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Terms of Use

Government: Structure, Cabinet, Ministries
Constitution, Laws & Acts
Infrastructure (Police, Military, Airports, Social Security, Insurance, Electricity, Telecom)
Customs, tariffs, restrictions
Bahamas representations abroad
Political Parties Votes parties, trade/workers' unions, votes consumer organizations etc.
Other official (non-Bahamian) websites: Commonwealth, US, UK, Military
Entry requirements, Immigration - Foreign visitors / Bahamians abroad / Pets

Please be patient: Government website sometimes open very slowly (and sometimes only during office hours)

Government (see also under topics)

see also history - historical personalities


05.12.03 "Christie and Ingraham back in business?" Nassau Guardian - spreading rumours?!
23.12.03 "Mitchell: PM needs official residence" Nassau Guardian
09.02.04 "Dupuch against Ingraham comeback" Nassau Guardian
08.06.04 "Local Govt is working" Nassau Guardian
16.02.05 "Foreign Affairs Ministry calls Punch story 'utter fabrication' [headline: "China Says No To Our Drug Tainted Envoy]" Freeport News
31.03.05 "PM's trip to China produces results [feasibility study re tourism handicraft manufacturing project in The Bahamas.]" Freeport News

Bahamas Government

Structure of the Government

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and
Her Majesty's representative in The Bahamas: Her Excellency Dame Ivy Dumont, DCMG, Governor-General
Duties of the Governor General$file/Duties+of+the+GovGen.pdf
Speech from the Throne, 22nd May 2003$file/ThroneSpeech.pdf

NEW GOV 2007 > BACK OT FNM > I will update the links asap


Government since May 2002 

!! Picture of the cabinet (May 2002, first formal session)
Bahamas Golden Pages - pictures of the Ministers

The Hon. Perry G. Christie, Prime Minister & Minister of Finance
Office of the Prime Minister (from time to time, the opm-website will be off-line, just try again later...)

The Cabinet Ministers, Ministries' portfolio and websites
The Hon. Cynthia A. Pratt DPM Deputy Prime Minister - Office of the DPM/Portfolio
and Minister of National Security - Min. of NS/Portfolio - RBPF - RBPF Freeport - RBDF
The Hon. Bradley B. Roberts Minister of Works and Utilities - Ministry/Portfolio - MOWT-Website
The Hon. Vincent Peet
Minister of Labour and Immigration - Ministry/Portfolio - Dep. of Immigration

The Hon. Obie Wilchombe Minister of Tourism - Ministry/Portfolio - MOT-Website
The Hon. Fred A. Mitchell Minister of Foreign Affairs and Public Service - Ministry/Portfolio - MFA-Website
The Hon. Alfred Sears
Attorney General AG
(Legal Affairs Department of / Public Prosecutions Department of / Judicial Department) <>
and Minister of Education - Office of the AG and Ministry/Portolio - Min. of Education-Website
The Hon. Leslie Miller Minister of Trade and Industry - Ministry/Portfolio
The Hon. V. Alfred Gray Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Local Government - Ministry/Portfolio
The Hon. Neville Wisdom Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture - Min of Youth, Sports and Culture/Portfolio
The Hon. Melanie Griffin Minister of Social Services and Community Development - Ministry/Portfolio
The Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin Minister of Transport and Aviation - Ministry/Portfolio - Road Traffic Department
The Hon. Allyson Maynard-Gibson Minister of Financial Services & Investment - Ministry/Portfolio (27.09.04: new ph 356 5956, fax 5990) incl. Registrar General's Department
The Hon. D. Shane Gibson Minister of Housing and National Insurance - Min. of Housing and NI/Portfolio
The Hon. Dr. Marcus C. Bethel Minister of Health - Ministry of Health/Portfolio
The Hon. Perry Gladstone Christie Minister of Finance (and PM Prime Minister, see above) - Min. of Finance/Portfolio - Min. of Finance-Website - Customs Department -
The Hon. James Smith Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance - Ministry of Finance

Lists - addresses, phone numbers, names
more phone/address directories see here

Bahamas Golden Pages - detailed Government phone directory with search function
Batelnet listings (government addresses)
for info about all Ministries (address/phone/fax No. etc), go to > Contacts > Agencies
or direct:

Family Island Administration Details (data may not be up to date...)
go to > The Government > Local Government > Districts by Islands
or direct

go to > The Government > Local Government >Central Government Agencies in the Family Islands
or direct

Constitution, Laws & Acts, General, Government Main Site

see here for lists of lawyers  etc.

see here for lists of real estate agents etc.


