Based on a suggestion by minister of border control and immigration, Don Hue Gardiner, attorney general Huw Shepheard has agreed to propose new legislation permitting the grant of permanent residency certificates (PRCs) to investors who make an investment in the TCI at certain pre-specified levels.
This reportedly new policy is actually a re-instatement of a former policy that was in place during the period the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) were in office from 1995 through most of 2003.
Immigration and Border Control Minister Don-Hue Gardiner
However, the investment stakes now being considered are appreciably higher than during the PDM years. The policy under PDM gave the right to a PRC to anyone making a investment of $125,000 in the family islands or $250,000 in the already developed island of Providenciales.
The new proposal would qualify anyone making a $1.5 million investment in new construction in Provo or $500,000 in the family islands.
It has not been made clear if these new PRCs would provide voting rights to those who qualify.
In the past, as currently, the investment could have been either commercial or in a private residence. This brought foreign money into the country not only in terms of the investment but brought supporting income inbound for those holding the PRCs.
Those having built homes during the previous PNP or interim administration will not be qualified, only new investment. Not qualified will be the purchase of existing homes. However, projects in process will be included. It is not known if there are any incomplete projects or any approved but not started.
Residents of North and Middle Caicos, the two largest and least developed islands, report that they are unaware of any investments underway at this level. One home under construction in Middle Caicos by an expatriate connected with the Jewish Prophet group falls under the $500,000 limit.
Also not clear is whether the PRC will give the investors the right to work. According to Gardiner, this new policy will be an engine for job creation and will be part of the government’s marketing plan.
The level of investment and other particulars were discussed during cabinet meetings and have not so far been open to parliamentary debate.