Entry & Exit Requirements: The Bahamas
All Individuals, regardless of age, must have their own passport when traveling internationally by air.
All U.S. citizens are required to present a valid U.S. passport in order to enter The Bahamas, as well as to enter or re-enter the United States when traveling by air. U.S. citizens do not need visas for short trips to The Bahamas for tourist/business purposes, however, Bahamian regulations require that air passengers entering for tourism have a round trip ticket. Travelers should be prepared to show return/onward travel arrangements to immigration authorities if requested. Passengers arriving with one way tickets could be denied entry.
American citizens traveling to The Bahamas by sea on private watercraft or most commercial vessels must have a valid passport.
Those traveling by sea on an officially-designated “closed-loop cruise”: If you are a U.S. citizen and you board a commercial cruise ship at a U.S. port, travel only within the Western Hemisphere, and return to the same U.S. port on the same ship, you may present government-issued photo identification, along with proof of citizenship (an original certified copy of your birth certificate, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, or a Certificate of Naturalization). Check with your cruise line to ensure you have the appropriate documents.
Please be aware that you may still be required to present a passport if you wish to extend your visit in the Bahamas or in case of an unforeseen emergency that requires a cruise passenger to disembark and return by air.
U.S. citizens in need of an emergency passport for return to the United States should contact the Embassy at 322-1181 ext. 4406 or 4574 during normal business hours.
We strongly encourage all U.S. citizens to apply for a passport book or passport card well in advance of anticipated travel. You can visit the Department of State website or call 1-877-4USA-PPT (1-877-487-2778) for information on how to apply for passports.
If you are planning on an extended stay, be prepared to present evidence of financial solvency upon entry to The Bahamas.
Visit or call the Embassy of The Bahamas for the most current visa information.
Embassy of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas
2220 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008
Minors traveling unaccompanied or accompanied by a guardian or chaperone:
The Bahamas requires compliance with regulations to divert child abduction. Any child traveling without one of the parents as listed upon the birth certificate must have a letter from the absent parent granting permission for the child to travel. This should be sworn before a notary public and signed by the absent parent(s). If the parent is deceased a certified death certificate may be necessary.
It is advisable to have the minor carry a written notarized consent letter from both parents (if both are listed on the child’s certificate of birth) before sending your child to travel as a minor with a guardian or chaperone.
The Bahamian Ministry of Health states there are no travel restrictions for persons with HIV entering The Bahamas.
Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page.
Customs: The Bahamian customs authorities enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation or exportation of firearms. Officials have arrested and sentenced to stiff penalties U.S. citizens entering the country with firearms or ammunition. The Embassy advises contacting the Embassy of The Bahamas in Washington, D.C. or one of the Bahamian consulates in the U.S. for specific information regarding customs requirements. Tourists arriving by private boat may seek permission to declare firearms to Bahamian Customs but must leave them secured on the boat for the duration of their stay.
Private Vessels:To Enter the Islands of The Bahamas Private Vessels need the following:
- One (1) copy of The Bahamas Customs Clearance Form
- One (1) Bahamas Immigration Card per person
- Proof of Citizenship - Passport
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.
Bahamas Customs and Immigration officials 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.
Vessels with Weapons, Firearms or Ammunition Aboard:
A pleasure vessel entering The Bahamas shall be allowed to import a maximum of three (3) firearms inclusive of handguns, rifles, and shotguns, which such calibre of firearms shall not exceed three hundred and eight (308) calibres. Two hundred fifty (250) rounds of ammunition are allowed per firearm. You must provide the serial number, 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. However, for opened center console vessels, if a firearm is on board such a vessel, The Royal Bahamas Police Force will detain the weapon until the vessel's departure. In cases of emergencies, which require 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 and The Bahamas has recently increased both the penalties and sentencing for violators of local firearm laws.
Entering and Exiting with Cash or Negotiable Instruments:
While it is legal to transport any amount of currency or other monetary instruments into or out of the United States, a traveler entering or exiting the U.S. with an amount exceeding USD $10,000 - or its foreign equivalent – must file with CBP prior to departure FinCen Form 105, Report of International Transportation of Currency or Monetary Instruments.
According to the Currency and Foreign Transaction Reporting Act, if a traveler asks someone to carry currency or monetary instruments on his/her behalf and the full amount exceeds $10,000 then the traveler is required to report the total amount to CBP. This means that you may not give unreported money to any other individual to transport for you if the total amount exceeds $10,000 unless you declare you are the owner of the currency when going through customs.
Failure to declare the total amount of cash carried in or out of TCIS may lead to seizure of all cash or negotiable instruments and may subject you to legal proceedings and/or criminal prosecution.
You should be aware that long-line fishing in Bahamian waters is illegal. All long-line fishing gear must be stowed below deck while transiting through Bahamian waters. Fishermen should note that the Bahamian Government imposes significant penalties for catching crawfish (lobster) or other marine life out of season, taking undersized catch, or fishing in protected areas.
Wildlife and Sealife:
The Bahamian Government requires a special license for hunting certain types of fowl. All other hunting is prohibited in The Bahamas. A number of endangered and/or protected species reside in The Bahamas. You should not disturb, harass, or otherwise threaten wildlife, including species that may be hunted in the U.S. Americans have been arrested and prosecuted in The Bahamas for hunting, capturing, or even disturbing protected animals, including reptiles and birds. It is also illegal to damage or remove any sea life from the ocean and coral reefs. Additional information is available from the Bahamian Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources.
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