Bahamas Quick Facts
The Bahamas has long been known as a favorite vacation destination for travelers from all over the world. When thinking about the Bahamas, you’ll likely picture miles of white sand beaches, turquoise waters, palm trees, and endless fun activities in the sun. However, there’s much more for you including history, culture, and natural wonders that are truly one of a kind.
Living in the Bahamas as a Digital Nomad
Located in the Caribbean, the Bahamas are a chain of over 700 islands in the North Atlantic Ocean with 30 inhabited islands.The name Bahamas comes from the Spanish term ‘Baja mar’ which also means shallow sea. In fact, the water around the Caribbean country is indeed shallow as its name suggests. The Bahamas is famous for its turquoise water, and unbelievable white sand beaches.
Attractions and best places to visit
Waters in the Bahamas are some of the clearest in the world where you can see the bottom of the deep sea from the water’s surface. It’s possible to see the ocean floor 200 feet below the surface? The height is approximately the height of a 20-story building.
Because of the insanely clear water and active marine life, the Bahamas is a divers paradise and one of the best places on the planet for cave diving. The underwater cave systems there are extremely rich.
The world’s deepest blue hole, Dean’s Blue Hole on Long Island, is found in the Bahamas, which is the spot many free divers choose when attempting world records. In addition, the island country boasts the third-largest barrier reef on the planet.
The Andros Barrier Reef in The Bahamas is one of the biggest barrier reefs in the world as well as is the third-largest living organism on the planet. Compared to others, the over 190-mile-length barrier reef is unique because it stretches down to a depth of 6,000 feet rather than lying flat on the ocean floor.
It is easy to understand why more than 30 Hollywood films were made in The Bahamas. Its sunny skies and abundant natural beauty have appeared in Pirates of the Caribbean, Thunderball, Casino Royale, and Into the Deep.
Not only has rich colonial heritage such as Parliament Square, the Prince George Wharf, three historic forts, the Cloisters, or Versailles Gardens, the capital city Nassau is known also for its stunning beaches and resorts. As such, you will not worry about a quality place to stay and work remotely there.
After the U.S and Canada, the Caribbean nation is the third richest country. As such, the cost of living there is higher than in other Caribbean nations.
Digital Nomad Hotspots
There’s a total of 5 coworking spaces which all can be found in the capital Nassau, making it the best city for digital nomads in the Bahamas.
Cost of Living
Although the average cost per day of staying on the island varies depending on the season and location, you will expect to spend between $30 and $400 per day. BSD 1 is currently equal to USD 1 and the U.S dollar is widely accepted across the island.
The official language there is English so it is much easier for you to integrate into local life.
Digital Nomad Essentials
Also located on the North American continent, the Bahamas is close to Miami so that you can have easy access to the U.S and the rest of the world. Moreover, the time zone also benefits you when contacting clients or having working schedules around North or South America.
However, the most important requirement for remote working is a high speed and stable internet which may not make you satisfied when being in the Bahamas.
According to Speedtest, the average internet speeds in the Bahamas are around 66 Mbps. If you stay in other islands you will have to access the Internet in hotels or your rental accommodation.
Although The Bahamas may still have some restrictions in infrastructure that need improving such as the internet, the peace and natural beauty of the island may be reasons for you in determining your next destination!
If you’re a nomad who likes to get involved in local festivals and events then don’t miss out on the Bahamas International Film Festival, Andros Crab Festival and Eleuthera Pineapple Festival. There’s one thing that people in the Bahamas love, and that’s celebrating. So there will always be weekly local events going on as well.
Bahamas Remote Work Visa Overview
COVID-19 has changed how people live and work. Although the pandemic has been controlled in some countries, it can be denied that the wave of people, who are quitting the traditional office environment to a more flexible type of work – working remotely, is continuously rising.
The big companies like Airbnb, American Express, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, PayPal, and Twitter have also announced that their employees can work from home long term or even permanently. As a result, more middle and upper-income earners are entering the emerging digital nomad lifestyle.
The boom of remote workers has also opened new opportunities to countries, which have suffered from travel has been disrupted, to improve the tourism product, entice visitors as well as makeup lost revenue. The digital nomad visa program seems a successful idea.
In October 2020, The Bahamas launched its own Digital Nomad Visa, called Bahamas Extended Access Travel Stay (BEATS). Unlike most other countries, the BEATS program not only allows workers but also students to work or study remotely from any of the country’s 16 islands for up to 12 months.
The biggest advantage of the visa program may be that it does not have to request minimum income as others, however, you still need to have a monthly income from outside the Bahamas to support your life there.
In addition, after a one-year working vacation, you can also renew your Bahamas digital nomad visa twice and stay for a total of up to 3 years, so that you can have more time to experience and explore the Caribbean paradise.
The applicant also can bring your family and have to pay additional fees for that.
One of the most interesting things making the Bahamas popular for digital nomads in the country doesn’t require you to pay income taxes or capital gain taxes. However, you will have to pay VAT when you purchase some goods and services.
As mentioned before, the cost of living in the Bahamas is not cheap so you need a high income to live in the country. The cost of renting a home in this Caribbean nation is comparable to the US. To save money, you can look for affordable accommodations and rent something away from the more expensive urban areas to work remotely.
Currently, the Bahamas has Moderate restrictions for travel, therefore, you need a travel ban, restrictions alerts, and advice before traveling to the Bahamas.
In order to enter the country, you need to present a valid international certificate for full vaccination against COVID-19 and provide a pre-departure test which can be a rapid test taken within the previous 72 hours.
For the updated COVID-19 requirements and the government measures, you can check here before determining to visit the country.
Who Can Apply for the Bahamas Digital Nomad Visa
Anyone who is working remotely for companies outside the Bahamas or students who want to study remotely can apply for the Bahamas digital nomad visa.
However, as said before, although there’s no limited minimum income, you still have to prove that your income can support yourself and your family during your period of staying in the country. You also should own an independent business or be self-employed.
How to Apply for the Bahamas Digital Nomad Visa
The application process is quite simple and is implemented online.
Documents required for Applying
A color copy of a valid passport includes yours and every dependent.
Proof of medical insurance for you and all dependents who need to cover the territory of Bahamas including COVID-19 coverage.
Proof of work including self-employment outside the Bahamas such as freelancing contracts, letter of confirmation from the employers, company ownership, or partnership statement.
Proof of studying remotely in a university and funds to cover living expenses.
Other documents may be required.
Citizens of the U.S, Europe, the U.K, and Canada do not need an additional travel permit. For others, you can check more info on this website
If both you and your spouse want to apply to work remotely, you need to have a separate application. On the other hand, one of you has to declare other dependents.
How much does it cost?
The application process costs USD 25 per applicant and for each dependent. The permit fee for an applicant is USD 1000, and the addition of USD 500 per dependent.
For students, there’s USD 25 for application and USD 500 for the permit fee.
Timeline for Applying
The process will take 5 working days to issue the result of your application. If approved, you will need to pay the permit fee then get a QR code for entry.
- Check if you are eligible for a BEATS visa? If so, gather the required documents and scan them.
- Fill and submit the online BEATS form through their official website
- Select the category ‘Work Remotely’ and type all the information required.
- Upload the requirements asked per section and click ‘Submit’.
- The result of your application will be sent via email. You will also be given payment instructions if you are approved.
- Pay the fees.
- Get an Electronic QR Permit
The Bahamas is a tropical paradise on the planet that not only has white sand beaches and crystal clear water but is also a convenient time zone for American remote workers.
If you are curious about life in the Caribbean, the Bahamas may be the ideal destination for you to enjoy the sun and sea while working and studying remotely.