Living In Bahamas Expat Guide – that will be the topic of today’s article.
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Many people across the world share the same dream of living in a beautiful country. Well, for those who are making a dream come true, the Bahamas should be on your list. With a lovely tropical island, clear turquoise water, and many outdoor activities, the benefits of living here cannot be overemphasized.
Did you know that the archipelago of the Bahamas consists of more than 700 islands and is spread over some 500 miles in the Atlantic Ocean? Of course, only 30 of them are inhabited, and two-thirds of the entire population lives in Nassau on New Providence Island. Do you wish to know more about the Bahamas?
If your answer sounds like a yes, we’ve got you covered. There are plenty of ways to enjoy this country. But there’s more to know about relocating to a new country than just good weather and low taxes. In fact, there are different questions online as to whether living Bahamas is worth it in today’s world.
To decide the right answer, you’ll need to consider all the factors affecting your day-to-day life. However, this land of sandy beaches, climate, and lively cultures can be a perfect place to settle down. As a US citizen relocating to the Bahamas, all you have to do is obtain the necessary documents, and you’re good to go.
Are you wondering how it would be easy coming from another country? Of course, worry less, and that’s why this article is meant for you. Today, we will walk you through the concept of living in the Bahamas as an expat. Not only that, but we have compiled the pros and cons, interesting places, and many others, to mention a few. All you need is to read this article carefully to get a glimpse of what we’re saying.
Interesting Facts about Living in the Bahamas
When people think of the Bahamas in today’s twenty-first century, chances are they’re picturing miles of powdery white-sand beaches, palm trees, endless fun, and the sparkling turquoise waters. But did you know that there is more to explore? Now, let’s go beyond the beaches and explain some interesting facts.
1. Home to World’s Third-Largest Wine Cellar
Don’t panic because we’re sure that you think Italy is the leader when it comes to producing wines. Well, we didn’t dispute this fact as we already called the Bahamas the third-largest wine producer. So, if you love wine, a tour of Graycliff’s wine cellar is a must! Also, with more than 250,000 bottles from 400 winemakers in 15 countries, the Graycliff collection includes some of the rarest, most expensive wines in the world.
2. Home to Third Barrier Reef
In recent years, the Bahamas has been boasting the third-largest barrier reef on the planet. Stretching more than 190 miles in length, the Andros Barrier Reef in the country is one of the most significant barrier reefs globally and the third largest living organism on the planet. Besides, it sits along the edge of an underwater trench called the Tongue of the Ocean.
3. Clearest Water in the World
Have you ever been looking for the clearest water in the world? Look no further, as the Bahamas is known to have some of the clearest water in the world. Did you even know that you can see the bottom of the deep sea from the water’s surface? Yes! It’s possible to see the ocean floor 200 feet below the surface. And again, the water close to shore is pretty spectacular; that’s why this country is unique in its ways.
4. Home to 700 Islands
How can you imagine up to 700 islands in-country? No doubts, the Bahamas are the only place you can see this. In fact, on the 700 islands, approximately 30 are inhabited. On the flip side, the Bahamas has a land area of 5,382 square miles, and it’s a bit smaller than Connecticut. Meanwhile, you can embark on a day excursion with the islands to discover many things, including Ship Channel, Rose Island, Exumas, and many others, to mention a few.
5. A Hollywood Paradise
With the country’s sunny skies and abundant natural beauty, it’s no wonder the Bahamas remains the best popular destination for filming award-winning movies. Aside from this fact, chances are you’ve seen a movie that was filmed right here in Nassau Paradise Island. Some examples of movies that featured the Bahamas scene include; Pirates of the Caribbean, Casino Royale, Thunderball, into the Deep, and more.
6. Home to Sea Monster
The Bahamas has been home to its own sea monster since a large sea creature carcass washed ashore in 1896. Research also made it known that the lusca has allegedly been spotted near the Blue Hole off Andros, and it has been rumored to grow more than 75 feet long. To get a closer look at some of the real animals in this country, you can visit the Ardastra Gardens and Zoo or Dolphin Cay at Atlantis.
7. Bahamas Originated From Spanish Word
This is another surprising thing to take note of while relocating to this country. And it should be noted that the name of the country originated from the Spanish term Baja Mar. Besides, this means shallow sea in the Spanish language. As you can see in any satellite image, the water around the Bahamas is indeed shallow. Not only that, but the entire region has a delightful turquoise color to it.
8. Closest to the United States
Bahamas is no doubt the second closest non-bordering country to the United States. And with our research, the island of Bimini is only 50 miles from Miami, but only Russia is closer, with the distance between the Big and Little Diomede Islands being only 2.5 miles. Aside from this fact, regular ferries can actually take you between Miami and Bimini in nothing more than two hours.
