Arriving by Air
Upon arrival in The Bahamas, you will be asked to fill out a Bahamian Immigration Card. This is usually available onboard your flight, but you can find them in the immigration area at the writing desks. You'll go through Bahamian Immigration at this point, and your passport will be stamped and marked for the number of days you are allowed to stay in the Bahamas. (This information is taken from your immigration card). Once you are through immigration, pick up your luggage at the marked carousel. Bahamian Customs agents are waiting for inspection nearby. Most agents just flag you through, some ask if you have anything to declare. This process is very quick. Most days the entire process takes less than half an hour.
Arriving by Boat
Visiting boaters must clear Customs and Immigration at the nearest designated Port of Entry. As you enter each port, fly the yellow quarantine flag and notify Customs of your arrival. Only the captain is permitted to leave the boat until your vessel has been cleared.
Customs and Immigration officials will come to your vessel. Everyone on board must have proof of citizenship and fill out an immigration card. US citizens must present a passport. Before leaving The Islands of The Bahamas, be sure to surrender your copy of the immigration card at the last Bahamian port you visit.
If you have a firearm on board (shotguns and handguns only), you must declare it with Bahamian Customs. You must provide the serial number and the name of the manufacturer, plus an exact count of ammunition. While you are allowed to have a firearm on your boat, you cannot remove it. Weapons must be under lock and key at all times. In case of an emergency that requires your departure by air, you must notify Bahamian Police or Customs. They will accompany you to retrieve the firearm and present you with a receipt. Upon your return to the island, Bahamian Police or Customs will escort you to your vessel and return your firearm. Any infraction of this law will be dealt with severely.
All boaters entering the Bahamas are required to pay an entry fee. For boats up to 30 feet, the fee is $150.00. For boats over 30 feet, the fee is $300.00. (Fees are subject to change.) The fees will cover (1) cruising permit, (2) fishing permit and (3) departure tax for up to three persons. Each additional person above three will be charged a $20 departure tax. This fee is good for a second re-entry within a 90-day period. If you plan to stay longer than 12 months, special arrangements must be made with Bahamas Customs and Immigration. Bahamas Customs and Immigration office hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Officers are on call during holidays and weekends. There is no overtime charge.
US Citizens: A valid passport is required. A visa is required for stays exceeding eight months.
US Residents (non-citizens): An Alien Registration Card (Green Card) AND a valid passport from their country of citizenship are required.
For visits EXCEEDING 30 days, a valid passport AND a Bahamas visa are required.
Canadian Citizens: A valid passport is required for proof of citizenship. Voter registration cards, birth certificates and photo identifications are no longer accepted as proof of citizenship.
A Bahamas visa is required for stays exceeding three months.
United Kingdom Citizens: Citizens of the United Kingdom and colonies require a valid passport. A visa is required for stays exceeding eight months.
Travelling with Pets
If you wish to travel with your pet, an import permit is required for all animals being brought into The Bahamas. Applications for these permits must be made in advance of your arrival, in writing to the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources in Nassau. Customs duty and fees may apply.