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Non-Residents Buying Real Estate

The International Persons Landholding Act, 1993, provides for the sale of real property in The Bahamas to non-Bahamians. Permits are required by non-Bahamians, as provided under the International Persons Landholding Act, if:
• The property being purchased is greater than 5 acres.
• The intention is to rent out all or a portion of the property.
• The property being purchased is for commercial development.

Non-Bahamians who buy property for which a permit is not required must still register their purchase with the Foreign Investment Board after-the-fact.

Non-Bahamians are not required to obtain permits for leases or register leases unless they are for trade or business purposes or the terms exceed 21 years.

Certificate of registration or permit must be recorded at the Registrar General’s Department along with title documents.

Non-Bahamians should also register their investment with the Exchange Control Department of the Central Bank of The Bahamas to ensure that upon resale they will be able to repatriate the net proceeds of the sale in the currency of the original investment, e.g. U.S. Dollars.

Associated Fees:
Application for registration - $25.00
Application for permit - $25.00
Certificate of registration:
• the value of the property is $50,000 or less - $50.00
• the value of the property is over $50,000 but under $101,000 - $75.00
• the value of the property is $101,000 or above - $100.00
Home owner resident card - $500.00 annually
* Value in relation to a lease is the annual rent multiplied by the number of years.

Home Owner Resident Card
A non-Bahamian who owns and maintains a home in The Bahamas may obtain an annual Home Owner Resident Card upon application to the Director of Immigration and payment of $500.00. The card expedites the immigration process at all Bahamian ports of entry and entitles the homeowner, his/her spouse and minor children to enter and remain in The Bahamas for the duration of the validity of the card unless their entry is otherwise barred under the Immigration laws. The card is renewable annually and does not allow persons to engage in any form of gainful employment without a work permit.

Annual or Permanent Residency 
Residency in The Bahamas can have significant tax advantages for citizens of countries with high personal and corporate income taxes as well as inheritance taxes.

The Government of The Bahamas has set specific guidelines that allow non-Bahamians to establish permanent residency in The Bahamas. There are two categories of permanent residency: Permanent Residency with the right to work and Permanent Residency without the right to work. Accelerated consideration of applications for annual or permanent residency will be given to major international investors and owners of properties valued in excess of $500,000.

Non-Bahamians who own property in The Bahamas may apply to the Director of Immigration for an annual Home Owner Resident Card.

Real Estate