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INFORMATION FOR NON-BAHAMIANS

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BRINGING IN PETS

Sanitary Requirement

The Department of Agriculture is responsible for the import of animals and animal products into The Bahamas under the Animal Contagious Diseases Act and the Wildlife Conservation and Trade Act. These Acts state that a permit is required for the import of any animal and most animal products into The Bahamas.

The Bahamas is a Party to several international environmental and trade agreements including the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Plants and Animals (CITES), the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and must meet our obligations to them.

The Veterinary Services of the Department is currently reviewing and revising all of our import requirements, fees and conditions at this time as a part of our continuing effort to keep abreast of changes in technology and recommendations by the International Standard Setting Bodies (ISSBs) such as the World Animal Health organization (OIE) and also as The Bahamas is seeking to join the WTO.

All inquiries with regards to sanitary requirements or applications should be directed to:

Director of Agriculture
Department of Agriculture
Darville’s Business Complex
Gladstone and Munnings Roads
PO Box N 3028
Nassau, New Providence
The Bahamas
Tel: (242) 397-7450/325-7438
Fax: (242) 325-3960
E-mail: [email protected]

An import permit is required for the import of dogs and cats and must accompany the animal at the time of import .All conditions listed on the permit must be satisfied or the animal may be refused entry or confiscated and disposed of as a disease risk. Currently, the application processing fee for a dog or cat is for US $10.00 plus 12% VAT bringing the total cost to $11.20. A veterinary health certificate is required at the time of import which should include certification that the animal is healthy, has an active immunity against rabies and satisfies all other health requirements.

Permits

 

MEDICATION

Prescription medication is permissible to The Bahamas; however a medical note may be required. For information on travelling to The Bahamas with prescribed narcotics and carrying  medications with over 30-day supply, please contact the Chief Medical Officer at the following address:

Ministry of Health

Poinciana Building Meeting & Augusta Street
P. O. Box N 3730
Nassau, N.P., The Bahamas

Email: [email protected]
Phone: (242)502-4700 (242)502-4877
Fax: (242)502-4711
(242)325-5421 (Min)

Canadian residents with prescription for medical marijuana cannot take the drug to The Bahamas because it is illegal. Export of medical marijuana from Canada is also illegal, for more information on travelling from Canada with cannabis, please see the link below.

Travelling with cannabis

SHIPPING HUMAN REMAINS TO THE BAHAMAS

1. REQUIREMENTS TO SHIP HUMAN REMAINS

(i) The body must be properly embalmed, and must be encased in both a casket and an outside shipping box or tray.
(ii) A funeral home in The Bahamas must be notified prior to shipment. Special attention is drawn to Section 9 of the Coroners Act, Chapter 37 Statue Law of The Bahamas which states: – “When the dead body of any person is brought within any port or place within the colony, the coroner of the district where the body may be, shall, if necessary inquire concerning the death of the person in the same manner and with the same powers as if the person has died within the coroner’s district, although the death or cause of death may have occurred beyond the limits of the district or beyond the colony.”

2. DOCUMENTS REQUIRED*

To satisfy the requirements of Section 9 of the above act, the undertaker shipping human remains from abroad to The Bahamas, is required to include in the documentation:

(i) A death certificate signed by a registered Medical Practitioner;
(ii) Three (3) certified copies of death certificate and a statement issued by the local Health authority declaring that death was not due to an infectious disease, and that no epidemic exists at place of death;
(iii) A document from the Police in whose area or district the death took place stating that there is no police objection to the body being exported. Where there was an investigation into the death, copy of the outcome of the investigation must accompany the body;
(iv) Transit permit as required in the Province where shipment is effected;
(vi) A notarized statement from the Mortician, describing the embalming and stating that the casket contains only the body of the deceased named on the death certificate and burial clothing;
(vii) An Airway Bill.

*All Canadian-issued documents must be legalized or authenticated by The Bahamas High Commission in Ottawa, Canada.

3. ARRIVAL OF HUMAN REMAINS TO THE BAHAMAS

(i) Once the body arrives in The Bahamas, the receiving undertaker must submit all the requested documentation to the Police in Nassau, so that the coroner may be informed, in compliance with the requirements of Section 9 of the Coroners Act.
(ii) When the Commissioner of Police is satisfied with the produced documents, he will issue a certificate releasing the body to the undertaker.

