Travel & Expat Lifestyle Magazine

Moving to Bahamas

The Bahamas is a group of islands in the Atlantic, near the US and Cuba. The capital is Nassau, and the official language is English, though Creole is also spoken. The cost of living is high, but medical and dental treatment are considered affordable. It is an international business center with a well-developed telecommunications infrastructure. The main economic source in the Bahamas is tourism, which is 70% of the country’s GDP.  It has a tropical climate and is hot year round.

Visas in the Bahamas:

If you are from the US and plan to stay in the Bahamas for up to 240 days, a visa is not necessary, only a travel document.

If you plan to move to the Bahamas, you must complete an Immigration Arrival/Departure Card upon your arrival. You also must submit a criminal background check, and proof that you are financially stable. Getting a residence permit is difficult due to the influx of immigrants from Cuba and Haiti each year, and the laws are meant to protect the local inhabitants.

It is easiest to get a residence permit if you invest in real estate in the Bahamas that costs over $250,000; the Immigration Board will often automatically approve you. If you buy real estate $500,000 or over, the process goes very quickly. Keep in mind that a residence permit does not entitle you to work in the Bahamas.

Work Visa:

In order to work in the Bahamas, you must obtain an individual work permit that is valid only for you in your qualified position. It is easiest for senior personnel and people with special skills. In order for you to obtain a work permit, the Immigration Board must review whether they consider you an asset for the country. If you pass, the prospective employer has to advertise and interview locally, to make sure that there is no native that can fill the position. The employer must then get a certificate for you from Labor Exchange. Permits are usually valid for three months and can be extended. There is no income tax in the Bahamas.

You will need at least a college degree for most jobs available to foreigners.

Click here to check the regulations depending on your country of origin.

Click here for more information about obtaining a work permit.

Moving Pets to the Bahamas:

In order to bring your pet, you must obtain an import permit from the Ministry of Agriculture, Trade and Industry. There is also a service provider to help ease the process of obtaining a permit. It is valid for one year, and you must state the animal’s breed, age, sex and country of origin. Keep in mind there are many mosquitoes, stray dogs and rodents which may discomfort your pet.

Other Information:

Visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for official information.

If you are moving to Exuma, this travel guide has listings of many local businesses.

As with any location you’ve never been to, it is advisable to rent for a few months before making the full time plunge and purchasing real estate, whether it be a vacation rental or AirBnB or a longer annual rental.

Click here for a Visa Form.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.