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The Consulate General of The Bahamas







FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS



General Immigration 

1. I know that I do not require a visa to enter The Bahamas, what documentation should I have in my possession to enter? 

Persons who do not require a visa for entry into The Bahamas should have the following items in their possession at the time of entry:



2. Can a non-Bahamian travel to The Bahamas on an expired Passport? 

No! Passports must have a minimum of six months validity from the date of departure from The Bahamas. In addition, airlines would not let passengers board with expired travel documents. 


3. If I only have four months left on my passport, can I still travel to the Bahamas? 

No! Only British and American passport holders may travel to The Bahamas with less than six months left on their passports.


4. Is it acceptable for a child to be on the mother’s or Father’s passport to gain entry into the Bahamas? 

Yes! It is acceptable for a child to be on the mother’s or Father’s passport to gain entry into the Bahamas. Minors up to the age of sixteen years old may travel to the Bahamas on their parent’s passports.


5. What happens if my name appears differently on the passport as it appears on the ticket? 

If the name change were due to Marriage, you would need your original/certified copy of the marriage certificate with other proof of citizenship (birth certificate, voter’s card, etc.)


If the name change is due to adoption or legal name change (deed poll), however, you would need a certified copy of the legal document showing the name change with other proof of citizenship.


Finally, if you do not have a legal document, you would need a parent or other relative that knew of the name change to have an affidavit sworn to that fact.


6. At what age can children travel unaccompanied to The Bahamas and what documentation should they have to gain entry? 

An authorization letter from their parents stating consent has been given for children of sixteen years and under.


7. I am traveling with a child who is not my own. Do I need a letter of permission from the child’s parent? 

While this is not a requirement for The Bahamas it is advisable to have written consent from the child’s parent (s). If the non-custodial parent is traveling with children it is also suggested that a letter of authorization for the children to travel be obtained.


8. Are there any vaccinations required for entry into The Bahamas? 

No! Most visitors to The Bahamas do not need special vaccinations before entering the country. 


However, travelers over one year of age must provide a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate if they are coming from the following countries: Angola, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Colombia, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, French Guiana, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Peru and Sudan. Travelers are required to be vaccinated 10 days prior to entering The Bahamas.


9. What if my doctor recommends that I have certain inoculations? 

You are always welcome to seek the advice of a doctor; any decisions to proceed with vaccinations or inoculations would be a personal decision that you have made on the advice of your doctor.



10. What food items can I bring into The Bahamas? 

You may take any item up to a value of $100USD Duty free. However, no fresh fruit or vegetables allowed. Chicken and beef are taxable. One quart of alcohol including beer and wine and 200 cigarettes and 50 cigars are allowed for persons over 21.


Additional information may be obtained from 


The Comptroller of Customs

Customs House, Thompson Blvd

PO Box N-155

Nassau, The Bahamas


Tel: 1 (242) 326-4401


11. Are pets allowed to travel to The Bahamas without a period of quarantine? 

A valid import permit ($10) is required to import any animal into The Bahamas. Unless otherwise indicated, a permit can only be used once and only during the period specified on the permit. Dogs and cats imported from countries with rabies must be six months and older.


To apply for an import permit, please telephone 1 (242) 325_7502 in The Bahamas or 1 (242) 325-7503.


You may also write:


Director of Agriculture

P O Box N–3028

Nassau, The Bahamas


In your correspondence, please, state your name and address, the type, age and number of animals you wish to import, the country of export and origin, the purpose for importing the animal(s), as well as anticipated date of arrival and destination in The Bahamas.


12. Can I travel to The Bahamas with prescription drugs used as medication for an existing illness? 

Yes. However, it is recommended that a letter from the doctor stating that the medication is needed for your health be obtained and presented to Bahamas Customs if questioned.


13. Are there any fees I have to pay to leave the country? 

No. Any Departure tax is incorporated in your ticket or holiday package and would not be a separate charge.


