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Fast track residency eases process for property buyers

New government "accelerated consideration" policy for those buying property worth at least $1.5 million could prove boon for realtors, says leading real estate agent. President of Damianos Sotheby's International Realty, George Damianos, says his firm has just overseen its first successful "test" case through the system. 

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TheBahamasInvestor.com
Monday, December 5, 2011
Monday, December 5, 2011

A leading real estate agent has praised the government’s newly introduced fast track residency system, predicting that it will boost the real estate market and make The Bahamas a more attractive destination for foreign investors.

Under the new “accelerated consideration” policy, which was announced by Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham in April 2011, the government committed to reviewing economic permanent residence applications from those buying property worth at least $1.5 million within 21 days of receipt of the application.


President of Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty, George Damianos, says his firm has just overseen its first successful “test” case through the system–a European buyer who has purchased a home in Lyford Cay–and is very pleased that the government has made good on its promises.

“It shows that we are not only saying it, we are doing it,” he says. The realtor currently has two more residency applications under review and is confident that these too will be granted within the 21-day deadline.

According to Damianos, the procedure to acquire economic permanent residency was previously very slow with applications taking as long as six months. He believes that the new, more efficient approvals process will not only encourage foreign buyers, but also give Bahamian agents more confidence in the system.

“It will take a while for the business community to have that confidence to say to people that this can happen if you need it, but it is a move in the right direction,” he said. “It gives everybody a lot of confidence.”

“We are most attractive to Europeans when it comes to wanting permanent residency. I would imagine that the numbers [of foreigners applying] should increase.”

More information about the accelerated consideration of economic permanent residency can be found in the government’s National Investment Policy. To view the document, visit www.bahamas.gov.bs

cboal@dupuch.com

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