TRAVELLING/LIVING IN CANADA
To visit or transit through Canada, Bahamians will need to obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) at a cost of CAN$7.00.
For more information on the eTA, please click here.
Bahamians transiting through the United States to travel to Canada WILL REQUIRE an entry visa for the United States.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada is the federal government body that oversees all forms of travel to Canada. It is recommended that Bahamians obtain more information from the CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION CANADA website before embarking on any travel to Canada.
Bahamians visiting Canada require:
- Valid Bahamian passport
- Confirmed return ticket
- Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) – For more information on applying for the eTA, visit Canadian Immigration and Citizenship.
There are private companies who advertise assistance for obtaining eTAs for an extra fee. Exercise caution when using such companies. Companies offering this service DO NOT operate on behalf of the Canadian government.
Information on acquiring eTA can be obtained on the following website:
Border services officers watch for missing children, and may ask detailed questions about any minors travelling with you.
We recommend that parents who share custody of their children carry copies of their legal custody documents, such as custody rights. If you share custody and the other parent is not travelling with you, or if you are travelling with minors for whom you are not the parent or legal guardian, we recommend you carry a consent letter to provide authorization for you to take them on a trip and enter Canada.
A consent letter must include the custodial parents’ or legal guardians’ full name, address and telephone number. Some travellers choose to have the consent letter notarized, to further support its authenticity, especially if they are undertaking a significant trip and want to avoid any delay.
When travelling with a group of vehicles, parents or guardians should arrive at the border in the same vehicle as their children or any minors they are accompanying.
Source of information: CBSA website http://www.cbsa.gc.ca/travel-voyage/td-dv-eng.html
Under the National Animal Health Program, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) establishes import requirements for all animals and animal products entering Canada- including domestic pets.
These requirements apply to:
- animals entering Canada permanently
- animals in transit through Canada on their way to a final destination
- animals entering Canada for a temporary visit
The CBSA can refuse entry to animals presented for importation. The Agency may also confiscate any undeclared animals, including family pets, so please make sure to declare all animals upon entry into Canada and possess any required permits/certificates for their entry. Failure to do so may also result in a penalty. The CBSA may also detain animals suspected of being sick or infected with a pest or disease. It is always a good idea to check the health of your pet before any long trip to make sure it is fit to travel.
Import and Travel Requirements by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency
If the animal you wish to import is not listed as an animal commonly brought into Canada on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) website, please refer to the CFIA’s Automated Import Reference System (AIRS), which provides information on import requirements for all regulated commodities.
If a veterinary inspection is required, travellers must contact the CFIA Animal Health Office closest to the port of entry they intend to arrive at before travelling to Canada, to arrange for a veterinary inspection appointment. The results from the CFIA inspection must be made available to the CBSA before the animals can be released into Canada.
Pets such as parrots, finches, songbirds, turtles, snakes and other reptiles, and small wild cats, such as hybrid Savannah cats, are frequently subject to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) controls. Travellers are responsible for determining if their pet is subject to CITES controls and ensuring that they possess the appropriate CITES permits/certificates for importing them into Canada.
Source of information: CBSA website http://www.cbsa.gc.ca/travel-voyage/td-dv-eng.html
A criminal record file consists of an individual’s criminal charges, convictions and discharges, as well as fingerprint information. It includes fingerprints if the individual was charged or convicted.
Criminal Record check: This process verifies whether an individual has a criminal record and provides the applicant with the detailed information that can be legally disclosed.
Vulnerable Sector (VS) check: This process verifies whether an individual has a criminal record, as well as any record suspensions (formerly pardons) for sexual offences and local police records for information relevant to the VS check. The information that can be legally disclosed is provided to the applicant.
Information on the procedures involved in obtaining this document can be found on the RCMP website.
Source: http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/en/criminal-record-and-vulnerable-sector-checks. Retrieved on 2018.01.31
How to Obtain Canadian Driver’s License
In Canada, different Provinces have different rules governing types and issuance of driver’s licence. In that regard, it would be advisable to check the website of the Ministry of Transportation of the Province where you reside or intend to reside.
A Bahamian applying for a Class G or Class M licence (to drive cars and small trucks, etc.) must:
- Be at least 16 years old at the time of application.
- Successfully complete a knowledge test about the rules of the road and traffic signs.
- Meet the vision standards established by the Ministry of Transportation (MTO).
- Successfully complete one or two road tests (Class G2 and/or Class G), depending on the method chosen to obtain licence.
- Present acceptable identification, and supporting documentation.
Acceptable Identification includes:
- valid Bahamian driver’s license
The licence must include an expiry date or include wording that confirms the licence does not expire. If the licence does not have an issue date or expiry date (not both), applicant may still be eligible to receive up to 12 months of driving experience upon application.
- valid government issued identification (passport)
- Driver’s license authentication letter
Reduction in driver’s licensing requirements
Bahamian Nationals residing in Canada (study, work, permanent resident) with a valid Bahamian driver’s license may use previous driving history as credit toward obtaining a Canadian driver’s license. Previous driving experience may be acknowledged through a reduction in driver’s licensing requirements. However, applicant must successfully complete steps mandated by province before obtaining a Canadian licence. In this regard, the Bahamian may be required to obtain a letter of authentication, which attests to the driving history of the applicant.
Applicants claiming more than 12 months of previous driving experience, must provide an original letter of authentication to gain credit for all that experience. Failure to provide letter of authentication, will result in the acquisition of credit for only 12 months of driving experience. Requirements may vary for each Province.
Letter of Authentication
- May be acquired from the Embassy, Consulate or High Commissioner’s Office representing the originating jurisdiction, OR from the jurisdiction that originally issued the licence, validating the authenticity of the licence.
- Must be on the originator’s official letterhead paper.
- Must be dated no more than 6 months prior to application date.
- Must clearly state that it is certifying the duration of the applicant’s driving experience and that the licence to which it refers is valid – the licence cannot be expired or suspended.
Source: https://drivetest.ca/licences/licence-exchanges/foreign-licence-experience-credits.html. Retrieved on 3.01.2018
How to Apply for Letter of Authentication
Letter of Authentication may be requested at The Bahamas High Commission – Ottawa.
To apply, applicants must courier:
- Cover Letter (include full name, email address, and telephone number)
- Copy of valid Driver’s License
- Copy of Driving History Report (can be requested at The Bahamas Road Traffic Department)
- Money Order/Bank Draft – US$20.00
- The processing fee must be the EXACT amount and only in U.S. dollars in the form of a bank cheque, a bank money order or a postal money order, made payable to The Bahamas High Commission. The Bahamas High Commission will NOT accept Canadian currency, cash, personal or business cheques or credit cards.
- Prepaid courier envelope to return documents.