Residency in the BVI – The Ultimate Guide
We put together this guide for property buyers considering moving to the Caribbean and wondering how to get residency in the BVI.
Offering a barefoot chic lifestyle in a spectacularly beautiful setting which is one of the world’s most exclusive beach and yachting destinations, the BVI can offer residents a fantastic quality of life coupled with a highly attractive tax regime.
Residency can offer the opportunity to enjoy this beach and boating lifestyle year round. To qualify for BVI residency, applicants need to receive formal permission from the BVI Immigration Department. This guide outlines how to go about applying for residency for financially self-sufficient individuals considering buying property in the BVI.
Most visitors to the BVI (including visitors from the USA, Canada, the EU and the UK) do not require a visa to enter the BVI as a tourist. You only need a passport with at least 6 months of validity and proof of return travel.
Visitors will typically be issued with a one-month entry stamp on arrival. You may also be granted an extension for one further month.
It is possible to apply to the Chief Immigration Officer at the BVI Immigration Department for an extension for up to 6 months provided that the applicant can demonstrate proof of independent financial means.
If you are planning on staying in the Territory longer and moving to the BVI, you must apply to the Immigration Department for a residence visa.
In the case of individuals who are financially independent and are not intending to work in the BVI, you need to submit a “Right to Reside” request to the Chief Immigration Officer at the BVI Immigration Department.
Applications are normally processed within 3 to 4 weeks.
The “Right to Reside” request should be submitted together with proof of financial support (such as copies of bank statements or financial references), a copy of the bio page of your passport, a copy of your birth certificate, and current contact information.
Once the request has been approved, you will need to present your original birth certificate and passport in person.
You may also be required to present supplementary information such as medical examination documents and police records, as well as a $1,000 surety bond (which is fully refundable upon permanent exit from the BVI).
There are many advantages to becoming a resident of the BVI.
- An idyllic beach and sailing destination offering outstanding natural beauty.
- Tax advantages including no capital gains tax, no inheritance or gift tax, no VAT or sales tax, no profit tax, and 0% income tax.
- Safe and secure destination with low level of crime.
- An overseas territory of the UK with close links to the UK and Europe.
- A parliamentary democracy with a legal system based on English law.
After a period of 20 years of consecutively living in the BVI, Non-belongers are eligible to apply to the Immigration Departments for belonger status.
Applicants need to submit documents including reference letters, a birth certificate, a Police Certificate of Character and bank statements.
Individuals who already have residency need to pay an $800 fee to start the belongership process.
Upon approval, applicants will receive a Belonger Card and certificate.
Would you like to find out more about how to get residency in the BVI?
To explore your options in more detail, please contact 7th Heaven Properties, the Luxury Caribbean Property Specialist.
We look forward to helping you find your perfect property in the BVI.