4. FEES

(i) The shipper would normally pay freight charges or a fee can be included in the clearing and handling charges on destination end.
(ii) This fee may vary depending on the place of departure. An additional charge is added if human remains have to be shipped to a Family Island.

PROCEDURE FOR IMPORTING CREMATED HUMAN REMAINS TO THE BAHAMAS

Persons wishing to import cremated remains into The Bahamas must:
(i) Provide a death certificate, which is legible and in English;
(ii) Provide a cremation certificate;
(iii) Write a letter of request for such import to the Chief Medical Officer at the following address:

Ministry of Health

Poinciana Building Meeting & Augusta Street
P. O. Box N 3730
Nassau, N.P., The Bahamas
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (242)502-4700 (242)502-4877
Fax: (242)502-4711
(242)325-5421 (Min)

The letter should include the name of the carrier on which the remains would be transported, the date and time of arrival in The Bahamas.

The Office of the Chief Medical Officer will then prepare a document for Bahamas Customs.

For persons wishing to scatter remains in The Bahamas, the above procedure should be followed, as well as a permit for the scattering of the ashes should be sought from the Chief Medical Officer. In your letter you should also include where you intend to scatter the remains. Letters of request can be mailed or faxed to the address of the Chief Medical Officer as stated above.

YELLOW FEVER VACCINATION REQUIREMENTS

A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for travelers over one (1) year old arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and travelers who have recently visited or have transited more than 12 hours through the airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.

Africa: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, chad, Congo. Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sao Tome and Principe, South Sudan, Somalia, Sudan, Togo, Uganda and United Republic of Tanzania.

South America: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela

Persons exempted from taking the vaccine must have documented proof of exemption from the vaccination. These include:

  • Children less than 12 months of age and persons over 60 years of age
  • Persons allergic to any component of the vaccine
  • Persons with severe immune-compromising medical conditions

Yellow fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic disease that is endemic in tropical areas of Africa and Latin America. Cases can be difficult to distinguish from other viral hemorrhagic fevers such as arenavirus, hantavirus or dengue. Symptoms of yellow fever usually appear 3 to 6 days after the bite of an infected mosquito. In the initial phase, they include fever, muscle pain, headache, shivers, loss of appetite, and nausea or vomiting. For most patients, these symptoms disappear after 3 to 4 days. However, 15% of patients enter a second, more toxic phase within 24 hours of the initial remission. High fever returns, and several body systems are affected, including the kidneys. Half of patients who enter this toxic phase die within 10 to 14 days, while the rest recover without significant organ damage. Treatment is symptomatic, aimed at reducing symptoms for the comfort of the patient. Vaccination is the most important preventive measure against yellow fever. The vaccine is safe, affordable and highly effective, providing effective immunity within 30 days for 99% of those vaccinated. A single dose is sufficient to confer sustained immunity and life-long protection, with no need for a booster.

PERSONS WITH A CRIMINAL RECORD

Persons with criminal records or on parole, who intend to visit The Bahamas, 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
Email: [email protected]

The letter should include the following information:

1. Date of entry and exit to and from the Bahamas
2. Anticipated length of visit
3. Details of accommodation (private address or hotel / villa)
4. Details of conviction – i.e. sentence, time served and current status
5. Documentary proof of termination of sentence or pardon
6. Copies of the bibliographical pages of subject’s passport.

PERSONNES AYANT LE CASIER JUIDICIARE

Les personnes ayant le casier judiciaire ou ayant obtenu la libération conditionnelle, qui veulent voyager aux Bahamas, doivent écrire au Directeur de l’Immigration, à l’adresse suivante, afin d’avoir du conseil et de l’éclaircissements :

Classified Registry Section
Immigration Department
P.O. Box N – 831
Nassau the Bahamas
Tel: 1 242 322 7530
Adresse courriel : [email protected]

La lettre doit contenir les informations suivantes :

1. La date d ’entrée aux et de sortie des Bahamas
2. La durée de la visite prévue
3. Les détails sur le logement (l’adresse privée ou de l’hôtel / villa)
4. Les détails sur la condamnation – c.-à-d. La peine, la durée de l’incarcération et
le statut actuel
5. La preuve documentaire au niveau de l’expiration du mandat ou du pardon
6. Une photocopie de la page des renseignements personnels du passeport du sujet

 

APPLYING FOR A SHORT TERM WORK PERMIT

Any non-Bahamian national wishing to work in The Bahamas for up to 90 days must obtain a short term work permit/visa from the Department of Immigration.  If the work position is one which exceeds a period longer than this, non-Bahamian nationals must obtain a long term work permit/visa.

