Categorized | National News

Mitchells Calls for Higher Permanent Residency Fees

Opposition Senator Fred Mitchell has suggested that raising the cost of permanent residency in the country could be a possible economic stimulus.

His comments came while addressing supporters in Exuma after constituency elections were held there.

“What is the cost of permanent residency if you’re the managing director of a hotel down here? The cost of a work permit is $12,500 for one year, but you can get permanent residency in The Bahamas for $10,000 which allows you to live here for life,” Mr. Mitchell said.

“We have to find a way; what is the way we can extract some of the economic costs and recover some of the economic costs to benefit The Bahamas.

“How do we in The Bahamas pay for the things that we want?  This country notwithstanding what our government tries to tell us is a rich country, not a poor country.”

Last month, Immigration and Financial Services Minister Brent Symonette said the Minnis administration presently has no plans to look at implementing an investor citizenship programme.

Mr. Symonette, who also has ministerial responsibility for trade and industry, was however keen on ensuring that permanent residency applications are ‘expedited.’

So-called ‘Investor Citizenship’ programmes have been mulled and floated in the past most recently by Sean McWeeney, a former attorney general and key advisor to former Prime Minister Perry Christie.

The idea has been ruled out however by the former administration with former Minister of Financial Services Hope Strachan stating that such a reform was “not so palatable” in the current environment.

Such an initiative would eventually grant citizenship to a limited group of individuals, once they met certain criteria, including a high multi-million-dollar investment threshold.

Those qualifying for such a programme would essentially have to invest in Bahamas-based developments and companies that created local jobs, but Mr. McWeeney’s proposal drew a mixed reaction from the Bahamian private sector in mid 2014.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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