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PERMANENT RESIDENCE CERTIFICATES IN THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS

Posted by scotts on September 25, 2020
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Residency through Investment

In 2016, the Turks and Caicos Islands Government amended the
Immigration Ordinance to offer immigration incentives to investors
considering a base in the Islands. This memorandum outlines the qualifying
criteria for those persons interested in obtaining Permanent Residency
Certificates (and potentially passports) based upon their investment in the
Islands.

Government wishes to ensure that persons who make a substantial new
investment in the Islands either in real estate or by establishing a business
in the Islands, (“Investors”), will be entitled to apply for a Permanent
Residence Certificate (“PRC”). Government is committed to ensuring that
the process for acquiring a PRC is both streamlined and user friendly.

In this regard, Government draws a distinction between persons investing
in Providenciales and persons who wish to invest in the “sister” Islands.
The minimum investment in a residence required to qualify for a PRC in
Providenciales is US$1,000,000.00 while it is US$300,000.00 in any of the
“sister” Islands, for example North Caicos or Grand Turk. Naturally, the
risk/reward ratio is greater in these islands, and this accounts for the
investment requirement disparity.

Further, Government will draw a distinction between Investors who have
reached the qualifying financial criteria by means of an investment in either a business or a residence in the Islands and those Investors who have
reached the qualifying financial criteria by reason of an investment in an
enterprise in respect of which a Development Order has been made
pursuant to the provisions of the Encouragement of Development
Ordinance.

Government will give preference in considering applications for PRCs in
respect of those Investors who have invested in an enterprise designated
under the Encouragement of Development Ordinance. The reasoning for
this simply being that Development Orders are granted by Government
where it believes the granting of Development Agreement concessions is in
the public interest and further believes that the enterprise when completed
will have a beneficial effect on employment and on the economy of the
Islands. Accordingly, investors in those enterprises that are favoured with a
Development Order on the basis that the enterprise, for example, will
promote Belonger participation or encourage commerce / employment in
the Islands, are more likely to be successful in their PRC applications than
investors in enterprises not so favoured.

In order to apply for and obtain a PRC, an Investor will need to fall within
one of the following sections and satisfy the following requirements:
An investor wishing to apply for a PRC in an investment category will
need to show that he has made an investment in one of the following:

Residences
A person must make either:

(i) An investment of not less than US$1,000,000.00 in actual
construction of a new home or renovation of a distressed property
as a home for the applicant and his or her dependents on any island
other than Grand Turk, Salt Cay, South Caicos, Middle Caicos or
North Caicos, or

(ii) An investment of not less than US$300,000.00 in actual
construction of a new home, or in renovation of a distressed
property as a home for the applicant and his or her dependents, on
the islands of Grand Turk, Salt Cay, South Caicos, Middle Caicos
or North Caicos.

Businesses and Enterprises

(iii) An investment of not less than US$1,500,000.00 in cash in a
business or enterprise in any island other than Grand Turk, Salt
Cay, South Caicos, Middle Caicos or North Caicos which business
generates employment for persons in TCI of which not less than
60% are TCI nationals or permanent residents.

(iv) An investment of not less than US$750,000.00 in cash in a business
or enterprise in Grand Turk, Salt Cay, South Caicos, Middle Caicos
or North Caicos which business generates employment for persons
in TCI of which not less than 60% are TCI nationals or permanent
residents; or

Those PRCs issued in either category (i) or (ii) will not be issued with the
right to work endorsed thereon. Those PRCs issued in either category (iii)
or (iv) will be issued with the right to work in the business or enterprise
concerned.

Governor’s Undertaking

Prior to investing, and in order to ensure that the investment he wishes to
make will qualify for the residency investment programme, a potential
investor may apply in writing to the Governor for an undertaking that upon
production of satisfactory evidence that the relevant investment has been made by or before the expiry date of the undertaking, the Governor will, on
payment of the prescribed fee, grant the person the relevant PRC.

Satisfactory Evidence of Investment

In the case of a residence, the evidence of the required investment shall
include (i) a certificate of occupancy issued under the Physical Planning
Ordinance and (ii) a certificate from a TCI licensed quantity surveyor that
of the value of the construction of the completed property meets the
minimum investment threshold.
In the case of an application based on investment in a business or
enterprise, the evidence of the required investment shall include (i) audited
financial statements of the business or enterprise and (ii) a certificate from
the Commissioner of Labour confirming details of the employment of TCI
nationals that have been generated as a result of the investment.

Fees

Once issued a PRC carries a once-off fee payable to Government of
$25,000,00 of which US$1,500.00 shall be a non-refundable administrative
fee. The PRC will also extend to benefit the spouses and dependent
children (under the age of 18) of each successful applicant. The PRC can
be endorsed with the names of the investor’s spouse and dependents up on
payment of an additional fee of US$250.00 per individual.

Passports

Moreover, under the terms of the British Nationality Act, someone who has
a PRC in TCI, and who has been ordinarily resident in TCI for five (5)
years, is eligible for naturalization in TCI as a British Overseas Territory
Citizen (BOTC) and to receive a BOTC passport.

We trust that you will find the foregoing to be helpful and look forward to
hearing from you further.

Barristers, Solicitors and Attorneys at Law

Notaries Public
1, Caribbean Place
Leeward Highway
Providenciales
Turks and Caicos Islands
British West Indies
Telephone +1 649 946 4344
Telefax +1 649 946 4564
e-mail

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