9. Home to World’s Blue Hole
If you’ve heard the world’s deepest blue hole, you don’t need to research again. This is because; the world’s deepest blue hole is found in the Bahamas. Unlike the blue hole in Belize, the blue hole in this country is right next to the shore. This way, you can go from knee-deep water on the shore to a sudden drop off 202m which is approximately 663 feet. Also, this is the exact spot that many free divers choose when attempting world records.
10. Currency and Marching Band
Since its inception, the Bahamas is known to be the only country with a marching band on their currency. Besides, their $1 note has an image of the Nassau Police Marching Band on the currency, making them the only marching band in the world to appear on any legal tender. Not only that but it should be noted that the Bahamas is technically not in the Caribbean. This is because; it’s only located in the north of the Caribbean, as you can clearly see on a map.
Pros and Cons of Living in the Bahamas
As history disclosed, the Bahamas became a crown colony of the British in 1718 due to British efforts to reduce piracy problems in the country. But it wouldn’t be until 1973 when the Bahamas would become an independent commonwealth realm. Not to talk much, take a look at the pros and cons to understand what we are saying better.
Exceptionally Friendly Locals
If you’ve ever been looking for the country that welcomes visitors like they’ve known each other before, look no further. The locals in Bahamas are amicable, and you’ll notice this immediately because the environment is warm and friendly. There’s an ability to be happy on this island even when you don’t come with enough cash. And part of this attitude is due to their dependence on a robust religious faith, but there’s a natural charm that could lead to this process as well.
Stunning Beaches Around
It’s no doubt that you’ll see stunning beaches in this country. We can even tell you that some of the best beaches in the world are found in this country. Also, you can swim right up to the corals, enjoy snorkeling, or go diving almost whenever you want in the Bahamas. In addition, there are numerous opportunities to view sea life right from the shore. And it’s home to plenty of quiet spots where it might only be you and the waves enjoying some sunshine on a warm afternoon.
Excellent School Structures
If you’re moving to this country, one of the strongest recommendations that you’ll receive is to settle near Sandyport because of the excellent school and its structures. Not only that, but you’ll be 15 minutes or less of driving time away from the amenities that you need for a comfortable lifestyle. Here, you’ll be forced into sending your child to a private institution.
The Bahamas is one of the countries that offer a laid-back lifestyle for expatriates to enjoy. With many people believing that they can take a step back, relax, breathe, and reduce the frenetic pace of the modern lifestyle, the benefits of relocating to the Bahamas cannot be overemphasized. This advantage can lead to some service issues like not getting your water line installed when someone told you, but you can only have few tiring days in the country.
Extremely Furnished Rental Property
With our research, we found that the Bahamas still remain the best country with the most furnished rental apartment in the world. Moreover, we can tell you that it is very unusual to find a place for rent that doesn’t include furnishings and the other essentials required in a home. You can always go to a room comfortably or a furniture plus to obtain whatever items might be missing in your space.
Positive Tax Situation
Bahamas is different in its ways, unlike other countries that charge expat more when it comes to tax. More so, you should understand that there are no income taxes in the country, and you don’t need to worry about taxation if you’re living in the Bahamas as an expat.
Again, you won’t have a capital transfer tax, capital gain tax, or even an estate tax to pay when you start any work in the country. Meanwhile, non-resident incorporated business entities and offshore agencies are usually exempt from business license fees.
Simple Immigration Rules
Relocating to this country may sound easy, and establishing residency in the Bahamas is rather simple. With that being said, you can enter the country as a visitor for up to two months. More so, you’re permitted to apply for a residence permit from the Department of Immigration during your stay on the islands. Surprisingly, you can also apply for the annual one, homeowner’s card, or a permanent residency.
High Cost of Living
Living or relocating to this country means dealing with a high cost of living. Therefore, you need to be aware of this fact before you plan your next trip. As estimated cost revealed that you might have an electricity bill that tops $400 per month and a two-bedroom home with enough space up to $3,500 per month, traveling to meet your budget is crucial. Also, you’ll be paying between $4 to $5 per gallon for the fuel you need for your vehicle.
High Crime Rate
It’s no doubt that the crime rate in the Bahamas can significantly be a problem. Also, the U.S government recommends caution when living in the Bahamas because of the crime rate. Besides, violent incidents are common, even in tourist areas and during daylight hours. Although there are certain places where expats are not allowed to visit, and they include places like the Sand Trap in Nassau and more.
Laid-Back Lifestyle Struggles
While laid-back lifestyles can be an advantage, some people might struggle to adapt to the laid-back lifestyle. There are some people who love the idea of living in a quiet place while others can struggle in such an environment. Also, the idea of going with the flow tends to be one of the most challenging issues that expats could face when they start to live on the island.
Senior Healthcare Problem
It’s no doubt that there are minimal elder care services available in this country. If you have a family member who requires assistance, then the chances are that you can become their caregiver. And this is due to the fact that there are no properly licensed home-care resources available on the islands. In spite of this, medical care can also be problematic for some challenging diagnoses, including Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease.
