By Uglobal Staff
Foreign investors are set to get a new route to permanent residency in The Bahamas this July after a draft law to amend the country's immigration act was presented in the parliament earlier this month.
The Economic Permanent Residence certificate is expected to become available to foreign investors who put money into real estate or their own business in the West Indies nation, allowing them to stay in the country for life as well as work for their own business operations.
Currently, investors must first buy or rent a house, then get a home owner's ID card to become eligible for annual residency and eventually they become permanent residency in the country. The new amendment is expected to make the process of permanent residency for wealthy foreigners easier and it is expected that the government will reveal exact amounts and criteria for eligibility in the coming days.
WHAT DOES THE BAHAMAS PERMANENT RESIDENCE CERTIFICATE DRAFT BILL SAY?
The draft of the Immigration (Amendment) Bill, 2021, does not mention the exact amount of funds required in order to qualify, but says that the minimum investment amount threshold would be decided by the country's relevant minister. However, Bahamas did reveal that the applicant would have to pay between $750,000 and $1.5 million for what it termed as "speedy consideration" of their permanent residency application.
The draft law specifies that the permanent certificate would be open to “any person who is not a citizen of The Bahamas” as long as they either purchase a residence or invest, or do both. The eligible candidate would also have to stay in the country for a minimum total period of 90 days per year in the country.
It is very clear that economic permanent residence certificate holders would be allowed to work only if the “gainful occupation is in his own business.” Also, while the certificate would entitle one to reside in the country for their entire lifetime, they would have to file a declaration every 10 years confirming that they were continuing to meet all the requirements.
THE PERMANENT RESIDENCE PERMIT AS A PATHWAY TO CITIZENSHIP IN THE BAHAMAS
The spouse and dependents of the applicant would also be able to get their permanent residence certificates but they won’t be allowed to work; also, in case of death of the main applicant after receiving the permanent residence certificate, the dependents would be able to stay on and live under the same certificate provided they continue to meet the requirements.
Applicants would also have a chance to become naturalized citizens of the Bahamas after they successfully stay on as Economic Permanent Residents for a minimum period of 10 years.
The amendment to the immigration act is expected to become law soon after parliamentary approval; according to the draft text, it would be officially enforced on July 1, 2021.
Powered by Froala Editor