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Bahamas - Working as a real estate agent if not a Bahamian?

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andrewbc
5/27/2017 17:13 EST

Hey guys,

A regular lurker here, posting for the first time.

I am a Canadian citizen considering a move to either Belize or the Bahamas. I am in Belize as I type this; I have learned that Belize would allow me to work as a real estate agent here once I take up residency.

I understand that if I purchase a home worth $500+, Bahamas would grant me a permanent residency with right to work (https://www.bahamas.gov.bs/wps/portal/public/Permits/Permanent%20Residency/!ut/p/b1/vZTJbqNAFEW_xR_gUAyFYckUwAwGzLxBNjZmMFC2Y4b6-ra7I7UUKelNJ_VWJd37ju5dPCIlYiLtdkN12r1Vfbc7P_8pm9HqxnIlhrM4luGBTvq2LisOrfr0Q5A8BOCTJ4A_fqBagvDbv376jY1h8gatkgwREfE6waJ000dF8bIpuG_06H7Rfcrou8qtrgWlt-188dTZjICbaff4iHp6T4kBwshJt_1AuhfGPhZdvttKoeA2GLUue_ByMcSqzB85vzvm-Xw1tWmeKDyNW1dbF2PQZwjnJ10LXXXAxq6OxnBP24lg3RsDVjDysgNk1B0dapUZ4GYbrophFHB1XXK3xXvuL4L9o7eISL-shoXvgi-qtbW-PRLJQ7b6bI_mQMInYsBk23pGOm6wV4MRWLJn3Gp3BAqYrGYV2kGD7TfbturQJBsK32TRsJsTvikj2PKOcwi9QBSE0iuM7CNwQ_lPoESyRgDB1mW-G_ghIfxxIPntlRoU_QCatGlzEglo6qeB_z_hmkirffsy5u0LeGF5nmYBfHB4FnAkRYR1wvLy8wbodlEeQ7VFQ6oIlSJKqDLOpNuW8IKcEW3SK7VKml6ZNr7D32XTQ5MGa1kshRGSGOHz3og4ea2iXHAzl08kPuXKUQ-0ToOvFdBgmdi6FC8HOTH99mSW_eH1cI3XnFRrzJ3slsgAEdpIoIxvb5Hd3Ffri3d-3J38HMBCcs1XTvLZ2VbCojsol1kq35SWch1jJo_01SuEPF6KTZDW00BTMWz9cUGgNhhM1uPs4u9YwmLxC0Cta-o!/dl4/d5/L2dBISEvZ0FBIS9nQSEh/)


My question is, would I be able to work as a real estate agent under this permit? Or is being an agent reserved for only Bahamian citizens? I am a real estate investor and my past experiences have taught me that working as an agent helps find better deals and make connections. Does anyone have any experience with this type of a situation?

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breija
5/28/2017 09:13 EST

Hi Andrew,

Unfortunately, gaining permanent residency with purchase of a home does not afford you the right to work. You would need to apply for that separately, and unless you intend to own (as in, 49% own) a business, you would likely not gain the right to work for at least 10 years.

As for being able to work as a real estate agent, her is a page from the Bahamas Real Estate Association - if you have the right to work, you can become a realtor here.
http://www.bahamasrealestateassociation.com/page.php?page=15

Unfortunately, without the right to work, you likely would not be able to be employed as a realtor as there is an abundance of realtors here who are already eligible to work. In order to be granted a work permit, you.your potential employer would need to prove that no one who is already eligible to work is interested in the job.

Now, all that said you have said that you are a real estate investor, and so you may choose to find a Bahamian partner and set up a company here as a real estate investor. Then, you would get the right to work within your business.

Hope that helps!

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andrewbc
5/28/2017 10:34 EST

Thank you Breija,

While I was aware of the bits and pieces, your answer bring a lot of clarity!

A related question, if I own a few rental properties in the Bahamas, am I allowed to manage these properties (find tenants, run ads, collect rents, maintenance of buildings etc) without having the right to work?

Or would I be required to hire a management company to oversee my investments? Thanks again for taking the time!

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breija
6/3/2017 14:37 EST

Hi Andrew,

This is a question I think you should ask a realtor. They would be up on the current laws about this.

Keep in mind that you would be best to register a property management company, because then you would be able to claim back VAT on your purchases and services, which would offset the VAT that you charge for rent.

Again, though, a realtor would be able to more confidently answer this question. What I suggest is that when you find a real estate company, go with the realtor with the same last name as the company. That way you will know that you are asking the question of a seasoned realtor.

Glad my response was helpful.

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megane
7/28/2017 10:06 EST

Hi Andrew, I am looking into buying in the bahamas for business purpose, and I am interested in having a partner in this venture,
let me know what you had in mind.

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andrewbc
7/29/2017 00:39 EST

Hello Megane,

After a lot of research, I am leaning towards Belize as my future home/investment destination instead of the Bahamas.

Belize doesn't put any restrictions on the industries you can work in, and you can eventually get Belizean citizenship if you prefer. Bahamas restricts some of the most common work for their own citizens (Real Estate/Retail Sales etc is excluded for expats).

Hope this helps.

Andrew

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