From Smiths Gore  –  The Non-Belonger's Land Holding License  –  All overseas investors, including citizens of the United Kingdom, require a Non-Belongers Land Holding License to purchase property in the BVI.  Agreements to purchase property are therefore made contingent upon such a license being obtained by the purchaser.  A license gives an entitlement to own a specific property and is non-transferable.  Application for a Non-Belongers Land Holding License is made to the Government of the BVI and must be supported by two character references, a financial reference, a police certificate of good standing plus other supporting documentation. The purchase of a property by a Non-Belonger is required to be advertised locally for four consecutive weeks in a local paper prior to submission of the License Application to Government.

If the application for a License relates to undeveloped or partly developed land, the applicant will be required to make a commitment to the BVI Government to expend a specific sum on development within a specified period which will normally be three years.  The development commitment required will normally be not less than $250,000 and can be proportionately more according to acreage.  Environment and other planning considerations will determine the appropriate level of development. Sub-division of land is not encouraged except as a part of a comprehensive development scheme.


Undeveloped land cannot be resold until such a development commitment has been fulfilled or a penalty paid on closing to the Government. Generally, the penalty will be 25% to 40% of the sale contract price. The purchase of developed property for residential purposes will generally not incur a development commitment.  The objective of the licensing regulations is to prevent speculation on undeveloped property. Applications for all licences are referred to the Executive Council for approval. There is a license filing fee of $200.00 for each person named in the application and $300.00 for companies.  The fee for the grant of the License is $600.00 for each person or company named in the License as well as for each director or shareholder of a company.

An overseas investor is free to let a property on a long term or short term (holiday let) basis subject to approval by the Executive Council as part of the Licence application and the granting of a trade licence. Such approval by the Executive Council will be stated on the Licence and will automatically grant approval of the relevant trade licence.

Procedure for Purchasing Property
The following represents the typical sequence of events for a purchase and sale transaction:

Neither purchaser nor vendor need be present in the BVI at any stage of the transaction.