14. Can I travel to The Bahamas with a criminal record? 

Persons with criminal records or persons, who are on parole, should write to the Director of Immigration at the following address seeking advice and clarification:


Director of Immigration

Immigration Department

P.O. Box N–831

Nassau, The Bahamas


Tel: 1 (242) 322-7530

Fax:1 (242) 326-0977


The letter should include the following information:



If the intended traveler is on parole, the parole Officer should provide a letter on letterhead stating that there is no objection to letting the intended traveler leave the jurisdiction of parole; the letter should also include the full name, date of birth and place of birth, the nationality, passport number and place of passport issuance. The Bahamas Immigration Department would respond to the initial letter sent directly from the Parole Officer.



Tourist Visas 

1. I have an American passport. Do I need to apply for a visa? 

American passport holders do not require visas to enter The Bahamas for visits that are not longer than eight (8) months.


2. How do I obtain a visa application form? 

Visa forms may be obtained by downloading them from our website: Visa Application Form.


If the above link does not work on your device, please, copy and paste the following into your web browser: 


3. What documents do I need when applying for a visa? 

To apply for a visa to enter The Bahamas you will need the following:



Additionally, applicants who currently hold a “F”, “J” or “H” visa must submit the following:



Note: The Consulate General of The Bahamas will neither process nor return incomplete visa applications. This includes visas submitted by mail that fail to include a pre-paid, trackable envelope.


4. If I have applied for a Bahamas visa before, do I still need to produce all of the documents listed above? 

Yes, even though you may have made an application for a Bahamas visa in the past, you would still need to produce the documents that are outlined above at the time of your new application.


5. How long will it take to get my visa? 

The Consulate Office normally processes fully completed visa applications in 2 or 3 business days . However, some applications may take longer to process! Bahamian and American holidays are not considered business days.


The processing of your visa application will start on the day that all required documents have been submitted and received. 


Important: It is advisable to apply well in advance of the travel date. Once your visa application has been lodged, you would be informed of the collection date.


6. How far in advance can I apply for the visa? 

Bahamian visas are only valid for a period of three months from the date of issue. Therefore, you should ideally lodge your application in the two weeks before you intend to travel to the Bahamas. 


For example: If you intend to travel to the Bahamas in January, your application should be lodged in December. You cannot lodge the application before November, as the visa would expire before you even depart for the Bahamas.


7. What does it cost to get a visa? 

The fee schedule for visitor visas WITHOUT bio-metric features is as follows:


Multiple Entry Visa Fee: $110.00 (Valid for 3, 6 or 12 months)

Multiple Entry Visa Fee: $500.00 (Valid for 3 years)

Single Entry Visa Fee: $100.00

Seaman's Visa Fee: $110.00

Diplomatic Visa Fee: NIL


The fee schedule for visitor visas WITH bio-metric features is as follows:


Multiple Entry Visa Fee: $250.00 (Valid for 3, 6 or 12 months)

Multiple Entry Visa Fee: $500.00 (Valid for 3 years)

Single Entry Visa Fee: $160.00

Seaman's Visa Fee: $160.00

Transit Visa Fee: $100.00

Diplomatic Visa Fee: NIL


Money orders are to be made payable to: BAHAMAS CONSULATE GENERAL


Important: The Consulate does not accept charge, debit or credit cards, $100.00 dollar bills  or personal cheques. If paying in cash, please have exact amount. 


8. How do I obtain a multiple entry visa? 

Multiple entry visas are only issued to persons to following categories of persons:



Multiple entry visas are only issued for periods of three (3) months to one (1) year.


9. For what period is a visa issued? 

Single entry visas are issued for three (3) months only. Multiple entry visas can be issued for three (3), six (6) or twelve (12) months duration.


10. What size photographs are acceptable for the application form? 

Original and passport photos sized 2in x 2in are acceptable (normal US passport sized photos); the photos must be in color, but they must not be taken in a photo booth.