Constitution: go to > About the Bahamas > Constitution...
or direct:
+++Article: 15.07.04 "Constitutional reform, is it necessary?" Nassau Guardian

Courts, Laws & Acts

for company law, see here
for finance related laws & acts, see here

Laws and Acts: go to > The Government > Laws and Acts
or direct:

Lexbahamas,  Database of Bahamian Laws
Lexbahamas, Overview of the Bahamian legal system

Bahamas Court of Appeal
+++ Article 07.01.04 "Court of Appeal opens with website accessible to public " Nassau Guardian

The Bahamas' final court of appeal

Ms Warren [BFSB] listed the fact that having the Privy Council in the United Kingdom as the country's final court of appeal was another key advantage to the country's positioning as a key financial services centre; a reality that was being carefully guarded by the government that declined having The Bahamas participate in the Caribbean Court of Justice as the highest court of appeal for the nation, a route considered by other CARICOM countries. (source)


Industrial Tribunal
Industrial Tribunal Report 31.1.04
+++Article 07.06.04 "Need for Industrial Tribunal reform" Nassau Guardian

The Bahamas Industrial Tribunal officially opened in April 1997 with a backlog of more than 200 cases. The President of the tribunal described it as a labor court designed to resolve conflicts in the workplace, order reinstatements, and levy damages. The tribunal was established as a result of a landmark 1992 Supreme Court ruling which held that the Attorney General could not refer trade disputes to an arbitrator without the employer's consent. This ruling created a backlog of labor cases in the already overloaded Supreme Court. source


International relations/cooperation
Hague Conventions e.g. Apostille - List incl. the Bahamas (as a non-member state) 
List of open multilateral United Nations agreements to which The Bahamas is a party
Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters and Extradition (OAS) document

Infrastructure etc 

!! for more governm. institutions go to subjects!, such as health- schools - tourism - history - culture (museums)  -


17.01.04 "Attorney General gives 2003 report" Nassau Guardian
16.04.04 "Progress made in Registrar General Department" Nassau Guardian
03.05.04 "Registrar General staff set for 2005 move " Nassau Guardian
21.10.04 "Elizabeth Thompson is new Registrar General" Nassau Guardian
09.12.04 "PI to get its own fire station, ambulance" Nassau Guardian
16.12.04 "Minister: Registrar General will be transferred" Nassau Guardian
20.01.05 "US firm to conduct report on dumpsite - extinguish the underground fires at the old Harrold dumpsite " Nassau Guardian
20.01.05 "New Registrar General settling in - But quiet on staff morale " Nassau Guardian
10.03.05 "Not long now - Biomedical waste facility seeks month end opening " Nassau Guardian

see also security - compliance commission - illigal immigrants/detention center

RBPF Royal Bahamas Police Force - info is scarce... under construction? click on "public info" (above the crest)
RBPF Gov. website (Ministry of National Security)
RBPF Royal Bahamas Police Force Freeport (Min. of National Security)

16.02.05 "'Out-of-control' police officers rapped - 'Sensitivity' training at two-day seminar" Nassau Guardian (about the riot > articles)
02.03.05 "RBPF turns 165 - From 'watchmen' to police" Nassau Guardian
15.03.05 "Lecture on crime: Criminology professor discusses policing in globalized 21st century" Freeport News

HMP Her Majesty's Prison, Central Intake Facility see also Ministry of National Security

13.04.04 "DPM reports prison reform underway" Nassau Guardian
01.07.04 "Intake facility at HMP" Nassau Guardian
27.07.04 "FBI office in NP - Special Agent to be posted at embassy" Nassau Guardian
30.08.04 "Prison Act under review 'Hellish' conditions impact inmates, overseers at HMP" Nassau Guardian
16.09.04 "[Bahamian] Prisoners [serving time in the US] say transfers to return home approved " Nassau Guardian
25.10.04 "Prison reform on the way - Due next year" Nassau Guardian

see here for AUTEC and US/Caribbean

RBDF Royal Bahamas Defense Force - Gov Website (Ministry of National Security)
RBDF history, "Another Look at the Royal Bahamas Defense Force" (Aug 02) click here, when asked for password (opens a MS Word window for that) click on cancel and the document will open in MS IExplorer

Frank Goodwill's description of the RBDF
RBDF see also description here

07.01.04 "Martin off to Iraq After spending the holidays with family in Grand Bahama" Nassau Guardian

26.02.05 "Defence Force celebrates 25 years" Nassau Guardian  


Airports (NIA, GBIA etc.)
various info about airports, see here
see also air traffic

Social Security

PUC Public Utilities Commission

National Insurance
National Insurance Board
Nassau Institute 08.02.04 - The Economic Cost of National Health Insurance (NHI)
see also here for ISSA International Social Security Association

11.05.04 "Health report is in" Nassau Guardian
12.05.04 "'Uninsurable' in Health Plan" Nassau Guardian
12.08.04 "Social Security Reform Commission makes preliminary presentation" Nassau Guardian
06.10.04 "It's nobody's fault but yours!" Nassau Guardian
25.01.05 "Medical plans to come under scrutiny with new insurance bill" Nassau Guardian 

Power, Electricity
BEC Bahamas Electricity Corporation
GBPC Grand Bahama Power Company

15.07.04 "National Energy Company closer to fruition?" Nassau Guardian

Telecom (phone services, mobile phones, cell phones, internet, VHF)

see here for more about cell phones - VHF

BTC BaTelCo Bahamas Telecom
01.12.03 "BTC to launch pre-paid cellular service" Nassau Guardian
27.01.04 "BTC denies scraping GSM" Nassau Guardian
03.02.04 "GSM grand launch set for Feb. 9" Nassau Guardian
04.02.04 "BTC pulls plug on 'freebies'" Nassau Guardian
09.02.04 "GSM cellular services" Nassau Guardian
10.02.04 "BTC encounters problems connecting GSM phones at exhibition site " Nassau Guardian
14.04.04 "Abaco's Internet services expanding " Nassau Guardian


27.04.04 started by Yorick Brown about "VOIP Voice over IP - illegal in the Bahamas" Bahamasissues
03.05.04 started by Mark Da Cunha "VOIP - End the Phone Monopoly" freedombahamas


Cable Bahamas
Coralwave, Cable Bahamas' ISP division (Internet Service Provider):
Bahamas General Communications
New World Network
Caribbean Crossings

Customs tariffs, restrictions etc.


