The Bahamas offers a wonderful quality of life and is welcoming to foreign residents. If you would like to make The Bahamas home, you will need to apply for the right to reside through a residency program. A non-Bahamian may enter The Bahamas as a visitor for an initial period of up to two months. It is during this time the visitor may apply for residency. There are three levels of residency available:
All of these options require an application, including the submission of appropriate documents and a fee. It’s important to note that a residency permit in The Bahamas does not entitle you to work in the country — for that you’ll need a work permit.
Work Permits Necessary work permits for key personnel will be granted. Businesses requiring permits for persons other than key personnel are encouraged to discuss these requests with The Bahamas Investment Authority in advance.
International Owner of Second Homes
Overseas Investors may acquire residential properties in The Bahamas of up to five acres without prior Government approval. Such acquisitions are required to be registered in accordance with the International Persons Landholding Act. Any non-Bahamian who owns property on any of the islands is eligible for a Home Owners Residence Card, renewable annually. This card will: facilitate entry into The Bahamas and entitle the owner, his spouse and minor children to enter and remain in The Bahamas for the duration of the validity of the card.
Annual Residence Permit
This permit is for non-Bahamians wishing to reside in The Bahamas on an annual basis. This permit is suitable for foreigners who choose to rent long term, and for students studying in The Bahamas.
Permanent Residence has become very popular and accelerated consideration is given to major international investors and owners of residences valued at B$1,500,000 or more. To qualify for economic permanent residence a person must invest a minimum of B$750,000. Permanent residence is a status issued to an individual for the duration of his/her life, unless revoked, and gives him/her the right to live and or work, but not the right to vote in The Bahamas.
Areas Especially Targeted for Overseas Investors
- Touristic Resorts
- Upscale condominium, Timeshare and Second Home Development
- Information and Data Processing Services
- Assembly Industries
- High-Tech Services
- Ship Repair and other services
- Light manufacturing for export
- Food Processing
- Banking and other Financial Services
- Captive Insurance
- Aircraft Services
- Pharmaceutical Manufacturer
- Off-shore Medical Centres
NB. This list is not exhaustive and investors interested in areas not included above are encouraged to bring their interest to the attention of Bahamas Investment Authority.
Local Partners in Joint Ventures International investors are encouraged to establish joint ventures with Bahamian partners. The choice of such Bahamian partners is in the absolute discretion of the investor.
Areas reserved for Bahamians
- Wholesale and Retail Operations;
- Commission agencies engaged in the import/export trade;
- Real estate and domestic property management agencies;
- Domestic newspapers and magazine publications;
- Domestic advertising and public relations firms;
- Nightclubs and restaurants, except specialty, gourmet and ethnic restaurants and restaurants operating in a hotel, resort complex or tourist attraction;
- Security services;
- Domestic distribution of building supplies;
- Construction companies, except for special structures for which international expertise is required;
- Personal cosmetic/beauty establishments;
- Shallow-water scale-fish, crustacea, mollusks and sponge-fishing operations;
- Auto and appliance service operations; and
- Public transportation.
International Investors may engage in the wholesale distribution of any product they produce locally.
For more information, contact the Department of Immigration.