View Full Version : Residency - New Requirements regarding Proof of Financial Means for Americans

06-22-2017, 03:58 PM
Along with the recent change in rules about background checks, IND has recently changed/modified the rules covering proof of financial means. In order to be approved for residency you must demonstrate that you are earning, or can earn at least $20,000 ($1,670/ month) per person after you move to Bonaire. This means you needs to present some collection of financial records and payments that show you have an annual income of at least $20,000 per year. Just having a bank account with $20,000 in it won't work anymore. People at the immigration office have been saying the you need to show $20,000 for a single person, or $40,000 for a couple in "interest" income, in order to get residency, but that is not what they mean. What they are looking for is proof that you have a sustainable, or fixed income of at least $20,000 per year.

Here are the most common, and accepted ways to do it:

BE A PERSON OF INDEPENDENT MEANS - You need to show proof of a fixed monthly income of over $1,670 per month for another source. This can come from some easy places like:

Social Security - Show them a current benefits statement
Pension - show a statement
Brokerage statement showing at least $20,000 per year in income from dividends or interest
Last years tax return (You will need to explain it, sp be prepared to use the return show how you will earn $20,000 per year when you are not earning wage income)

START YOUR OWN BUSINESS - This can be done, but your company needs to be set up ahead of time and you will need the documents for the Immigration office (IND):

Articles of Incorporation for your Bonaire company
Proof of Registration of your business at the Bonaire Chamber of Commerce (KvK)
have a local bank account with a balance of at least $20,000 (this shows you will have money to live on during the startup phase of your business.

WORK FOR SOMEONE ELSE - You don't need to get a work permit if you are American, but you will need:

A signed and valid work contract from the company that is going to employ you
Proof of valid registration of your employer at the Chamber of Commerce
Copy of the passport of the managing director (or other corporate officer) of your employer

If you have any further questions, let me know.

06-23-2017, 01:43 PM
I really wish they'd just slot Canadians in the same way. I mean we're pretty much the same anyways ;)

06-23-2017, 05:18 PM
Tom -

The process and requirements are virtually the same for Canadians and people from the EU. The only difference is that you have to re-apply for your residency every year for five years, then after five years, you can get "permanent" residency.
- If you (a person from Canada or the EU) are a "person of independent means" you only need to show you have $20,000/$40,000 in the bank, so you can support yourself for ONE year, until you have to renew
- If you (a person from Canada or the EU) are starting a business the requirements are the same. Plus, you don't need a work permit to work at your own company.
- If you (a person from Canada or the EU) are going to be working for someone else, you will need an employment contract AND a work permit.

It's not a big difference between the two sides.

06-26-2017, 04:30 PM
Awesome, thanks for the info!

09-15-2017, 09:53 AM
Thank you for posting this information. Could you please clarify some information for me?

I have Dutch and Canadian citizenship, but my husband is Canadian. In our situation, would it work to have enough money in our bank account or would we have to have a recurring, guaranteed monthly income?

Thank you so much,

09-15-2017, 12:11 PM
Hi Ingrid -

As far as i know, this requirement applies to anyone applying for residency, whether Dutch or American or Canadian. To come here as a retiree, or as a "person of independent means" you need to show that you can demonstrate an annual income is $20,000, or show, to the satisfaction of the immigration office, that you have other assets that are sufficient to provide that sort of income. Alternatively, a business can hire you, help you get a work permit (you don't need one, but your husband will, and then you usually don't need to show any other income or assets beyond your employment contract.

Every situation is different, and it is best to contact the folks at IND for a clear determination.

I hope this helps.

09-16-2017, 07:18 AM
Thank you for the clarification!

09-18-2017, 01:17 PM
I thought I would just need the bank account with 20,000 and have met many people who have done it. The new requirement is a tough one for me, as I brought all my documents and I don't have enough in investments to generate the $20,000 per year in interest income. As for starting your own business, I can work on-line, and have had my own on-line business in the United States. Does it have to be a business in Bonaire or can it simply be on-line?

09-19-2017, 11:49 PM
If you have an online ongoing business in the elsewhere and can demonstrate by tax returns and bank statements that you have the income you should qualify. In order to open a bank account on Bonaire you have to have proof of income and verifiable source - money in the bank alone will not get your bank account opened. The process for starting a company here is complex and slow (compared to anywhere in the US). After you form your corporation, you have to get licensed by Consumer Affairs and then you need a Cribnumber for filing taxes. It's a VERY slow process, but it all works out with patience. Your best bet is to come here with a source of income generated elsewhere and start your business here as a tourist, then apply for residency. Just my two cents.

09-21-2017, 12:15 PM
Thank you, that's very helpful. So maybe I won't be able to stay, but I can definitely go back to US and come back and try again.

I was shocked though, when I checked my statements, my investments have increased so much this year, I thought I had the interest income to qualify. I went to imigration and after checking with a supervisor, the woman said yes, it was sufficient, but I had to go to the bank to pay the fee and come back. When I came back, I went to a different window, and the girl also questioned whether I had enougn "interest income" - the issue being my statement showed interest, dividends and market appreciation separately. I would not qualify on the interest amount alone. Mind you, this is after 5 hours of wait time. The second receptionist (after I paid) took the same statement and showed it to the same supervisor and came back telling me she didn't think I would qualify. She said I could apply but the decision wouldn't be guaranteed and I won't get my application payment back. All I can say is *fingers crossed*
If anyone else has had the decision basded on more than just pure interest income, and dividends or market appreciation was counted, I would love to know that its possible!

09-22-2017, 10:49 PM
As of right now, you can stay up to 6 months in 12 months without applying for residency. If you want to stay longer, you need to apply and qualify each year. Investment accounts will help, but what they are looking for is that you earn at least $20,000 a year, and will continue to earn at least that much while residing on Bonaire. Get used to paying relatively small fees and waiting for everything here. Nothing happens quickly, not even coffee or the check at most restaurants. I suggest having a long visit before completely relocating here. It's not for everyone.