Travellers are allowed to bring with them .... see here


Contact Bahamas Customs Department
for address/phone/fax No., go to > Contacts > Agencies >Customs Department

(customs department in Nassau: phone 001 242 - 325-6550 or 001 326-44016, Fax 001 242 - 322-6223

or check their website  (go to "Tariff Codes")


Tariffs, for Swiss companies (registration needed);internal&action=buildframes.action
Import car to Bahamas see comment here

Bring medication for the personal use

Carry only the quantity normally needed and properly identified. You should also have a prescription or written statement [in English or translated] from your personal physician that the medicine is necessary for your physical well-being. (according to High Commission in London)

Links on website of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (US Homeland Security):


10.02.03 "Record Tourist Arrivals", Nassau Guardian
11.05.04 "Jobless rate 10.8 per cent - Statistics Department announces new survey" Nassau Guardian
01.06.04 "Timely economic data need" Nassau Guardian

go to > About the Bahamas > General Statistics
go to > About the Bahamas > Economy > Economic Indicators
(sometimes only the links in the pop-up-menu will work)

BMOT Bahamas Ministry of Tourism - infos/statistics about tourism sector

Statistical data from Central Bank of the Bahamas
e.g. Quarterly Economic Review under "Quick Links" or > publications > scroll down to latest Quarterly Economic - overview (districts, islands, population etc.) with links to sources

! see also Earth Trends Country Profiles here (lots of statistical data) - Bahamas Population figures Bahamas - Switzerland - DominicanRepublic
Demographical data see also main
Social Watch report
XX 15.4.04 website changed, not fully functional yet CARICOM Statistics
Labour Statistics
UNIDO Statistics
GeographyIQ, rankings (data bases on CIA-Factbook)
Nationmaster, statistics (data bases on CIA-Factbook and other sources)
CTO Tourism Statistics 2003 (fee required)
+++Article: 09.12.03 "Caribbean tourist arrivals increase in 2003" Nassau Guardian

or contact:
Ministry of Trade and Industry, Department of Statistics
Clarence Bain Building , P O Box N 3904 , Nassau, N.P., The Bahamas
Phone 001 242 502-1067 // 001 242 502-1068, Fax 001 242 325-5149, dpsdp at

Bahamas representations abroad


List of Bahamas Diplomatic and Consular Representatives:
go to > Contacts > Bahamas Diplomatic and Consular Representatives
or find "local" copy here if website should temporarily not be accessible

UN Mission, Consulate Generals, Embassies (High Commission)
Permanent Mission of the Bahamas to the UN (in NY)
Bahamas Consulate General New York info & visa application form
Bahamas High Commission London (unfinished)
Bahamas Consulate General Hongkong
incl. some Visa Information and Visa Application Forms >
+++Article 19.10.04 "Hong Kong consulate closes. Soon new Honorary Consul in Beijing?" Nassau Guardian

Honorary Consuls represent The Bahamas in Barbados, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Italy (Milan and Rome), Israel, Monaco, Paraguay, South Africa, Sweden and Switzerland, latest available addresses etc:

Bahamas Consulate Zurich, Switzerland
incl. addresses of Bahamas diplomatic representations, honorary consulates and Tourist Offices in Europe

info about visa requirements etc. see here

Political parties / political activity / trade/workers' unions / votes / Consumer organizations

see also government
see also history

30.07.04 "BPSU rejects Mitchell's Public Service reform plan- Wants Govt to stop 'monkeying around'" Nassau Guardian
31.01.05 "Etiquette at the Bar, Justice Thompson gives women lawyers a 'refresher' course - Justice Jeanne Thompson gave the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Grand Bahama Chapter a refresher course on etiquette at the Bar on Saturday night" Freeport News 

