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Bahamian Immigration: Planning a move in the Bahamas

Are you planning a move in the Bahamas? If so, here are a few things you need to know before you venture for fun under the sun…

Visa Requirements

  • Upon your arrival to The Island of the Bahamas, you must complete an Immigration Arrival/Departure Card. You are required to keep a portion of this card as you will need it at the time of your departure.
  • Bahamian ImmigrationAll visitors are required to be in possession of a return ticket.
  • U.S. and Canadian visitors, staying less than three weeks, need to show proof of citizenship with either a passport (current or expired within five years) or two forms of identification, one of which has to have a photo. For example, you may bring your birth certificate and a driver’s license. No visa is required.
  • British subjects from the United Kingdom and colonies can enter as visitors without passports or visas for periods not exceeding three weeks. For longer stays, a passport is required.
  • Naturalized citizens must show naturalization papers; photo identification is not required.
  • Alien residents, in possession of a U.S. Alien Registration Card, may enter without a visa for visits that will not exceed thirty days. Presentation of a national passport (current or expired within five years) will facilitate processing.
  • Permanent residents must show their Green Card as well as a valid passport from their place of birth.

Bahamian Citizenship: Who is Eligible?
An understanding of the Bahamian immigration laws and government policies before you consider applying for Bahamian citizenship is important. It is possible for someone from abroad to apply and obtain approval for Bahamian citizenship, but it is a lengthy and tedious process. Typically, favor is given to long-term permanent residents and spouses of Bahamians. Nevertheless, here are the main Bahamian citizenship laws, according to the Bahamian Commonwealth’s Constitution, which came into effect in 1973.

a) Anyone born in the former colony of the Bahamas islands prior to July 10, 1973, and who was a citizen of the United Kingdom, became a citizen of the Bahamas on that day.
b) Anyone born outside of the Bahamas, and who was a citizen of the United Kingdom, and whose father became a Bahamian citizen (as per the above law) also became a citizen of the Bahamas.
c) Any woman who was married to someone who became a Bahamian citizen (as per the above law) was also entitled to become a citizen of the Bahamas.

Applying for Annual or Permanent Residency in the Bahamas
If none of the above-noted Bahamian immigration laws regarding citizenship apply to you, do not despair – other provisions allow you to enter the country on an annual or permanent basis in order to endlessly enjoy the island’s tropical paradise.

If your goal is to reside in the Bahamas on an annual basis, you can do so if
i) your spouse or dependent is a Bahamian citizen
ii) your spouse or dependent is a permit holder
iii) you are an independent economic resident
iv) you are a resident homeowner, or a seasonal resident homeowner.

If you seek Bahamian immigration on a permanent basis, you must
i) be able to prove "good character" standing (no criminal record)
ii) be prepared to show evidence of financial support.

The applications for annual or permanent Bahamian residency that are submitted by major international investors and prosperous homeowners, whose residence is valued at $500,000 or more, are usually given accelerated consideration.


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