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Bahamas – Residency

The Bahamas is a beautiful island nation located in the Caribbean that is known for its warm climate, stunning beaches, and vibrant culture. To live and work in the Bahamas, foreign nationals need to obtain residency status. There are different types of residency available, depending on the length of stay and the purpose of the visit.

Types of Residency in the Bahamas

Permanent Residency

Permanent residency is suitable for individuals who plan to live and work in the Bahamas indefinitely. Permanent residency can be granted to foreign nationals who have lived in the Bahamas for at least 20 years with a valid permit, or who have a close family member who is a citizen or permanent resident of the Bahamas.

To obtain permanent residency, foreign nationals must meet the eligibility criteria, which include having a clean criminal record and a good reputation in the community. They must also demonstrate their financial means to support themselves and their dependents, as well as provide proof of health insurance coverage.

Homeowner’s Residency

Homeowner’s residency is suitable for individuals who own a home or property in the Bahamas and wish to stay for an extended period of time. This type of residency can be granted for up to five years and can be renewed for additional periods of five years.


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To obtain homeowner’s residency, foreign nationals must provide proof of ownership of a home or property in the Bahamas, as well as evidence of their financial means to support themselves and their dependents.

Annual Residency

Annual residency is suitable for individuals who wish to stay in the Bahamas for a short period of time. This type of residency can be granted for up to nine months and can be renewed for additional periods of nine months.

To obtain annual residency, foreign nationals must provide evidence of their financial means to support themselves during their stay, as well as proof of health insurance coverage.

Applying for Residency in the Bahamas

The process for applying for residency in the Bahamas varies depending on the type of residency that is being sought. In general, the process involves the following steps:

  1. Determine the appropriate type of residency based on the purpose of the visit and the eligibility criteria.
  2. Prepare the application and the required documents, which can include evidence of financial means, health insurance coverage, criminal background check, and medical examination.
  3. Submit the application and the required documents to the Bahamas Department of Immigration.
  4. Pay the application fee, which varies depending on the type of residency that is being sought.

The processing time for residency applications can vary depending on the type of residency and the volume of applications, but it can take several months.

Documents Required for Residency in the Bahamas

To apply for residency in the Bahamas, foreign nationals must provide a number of documents, including:

  • Valid passport
  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage certificate, if applicable
  • Criminal background check
  • Medical examination
  • Proof of financial means
  • Proof of health insurance coverage
  • Proof of property ownership, if applying for homeowner’s residency

It is important to note that these requirements can vary depending on the type of residency that is being sought. Applicants should consult the Bahamas Department of Immigration for detailed information.

Registration in the Bahamas

Upon arrival in the Bahamas, foreign nationals are required to register with the Department of Immigration within seven days. This registration process is mandatory and helps the government keep track of the foreign population in the country.

Foreign nationals must also obtain a work permit or business license in order to work or conduct business in the Bahamas.

Information on Residence in the Bahamas

For reliable, up-to-date information on residency in the Bahamas, expats can consult the following websites:

  1. The official website of the Bahamas Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration: https://www.mofa.gov.bs/

  2. The official website of the Bahamas Investment Authority: https://bia.bahamas.com/immigration/

  3. The official website of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas: https://www.bahamas.com/


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