Entering The Country

Customs & Immigration

U.S. Citizens traveling by air to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda must present a passport or other Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI)-compliant documentation to enter or depart from the United States. It is always strongly recommended that U.S. Citizens verify the specific documents required for their destination country.


For more information about WHTI approved travel documentation, please visit the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) website at www.dhs.gov. For information on obtaining a U.S. passport please go to www.travel.state.gov.


Current Requirements

Upon your arrival to The Islands Of The Bahamas, you will be asked to fill out an Immigration Arrival/Departure Card, which you will keep part of until your departure.


All visitors are required to be in possession of a return ticket.


U.S. citizens staying for eight months or less need a return ticket plus a valid passport.


U.S. permanent residents (green card holders) require a valid green card, along with a valid passport from their place of birth, for visits not exceeding 30 days.


Canadian citizens need one of the three documents: Passport current; Official Birth Certificate for person 17 years and older; or Original Naturalization/Citizenship Certificate, accompanied by a return or onward journey ticket and proof of funds to support the visit.


Stays not exceed 21 days

Note: Persons are advised to purchase return tickets (and seek reimbursement upon returning home for the unused ticket), even when they are certain to return via a private boat—the chance of an airline/cruise line ticket agent allowing travel on a single ticket is very slim. If, however, the person gets to the point Bahamas Immigration on a single ticket, the captain of the boat would have to present himself and the cruising permit. However, a copy of the cruising permit will be permitted for crew members, who may be arriving by plane and returning by boat as their names will appear on the manifest. A letter will not suffice.


British subjects from the United Kingdom and colonies may enter The Islands Of The Bahamas as visitors without passports or visas for periods not exceeding three weeks. For longer stays they must present a passport.


U.S. Residents (Non-citizens)

To enter The Bahamas, U.S. Residents who are not U.S. citizens need the following documentation:


Alien Registration Card (Green Card) along with a valid passport from their country of citizenship.


For visits NOT exceeding 30 days

An original Alien Registration Card is required, along with a valid passport.


For visits exceeding 30 days

A valid passport and a Bahamas Visa are required for U.S. resident non-citizens wishing to stay longer than 30 days.


Please visit the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism’s website for complete travel details at www.bahamasmarinas.com/enteringexiting-policies. Please note that the entry requirements for citizens from various countries may differ.


You may apply for a visa at any of the following offices:


Nassau, Bahamas

The Bahamas Ministry Of Foreign Affairs
Consular Section
Norfolk House, Frederick Street
P.O. Box N-3746
Nassau, Bahamas
Phone: 242-323-5578/5565
Fax: 242-326-6186

USA/Washington, D.C.

Embassy of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas
2220 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20008
Phone: 202-319-2667
Fax: 202-319-2668


Bahamas Consulate General
25 S.E. Second Avenue
Ingraham Bldg., Suite 818
Miami, FL 33131
Phone: 305-373-6295
Fax: 305-373-6312
Telex: 203-807849
E-mail: bcgmia@bellsouth.net


USA/New York

Bahamas Consulate General,
Bahama House
231 East 46th Street
New York, NY 10017
Phone: 212-421-6420
Fax: 212-688-5926
Telex: 2343-2580
E-mail: bahamasconsulate@bahamasny.com


Bahamas High Commission
Metropolitan Life Centre
50 O’Connor, Suite 1313
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1P 6L2
Phone: 613-232-1724
Fax: 613-232-0097
E-mail: ottawa-mission@bahighco.com


Ports of Entry

ABACO: Government Docks at Green Turtle Cay, Marsh Harbour, Sandy Point, Walkers Cay/Grand Cay, Spanish Cay and the Treasure Cay Marina


ANDROS: Government Docks at Congo Town, Fresh Creek, Mangrove Cay, Morgan’s Bluff and San Andros


BERRY ISLANDS: Government Docks at Great Harbour Cay and Great Harbour Cay Marina, and Chub Cay Club Marina