17.07.07 "Expat chefs at Atlantis treated better than locals" Nassau Guardian 

A top chef at the Atlantis Resort claimed on Sunday that for too long Bahamian workers performing the same jobs as their foreign counterparts have lost out on major money-making opportunities to expatriate workers who are first in line to receive the perks. A culinary manager, who spoke to The Guardian on condition of anonymity for fear of being victimized, alleged that other workers at the hotel believe the culinary division at the hotel has become a magnet for "unqualified, unskilled and uncultured expatriate chefs," a situation he termed as a "double standard." "There is clearly a case of prejudice and double standards being exercised at Atlantis," he said, "as well as blatant insult and disregard to building The Bahamas culinary community and the community at large." The irate culinary manager added that while the expatriate workers are already being paid more than the Bahamian workers for doing the same jobs, the fact that they get monthly allowances, have their children's school fees paid, have negotiated living arrangements and access to the luxuries at the Atlantis Hotel, just add fuel to the fire. The top chef said if something is not done soon, he is sure that the situation which has been brewing for many years, "will soon come to a head." []  The Atlantis chef also added that some top Bahamian chefs have proven themselves capable more than once, but are still being overlooked. He said all Bahamian sous chefs and head chefs begin at the minimum salary because "skill, experience and qualifications aren't filtered in," while these foreign workers automatically get a hefty pay check. "The vice president of culinary here is reducing the executive sous chef salary to $670 (a week)," he explained. "Expatriate sous chefs who perform identical duties as Bahamians executive sous chefs get $1,100 (a week)." He said to make matters worse, man foreign workers are not qualified to hold these top level positions. The culinary manager added that it has been proven that many of these Expat workers were once construction workers, bus drivers and simple food store operators with no formal training of culinary arts, or even an understanding of traditional Bahamian dishes. "The majority of expatriates holding executive posts at Atlantis have no culinary degree, culinary institutional training or affiliation with any recognized international chef organization in the Unites States or Europe," he explained. "Ninety percent of them only have restaurant experience, which is insufficient when running a major operation such as the Atlantis." He added that the government needs to step in to deal with this pressing issue as the situation will not easily blow over and in the long run, cause the country to lose out on good Bahamian workers, as many culinary arts students might be forced to work abroad to avoid dealing with this dilemma. Just two weeks ago, President of the Bahamas Hotel Managerial Association (BHMA) Obie Ferguson announced plans to draft an industrial agreement for these workers. But the Atlantis managers said they are waiting to see some action as the problems mentioned, are just a tip of the iceberg. 


Political Parties
PLP Progressive Liberal Party Bahamians First - 
FNM Free National Movement
Bahamas Issues
The Nassau Institute (ex IEF Institute for Economic Freedom)
Bahamas Uncensored (PLP) (ex
The Bahamas Post (commentary on politics, economy and culture in the Bahamas)
XX broken 19.3.04 Bahamas Democratic Movement
CDR B J Nottage
t.b.o. Bahamian, polemic blog, aggressive but so far civilized language

Trade Unions
NCTU National Congress of Trade Unions,  Horseshoe Drive, Oaksfield, P. O. Box GT-2887, Nassau, Bahamas, Telephone # (1 242) 356-7459, Fax # (1 242) 356-7457, Email: nctu at (=valid address? - oct 2004 website not valid anymore)
BHCAWU workers' union
XX 19.3.04 broken UTEB Union of Tertiary Educators of the Bahamas
Bahamas Trade Unions - Address List
Bahamas Taxi Union
IBA Institute of Bahamian Architects - no website yet - find contact info here: search for architects

Elections, votes etc.
Elections in the Bahamas
Political Database of The Americas
Freedom House

Consumer organizations
National Consumer Association no website yet - Charles Fawkes, President of the National Consumer Association, fawkesmore at Office phone No. 326-6620 (House of Labour) .

05.08.04 "The need for a better business bureau" Nassau Guardian - see also BBB Better Business Bureau Organization (US/Can)

Other official websites - non-Bahamian (see also under topics, e.g. economy)


Commonwealth / UK
The British Commonwealth (Secretariat)
List of Commonwealth Members
Young Commonwealth
Foreign & Commonwealth Office - Country Advice (e.g. Bahamas)
Foreign & Commonwealth Office - Travel Advice (e.g. Bahamas)
British High Commission in Nassau, e.g. "UK & Bahamas"
+++Article 16.12.04 "British High Commission to close office in Nassau" Freeport News

US / Canada
!! The Bahamas CIA World Factbook - Facts & Figures
(most websites which list facts & figures, copy them from this website)

US dep. of State, Consular Information Sheet
US Dep. of State, Background Notes 

Travel Report Can Min of Foreign Affairs
Bahamas, as per US State Department in Jan 02
US State Dep Int. Narcotics Control Strategy Report
LOC Country Studies

US Embassy in Nassau
10.05.04 "New U.S. Ambassador Named" Bahamas Journal/via B2B
17.05.04 "New U.S. Ambassador's arrival in limbo" Nassau Guardian
03.08.04 "U.S. ambassador expected soon" Nassau Guardian
20.08.04 "US envoy gets the ok" Nassau Guardian
03.09.04 "U.S. Ambassador sworn in" Nassau Guardian
20.10.04 "Envoys' families can work here -  on the basis of strict reciprocity" Nassau Guardian

New ambassador, John D Rood, at Vestcor:
XX 18.5.04 website changed, speeches are not available anymore/yet Martin Luther King Day, 20.1.03, Remarks by Richard Blankenship, U.S. Ambassador to Nassau
US Embassy in Nassau, Key Officers

Bahamas, Islands of the world, page created by kids for kids
UN Sustainable Development see here
Amnesty International Report 2001!Open


RBDF see here
US Coast Guard see here

CHDS Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies (at NDU)
CIP Center for International Policy, US defense and security assistance, facts RBDF
OPBAT Operation Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands, Counternarcotics Program, see here:
REDES Research and Education in Defense and Security Studies Seminar (at NDU)
US Soldiers Magazine re OPBAT
US Soldiers Magazine re OPBAT - living in the Bahamas
US Southern Command
RSS  Regional Security System (various Caribbean police and defense forces)


"A major U.S. military installation, the U.S. Navy Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center (AUTEC), operates from Andros Island and provides high precision test facilities to gather accurate positional data. This data is then used to analyze and assess the performance of undersea warfare weapons, combat systems, and other sensor systems. AUTEC’s location on Andros Island is ideal because of its close proximity to the Tongue of the Ocean, a unique, deepwater basin, approximately 110 nautical miles long (204 km) and 20 nautical miles wide (37 km), varying in depth from 4,500–6,000 feet. Twenty U.S. Naval officers and enlisted personnel, as well as approximately 360 U.S. contract employees man the center."
Atlantic Undersea Testing and Evaluation Center (AUTEC): Just off Fresh Creek, this joint operation of the US Navy and The Bahamas Government is one of the best and busiest underwater testing facilities in the world (not open for general visits). 

