Buying And Moving To Anguilla?
My wife and I have a crazy idea to buy a condo or home in eight years in Anguilla and raise a child there. Is this possible?
Are non-belongers prohibited from having babies on island or does this occur? Would this change our status at all to be allowed to find jobs and work?
We may be interested in starting a small business there if it's the only source of employment we can get. We know a bit about the availability and order of jobs to non-belongers, and the hurdles of importing supplies and equipment.
It's a pipe dream of ours but where there's a will there's a way.
Ken's ReplyTim, it's not a crazy idea to buy a condo or home in Anguilla. It's a wonderful place to vacation, so it's an even better place to live.
We know because we did it.
I suppose you could have a baby on the island, too. Would the baby be a Belonger? And how would that affect you. I suspect the baby might be, but that it wouldn't help your status much. I will ask Eustella, our Anguilla lawyer, and get back to you on that one.
Aside from that, it's not that easy to start a small business here. You have to partner with an Anguillian, and there has to be some kind of need for the business, something unique that you bring to the table.
That's the general rule of thumb, but you may find some exceptions to this if you talk to Eustella.
Personally, I have an Internet business with 60+ people who work at our company offshore. So I don't take anybody's job in Anguilla, nor do I make any income "from" Anguilla. That, plus the fact that we own our own home here, enables me to work here with a work permit.
That is the direction I generally recommend. But let's see what Eustella Fontaine says. Will get back to you.
Relocating to Anguilla
As a Canadian citizen, I have some questions about relocating to Anguilla. There is so much valuable information on this site and I appreciate any answers!
First, I work from home as a web-preneur. My current income would be sufficient to move and live in Anguilla, but I'm confused about how income taxes come into play.
My web business is currently setup as a sole-proprietor here in Canada, and I pay my fair share of taxes. The majority of income I receive is from the U.S.
I would definitely be interested in learning how I could relocate to Anguilla and take advantage of zero income taxes.
But how does a move like this affect my Canadian citizenship?
Do I still have to pay tax in Canada? Do I close my current sole-proprietorship in Canada, and reopen my web business in Anguilla?
Would I lose my Canada Pension Plan (not for another 22 years, but still)?
Do I lose my citizenship in Canada all together, once I move to Anguilla?
Thanks for the wonderful site and any help you can give : )
Ken's answer: Jay, I'm not an attorney, so take this advice in the spirit of friendly advice. I did not get close to all the details, but I can give you big picture. And I can set you up with my attorneys in Canada and Anguilla should you want to push to the next level of investigation.
We have terminated all ties with Canada (memberships, bank accounts, driver's license, etc., etc., etc). This is a pre-requisite to becoming a non-resident.
Some people do all this as a "show" intending to come back in a few years while they set themselves up tax-free. When you do that, you have to realy, really be sure to dot all your i's. But we were really leaving. With that mindset, there are no tricks. You merely end all the things that tie you to Canada since you will not be using them again.
There are rules about returning that you need to be aware of, should you need to return for a bit, for family or other reasons. They should NOT be work-related.
Once you establish residency in Anguilla and non-residency in Canada, you pay income tax of the country in which you now reside. In Anguilla, that is zero.
(This is true of every country except the U.S. and the Philippines. Citizens of those countries pay tax on the basis of their citizenship, regardless of where they reside. There are, however, certain exemptions for Americans. I'm not sure of the details, I keep hearing different versions.)
You will likely establish an Anguilla company (not expensive, a few hundred dollars per year) to take over your Web business. Your business pays you as an employee of an Anguillian company. Attorney should help you to structure this.
Self-employed work permit costs you $6,000 per year. I'm glad to pay it compared to the tax I used to pay.
As regards your "Canadian-ness"...
Relocating to Anguilla does NOT affect your Canadian citizenship. You remain Canadian. You NEVER lose your citizenship, not unless YOU choose to renounce it (which you cannot do unless you have another one -- one must be a citizen of a country, unfortunately ;-) ).
You will most likely lose your CPP. I was never worried about that since I knew I would never need or collect it. It's a Ponzi scheme that will be clawed back as all us boomers age.
You will also need to purchase private medical insurance. Many people make the mistake of buying insurance that can be cancelled because it is cheaper. BIG mistake. Buy non-cancelable insurance. Why?