BIMINI: Alice Town


CAT CAY: Cat Cay Club Marina


ELEUTHERA: Government Docks at Governor’s Harbour, North Eleuthera/Harbour Island, Rock Sound, Spanish Wells and Powell Pointe at Cape Eleuthera


EXUMA: Government Docks at George Town

GRAND BAHAMA: Docks at Freeport Bell Channel Marina, Port Lucaya Marina Village, Freeport Harbour, Sunrise Resort & Marina, Xanadu Marina, and Old Bahama and the Government Docks at West End


INAGUA: Government Docks at Matthew Town


LONG ISLAND: Stella Maris Marina


MAYAGUANA: Government Docks at Abraham’s Bay


NEW PROVIDENCE: Arawak Cay, Atlantis Resort and Marina, Bayshore Marina, Brown’s Boat Basin, Clifton Pier, Coral Harbour Marina, East Bay Yacht Basin, Hurricane Hole Marina, John Alfred Dock, Kelly’s Dock, Lyford Cay Marina, Nassau Harbour Dock West, and Union Dock


OCEAN CAY: Ocean Cay Dock


SAN SALVADOR: Cockburn Town


Arriving by Air/Returning by Boat

Travelers are advised to purchase return tickets (and seek reimbursement upon returning home for the unused ticket) even when they are certain to return via private boat. However, if the traveller arrives at Bahamas Immigration on a single ticket, the owner/operator of the boat must present himself/herself and the vessel’s cruising permit. A copy of the cruising permit will be permitted for crew members who may be arriving by plane and returning by boat as their names will appear on the manifest. A letter will not suffice.


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 will come to your vessel. Everyone on board must have proof of citizenship and fill out an immigration card. U.S. 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.


Entry Fees

All boaters entering the Islands Of The Bahamas are required to pay an entry fee. For boats up to 35’, the fee is $150.00. For Boats over 35’, the fee is $300.00. The fees will cover:


  • Cruising Permit
  • Fishing Permit
  • Departure Tax for up to three (3) persons. Each additional person above three will be charged a $25 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.


Entering U.S. Ports

When a private vessel arrives at a port of call in the United States, the Master or Captain of the vessel must report their arrival immediately upon first landfall to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) by calling the following toll free number: 1 800 432 1216. The Captain will then be directed to the nearest Port of Entry and must physically present themselves and their passengers for admission to the U.S. Please visit www.dhs.gov for admission requirements.


Only the master or owner of the vessel may disembark to make his report of arrival. All others must remain on board until clearance has been granted.


When you call for clearance, have the following information available:


  • Vessel name and registration/document number
  • Vessel owner name and citizenship
  • Vessel commander/master name, date of birth, and citizenship
  • Passengers names and dates of birth
  • Foreign ports or places visited and purchases made
  • Customs User Fee decal number, if one has been issued


Please note rules and regulations are always subject to change visit:
www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel_boats for additional information and updates.


Bringing Your Pet

An Import Permit is required for all animals being brought into The Islands Of The Bahamas. These are available in advance for a $10 fee for each animal. Write to the Director of Agriculture and Marine Resources, P.O. Box N-3704, Nassau, Bahamas, Tel: (242) 325-7502. Dogs and cats must be six months of age and have current proof of vaccination and a health certificate. A request must be made in writing to the Director of Agriculture and Marine Resources, P. O. Box N-3704, Nassau, Bahamas.


For information please visit: www.bahamas.gov.bs/.



If you have a firearm on board, you must declare it with Customs. You must provide the serial number and manufacturer, plus an exact count of ammunition. Though you are allowed to have a firearm on your boat, you can not take it off the boat unless you obtain a permit from the Bahamian police ahead of time. Weapons must be under lock and key at all times. Any infraction of this law is dealt with severely.


Replacement Parts

Spare parts and replacement boat parts may be brought in duty free, as long as the boat they are intended for has a transire (cruising permit). Equipment shipped in cargo will be subject to a 10% – 35% government stamp duty tax based on the value and type of parts being brought in. Items should be marked: FOR MARINE USE ONLY.

For information visit: www.bahamas.gov.bs/customs.