ residency status however, does not grant the recipient the right to work in the Bahamas. Should an applicant wish to operate a business or work in the Bahamas, an application must be made to the National Economic Council (“NEC”), a department operating under the auspices of the Office of the Prime Minister. Please consult legal counsel in the Bahamas for further advice.

Address for the NEC

Prime Minister, Office of the
Sir Cecil Wallace Whitfield Centre
West Bay Street
P.O. BoxCB-10990
Nassau, N.P., The Bahamas
T: 242-327-595826-8
F: 242-327-5806
E: bia@bahamas.gov.bs

Recommended Attorneys and Law Firms in the Bahamas

Jan W. Borghardt

Winter Borghardt Law Chambers                                  Bldg. #4 Caves Village
P.O. Box SP-63801 Nassau, Bahamas
T: 242-327-7843 or 7844 F: 242-327-6073
E: info@winterborghardt.com W: www.winterborghardt.com

 

Chinique Pratt-Kemp

Harry B Sands & Lobosky & Company 50 Shirley Street
P.O. Box N-624 Nassau, Bahamas
T: 242.322.2670 F: 242-323-8914
E: office@hbslaw.com W: www.hbslaw.com

 

Samantha Meadows

Satory & Associates                                                    Unit #3 Professional Centre,
Caves Village
P.O. Box SS-19884 Nassau, Bahamas
T: 242-327-5150 or 5151 F: 242-327-5156
E: smeadows@satoryassociates.com  

 

Stephanie Unwala

Unwala & Co                                                       Unwala House
East Street                                    P.O. Box N-80978
Nassau, Bahamas T: 242-322-7403
F: 242-356-6663 E: unwala@coralwave.com

 

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