You don't want your policy to be cancelled if you get something that is going to be catastrophically expensive over a period of years. Your policy would simply not be renewed as soon as the current annual term expires.
Hope this helps. It is possible nowadays to live in ways our parents could never have imagined. I hope you find your way here!
What Is It Like Moving To and Living In Anguilla?
What's it like, moving to Anguilla? What did you bring with you? Did you ship your car? Groceries? Rent or buy? I would appreciate getting a snapshot of real day-to-day living.
Thanks very much.
Dad's Reply: Great questions! We moved to Anguilla 3 years ago.
There is no income tax in Anguilla (although there is a "temporary" 3% Stabilization Levy" to eliminate the deficit. However, there are high duties, so new items are more expensive.
For that reason, we found it cheaper to ship all our furniture, etc and pay duty on the shipping, rather than buy everything new.
You can, though, leave your winter clothing behind. Our spring, fall and winter clothing is all kept in our apartment in New York. No need for it here! :-)
We sold our high-end car and bought a 1999 Hilux from Japan. Quite a change, but don't bother buying an expensive new car. Not only will shipping and duties increase the price, where are you going to go on an island 16 miles long? And you won't impress the deci-millionaire ex-pats here! More importantly..
You drive on the "other side" here, so the left-side steering wheel is harder to use in Anguilla. Also, you'll likely be bumping around a lot of unpaved roads.
For all those reasons, it's best to buy a "beater" and just run it into the ground (find a good mechanic!). The Hilux is a beast, very tough. With the hard times that the world is facing now, you can buy a used 4x4 cheap, oftentimes from a bank or at auction.
There is also a glut of apartments. So anguilla apartment rentals are much less expensive than they were years ago, as low as $500-$1000 per month (and up). I suggest you rent before you decide to build.
Living in Anguilla is the best of all worlds. It's one of the sunniest, driest countries. The people are warm and friendly. Tax is near-zero. It has a British governor, so you can count on some stability. It's a 20 minute ferry ride to St. Martin, which is like the French Riviera, with great eating and the cheapest high-end shopping in the Caribbean (and much cheaper than New York).
If and when you need a big city, you're only a few hours from Miami, New York and most east coast U.S. cities. You're a few more non-stop hours from places like Paris and Panama City, all from St. Maarten's international airport (the Dutch side of the same island that is so close by).
There are no big-box stores or chains here. You won't "go shopping" like you do in New York, where everything is at your fingertips. Instead, we go to Amazon. :-)
Stock up on your favorite consumables, such as food (mine is Ben and Jerry's ice cream) when it's on-island, because it may not be back in stock for a while. Different grocery stores have different strengths. Overall, though, they have it covered.
What do we do in a day? I work remotely at home for my Internet company. Bandwidth is slower than the U.S., but is fine (about 4mbps). We take dips in the pool and go to the beach, but not as often as when we were tourists. We eat out more, given the wide selection of great restaurants.
And we rent movies instead of going to them. The nearest theatre is in St. Martin, a bit too far just to see a movie. DishNetwork carries all the channels you're used to. Or you can go cable.
That's about it. For more detail, see the Living in Anguilla home page.
Hope this helps.
All the best,
Moving/Retiring in Carribean
(Virginia Beach, Va. USA)
Hello...I am visiting St.Maarten/St.Martin August 22-29. I am interested in moving/retiring from USA (too costly to live here anymore!), to one of the islands in Carribean.
I found your website on Anguilla, and I noticed that Anguilla is only 20 mins ferry ride from St. Martin. I am interested in visiting the island, and looking around the island, while on vacation. I am also interested in other islands I could check out.
Can you send me, or direct me to people whom I can talk to regarding the "How To's" of moving to Carribean, legalities, cost of living expenses, real estate and healthcare, crime rate etc.
I appreciate your time, and any suggestions/recommendations you may have for me.
Ken's (AKA Dad's) Reply Linda, I've moved your question into this section about moving to, and living in, Anguilla. Our family has been very happy since moving here two years ago. Great weather, people warmer than the weather, superb restaurants, no income tax and near-zero property tax, safe (very low crime rate, you're basically safe everywhere)...
I could go on and one.