The AUTEC website 

Naval Liaison Office US Embassy Nassau about AUTEC
DECCA map with approximate location of AUTEC etc.

XX 10.04 broken Environmental award nomination 1998 (NUWCNPT)
XX 10.04 broken US Navy Environmental Assessment

03.01.97 "Raytheon wins $240 million Navy contract to operate and maintain Atlantic test facilities" Business Wire/via findarticles - Raytheon
27.05.02 "Bahamas trials centre hosts tests - Cutting-edge technology is being put through its paces in a deep backwater of the Bahamas." Royal Navy News
30.07.02 "Everyone’s a winner at AUTEC - Thirty days in the Bahamas sounds like it would do you a lot of good" Royal Navy News

Entry requirements / Immigration

see here for Immigration general, living, working and residence in the Bahamas,
see here for long stays (US, Swiss citizens, who can stay without visa for up to 8 months)
see here for Immigration when arriving by private aircraft
see herefor Immigration when arriving by boat
see here for Immigration info for cruise passengers
see here for Medication for personal use

see here for Bahamas representations abroad

Visa Information published by Bahamas High Commission in London 

! most info is only valid for applicants that reside in the UK!
Visa Information - January 2008 

Information for Foreign Nationals Visiting the Bahamas Islands and 

Visa Application Form 

General Immigration and Entry Question 


Biometric Passport
FAQ Bahamas Passport Application 

Bahamas e-passport system working well, minister says Caribbeannews 2008-02-08

NASSAU, Bahamas (BIS): The multi-million dollar machine readable passport system in The Bahamas is “working fairly well” with over 550 e-passports issued since the official launch in December 2007, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Brent Symonette said this week. As of January 15, 2008, the Passport Office in New Providence has issued a total of 557 passports: 415 regular passports, 120 children’s passports, 15 frequent flyer passports, and seven Diplomatic passports. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Brent Symonette holds his Diplomatic e-passport as he responds to questions from a businessman at a meeting on the launch of the e-passport. (BIS Photo/Tim Aylen) “That system is up and running in New Providence and seems to be working fairly well,” said Symonette, who has oversight for the Passport Office. “It takes about two weeks to get the new e-passport; but that timeframe is expected to be reduced as the system progresses. “We anticipate that both the passports and Visa Issuance Systems will be fully operational by mid-2008.” The system is up and running in New Providence; Family Island residents can have their passports extended until further notice. An estimated 170,000 passport holders and 2,000 Certificate of Identity holders will be processed. The Bahamas officially launched the Machine Readable Passport or e-Passport on December 5, 2007, a move intended to increase protection against identity theft, heighten aviation security and combat illegal immigration. The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), of which The Bahamas is a member, has mandated that all countries must begin issuing Machine Readable Passports by 2010. The passport is being upgraded from a simple paper document to a more secure one – with biometrics features including facial characteristics and fingerprinting. Each passport holder is required to have a National Insurance Number in order to facilitate the new passport. In 1994, the Government of The Bahamas began exploring the process of upgrading passports and other travel documents. On December 22, 2006, the Government signed a contract with Indusa Global, a Greenville, South Carolina-based information technology development and consulting firm, for an estimated $12.7 million to provide four systems to initiate the project. Those systems are: an ePassport issuance system, a Machine Readable Visa system, an E-Identification issuance system (smart cards for holders of work permits, spousal permits, home owners residence permits, permanent residence), and a Border Control Management System. “The Bahamas’ ePassport, Visa, E-Identification and Border Control Initiative is of significant national and international importance. It will enhance the security of our state and it is anticipated that, over time, it will ease the passage of our citizens throughout the world,” Symonette said. It also calls for a supporting Key Management System for the generation and management of digital security keys, to protect and access the data stored in the passports and cards. This particular system is used to add security to The Bahamas passport chips and smart cards, and forms the basis of authenticating that the ePassport and e-Ids are issued by The Bahamas Government. This is an integrated project involving the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Immigration (Ministry of National Security), and the Data Processing Unit of the Ministry of Finance. The project involved four phases of implementation, which commenced in mid-January and will progress through the end of July 2008. During these phases, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will implement the ePassport System in the Passport Office in New Providence. The system will later be implemented in Grand Bahama, the Family Island Administrator’s offices and in the Overseas Missions. The implementation of the Visa Issuance System in the Counsular Division in New Providence and Overseas Missions will also occur in these phases. Foreign nationals would also be able to apply for and be issued machine-readable visas in New Providence and at the Overseas Missions. However, passport holders are being advised to continue to travel on their existing passports until expiration or until further notice. 

