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Immigration and Visas

The Bahamas - Immigration and Visas

Some people will need a visa in order to enter the Bahamas but this will depend on the country of origin. The best way to determine if you require a visa to visit the country is to check with the Bahamian embassy in your home country. For those who plan to live and/or work in the Bahamas there are a number of requirements which must be met before a visa will be issued. Regulations are subject to change so it is advisable to get the latest details from the Bahamian authorities.

Finding work in the Bahamas is not easy. The authorities will not issue a work permit for a foreign worker if a skilled Bahamian worker can do the same job. Most companies can get around this rule with clever wording, but an expat seeking a position in a bar or hotel will find that they will be turned away in favour of a Bahamian. Menial positions such as farm work are usually shunned by the Bahamian people and these jobs are normally taken from immigrants from Haiti. Some of the regulations in place are intended to clamp down on the number of illegal immigrants working in the country and companies who employ staff illegally are fined heavily.

Companies who have a vacancy have to advertise locally first. If they are unsuccessful in filling the position they must then request permission from the Department of Immigration before they are able to advertise overseas. Prospective applicants must then prove with documentation that they are properly qualified for the position.

Work permits incur fees which vary for the different types of job. When applying for a work permit the exact amount that you must pay will be clarified. The average permit issued is for a period of one year, although some temporary permits are issued for shorter periods of time.

For those who do not wish to work in the country but would like permanent residency is relatively easy. Very wealthy people who purchase property worth over $250,000 are almost guaranteed approval. Other criteria include being married to a Bahamian resident or being economically independent. When the application is made documentation which provides evidence for your grounds for application will be required.

Those who have a criminal record will not be allowed to reside permanently in the Bahamas and all applicants (those who do not require a work permit) must show that they are able to support themselves financially.

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Expat Health Insurance Partners

Bupa Global

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