Applicants should not wear any glasses or hats; ears must be visible in the photo. Photos must NOT be taken at an angle or in profile; the applicant must face forward.


Ideally, passport photos should be taken on the day of the application or at least recently taken within three weeks.


11. If I am a permanent resident of the United States do I still require a visa to enter The Bahamas? 

Green card holders do not require visas to visit The Bahamas. However, they should have both a valid green card and national passport that is valid for six months from the date of departure from The Bahamas.


12. Which nationals do and do not require visas to visit The Bahamas? 

A complete list of those countries whose citizens require visa for entry into The Bahamas may be found here: Visa Requirements by Country.

13. Do professional journalists or camera persons need a visa or entry clearance? 

Entry requirements for professional journalists and camera persons are identical to those for other persons.


Professional journalists and camera persons traveling with passports from countries where visas are not required need not apply for a visa. Please, consult our Visa Requirements by Country to confirm whether or not you will require a visa to enter The Bahamas.


However, entry clearance for professional journalists and camera persons would need to be obtained from the Ministry of Tourism in The Bahamas.


14. How long can an American stay in The Bahamas without a visa? 

An American national may stay for a maximum period of eight months without a visa in The Bahamas.


15. How can an American without a visa extend their stay in The Bahamas? 

Americans entering The Bahamas without a visa who wish to extend their stay,are required to submit an application for extension to the Immigration Department. The applicant must contact the Immigration Dept. (Tel: 242 322 7531) directly to enquire as to the documents needed for the extension.


16. I do not have a United States passport and I do not need a visa. How long can I stay in The Bahamas? 

Those passport holders who do not require visas to enter The Bahamas would be granted leave to stay for any period of up to four weeks. Should you wish to stay beyond the time of leave granted, you would need to apply for an extension of stay for up to a maximum time frame of eight months. 


The visitor would need to apply at:


Immigration Department

PO Box N-831

Nassau The Bahamas 


Tel:1 242 322 7531

Fax: 1 242 326 0977


17. Can a visa application be accepted if it is a fax copy? 

Yes, this is acceptable, but only if the application is legible. 


If the processing visa officer at the time of submission of the application deems the forms to be illegible, the applicant would be required to fill in a new form, which may be downloaded from our website: Visa Application Form.


18. Can I apply for a visa for someone who lives outside of the United States of America? 

No. All applicants must be physically present within the United States at the time of application.

19. Can I be issued a visa on spot or within a day? 

Emergency situations do occur and the Bahamas Consulate General attempts to make every effort to respond to these emergencies. Please, call to enquire whether your application may be entertained under your extenuating circumstance.


20. Are appointments needed to apply for a visa? 

No. Appointments are not necessary.


21. Can a Bahamas visa be issued at the airport upon arrival? 

No. Visas are not issued at the airport or the harbour dock. All visas for entry into The Bahamas must be obtained before arrival.


22. If I am traveling with an adopted child and they do not have a birth certificate or any other documentation what can I do? 

The adoption papers with photo identification should be in their possession. If those documents are not available, then a sworn affidavit from a notary public, along with photo identification, would suffice.


23. I want to apply for a visa but there are no blank pages left in the passport what can I do? 

One full blank page must be in the passport in order to issue The Bahamas visa. You must therefore renew your passport at the nearest Consulate or Embassy in order to obtain a visa.


24. What are other acceptable forms of photo ID besides a passport or driver’s license? 

None. No other forms of photo identification will be accepted when submitting a visa application.


25. What documentation is needed for children entering The Bahamas who are not traveling with their legal guardians or parents? 

A valid passport (and visa if applicable). It is also advisable to have written consent from the child’s parent(s).


26. How should an individual obtain a visa, if they are not resident in the United States? 

Persons not physically present in the United States should contact the nearest British Consulate or Embassy in their country of residence to obtain The Bahamas visa. They may also transit a country where The Bahamas has a Consular Office.