Work permit applications may only be submitted on behalf of the non-Bahamian national by the employer sponsoring the worker.

 Process

1. Employer must complete appropriate application form
2. Prepare letter of request
3. Attach the completed application form to the letter of request and other supporting documents
4. Visit the Department of Immigration in Nassau, New Providence; Freeport, Grand Bahama; or any Family Island.

For the processes and supporting documents, please click here

APPLYING FOR A LONG TERM WORK PERMIT

Non-Bahamian nationals who desire to work and live in The Bahamas for a period greater than 90 days, must first be authorized to do so by way of a valid work permit/visa issued by the Department of Immigration. Persons wishing to work for up to 90 days must apply for a short term work permit/visa.

Process

  1. Complete the application form.
  2. Form to be completed by a Notary Public (affix a BS $10.00 postage stamp or BS $10.00) .
  3. Attach the completed and notarized form to the supporting documents and submit to the Department of Immigration.

For the processes and supporting documents, please click here

RESIDING IN THE BAHAMAS

Non-Bahamian nationals who wish to live in The Bahamas for any purpose other than working in the Bahamas, must seek authorization from the Department of Immigration. The following are the three categories of residing in The Bahamas without working:

  • Annual Permit to Reside
  • Home Owners Resident Card
  • Resident Spouse Permit

Annual Permit to Reside

Non-Bahamians who are eligible to apply for the Annual Permit to Reside are the following:

  • Attending school, college or university; or
  • A dependent of someone who is legally authorized to reside in the Bahamas, Bahamian or non-Bahamian. (Dependents may be spouses, or children under the age of 18)

For the application form and processes, please click on the  Annual Permit to Reside.

Home Owners Resident Card

Non-Bahamians who own property on any of the islands of The Bahamas should be able to enjoy hassle-free travel through the Bahamas. However, this is not automatic, and must be applied for through the Department of Immigration. Persons who are eligible for the Home Owners Resident Card  are owners of property in The Bahamas worth US$1.5 million.

For the application form and processes, please click on the Home Owners Resident Card.

Resident Spouse Permit

Foreigners who are married to Bahamian nationals or living together with a Bahamian as husband and wife, may be eligible for a Resident Spouse Permit. This permit allows spouses of Bahamians to legally live and work in The Bahamas, provided that they live with their Bahamian spouse and have been married for less than five years, at time of application. Please note that once five years of marriage have passed, the non-Bahamian spouse may apply for extension of Resident Spouse Permit, citizenship or permanent residency.

For the application form and processes, please click on the Resident Spouse Permit.

Permanent Resident Permit

Permanent residence is a status issued to an individual for the duration of his/her life, unless revoked. This permit gives him/her the right to live and or work, but not the right to vote in The Bahamas.

Eligibility

  • The following categories of persons may apply for permanent residence:
  • Spouse of a Bahamian after 5 years of marriage, and whose marriage is subsisting and the couple cohabiting as husband and wife
  • Persons born legitimately outside of The Bahamas to a married woman, who is a citizen of The Bahamas, and whose husband is not a citizen of The Bahamas.
  • Financially independent individuals or investors who are legitimate owners of a residence in The Bahamas – please note that persons purchasing a residence
  • Other requirements

For more information and processes, please click on Permanent Resident Permit.

APPLYING FOR CITIZENSHIP

Automatic Bahamian citizenship is given to persons who are:

  • Born in The Bahamas to married parents, with either parents being a Bahamian citizen
  • Born to an unmarried Bahamian female in or outside of The Bahamas
  • Born outside of The Bahamas to a married Bahamian male who was not born outside The Bahamas
  • Adopted by a married Bahamian male
  • Adopted by a single Bahamian female.

All other foreign nationals who wish to be afforded the rights, responsibilities, and privileges afforded to Bahamians, and qualify, must apply for citizenship.

For more information, please click here

For additional information, please call the High Commission