MFA Press Release 2007-12-22

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is pleased to announce the signing of a contract this morning by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Hon. Fred Mitchell and Mr. James Ram, President of Indusa LLC, a Greenville, South Carolina based IT development and consulting firm, for the provision of e-passports, biometric visas, work permits and other identity documents, as well as a border control management system. For this integrated project, Indusa has partnered with Iris Berhad, a Malaysian global security solution provider and the company which pioneered the world’s first electronic passport and national multi-application smart card. Another implementation partner is the British company De La Rue, the world’s largest commercial security provider and papermaker, and a long time provider of our Bahamian passport. While this combined project will take a year to be fully implemented, the first set of new passports is expected to be issued by September 2007. The visas should be available earlier. The Ministry is working with the Attorney General’s office with a view to drafting new regulations to implement new visas in different categories. In earlier statements, I have said that the idea of the new passports is to update the security features on Bahamian identity documents and to bring these documents into compliance with the standards mandated by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) before May 2010. The passports have not yet been priced but when they become available they are likely to be substantially higher in cost than the existing passport but more durable. There will be an electronic chip in this passport and it will contain a fingerprint as an identifying marker for the passport. I have read recently some reports that emanating from Germany that even e passports can be cloned. I have had this checked and I am advised Indusa’s solution which involves a multi-level identity management solution combining machine readable passports with chip-based biometrics authentication for fingerprints, facial characteristics and signature capture, contains adequate safeguards to ensure that the passport holder is, indeed, the person to whom the passport was issued by Bahamian passport issuing authorities. We need therefore to note that while no system is foolproof the system will be more secure than the existing document and further this security will be enhanced by levels of security that will all have to be shown to be correct before the identity is accepted. There was an article in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal 21st December that addresses this concern. The new passport, visa and work permit system will allow for an integrated data base so that immigration and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the police will all be connected and be able to better able the management of our border. The signing of this contract is after a protracted and tortuous history of investigation and tendering. The contract is for the amount of $12,792,647.86. This provides for the passports (official, diplomatic, ordinary, certificates of identity), work permits, permanent resident cards, spousal permits, visas and the border management control system including the hardware and software. The team that chose the system was a combination of the officials from the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Immigration. No politician sat in on these processes and the vendor chosen was approved by the Tender’s Board in accordance with law and practice in contracts of this size. I hope that in being as exhaustive as we appear to have been that we will provide a better quality of service to the Bahamian public and I believe that it will lead to the enhancement of the security of our state and the easing of the passage of our citizens throughout the world. 
Ministry of Foreign Affairs / Nassau, Bahamas / Friday, 22nd December, 2006


Various news items

17.07.07 "Turnquest: No major immigration changes" Nassau Guardian 

While there are plans to review immigration policies, National Security and Immigration Minister Tommy Turnquest said procedures put in place by the previous administration will not be changed "if they make sense." "Government's are continuous, we do not change policies for the sake of changing policies. Where policies make sense, those policies are being carried out," he said. Turnquest was addressing members of the media just minutes after a joint graduation exercise of Bahamian and Haitian police officers. Every year, scores of immigrants come to The Bahamas from Haiti seeking a better way of life, some unfortunately do not complete the journey alive. Turnquest said the policy of assisting Haitian police and naval officers makes sense.[] "We have a serious challenge with regard to Haitian immigrants coming into our country and we need to manage it. In addition, he admitted that migrant Haitian workers fill jobs that Bahamians refuse to fill. He stressed that work permits are still necessary. "We are going to legitimize those who are legitimately entitled to be in the country and those who are not, we are going to take every measure to make sure they are not in our country," Turnquest said, admitting, though, that there is indeed a backlog of work permits. He explained that he recently saw a work permit renewal application which was submitted more than 13 months ago. "That is totally unacceptable," he said, "there was nothing done in regards to that request. "We either say 'yes' or we either say 'no,' and when we say 'no' we know how to deal with those persons to whom we say 'no'." He stressed that there is nothing wrong with giving a negative answer. "Just because you apply does not mean we are going to say 'yes'. And in those cases where we say 'no', we are going to then take measures to ensure that person exits our country," Turnquest stated. "One of the things that the prime minister has done is to appoint a minister of state specifically for Immigration. Minister (Elma) Campbell will in my view, make a major dent in bringing some level of efficiency to the Department of Immigration." Also touching briefly on the issue of shanty towns, Turnquest said there were a problem and accepted that there should be one law for everyone in the country. "There can't be a law for Bahamians and a law for non-Bahamians, so, we will deal with that within the gambit of the law," he explained. He said there were plans to review immigration polices, but was not prepared to state what areas of the law would come under review. 

Entry Requirements - General 

Arrival: Upon arriving in The Islands of the Bahamas, everyone must fill out and sign an Immigration form, keeping a portion of the card in hand until departing. An oral baggage declaration is required. Each adult visitor is allowed to bring 50 cigars, 200 cigarettes or one pound of tobacco, one quart of spirits, and a variety of personal effects (personal radio headsets, bicycle, two still cameras, etc.). Purchases up to a value of one hundred dollars are permitted by all arriving passengers.

Departure: Departures to the US must go through US Customs pre-clearance. Departures to the UK must go through Bahamas Customs. You will need to return the portion of the immigration card to the customs officer.

Boats: If entering The Bahamas by boat, there is a flat fee to clear Customs and Immigration, which is $150.00 for boats 35 feet and under and $300.00 for boats 36 ft and over. This will cover a vessel with four persons or less. Also included is the cruising permit, fishing permit, Customs and Immigration charges and the $15.00 Departure Tax for up to four persons. Each additional person above four will be charged $15.00 Departure Tax. If you plan to stay longer than 12 months, special arrangement must be made with Bahamas Customs and Immigration.