Bahamas Consular Offices are located in London, England; Port au Prince, Haiti; Havana, Cuba; Beijing, China and Ottawa, Canada.


Visas cannot be obtained by a third-party for applicants who are not physically present in the United States.


27. Is there any possibility of obtaining a Bahamian visa, if the passport holder has no visa for the other country for which they are ticketed? 

If the applicant is transiting or traveling to any other country before the visit to The Bahamas, they must obtain visas for that country first (if applicable).


28. Can a courier service or third party be used to to submit an application for a visa? 

Yes, a courier service or third party be used to submit a visa application, provided that the applicant is physically in the United States of America.


29. If someone travels to The Bahamas on a single ticket, intending to leave the country by other means (private yacht, plane etc.) will they be allowed entry and what sort of proof should they have that they intend to leave the country? 

Someone traveling to The Bahamas on a single ticket, intending to leave the country by other means (private yacht, plane etc.) should have proof that they intend to leave the country by other means in your possession at the time of entry. For example: A letter from the captain of the yacht with docking permission for The Bahamas, or a letter from the captain of the private plane with flight permission, etc.


30. If an airline takes a passenger to The Bahamas who holds an expired passport, will The Bahamas government levy a fine on the airline? 

This is ordinarily what happens in this situation. However, security checks are very stringent at the airport and it is very unlikely that an airline would carry a passenger with an expired passport.


31. Are transit visas required, even if the national does not leave the airport? 

Yes. Visas are issued based on the passport one holds in their possession and not the duration of stay in The Bahamas.

32. Are visas required for The Bahamas if I am visiting by way of cruise ship? 

Yes. Visas are required for entry regardless of the means by which a person enters The Bahamas.


33. I have a diplomatic or special passport. What documents should I present for my visa application? 

Diplomatic and official passports that require visas should be submitted with two passport photographs, travel itinerary and a Diplomatic Note from their Consulate or Embassy.


34. Is there a fee charged for diplomatic or special passports? 

No. Persons with diplomatic and official passports are issued entry visas for The Bahamas gratis (free) once they are accompanied by a Diplomatic Note from the relevant Embassy.


35. Can I send all of the documents for my family in the same packaging? 

Yes! Visas for several family members can be submitted in the same package. However, please ensure that a-fix adequate postage to the pre-paid self-addressed envelope that that accompany your applications so that your documents may be returned to you upon completion.


36. What if I hold a service passport? Do I need to pay the normal visa fees? Also, what documents should I present? 

Visas for Service passports are charged the standard application fess ($55 for single entry, and $65 for multiple entry visas); the documentation required is the same as for an ordinary passport.


37. What are my options for obtaining a visa in the absence of a Bahamas Consulate or embassy in my country of residence? 

In the first instance, you should approach the British Consulate or Embassy in your country of residence to obtain a Bahamas visa.


Nationals, who wish to visit The Bahamas and cannot obtain a visa in their country of residence, for whatever purpose, would have to travel to a Bahamas Consular Office to obtain the visa in person. 


Consular offices for The Bahamas are located in Atlanta, New York, Washington, Miami, Beijing, Atlanta, Port au Prince, and London and Ottawa, Canada. You should contact the Consulates in writing to ascertain the documentation required and procedure involved.


38. I intend to visit The Bahamas by private aircraft or by private vessel; what documentation do I need in order to be landed in The Bahamas? 

Persons who travel to The Bahamas by private aircraft are advised to seek permission from the Civil Aviation Authority at the Nassau International Airport. The telephone contact is 1 242 377 7281.


These persons should ensure that when you contact them you have the following details at hand for reference: 



Persons entering The Bahamas by private vessel, are advised to have a letter of invitation from the owner of the vessel, along with documentary evidence (docking papers, registration slips etc.) that the vessel would be in The Bahamas at the time of your stay. You may also wish speak with an Immigration Official for further clarification – Tel: 1 (242) 322-7530.


