Please read the following before you make any decision to buy in Tobago! 

  • Citizens and Permanent Residents of Trinidad and Tobago are permitted to buy property freely.
  • Under the Foreign Investment Act of 1990, foreign nationals are currently permitted by law to buy up to one acre for a private dwelling house and up to five acres for commercial purposes - However, any foreigner acquiring Residential, Agricultural, Commercial or Industrial land, with or without building, in Tobago has to obtain a licence under the Foreign Investment Act. An order to this effect was signed by the Acting Minister of Finance Conrad Enil on February 14 and came into operation on February 16, 2007. It is called the Foreign Investment Tobago Lands Acquisition Order 2007. This need for a licence in Tobago (not Trinidad) is still under review in terms of the details of its implementation. It is expected that an automatic licence (subject only to proof of good character) will be granted on application for all purchases within Designated Development Areas.  Purchases outside of these areas will be discretionary and dealt with on a case by case basis.
    Application forms will be available online from the Ministry of Finance and applications can be made through your real estate Agent or your local Attorney.
  • The Designated Development Areas will be precisely defined by maps prepared by Town & Country Planning Division and posted on their website.  Those areas were broadly described in the Budget Presentation of the 7th September 2009, but the actual boundaries must be verified on the maps. DDAs will include: Englishman's Bay, Culloden Estate, parts of Arnos Vale, parts of Grafton, Mount Irvine Estate, Buccoo Estate, Golden Grove Estate, Lowlands Estate including Tobago Plantations Resort, Diamond Estate including Indigo Bay Resort, parts of Bacolet Estate, Speyside Estate.
    A more precise list will be provided online by the Ministry of Finance once the maps are made public.
  • If you are a foreign national who purchased property in Tobago prior to the licencing order of Feb 2007, you have nothing to worry about in terms of the legality of your ownership.  The T&T law will continue to recognise your good title and Government will not be making the need for a licence retro-active.  If the property is not located within the newly-defined Designated Development Areas however, you may only be allowed to sell on to T&T nationals.   
  • Foreign nationals wishing to invest in larger properties of over five acres must apply for a development license through the Tourism Development Company (TDC).  Again, your real estate Agent can help you deal with TDC who will facilitate all applications and advise on matters such as fiscal incentives for hotel and resort developments. 
  • Foreign nationals must purchase in an internationally-traded foreign currency and proof of payment is needed by the Ministry of Finance.
  • Permission to buy land does not confer residency. Buying a commercial property does not confer the right to work (earn an income) in Trinidad and Tobago.  Work permits are needed for any work that lasts longer than 30 days.
  • If you are intending to live in Tobago, foreign nationals should contact the Trinidad & Tobago High Commission in their country for information on immigration and/or work permit requirements.
  • If you are planning to come on holiday to enjoy your new property, a non-resident is usually allowed up to three months in T&T, with or without the need for a visa, which depends on the country of origin.   Discretionary extensions can be applied for.

Once you have found a house or land to buy, you can go to our "Buying & General info" page (if you did not already do that) where you can read all the information on the purchasing procedures, even if you are not in the country, as well as the terms and conditions in case you are not a Resident or Citizen of Trinidad and Tobago, and some general info on T&T. or for the purchasing procedures.

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