Moving To Bahamas

The Bahamas is a Caribbean nation consisting of 3000 islands and cays, known for its white sand and pink sand beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant culture. It’s a popular destination for beachgoers, divers, and other tourists. The capital, Nassau, features colonial architecture and bustling Bahamian markets.

Officially known as the Commonwealth of Bahamas this island nation is a part of the Lucayan Archipelago. The earliest inhabitants of the Bahamas were the Arawakan speaking Arawak and Lucayan people.

Moving to The Bahamas from the USA can be an exciting transition. However, having a detail oriented moving plan in place will help you to handle the challenges of an international relocation.

Moving to Bahamas from USA

The International Sea & Air Shipping Advantages

An international relocation is filled with challenging steps to tackle. First of all the packing of your household goods and other belongings and moving them to an entirely new location can be confusing. Then there is the legal process involved with the move that you need to take care of – all in all, there are a lot of things to process.

At International Sea & Air Shipping we have extensive experience in offering bespoke international relocation services across the globe. With us, you can look forward to customised moving services that will cover A-to-Z for your international relocation to The Bahamas from the USA.

We have an experienced team who will make sure that all moving services like packing your household goods, choosing the right container, and freight services are done properly and on time to avoid any last minute hazards. We will also provide valuable advice on the cost of relocation with our free moving quotations.

So, call us today for your move to the Bahamas from the USA, take advantage of our free moving quote and let us surprise you with a hassle-free international relocation.

About the Bahamas

Officially referred to as the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, the collection of islands is located in the Atlantic Ocean, just north of Cuba and Hispaniola. As part of the Lucayan Archipelago, the Bahamas is not too far from the southeast of Florida and the Turks and Caicos Islands. The country used to be a British Crown colony but became an independent commonwealth in 1973.

The Bahamas’ economy is highly dependent on tourism and finance, which combine to make it one of the richest countries in North and South America, right behind the U.S. and Canada. Tourism, of course, plays the largest part in the nation’s gross domestic product, as it features countless resorts and vacation destinations. In fact, it accounts for over 60% of the country’s GDP.

Part of the reason the Bahamas is such a popular vacation spot is its beautiful beaches and its tropical climate. With little difference in temperatures between the summer and winter months, the Bahamas experiences wonderful, warm weather for long periods of time.

Customs Regulations for the Bahamas

When importing goods into the Bahamas, there are several documents you must submit to Customs Entry Checking. Here are some of the important ones you’ll need:

  • Valid passport/driver’s license
  • Home Consumption Entry Form
  • Declaration of Value form
  • Invoices for new items
  • Shipping documents, including Bill of Lading or Airway Bill
  • Valid business license (for businesses)

The Bahamas allows new residents to bring limited amounts of particular items into the commonwealth. These regulations include:

  • 200 cigarettes
  • 50 cigars
  • 1lb of tobacco
  • 1qt of spirits
  • No limit on cash or personal effects

It is wise to collect all receipts if you are in the Bahamas temporarily, to avoid problems exporting goods purchased during your trip. Also, you must declare all gifts received while you are abroad.


While there are items that are not subject to duties-personal effects, for example-the Bahamas enforces duties on specific types of items during importation. Here are some of the dutiable items that are restricted in some way:

  • Goods imported for business purposes (unless importer has current Business License)
  • Firecrackers, fireworks and impact flash facilities not deemed dangerous
  • Firearms (only permitted with special authorization from Commissioner of Police)
  • Trailers, unless specifically permitted by Minister
  • Mechanical games and devices

The following is a list of items that are by no means permitted for import into the Bahamas. Please avoid shipping any of these goods to your destination:

  • Counterfeit currency
  • Underwater guns and devices (“Hawaiian Slings” are not permitted under any circumstances-these are devices known to deploy underwater missiles)
  • Meats, fruits and vegetables unfit for human consumption
  • Pornographic prints, paintings, photographs, books or any other obscene article/material

To import your motor vehicle into the Bahamas, you must follow these regulations:

  • All automobiles must be insured before reaching customs.
  • If the vehicle comes from a right-hand drive country, you must adjust the headlights to dip left.
  • Vehicle must pass inspection after clearing customs.
  • You will require entry forms for the vehicle.
  • Other important documents include:
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Original vehicle documents such as the registration and invoice


If you plan on bringing your pet with you to the Bahamas, you’ll have to abide by certain rules. First, you must obtain an import permit from the Ministry of Agriculture, Trade and Industry for any animals coming into the commonwealth. The permit will be valid for one pet and must be used within a year of the issue date. For travelers importing a pet from the United States or Canada, here is some more important information:

  • Your animal must be at least 6 months old
  • You must have a recent rabies vaccination certificate from a licensed veterinarian
  • You must also have a Veterinary Health Certificate and present it to a licensed veterinarian within 48 hours of arriving in the Bahamas.