Higher Level of Traffic
If you’re planning to relocate to the Bahamas, you need to get used to a higher level of traffic after moving. Although people love this fact because the country is a Mecca of tourism for the country, but you’ll quickly discover that there are very few daily services that could help you establish a home. Therefore, most places on the island will require extra time in traffic than what you’re likely used to experiencing.
Island Fever is a Problem
Anyone who has spent time living in the Bahamas will tell you that there are times you may need to escape. This means you’ll need to budget some extra money each month if anything happens during your stay in this country. Also, getting off of the islands just to go shopping can feel like a holiday adventure. Therefore, most expats always plan a trip to West Palm Beach about 3-4 times per year.
Overcrowding is another significant issue in this country. Also, housing can often be challenging to find because almost 400,000 people are living in the commonwealth nation. This way, many houses that are up for rent are unusually high. Moreover, the government is taking the necessary measures to create more space for expats and locals. Also, this disadvantage is even worse for the most popular gated communities you’ll find in Nassau, Old Ford, and others.
Cost of Living in the Bahamas
Starting life in the Bahamas requires a stable income as living costs are 28.50% higher than in the United States of America. Having the highest cost of living in the world with a gross national income per capita of USD21 900, it would be better to have a job prior to becoming Bahamian nationals. Below is an estimation of the cost of living in this country.
|Goods/Services||Amount in Dollar(B)|
|Basic lunchtime menu||B$25|
|One bottle of red table wine||B$21|
|Utility for one month||B$384|
|Internet 8 Mbps (1 month)||B$46|
|One pair of jeans||B$75|
|40” flat screen tv||B$720|
|Public transport (monthly)||B$66|
Tips for Travelling to the Bahamas
While you’re traveling to this country, there are many tips you need to consider. However, just like any other country, there’s a list of first-timer mistakes you should avoid while visiting. Whether you’re interested in sunbathing or shark-diving, there’s no shortage of activities here. But take a look at the tips below.
Best Places for Expat
If you’re planning to visit a country for the first time, where to stay is among the best things to consider. Besides, hotel options in the country range from all-inclusive resorts with such a dizzying array of food and entertainment options. But hotels might not be the best place to stay for long. That way, you need to find the best place suitable for expats to avoid problems from uniform officers.
Cost of a Home
After you might have got the right place to live, it’s always essential to know the cost of a home. From our illustration mentioned above, you should have an idea of what it cost. According to the data provided by Numbeo, rent prices in the Bahamas are around 10% lower than in the United States. In fact, you can also find a one-bedroom apartment in the center of Nassau for about $900 per month, which compares to nearly $1,300 in the United States of America.
Understand the visa Process
A brief guide to obtaining Bahamas residence is another thing to put into consideration. Although the Bahamian government is very open to international visitors and people who are from a specific country, they don’t need visas to enter the country. But you need to read more and understand the application process, Schengen visa, and the right one suitable for you.
Best Time for Visitation
The best time to visit the Bahamas is as well essential. Earlier, we talked about the weather, and you need to understand that there are fewer rains than normal in the Bahamas summertime. With that being said, December to April is considered the best time to visit the Bahamas. In addition to this, ensure you bring travel insurance when traveling to the Bahamas in case you experience any difficulties.
Have Knowledge about Bahamas Culture
This contributes to what many expats could face while traveling to a country for the first time. If you don’t want to experience any cultural shock, it would be better to do further research about the cultures and traditions of the Bahamians. Well, approximately 90 percent of Bahamas residents are of West African descent because the ancestors of slaves brought to work the cotton plantations.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Bahamas
Does Bahamas Require Covid Test?
Of course, just like any other country you might think of, the Bahamas is no exception when it comes to the Covid-19 test. More so, it became effective on the 6th of August, as all fully vaccinated travelers wishing to travel within the Bahamas will now be required to obtain the Covid-19 test with a negative result, five days prior to the travel date.
What is considered Illegal in the Bahamas?
In the Bahamas, the possession or use of illegal drugs, including cocaine, marijuana, and ecstasy, is a criminal offense in the country. So, don’t be surprised when you see people end up in jail while smoking. Also, while visiting the Bahamas, you’re subjected to Bahamian law, and it would be better to stay away from drug traffickers.
What is the safest part of the Bahamas?
When it comes to the safest part of the Bahamas, we can tell you that Cat Island is one of the most peaceful and safest islands in the country. And this is because; it’s a pretty small island with hardly any people living there, which put the crime rate close to zero.
There are plenty of ways in which living in this country can seem appealing. When moving to the Bahamas, you should collect all the documents, find a job, and look for suitable housing options. This way, you’ll enjoy your stay while living as an expat in the country.