Disclaimer: Visit Turks and Caicos Islands® is not an investment agency and this information is provided for general educational purposes only, without any guarantee as to the accuracy, validity, or suitability of this information for any purpose whatsoever. Visit Turks and Caicos Islands® does not provide legal and/or tax advice.
The Turks and Caicos Islands, through its status as a British Overseas Territory, is a stable Caribbean country, and there are no restrictions on purchasing real estate in the country by foreign individuals. However, if the owner is not an individual, the land must be held by a local corporation or trust (foreign corporations cannot own land directly). It's not required to obtain permission from the Government beforehand.
Real estate price varies considerably based on island and location. As expected, beach-front properties demand a premium. Providenciales land is significanly more expense than other islands, and the differences in government tax reflects this.
It's possible to purchase real estate without having any sort of legal permission to reside in the country. In the past, it has been possible to obtain (mostly) automatic Permanent Resident Certificates (PRCs) depending on the purchase price (which varies depending on the island).
If you are considering purchasing land, you are highly advised to confirm what status you will receive. Depending on the purchase price, you may be eligible for a Permanent Resident Certificate (PRC), a 25-year residence permit, or nothing.
Turks and Caicos Islander Status is a locally conferred status which is normally equated with 'citizenship' in the other countries. It is possible to obtain British Overseas Territory Citizenship (Turks and Caicos), which gives you a physical passport, but this is different from Turks and Caicos Islander Status. It's possible to obtain British Overseas Territory Citizenship (the physical passport) after residing 5 years in the country, *and* having indefinite leave to remain (which means a PRC). However, holding a 'Turks and Caicos Islands' passport, without the extremely difficult to obtain 'Turks and Caicos Islander Status', does not allow you to operate restricted businesses categories or vote in elections.
If you are not a British Overseas Territory Citizen (by viture of a connection with the Turks and Caicos Islands, or hold Turks and Caicos Islander Status or a PRC, you may encounter difficulty obtaining a driving licence.
The Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) Ordinance (2009) does not state that an applicant must be a resident in order to obtain a licence. However, the Road Safety Department does require applicants to provide 'proof of status'. This is normally citizenship, a PRC, or an annual residence permit.
Some people who have purchased condominiums did not meet required thresholds to obtain a PRC. As a result of not having any legal status in the country, they were unable to obtain a driving licence. It is only valid to drive in the country for a maximum of 3 months on a foreign licence, but again the law is unclear if this is within a 1 year time period or what duration.
Vacant property and house bank foreclosures sales due take place occasionally in the Turks and Caicos, and the purchase of these properties are typically conducted on a closed bid process with by financial institutions. Contact the local banks for a listings and availability.