The Bahamas Government has amended its National Investment Policy (NIP) to provide accelerated permanent residency consideration for substantial investors and individuals purchasing a residence of $1.5 million or more. 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.
An individual seeking permanent residence must make a minimum investment of $500,000. For more substantive investment of $1.5 million or greater, applications will be reviewed within 21 days. In making the announcement Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham said *“provided you have all of the required documentation, it is expected that you would be able to have a response of a “yay” or “nay” within 21 days of the completed application being in the hands of the Department of Immigration. We seek to encourage persons who are purchasing or expending that sort of money for a residence in The Bahamas.”*
The NIP is designed to increase certainty and transparency to The Bahamas’ business and investment environment, thereby enhancing the country’s attractiveness to foreign direct investment and fostering economic growth.
Two additional recent measures are indicative of The Bahamas’ intention to further enhance its welcoming environment for investment:
* **The Business Licence Act, 2010** was enacted to simplify the legal and regulatory requirements to operate a business and to facilitate a “one stop shop” for business licence applications. Basically, the Bahamian business licence environment was strengthened, and the fee structure for licences was simplified. Under the new Act a business licence can be secured in 7 days, providing it meets the legal and regulatory requirements.
* Another streamlining measure is the enhancement of **E-government Services**. A critical and cutting-edge catalyst in this regard is the multi-million dollar programme launched, in a consultancy with the Government of Singapore, to implement a comprehensive, fully integrated, 24/7 e-government services platform in The Bahamas beginning in July of this year.