Both permanent and temporary residency in the Turks and Caicos Islands can be attained in a number of ways, but the type of residency is dependent on the method of acquisition and each type of residency comes with its own limitations.
What are the types of Turks and Caicos residency?
There are six categories of residency in the Turks and Caicos Islands, as follows:
Belongership/Turks and Caicos Islanders
This is the type of residency in the TCI needed to own a business, vote, or hold government office. Those with TCI Islander/Belonger status are provided all the rights normally associated with citizenship but are not automatically entitled to a local passport or citizenship, which are granted separately. Belongership is granted to those who have the right of status through birth, adoption or descent, or by Grant, such as marriage to a Belonger.
Citizens (Individuals with British Overseas Territories Citizenship)
This type of residency entitles the holder to a Turks and Caicos Islands passport, as well as the right to reside and work on the islands. However, citizens do not have voting rights and cannot own restricted businesses without also holding the Belongership/Turks and Caicos Islander status.
Joint Citizens and Turks and Caicos Islanders
Those who hold this type of residency have the rights of both the Belongership status and the Citizenship status as outlined above.
Foreign nationals with work permits and annual resident permits
Most foreign workers in the Turks and Caicos Islands hold this type of residency, which allows them to live and work in the TCI, but they are restricted to their employer and their category of work.
Foreign nationals with temporary residency permits
Temporary residency may be granted to those who invest in a business or home in the Turks and Caicos Islands. These residencies must be reviewed and renewed (if applicable) annually.
Foreign nationals with a Permanent Residence Certificate (PRC)
This type of residency is often granted to retirees or people who have invested in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Permanent Residence Certificates can be granted with or without the right to work in the TCI.
Attaining temporary Turks and Caicos residency via a work permit
Foreign nationals may be granted a work permit if they are sufficiently skilled to fill an employment position within the TCI and if that position cannot be filled locally. The fees for these work permits can vary significantly but they are intended to be paid for by the employer.
These permits are usually for a period of 1-2 years but may be renewed. Those with this type of permit who have legally resided and worked in the TCI uninterrupted for 10 years may apply for a Permanent Residency Certificate after this time.
How to attain temporary Turks and Caicos residency
Temporary residency can also apply to those who make an investment in a business or home in TCI. The investment must be $500,000 depending on the island of Providenciales and West Caicos, or $250,000 on any other island within the TCI. Temporary residency permits cost $1,500 and must be renewed every year.
How to attain permanent residency in the Turks and Caicos Islands
To attain a Permanent Residency Certificate, individuals must have either legally resided in the Turks and Caicos Islands for 10 years, or make a significant investment in the country’s economy.
Under the residency route, an individual who has been legally resident in the country for 10 years may apply for PRC, for which there is a fee of $10,000.
An individual who has made a significant investment in real estate, a business or a public sector project may apply for a PRC – this costs $25,000 (on top of the investment). The level of this investment depends on both the sector and the location. The minimum investment in a public sector project is $1,000,000. The minimum investment in real estate is also $1,000,000 in Providenciales and $300,000 for the other islands in TCI. The minimum business investment is $1,500,000 in Providenciales and $750,000 on the other islands in TCI.
Visiting the Turks and Caicos Islands without residency
Most visitors to the Turks and Caicos Islands are typically allowed to visit for a maximum of 90 days and a visa is not required. Instead, only a valid passport, a valid onward or return ticket and a completed immigration form are required. It is possible to extend the 90-day period with permission from the Immigration Department.
We hope this guide to obtaining Turks and Caicos residency has been useful. If you are looking to make real estate or business investments in the Turks and Caicos Islands in order to obtain residency, or are interested in applying for residency by other means, do get in touch with our team to see how we can help.