Investing in Maio, Buying Property in Maio, from the Camara, Visa and Resident Requirements
Each island of Cape Verde is governed by a local authority called Câmara Municipal. Its governing head is a democratically-elected official referred to as the “President”. Besides the regular duties of government, it is a humanitarian position which aids local people who wish land for a house or begin an enterprise but lack sufficient funds to do so, and aid to dependent children.
A TALK WITH THE PRESIDENT OF MAIO
(The following is excerpts of an interview given in 1998)
Manuel Ribeiro is President of Maio, a diligent young man whose obvious preoccupation is the island's future growth. In this interview the president was asked:
Why did you want to become President? My reason was simple; I wanted to represent a part of the government which had enough power to aid Maio, my birth place.
How do you visualize the island's future? Maio is a virgin place for tourism. We are preparing for their coming with an electric plant which will give the entire island power and a desalination plant which will give us water. These projects will first satisfy our local and later tourists' needs as well. This is very important for our Câmara and the Federal Government.
Do you feel tourism is an important ingredient for the growth of the island's economy? I think it will be important for us. We are very close to Santiago, certainly the potential is there.
Manuel Ribeiro's legacy will be that he has taken a conservative, conscientious approach concerning Maio's growth with the indigent resident's welfare given the paramount priority. Yet much has been accomplished under his guidance: the installation of water, electric and telephone for the entire island was not an easy task. There is little delegation of authority in the position of President.
It is indeed a fulltime job. Senhor Ribeiro does not live in luxurious surroundings and is always available to see anyone. Maio's entrance into the modern world has been difficult terms of officefor the island's central authority, but his record will prove that he is doing an admirable job.
INVESTING IN MAIO
Cape Verde has a tremendous tourist industry potential which will greatly benefit the standards of living for the local inhabitants. The government has committed itself to this end, but it realizes however, it is a huge undertaking of which it has learned from Lanzarote of The Canary Islands (its nearby neighbor to the north). It is also aware that the large amount of capital needed can only be achieved by foreign involvement. With this in mind, laws have been implemented by way of tax elimination and reduction to encourage foreign investment. (laws here)
Best Investment Opportunities
It can be simply stated that the fledgling Maio tourist industry is open to all aspects of investment...from modest enterprises to hotels. Due to the fact that the island is in a development phase, rental-apartment construction has not kept pace with demand. Other lucrative shelter niches are: real estate agencies... small and medium range hotels, hostels for campers and hikers, followed by small restaurants, commercial fishing (both large and small scale)...and green house agriculture.
BUYING PROPERTY IN MAIO
Foreigners are free to buy land in Maio. There are three types of property available:
Private property and home purchasing
A licensed real estate agencies is a new concept in the Maio. Although changing, property buying and selling is done primarily by word-of-mouth and can be pains-takingly slow. Another obstacle: when your choice of property is found, it may be owned by several family members who do not agree on price. Right of way to properties may also be difficult. It is not possible to buy property in a short stay unless you are extremely fortunate.
Buying from the Ilha do Maio Camara
This is a straight forward affair. You are taken to pick the land you wish. There is a map which indicates price... but be prepared for a long wait. Note: There is a 10% Buyers Tax on this price.
|Camara (City Hall)|
VISA and RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS
- Pension/Retirement statement issued by the appropriate authority
- Document from appropriate legal authority, as proof of the Petitioner's capacity to manage him/herself and his/her goods
- Certificate of criminal record or equivalent, issued in the last two months prior to the submission of the petition for Permanent Residency (This is the most time consuming step.)
- Declaration from the Petitioner, vowing to respect the laws and customs of the country
- Proof of goods and financial resources of petitioner and/or of his/her spouse, if applicable
- Authentic photocopy of Identification document;
- Marriage certificate and birth certificate of under age children or their dependents, if applicable, accompanied by respective official translations in Portuguese;
- 2 photographs of each family member
- ... and a fee in CV escudos (per person)
All of this can be done in Maio but faster in Praia, the country's capital. The wait can be a year or more...
Note: A visa must be obtained while awaiting residency which can take a year or more. While waiting a one-year visa can also be obtained. (See) police below
The police officers of Maio's small police force are both helpful and courteous. Many of which speak English fluently. They will aid with visas and residency.
Most of the country's foreigners are employed or are affiliated with foreign governmental organizations. Because wages are low by Western standards, the majority of expatriates are entrepreneurs who have