A Guide to Buying Property in the BVI for Foreign Buyers
Known internationally as a world-class sailing destination as well as a world-class financial center, the British Virgin Islands offers one of the Caribbean’s most luxurious property markets.
If you are currently considering investing in real estate in the BVI but you are wondering “where are the best places to buy property in the BVI?” or “how do I go about owning property in the BVI as a foreign buyer” then this guide is for you.
Our guide takes you through the process of buying property in the BVI from beginning to end, including an introduction to the real estate market, the buying process and the taxes you will need to be aware of.
A British Overseas Territory offering the benefits of no income tax, VAT or capital gains tax, the British Virgin Islands has emerged as a highly successful offshore financial center. With 4 main islands, 11 smaller inhabited islands and approximately 35 other beach-fringed islets and cays scattered in turquoise waters that appear so close you feel you could almost reach out and touch them, the BVI is also renowned as one of the world’s best sailing and diving destinations.
Like nearby Anguilla and the Cayman Islands, the alluring combination of a barefoot chic lifestyle, first class yachting facilities and an attractive tax regime, has helped the BVI firmly establish itself as a real estate investment location of choice for high net worth property buyers.
Property for sale in the BVI includes magnificent beachfront and hill-side homes with spectacular views of the sea and neighboring islands. Many offer access to private marinas, as you would expect in this yachting paradise.
Can foreigners buy property in the BVI?
Yes, foreigners can buy property in the BVI and the Government of the BVI welcomes investment from overseas buyers. However, foreign nationals are required to apply for a Non-Belonger Land Holding Licence (NBLHL) for which there is a small fee. The NBLHL is property specific and non-transferable.
Buying property in the BVI involves several steps as outlined below:
- Begin your property search.
- Find your perfect property and make an offer.
- If you make an offer on a property that is accepted, you would submit a “Letter of Intent to purchase” with a 10% deposit that will be held in escrow. We would recommend you then review the “Purchase and Sale Agreement” with your attorney.
- Once signed by you and the seller, apply for the Non-Belonger Land Holding License.
- The property must be advertised for 4 weeks in the local press to offer any “Belonger” an opportunity to purchase the property at the same price.
- Once approved, register the License with the Land Registry Department and make the final payment.
- Pay all required taxes and fees.
Stamp duty is based on the purchase price or appraisal price (whichever is higher) – 4% for Belongers and 12% for Non-Belongers.
House Tax / Land Tax
There is an annual House Tax of 1.5% of the assessed rental value and Land Tax of $50 for sites up to 0.5 acre, $150 for sites 0.5 to 1 acre and $50 for each additional acre.
As specialists in luxury Caribbean property, we can introduce you to a wide selection of the finest residential property in the BVI.
Homes for Sale & Condos for Sale
Land for Sale
You can also browse undeveloped land. Purchasing a lot of land provides you with a blank canvas and the opportunity to build your dream home in the BVI.
Whether you are looking for beachfront land or a centrally located lot, we’re here to help you find the perfect lot of land for sale in the BVI.
For larger parcels of land for commercial development, please see our commercial real estate listings.
Hotels for Sale
Searching for hotels for sale in the BVI? Browse hotels, B&Bs and guests houses right here.
Finding the Perfect Property for Sale in the BVI
Discover the most sought after real estate investment opportunities and benefit from unrivaled insight into the market.
To find your perfect property in the BVI, search our BVI real estate listings.
Discover Anegada – Read our guide to buying property in Anegada.
Discover Camanoe – Read our guide to buying property in Camanoe.
Jost Van Dyke
Discover Jost Van Dyke – Read our guide to buying property in Jost Van Dyke.
Discover Scrub Island – Read our guide to buying property in Scrub Island.
Discover Tortola – Read our guide to buying property in Tortola.
Discover Virgin Gorda – Read our guide to buying property in Virgin Gorda.
How long can a foreign citizen stay in the BVI?
Citizens of the USA, Canada, EU and the UK may generally stay in the BVI on holiday for up to 30 days without a visa. In some cases, it is possible for an additional month extension to be granted. Further extensions for up to 6 months are granted at the discretion of the Chief Immigration Officer provided that the individual can demonstrate proof of independent financial means.
Do I need a visa to live in the BVI?
Non-Belonger Land Holding License holders can obtain an identification card which permits leave to remain in the BVI for up to 6 months.
How do I become a resident of the BVI?
Individuals with a Non-Belonger Land Holding License who own property in the BVI can apply for a certificate of residence which allows the individual to remain in the BVI for an indefinite period.
Holders of a certificate of residency who have lived in the BVI for a period of 20 years (and only spent up to 90 days in each calendar year overseas) can apply for permanent residency.
How do I become a citizen of the BVI?
If you have lived in the BVI with a certificate of residency you can apply for citizenship by naturalization to become a British Overseas Territory Citizen.
Find out more: BVI residency
You could save money when investing in BVI real estate by using a foreign exchange expert to get the best rate for your property purchase. We have partnered with Halo Financial, a specialist in foreign exchange, to help you get the best exchange rates when making one-off or regular international payments for a property purchase in the British Virgin Islands. To see how you could save money, read more: Foreign Exchange.
There are no direct flights from the USA, Canada or Europe to the BVI.
From North America fly to San Juan or St Thomas and from Europe, fly to St Maarten or San Juan.
Then take a connecting flight to Tortola’s Terrence B. Lettsome Airport.
Alternatively transfer by seaplane or fly to Virgin Gorda from St Thomas (Air Sunshine).
Antigua to Tortola: 2 hours 25 mins
San Juan, Puerto Rico to Tortola: 49 mins
St Maarten to Tortola: 35 mins
St Thomas to Tortola: 22 mins