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British Virgin Islands Citizenship by Investment

British Virgin Islands Citizenship by Investment

While there is no formal British Virgin Islands citizenship by investment scheme, foreign nationals who wish to enter the country and remain for business purposes long-term can do so under a residence permit. In time, they will also be able to apply for citizenship, if they are interested in this.

The BVI company incorporation process is a straightforward one and it is accessible for investors and entrepreneurs regardless of their nationality. The equivalent of the British Virgin Islands citizenship by investment, however, is subject to a set of clear conditions regarding a minimum residency period.

In this article, our BVI team discusses the options to acquire citizenship for those entrepreneurs who are not only interested in company formation, but also in relocating to the country permanently in 2024.

What are the BVI residency options?

Foreign nationals who are interested in immigration to BVI can also be interested in acquiring citizenship, since they intend to relocate to the Islands indefinitely.

Individuals who are interested in the process of acquiring British Virgin Islands citizenship by investment should know that they will not automatically receive this status upon opening a company or making another substantial investment, however, they do have access to temporary and permanent residency and, in time, to British citizenship, as described below by our company formation agents in BVI.

In order to acquire the status of permanent resident, foreign nationals need to reside in the British Virgin Islands for a period of 20 consecutive years before applying. During this time, he can only be absent from the territory for 90 days in a given calendar year. Exceptions from this rule apply in case of medical reasons and when pursuing education. The application is accompanied by a bank statement that serves as proof of financial means and/or the social benefits or other sources of income. Proof of accommodation and police records are also required, among other documents.

What are the BVI citizenship requirements?

British Virgin Islands citizens are British Overseas Territories citizens. This means that citizens of the Islands have full British citizenship.

Individuals who qualify for citizenship can be registered as a British Citizen. This is available to those who have already received the status of residents. The following documents are required for registration in 2024:

  • The naturalization or registration certificate;
  • Police record;
  • Certificate of good standing from the Inland revenue and the Social security;
  • Photograph;
  • Bank draft.

Other supporting documents may be required for your 2024 application. The application for British Virgin Islands citizenship by investment (that is, when the applicant resided in the Islands for investment purposes for the prescribed time) is submitted to the Civil Registry and Passport Office in Tortola.

Can you tell me more about the fees for the application?

The following fees for registration as a British Citizen apply:

  • £833 for an adult applicant;
  • £749 for a child/per each child under 18 years of age;
  • £20 application fee per each applicant, in addition to the fees listed above.

Different fees apply to those who wish to obtain naturalization as a British Overseas Territory Citizen (BOTC). For example, when the applicant is the spouse of a British Overseas Territories Citizen, the application fee is $500 (calculated as the $400 stamp fee and a $100 application fee).

Please keep in mind that these fees can be subject to change. If you want to know more about the British Virgin Islands citizenship by investment fees and documents, you can reach out to our team.

Our lawyers in BVI have extensive experience in all areas of law and can provide adequate assistance and legal representation for any legal matters you might be facing in the Islands as a foreign national. We represent clients in complex and standard legal matters and legal disputes and can recommend the use of alternative dispute resolution methods, as suitable in one’s particular case.

Investments in BVI

Company formation in the British Virgin Islands is not constrained by any nationality requirements, nor by the condition for investors to become residents in order to be able to act as company directors.

Although opening a company will not directly lead to British Virgin Islands citizenship by investment, this step is accessible and easy for many investors. The offshore company that can be incorporated here is suitable for many different business fields, based on the fact that the company’s clients will be located outside of BVI. Some of the main advantages when opening a company in the British Virgin Islands are listed below by our team:

  • No minimum capital: there is no specification for minimum paid-in capital requirements;
  • Easy incorporation: the company is easy to set up and the investor does not need to be present for the entire process;
  • Facile management and control: there is no need to hold an annual general meeting in BVI, it can be held anywhere in the world;
  • No tax: there is no corporate tax, no capital gains tax, no wealth tax;

Do keep in mind that these advantages apply in the case of the International Business company, a business structure that is intended for offshore use.

Data from the Registry of Corporate Affairs indicates that the number of company incorporations has grown towards the end of 2023:

  • In Q3 2023 there were 33,55% more incorporations compared to Q2 the same year (6,124 incorporated companies compared to 4,518 registered in the prior quarter);
  • In the third quarter of 2023, there were also 1,137 private trust company incorporations and 54 foreign company registrations.

The British Virgin Islands company formation process is one during which investors have complete assistance from our team of experts. Contact us if you want to know more about the advantages of opening a company here. If you are interested in starting a business in another country, such as Malta, we can put you in touch with our local partners.