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Bahamas: Offshore Legal and Tax Regimes

Employment and Residence

Work permits are necessary for non-Bahamians to be employed: key (senior or specially-skilled) people are issued permits; in other cases it is wise to discuss the possibility of a permit with the Bahamas Investment Authority in advance.

Anyone wishing to reside in the Bahamas must obtain a residence permit from the Immigration Department. Home-owners can obtain an annually-renewable Home Owner's Residence Card which acts as a visa for entry and residence during its validity. Major international investors and existing owners of properties worth more than USD1.5m benefit from accelerated treatment of residence applications

The International Persons Landholding Act 1993 reversed a previously deterrent stance and actively encourages the purchase of local residential property by foreigners. Acquisition of a single family dwelling or up to 5 acres of vacant land for construction of a dwelling no longer needs an advance permit, but can be registered after purchase. Rule for inheritors of Bahamian properties have been similarly relaxed. Fees for the (compulsory) registration of real estate and residence permits are as follows:

  • Application for registration: USD25
  • Application for permit: USD25
  • On issue of certificate of registration or issue of permit:
    Value of property, USD
    Fee, USD
    Up to 50,000
    Under 101,000
    101,000 and over
  • Homeowner resident card: USD500



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