Visa Requirements for Foreign Visitors to The Bahamas

Immigration website 22988 > go to "Entry requirements" > click on one of the titles
e.g. to see what items you can bring into The Islands Of The Bahamas go to "Customs entry"


e.g. "Entry requirements" > "other countries" > s (for Switzerland) 


for a complete list of countries in order to find out if you need a visa or a passport to travel to The Islands Of The Bahamas open this pdf-file: website 48203.

List on Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Website Visa Requirements for Foreign Visitors to The Bahamas


For visa information/application, contact the nearest Bahamian Embassy or Consulate or, if there is none in your country, the nearest British diplomatic representation (a list can be found here).

Visa requirements for U.S. Citizens (check source for updated version!)

U.S. citizens must present original proof of U.S. citizenship (valid U.S. passport or certified* U.S. birth certificate with a government-issued photo ID) and a return ticket. A passport is recommended as it eases processing upon return to the U.S. Voter registration cards, Social Security cards, driver's licenses, affidavits, and other similar documents are not acceptable as proof of U.S. citizenship. U.S. citizens do not need to obtain visas for stays of up to one month. Travelers arriving via private watercraft are charged docking fees. *raised seal
Source: Consular Sheet US State Dep, see also Foreign Entry Requirements (scroll down to Bahamas) 


Minimum identification requirements? Proper ID for children?

Q From: Alan, 13.6.04 / source: Geography/GB Board (read full discussion!)
[US citizens] I am confused on proper identification. I thought it would be ok to just bring our children's birth certificates? I do not have time to obtain passports for them since we are leaving on June 19th. WE are flying US Air-can anyone tell me the minimum identification requirements for the Bahama's both Adult and children? 
A From: Rhonda, 13.6.04
[US citizens] Adults can use a certified copy of their birth certificate (raised seal) and a picture ID. Kids should have the same and if parents are divorced they might ask for a notarized letter from other parent stating that it is ok for child to leave country. So much depends on who happens to be at the desk on any given day. 
Read also discussion as of 9.6.04 on Geography/GB Board about "Freeport July with lots of teenagers..."


Foreign Visitors travelling to The Bahamas via the U.S.

...  Heathrow Airport UK > we flew to Miami international airport the flight was good and took approximately 8 ½ hours, the customs / passport control was a nightmare, we queued for almost 2 hours in incredible heat with no air conditioning ! then we had a 3 hour wait then caught an American Eagle flight to Grand Bahama ... Geographia/BGI Board 05.07.04

US Department of State
Visa for temporary visitors to the US
Visa Waiver Program
Visa Wait Time for Nassau - for Bern

DHS Department of Homeland Security
Website > Airport Security > US-VISIT
Visa Waiver Countries
US-VISIT Program, brochures for download

US Visa informations

US Botschaft(en) in Deutschland (in deutsch):
US Embassy in Berne (in English only)

Sample visa application form  IMPORTANT: some parts of the form apply to Bahamas Consulate General New York only

New Swiss Passport Source  (check source for updated version!)

I have the old Swiss passport: You may enter to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program until October 26, 2004. Effective October 26, 2004 you need a non-immigrant visa, regardless of the purpose of travel or intended duration of stay.
If your purpose is to transit only, please check with your airline whether you will be required to get a visa.
I have the new Swiss passport/Swiss temporary passport: You do not need visa if you wish to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program.
Passports issued after October 26, 2004, must contain biometric identifiers for all travelers to the United States. If your passport is issued prior that date you may still travel under the Visa Waiver Program, provided that your passport is valid six months beyond your intended stay in the US and the Swiss Government has a program by October 26, 2004 to issue machine-readable biometric passports. New full-validity Swiss machine-readable passports issued in 2003 will in almost all cases be valid for travel to the U.S. after October 26, 2004.
Swiss emergency passport is machine readable. Source


TWOV - ITI - VWP  (check source for updated version!)

2.8.2003 The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of State today suspended two programs that allow certain international air passengers to travel through the United States for transit purposes without first obtaining a visa. The programs, known as the Transit Without Visa program (TWOV) and the International-to-International transit program (ITI), have been suspended. The action takes effect at 11:00 a.m., Saturday August 2, 2003. (Note: All times are U.S. EDT). This action does not affect U.S. citizens or citizens from visa waiver countries (VWP Visa Waiver programm)


Transiting through the US / in Transit

Important Rules regarding Travel to and Transit through United States
Entry to the United States under the visa waiver programme is subject to a number of strict conditions which include the requirement for you to hold a Machine Readable British Citizens passport (or one of the countries subscribed to the programme) and to be able to answer "NO" to the questions on Form I-94W which you will be required to fill in before entry to the United States under the Visa Waiver programme. This includes those passengers transiting through the United States (source)

If I enter the United States for a holiday, can I then travel to Canada/Mexico/ Bermuda or the islands in the Caribbean? 
Yes, provided you have a return or onward ticket. If your return journey will take you back through the United States, even if only in transit, the total trip, including both periods of time spent in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, or the islands in the Caribbean may not exceed 90 days. If it does, you will need a visa. Click here for instructions on obtaining a visa. source VWP, Pt. 11