When importing items into the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, the duty rate is applied on the CIF value of your goods. Some goods are subject to a 2-7% tax applied on the CIF, plus the duty. There is a standard 35% value-added tax (VAT), but many products have separate rates that will be enforced upon customs clearance.

NOTE – Customs regulations are subject to change at any time. The proceeding information is a brief summary of customs regulations applicable to household goods shipments to this destination and is being provided for general guidance to assist our Agents and Customers. Since such regulations are subject to change without notice, International sea & air shipping cannot be held liable for any costs, damage, delays, or other detrimental events resulting from non-compliance. Always double check with your local embassy or consulate.

Call our International Moving Specialists @ 1 (866) 315-4170

Moving to The Bahamas, things you need to know

Given the stunning beauty of the Bahamas, moving to the Bahamas from the USA can be a dreamy international move. However, it’s important to consider the legal and financial implications. As a non-Bahamian, you may need to obtain a work permit or residency visa. Additionally, you will need to budget for the cost of living, which can be higher than in the US. It’s essential to research and plan carefully to make this move a successful one.

Let us discuss the steps you need to take to handle your move to The Bahamas from the USA and make it a successful transition.

Visa for moving to The Bahamas from the USA

If you need to stay in the Bahamas for more than 180 days then you will need to obtain a long-stay visa. There are different types of visas available to move to the Bahamas from the USA. Let us discuss them for you.

Work visa & permit for moving to the Bahamas from the USA

As an American citizen seeking employment in The Bahamas, you need to initiate the process by applying for a work visa and permit. The initial step in obtaining a work permit involves acquiring a Labour Certificate (LC) from the Department of Labour, a document that is essential when applying for the actual work permit.

To secure the Labour Certificate, it is imperative for your prospective employer in the Bahamas to advertise the job vacancy and submit an application for the Director of Labour’s consideration. Once the application receives approval, the Labour Certificate (LC) will be granted.

With the Labour Certificate in hand, you can proceed with your work visa application. This involves completing the requisite application form and submitting the necessary supporting documents to the Department of Immigration.

Investment visa and residency permit

Affluent individuals interested in establishing long-term residence in The Bahamas have the opportunity to acquire residency permits through investment. Those who are international investors or possess properties valued at or exceeding BS$500,000 (approximately €454,000) are eligible for the Bahamas’ investment-based residency program. Additionally, applicants must demonstrate a substantial net worth and the financial means to support themselves and their dependents (including spouses and children) without the necessity of employment within the country.

For individuals who own a residence in The Bahamas, there is an option to obtain a homeowner’s card, which streamlines the immigration process at all Bahamian entry points. This card grants entry and residence privileges in The Bahamas to the cardholder and their immediate family members, namely, their spouse and minor children, for the card’s valid duration.

Study visa to move and live in the Bahamas

To pursue your educational endeavours and establish legal residency in The Bahamas, it is essential to go through the process of applying for and successfully securing a student visa. This visa will grant you the privilege of both residing and working within The Bahamas for the duration of your academic program.

Prior to embarking on the student visa application, you must first secure admission to an accredited educational institution within The Bahamas. You must then furnish the letter of acceptance, which serves as evidence of your acceptance into a full-time course of study at a Bahamian university. Additionally, it is imperative that you demonstrate your financial capability to sustain yourself throughout your sojourn within the Bahamian borders.

You can also obtain a family reunification visa for moving to the Bahamas from the USA if you have family members living legally in the Bahamas.

Top reasons to move to The Bahamas from the USA

Moving to the Bahamas can be like a tropical island relocation dream come true. Additionally, there are many good reasons that you would like to move to the Bahamas from the USA. Let us mention a few of them here –

A stunning Caribbean island nation

The Bahamas offers a unique blend of tropical paradise and modern comforts, making it an attractive destination for US citizens seeking a change of pace. White sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, and a laid-back atmosphere are just a few of the reasons why many Americans choose to relocate to the Bahamas.

Modern facilities blended with a slower pace of life

Additionally, the country offers a modern and developed infrastructure, with easy access to healthcare, education, and entertainment.

Lower tax rates

When you are living in the USA a high tax rate may hinder your savings. Moving to the Bahamas from the USA can be a great perk as The Bahamas has one of the lowest tax rates globally.

Combined with these perks, the cultural heritage, the never-ending entertainment options, and a good quality of life can offer a good transition when you move to the Bahamas from the USA.

If you find this guide helpful for your move to The Bahamas from the USA, check out our other country guides on Singapore, Hong Kong, China, India, Philippines, Thailand, Pakistan, and many others.