To enter The Bahamas, citizens of Britain and Canada coming in as visitors must bring a passport to demonstrate proof of citizenship. Under new Homeland Security regulations that started December 31, 2005, U.S. travelers were required to have a valid passport to re-enter the United States by January 1, 2008.
Onward or return tickets must be shown to immigration officials in The Bahamas. Citizens of other countries, including Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand, should carry a valid passport.
The websites listed provide downloadable passport applications as well as the current fees for processing passport applications. For an up-to-date, country-by-country listing of passport requirements around the world, go to the "Foreign Entry Requirement" Web page of the U.S. State Department at http://travel.state.gov.
See www.frommers.com/planning for information on how to obtain a passport.
For Residents of Australia -- Contact the Australian Passport Information Service at tel. 131-232, or visit www.passports.gov.au.
For Residents of Canada -- Contact the central Passport Office, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Ottawa, ON K1A 0G3 (tel. 800/567-6868; www.ppt.gc.ca).
For Residents of Ireland -- Contact the Passport Office, Setanta Centre, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2 (tel. 01/671-1633; www.foreignaffairs.gov.ie).
For Residents of New Zealand -- Contact the Passports Office, Department of Internal Affairs, 47 Boulcott St., Wellington, 6011 (tel. 0800/225-050 in New Zealand or 04/474-8100; www.passports.govt.nz).
For Residents of the United Kingdom -- Visit your nearest passport office, major post office, or travel agency, or contact the Identity and Passport Service (IPS), 89 Eccleston Sq., London, SW1V 1PN (tel. 0300/222-0000; www.ips.gov.uk).
For Residents of the United States -- To find your regional passport office, check the U.S. State Department website (http://travel.state.gov/passport) or call the National Passport Information Center (tel. 877/487-2778) for automated information.
The Commonwealth of The Bahamas does not require visas. On entry to The Bahamas, you'll be given an immigration card to complete and sign. The card has a carbon copy that you must keep until departure, at which time it must be turned in. You'll also have to pay a departure tax before you can exit the country
Bahamian Customs allows you to bring in 200 cigarettes, or 50 cigars, or 1 pound (.45 kg) of tobacco, plus 1 quart (1L) of spirits (hard liquor). You can also bring in items classified as "personal effects" and all the money you wish.
Visitors leaving Nassau or Freeport/Lucaya for most U.S. destinations clear U.S. Customs & Border Protection before departing The Bahamas. Charter companies can make special arrangements with the Nassau or Freeport flight services and U.S. Customs & Border Protection for pre-clearance. No further formalities are required upon arrival in the United States once the pre-clearance has taken place in Nassau or Freeport.
Collect receipts for all purchases you make in The Bahamas. Note: If a merchant suggests giving you a false receipt, misstating the value of the goods, beware -- the merchant might be an informer to U.S. Customs. You must also declare all gifts received while abroad.
If you purchased an item during an earlier trip abroad, carry proof that you have already paid Customs duty on the item at the time of your previous reentry. To be extra careful, compile a list of expensive carry-on items and ask a U.S. Customs agent to stamp your list at the airport before your departure.
For information on what you're allowed to bring home, contact one of the following agencies:
- U.S. Citizens: U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP), 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20229 (tel. 877/287-8667; www.cbp.gov).
- Canadian Citizens: Canada Border Services Agency, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0L8 (tel. 800/461-9999 in Canada, or 204/983-3500; www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca).
- U.K. Citizens: HM Customs & Excise, Crownhill Court, Tailyour Road, Plymouth, PL6 5BZ (tel. 0845/010-9000; from outside the U.K., 020/8929-0152; www.hmce.gov.uk).
- Australian Citizens: Australian Customs Service, Customs House, 5 Constitution Ave., Canberra City, ACT 2601 (tel. 1300/363-263; from outside Australia, 612/6275-6666; www.customs.gov.au).
- New Zealand Citizens: New Zealand Customs, The Customhouse, 17-21 Whitmore St., Box 2218, Wellington, 6140 (tel. 04/473-6099 or 0800/428-786; www.customs.govt.nz).
Unless you're coming from an area suffering from an epidemic, inoculations or vaccinations are not required for entry into The Bahamas.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.