Read this section carefully. I think it will answer most of your questions.
The person to contact with more advanced questions is our Anguilla lawyer, Eustella Fontaine.
How Much Income And Net Worth to Get a Residency Permit?
I have been a frequent visitor to Anguilla over the years and am thinking of buying a home and living there full-time (well, almost full-time... visiting NYC every couple of months).
I'm not thinking of working on Anguilla. I used to be in finance and am now an aspiring writer. I have arranged my affairs to pay me a month stipend of $6000 (can raise this if necessary).
My question is this: Would that income (plus owning a home) qualify me for a residency permit or would I need to show a higher level of income?
Thanks in advance,
Reply from Ken: This is actually a fairly complex question. I'll simplify by assuming that you will not declare yourself as a self-employed person (i.e., a writer). Until you write your best seller and make millions, let's call that a hobby, OK? :-)
(If you do intend to declare yourself as working, please see the "computer workers" section of Living In Anguilla.)
Basically, you want to live in Anguilla, without working here. You do not need a work permit (which the self-employed need). And you do not want to be a temporary visitor who extends your stay on a regular basis.
If you can pay yourself $6,000 per month as a stipend, you likely have a substantial net worth (assuming you are not eating into capital to do that). Together with owning your own home here, you would have a good chance.
But please do contact Eustella Fontaine, our Anguilla lawyer who I highly recommend, to be sure, and for how to proceed.
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Moving to Anguilla From St. Martin
by Jon Appleton
My fiancé and I, also from Canada, made the big move in September 2008. We both work from home and decided to settle in St. Martin. Our translation and web development company is still registered in Canada, where all of our clients are.
However, given the crime situation in St. Martin, Anguilla is looking more and more appealing... I'd like to hear your thoughts about the infrastructure in Anguilla (Internet speed and reliability, power outages, etc.). This is a must for our business, and in St. Martin I have no complaints in this regard.
Also, what did you mean exactly by a "high" work-at-home income?
Where can I find the list of immigration requirements? We have a good income, but I'm not sure what is considered "high" by the government of Anguilla! And lastly, what would be the requirements to import our two standard poodles?
We love Anguilla and visit frequently!
Thanks for any tips.
Reply from DadHi Julie,
We love St. Martin, especially the French side. But I understand your concerns. Another consideration is that taxes are also near-zero here, although it recently added a 3% "Temporary Stabilization Levy" to eliminate the deficit. Let's hope it's temporary.
You can set up an Anguillian company to contract out to your services to your Canadian company. Of course, you have to terminate all ties with your home country (ex., bank accounts, sell home, close memberships, credit cards). If you have no intent on moving back, that's a bit of work, but not a big deal.
Properly set up, your tax load can be substantially reduced!
Regarding infrastructure, I could not have moved here 6 years ago due to slow bandwidth. Nowadays, you can get a DSL package from Lime with dedicated IP (if you need one) and 4mbps (although it's usually more like 3). That's fine for most professinal needs. For example, video-Skype is fine. (I also keep Cable as backup, but have not needed it.)
Regarding income and net worth requirements, I'd suggest you contact our Anguilla attorney, Eustella Fontaine. It's likely in the ballpark of $80-100,000, and I'm not sure what the net worth needs to be. Given your record of self-sufficiency in St. Martin, you may be fine.
She can also give you the paperwork re Immigration requirements (ex., police report showing no criminal record).
The two poodles won't be a problem (but double-check with Eustella).
Julie, it's a great time to move here, since rents are very low. You can find some nice apartments at very good rates. A few years ago, it was completely different. Now, so many apartments have come on stream due to the expected boom (which collapsed world-wide) that you have a wonderful selection.
You'll be happy and safe here. And just in case you're wondering, there's an outstanding french bakery, Le Bon Pain, to keep you feeling at home! :-)
This is a move we have never regretted. We are not only warm and happy here, we are free. There are so few regulations here compared to Canada or St. Martin (France).
Governments around the world need to learn that people are sick and tired of being hampered and controlled! But I digress... I always promise myself not to "talk politics." Suffice it to say that we have never felt so free as here in Anguilla. :-)
Can a British citizen Retire to Anguilla on a Pension?
I am a British citizen, can I retire to Anguilla on my pension?