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Thread: Looking for guidance as Canadians coming to Bonaire

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
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    East Coast Canada
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    Default Looking for guidance as Canadians coming to Bonaire

    Hello,

    We've read through a lot of the threads and found some really great info to help us out as we are ready for our journey to retirement and becoming residents of Bonaire. We still need a bit of help though, and any insight, experience, tips, links or recommendations would be super appreciated!

    A lot of the info we've read is relevant to being American and my husband Remi and I are Canadians. Also a number of the links are unfortunately coming up with a 404 error. We are ready to purchase a property that will serve as both our home and rental property when we can't be there. We also will need to secure a mortgage. I know there is an age limit, but we should be ok on that end of things but can't seem to find much info beyond that.

    Again any insights, experience (Canadian if relevant), and recommendations on who to contact/hire for help is very much welcomed!

    Kindest of regards
    Desiree (Dez) and Remi

  2. #2
    Cornhusker is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    I do not know about borrowing rules on Bonaire but we have rented from Sunbelt Realty for years and used Kittie den Dekker and they have a full team at the office who could answer your questions and also help line you up with someone to talk with about a loan so just google them and link to the website and best of luck. I am not employed or have been given anything of value for my recommendation of Sunbelt just have used them and like the service. We arriving January for 2-month stay and looking to rent for 3-months next year and she has some properties that we plan to look at when we return. Enjoy Bonaine and hope your property deal works out. Royce & Mary aka Cornhusker

  3. #3
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    Oct 2018
    Location
    East Coast Canada
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    Thanks Royce and Mary
    We're actually coming to the Island in the beginning-mid of December. Hoping to have accounts open and the financing in place before we leave.

    Cheers
    Dez and Remi

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    102

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    Dez and Remi -

    The simple answer to your questions is that the residency applications requirements for Canadians are the same as for Americans, you just use a different form. I will try to find the correct links this week.

    If you are Canadian and meet the requirements listed on the form you will be get residency. The requirements for Canadians and Americans are essentially the same. The main difference is that if you are American, you only apply for residency once and then you have "permanent residency" and are done. If you are Canadian, or from an EU country, you need to "renew" your residence annually for five years. At the end of your fifth year, you can apply for "permanent residency". Permanent residency is almost always granted at that time as long as you have paid your taxes, have a place to live, and haven't been arrested.

    ONCE YOU HAVE RESIDENCY YOU ARE AUTOMATICALLY ENROLLED IN THE PUBLIC HEALTHCARE SYSTEM SO ALL MEDICAL COSTS ARE FREE. DOCTOR VISITS, PRESCRIPTION DRUGS, HOSPITAL VISITS ARE ALL COVERED AND FREE TO YOU.

    In relation to your other questions:

    Bank Account: Getting a bank account for non-residents is difficult to do here unless you already own property, or have residency or both. In order to set up a new account you need to make an appointment for when you are here and go meet in person at the bank. They will ask for your passport, your Canadian Tax ID, and proof of your address in Canada (something like a utility bill, or bank statement with your name and address on it.). Once they have all that information, they may give you an account. (this all has to do with anti money laundering and anti tax evasion rules.)

    Mortgage: Getting a mortgage is impossible until you have a specific property to buy. If you meet informally with a banker about a mortgage him/her can give you an indication of how they will view the loan, but there is not a formal "pre-approval" letter like you could get in the US or Canada.

    Most of the time banks only allow you to amortize a mortgage until you are 65. This means is you are 45 you can get a maximum of a 20 year mortgage and if you are 55, it's only for 10 years. If your mortgage is for more than 50% of the purchase price, then life insurance is also required. Interest rates for non-residents are currently around 6% to 6.5%.

    If i can help you any further, please let me know.
    Last edited by bonairehomes; 10-23-2018 at 04:00 PM.
    Bob Bartikoski
    Owner RE/MAX Paradise Homes
    www.bonairehomes.com

  5. #5
    Kate B's Avatar
    Kate B is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    Jan 2017
    Location
    Sabadeco, Bonaire
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmazingLifeInSunAndSea View Post
    Hello,

    We've read through a lot of the threads and found some really great info to help us out as we are ready for our journey to retirement and becoming residents of Bonaire. We still need a bit of help though, and any insight, experience, tips, links or recommendations would be super appreciated!

    A lot of the info we've read is relevant to being American and my husband Remi and I are Canadians. Also a number of the links are unfortunately coming up with a 404 error. We are ready to purchase a property that will serve as both our home and rental property when we can't be there. We also will need to secure a mortgage. I know there is an age limit, but we should be ok on that end of things but can't seem to find much info beyond that.

    Again any insights, experience (Canadian if relevant), and recommendations on who to contact/hire for help is very much welcomed!

    Kindest of regards
    Desiree (Dez) and Remi

    Hi Dez and Remi,

    Welcome! Hopefully you will be here for New Year's Eve, the most amazing fireworks in the Caribbean!

    Bob from our office answered several of your questions, here is the link to the residency application:

    https://english.rijksdienstcn.com/im...sidence-permit

    For help in completing residency applications, many of us have hired Agnes Joosten, who is located at the Multi-Shop at the Hato roundabout (by Between 2 Buns deli.) For a low fee, she will assist you in completing the application, gathering documents and accompanying you to the immigation office. She was terrific.

    We "retired" (as you can see I'm working!) here years ago and LOVE living here. There are quite a few Canadians living on the island.

    Wishing you all the best in your great adventure!
    Kate Butler
    "Ask Kate" real estate columnist for the Bonaire Reporter
    Real Estate Agent, RE/MAX Paradise Homes, Bonaire

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    East Coast Canada
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    Thanks Kate! And Bob!

    When the time comes we will definitely be getting in contact with Agnes. Right now, we are working on opening a bank account. At least some of that can get done from here. It will be a little while yet before we can stay on the island full time but doing the count down.

    Dez

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    102

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    Dez -

    You CANNOT open a bank account without being here in person due to anti-money laundering laws. The banks are required to meet with you in person before the account can be opened. It is possible to do the paperwork ahead of time, but you will need to go to the bank in person before they will give you an account number, or activate the account.

    We look forward to seeing you on Bonaire.
    Bob Bartikoski
    Owner RE/MAX Paradise Homes
    www.bonairehomes.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    35

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    You MUST have an appointment when opening an account(with MCB) on the island which means making it weeks in advance of your arrival. MCB required letters from my banks in the U.S. stating that i was a customer in good standing. This was a pain because my banks said that they dont provide these....Just having the bank statements was not enough. Bob from remax also provided me with a letter from his office to our "good standng"(we used remax when we purchased our home) but the bank said that it was not acceptable. Feel free to messege me directly if you want me to go into further detail.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    141

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    What about using RBC for your banking in Canada and the Carribean. Yes they are different entities but you maybe able to get everything done in Canada before arriving in Bonaire.
    Good luck,
    Chris

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Ontario , Canada
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiverChris View Post
    What about using RBC for your banking in Canada and the Carribean. Yes they are different entities but you maybe able to get everything done in Canada before arriving in Bonaire.
    Good luck,
    Chris
    As a Canadian who opened an account last year ,I know you must present in person. The RBC in Canada knows nothing about the Caribbean RBC banks and they do not share any services. Each bank is completely separate. Call the bank make an appointment and they will email you information and the processing what you need you need to open the account.

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