If I am transiting through the United States to Mexico, Canada, Bermuda or the islands in the Caribbean, does the 90 day period begin on my initial entry into the United States, even though I am there for only a couple of hours?
The regulations are the same as if you entered the United States for a holiday. If you will transit the United States, even if only for a couple of hours, to Mexico, Canada, Bermuda or the islands of the Caribbean the total trip, including both periods of time spent in the United States, Canada/Mexico, Bermuda, or the Caribbean islands cannot exceed 90 days. If it does, you will require a visa, unless you are a legal permanent resident of the country. (source)


Visa Requirements for BAHAMIANS traveling Overseas


Schengen - Overviews




Bahamas signs Schengen visa waiver agreement

Thursday, 28 May 2009 18:16
The Bahamas and Schengen European countries signed a visa waiver agreement on May 28 during a ceremony at the European Council in Brussels .
NASSAU , Bahamas - The Government has signed a 'Short Stay Visa Waiver Agreement' which allows Bahamians to travel visa-free to Schengen European countries for up to three months, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced.
The agreement was signed May 28 during a ceremony at the Council of the European Union in Brussels , Belgium by His Excellency Paul Farquharson, Ambassador of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas to the European Community. He is also High Commissioner to London .
The agreement, to take effect immediately, applies to the following Schengen countries: Austria , Belgium , Bulgaria , Cyprus , Czech Republic , Denmark , Estonia , Finland , France , Germany , Greece , Hungary , Italy , Latvia , Lithuania , Luxembourg , Malta , Netherlands , Poland , Portugal , Romania , Slovakia , Slovenia , Spain and Sweden
The agreement does
not apply to Ireland or the United Kingdom . Bahamian passport holders may still travel to these countries without a visa for stays of up to six months, said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs T Brent Symonette on Thursday.
The agreement also does
not apply to the overseas territories of France or the Netherlands . A French visa is required for French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Reunion, Tahiti and St Martin . A visa is not required for the Netherlands overseas territories of Aruba, and Netherlands Antilles including Bonaire, Curacao , and St Maarten.
This agreement does
not yet apply to Iceland , Liechtenstein and Norway .
Switzerland recently became a Schengen country. However Bahamians are still able to travel there for short stays without a visa, Mr. Symonette said.
Under the current European Union
rules regarding travel to the Schengen area, a short stay is defined as a time not exceeding three months, within a six-month period following the first date of entry into the Schengen area as a whole. Stays are calculated on a cumulative basis within that six-month period, including both the number of days stayed, and the number of Schengen countries visited. This means that a visit to any one of the 25 countries is considered as a visit to all and will count towards the maximum three months stay within a six-month period, according to the agreement.
This does not prevent persons from travelling to several of the countries on any one visit or from visiting Europe more than once in a six-month period. “Bahamians who travel frequently to Europe , and whose visits may potentially exceed three months within any six month period, should contact the nearest embassy or consulate of the country to which they intend to travel in order to secure the necessary visas or permits,” Mr. Symonette said.
“For the time being, visits to Bulgaria , Cyprus and Rom ania would be the exception to this, as Bahamian passport holders could make three month visits to each of these countries without it counting towards their overall three month allowance. This exception would fall away once these countries fully implement the Schengen Agreement,” he said.
For the purpose of the agreement, short stays are considered as visits for tourism, business, sports, journalism, and intra-corporate training. “The agreement does
not cover students or persons seeking employment," said Mr Symonette. "These persons must continue to secure the necessary visas and permits for educational or employment purposes." 
The agreement was also signed between the European Union and Antigua and Barbuda , Barbados , Mauritius , St Kitts and Nevis and the Seychelles .
Press release covered here Bahamasislandinfo

old situation archived here 



Information about visa formalities etc. for foreigners in Switzerland (e.g. extention of visa)

Contact Dept. of Migration of the Canton, e.g. Zurich

Migrationsamt Berninastr. 45 Zurich-Oerlikon

Addresses of all Dept. of Migration

Bringing your pet
Info by Ministry of Tourism: Bringing your pet website 23062

Info on Customs Dept. website  > Contacts > Agencies > Government Departments > Customs Department > Website: > Traveller's Information > Arriving > scroll down to "animals"

or start with > Traveller's Information > Arriving > scroll down to "animals"

or go directly to 


Bringing your pet (Abaco Guide)
General infos about "traveling pets"
See also comment here.
03.11.04 "used dog permits" started by ncdd Abaco board

They move pets - not free of charge, of course 

deutsch Infos zum Mitnehmen von Haustieren im Flugzeug 


Broschüre des (Schweizer) Bundesamtes für Veterinärwesen
"Ich reise mit Hund oder Kazte"
und weitere interessante Informationen:
- Wiedereinreise von Schweizer Hunden und Katzen nach Ferienaufenthalten im Ausland (Mit Liste der Länder mit / ohne urbane Tollwut)
- Verzeichnis des grenztierärztlichen Dienstes für Tiere und Produkte tierischer Herkunft
- Adressen, Tel/Fax/Mal von internationalen Veterinärbehörden
- Einreisebestimmungen für Hunde und Katzen (Länderliste)
- Flugreisen mit Heimtieren

la meme chose en francais "Voyager avec des chiens et chats:"

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