A plan to increase the threshold of the Bahamas residency-by-investment immigration program has been rejected by the real estate industry.
The Bahamas government wants to double the real estate investment threshold from BS $500,000 to BS $1 million.
But a survey conducted by the Bahamas Real Estate Association indicated industry stakeholders are strongly against the idea.
Bahamas Investor Residency: Investment Requirements
|Current Threshold||Proposed New Threshold|
|BS $500,000||BS $ 1 million|
However, lawmakers may push ahead with the increase anyway, with foreign minister Fred Mitchell describing the current threshold as ‘absolutely too low’.
Doubling the threshold was ‘absolutely the right thing to do’ Mitchell told the nation’s parliament, in comments reported by the Tribune website.
“We are giving people permanent residency to stay in this country for BS $500,000,” the Tribune reported Mitchell as saying.
“That is absolutely too low. The cost of a work permit is BS $12,500 for someone who is a managing director of a bank for one year, and then you’re giving permanent residency to someone because he could pay BS $500,000 for a house. Something is wrong with that.”
Bahamas Investor Residence Visa: Benefits
- Right to reside in the Bahamas without further renewal of permits.
- Right to enjoy all privileges enjoyed by citizens of Bahamas except for the right to vote.
- Right to purchase property in Bahamas
- Liberal tax regime.
- Easy travel to Commonwealth nations, members of the Caribbean Community and the members of the Organization of American States
- Eligible to apply for Citizenship of Bahamas after fulfilling residence requirements.
The Bahamas promises priority processing for permanent residence where foreign investors have purchased property for more than BS $500,000.
An candidate’s spouse and dependent children can be included on the application.
The proposed change does not have unanimous cabinet support in the Bahamian government.
With the internal property market flat in the Bahamas, the economy relies on the second home market to generate sales, the bulk of which is funded by the investment immigration program.
Any move to increase the investment threshold could push buyers to use one of the significant number of other programs that exist around the world.
Such an impact could have a trickle down negative effect on the whole Bahamas economy.
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