Retiring Abroad: The Bahamas Residency by Investment Program

Milestone Wealth Management Ltd. - Nov 16, 2021

There are numerous countries in the world that welcome retirees from countries like Canada. Those nations want people to spend their golden years living, dining, and shopping in their economy, and thus they offer easy immigration policies to those people that qualify.

Of all the sunny locations in the world, one of the most breath-taking is The Bahamas. This former British colony is made up of over 700 islands and cays, with the capital of Nassau being located on the island of New Providence. Boasting 100,000 square miles of clear ocean, this archipelago is a short, convenient flight from Florida. Its award-winning beaches make these islands a popular tourist destination as well, with famous celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey and Michael Jordan owning vacation homes there.

On July 1, 2021, The Bahamas introduced its Residency by Investment program. To take advantage of residency in The Bahamas, a person is required to purchase real estate of at least $500,000 Bahamian Dollars, which is equivalent to approximately $630,000 Canadian. Before purchasing a property, one must first apply for a residence permit through the immigration department of The Bahamas which is renewable every 10 years. To expedite the process, purchasing a property of more than $1.5 million Bahamian dollars tends to get an application to the top of the pile.

If a Permanent Residence Permit is granted, this residency is valid for life. After 10 years of living in this paradise, one may be able to apply for citizenship (although the Bahamas requires the applicant to give up citizenship to the originating country). The permit also extends to the spouse and financially dependent family members as well. To continue to be valid, the applicant must live in The Bahamas for at least 90 days per year and must not have sold their property.

The Bahamas is considered a tax haven in that it does not have income tax or capital gains tax. However, be advised there is a 12% Value Added Tax. To become a resident for tax purposes, one must spend more than 183 days in the country. Whenever considering moving to a new country, details to consider, such as notarized documentation, financial records, or legal certificates, thus involving a professional in the process is highly recommended.

The Bahamas is a beautiful country, conveniently located, with excellent weather year-round. Add in the fact that it is a tax haven, and it is no wonder it is a popular destination for snowbirds. Now with the residence by investment program, this island nation could become an even more popular location for retired Canadians.

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