39. Can an application for an entry be denied by the Consulate Office? 

Applicants are reminded that each application for a visa is examined individually and according to Bahamas government regulations. The Consulate reserves the right to refuse any visa, or to request any additional documentation where required. Missing documentation may lead to unsuccessful applications and denial of granting the tourist visa for the Bahamas.



Money Matters 

1. What is the exchange rate of the Bahamian dollar? 

The American dollar and the Bahamian dollar operate a system of parity where $1(USD) = $1(BSD).


2. What currency can I use in The Bahamas? 

The Bahamian dollar is the legal tender in The Bahamas; the American dollar is the most accessible currency to obtain from a bank or a bureau de change outside of The Bahamas and is widely accepted throughout The Bahamas Islands as both the Bahamian dollar and American dollar are used interchangeably.


3. Can I leave The Bahamas with Bahamian money? 

The currency of The Bahamas is restricted; therefore it is illegal to depart the country with more than $200 Bahamian dollars in your possession.


4. Can I use traveler’s cheques in The Bahamas? 

Internationally known traveler’s cheques in dollar denominations may be cashed almost anywhere.


5. Can I use credit and debit cards in The Bahamas? 

Yes; major credit cards and most debit cards are acceptable for payment throughout the Islands. In addition, most ATMs on the Islands will offer cash advances from your cards subject to a small fee.


6. What hours can I do my banking? 

Banks in New Providence and Grand Bahama are open from 09:30a.m to 3:00p.m Monday to Thursday and on Fridays until 5:00 p.m; however, on the Family Islands service is often very limited.



Working in The Bahamas 

1. How do I obtain a work permit? 

Work permits must be applied for and obtained from 


Department of Immigration Nassau

Hawkins Hill

P.O. Box N-831,

Nassau, The Bahamas


Tel: 1-242-322-7531

Fax: 1-242-326-0977


2. Can I apply for a work permit while I am in The Bahamas? 

No; work permit applications from persons already in The Bahamas would not be entertained. Applications must be made while you are outside The Bahamas.


3. What are the criteria for a non-Bahamian person to obtain employment in The Bahamas? 

The Bahamas is a small developing country and Government regulations ensure that employment may be only offered to non – Bahamians in posts for which there are no suitably qualified Bahamians. In order to obtain employment as a non – Bahamian, the following criteria must be met:



Fees of varying amounts up to $15,000 (for senior managerial and professional people) are charged if a permit is granted. The same amount is payable upon renewal of the permit annually. If approval is granted the employer will be asked to enter into a bond equivalent to the cost of repatriating the employee.


4. I have specialist skills. Who should I contact to inquire about the availability of jobs in The Bahamas? 

Qualified persons interested in employment with the Government of The Bahamas should write to respective Ministry / Department as follows:


Nurses, Doctors and Kindred Services

Ministry of Health,

P.O. Box N-3730,

Nassau, The Bahamas

Tel: 1-242-322-7425


Teachers, Professors

Ministry of Education,

P.O. Box N-3913,

Nassau, The Bahamas

Tel: 1-242-322-8140

Fax: 1-242-322-8491



Legal and Judicial Services

The Legal Department,

P.O. Box N-3007,

Nassau, The Bahamas

Tel: 1-242-322-1141


Public Works (Water Supplies)

Ministry of Public Works,

P.O. Box N-8156,

Nassau, The Bahamas

Tel: 1-242-322-4831


Radio and Telephone Technicians

Bahamas Telecommunications Corporation

P.O. Box N-3048,

Nassau The Bahamas

Tel: 1-242-323-4911


Administrative, Clerical and Financial

Department of Labour

P.O. Box N-3915,

Nassau, The Bahamas

Tel: 1-242-325-6511


5. How do I apply for a Police Character Certificate? 

Please visit the Government of The Bahamas’ website at: Bahamas Police Character Certificate











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