According to WikiTravel, The Bahamas Islands, is an archipelago consisting of about 2,000 islands altogether. The Bahamas is listed as an independent member of the Commonwealth of Nations and has a political and legal traditions similar to the British.
Lately, Travel Lounge Nigeria has received a lot of requests about how to apply for a tourist (visit) visa to the Bahamas Island. So in this post, I will briefly describe some of the procedures and documents required to secure a Bahamas Visit or Tourist visa as a Nigerian citizens.
Visa Application Process:
Generally, the process of getting a Visa to the Bahamas Island has been kept to a minimum due to the high demand of visits every year. However, as a Nigerian, it might be extremely hard and frustrating to get a Bahamas Tourist visa. This is due to the fact that The Bahamas Island do not have a physical embassy present in Nigeria. (Do not let anyone deceive you. There is no Bahamas Embassy in Lagos or Abuja and you have limited chances of getting a visa through an agent or third party)
Having said that, there are two ways which you can apply for a Tourist or Visit Visa to the Bahamas Island as a Nigerian Citizen. The first and most straightforward method is to apply directly through the British Embassy in Nigeria. The other method would require you to travel as a visitor to any country that has a Bahamas embassy presence such as London, UK, New York USA, Ottawa, Canada and major Western Countries. See below for detailed explanation for the two methods.
1. Getting a Bahamas Visa as a Nigerian via the British Embassy:
If you require a tourist visa to enter the Bahamas, you might be able to apply for one at a British embassy, high commission or consulate in Lagos or Abuja. The British Embassy Nigeria is one of the Bahamas Island representatives and provides support for visitors that wish to travel to Bahamas.
We have two British Embassies in Nigeria.
United Kingdom Embassy in Abuja
19 Torrens Close, Mississippi
United Kingdom Consulate in Lagos
11 Walter Carrington Crescent
To apply for a Bahamas Visa, the general procedure is to make a formal enquiry about the document requirements for a Bahamas Visa via the customer service representative. Chances are you will be required to submit similar documentation for a British Visit Visa and processing for this visa might take substantial amount of time because the British Embassy would need to process and send your documents to the nearest Bahamas Island office for processing before your visa can be approved. (They do not officially issue Bahamas visa from their office)
I would advise you to take this route if you already have a British Visit Visa or have a valid reason for visiting the Bahamas Island otherwise it might be safer to follow the second approach.
2) Getting a Bahamas Visa as a Nigerian Citizen via USA, Canada or UK:
If money isn’t a problem, then as a Nigerian Citizen, you might be able to get a visit or tourist visa to the Bahamas Island if you have a US, UK or Canada visa. It does not matter what category of visa you have as long as you can enter and exit the country. Basically, this is how it works:-
Step 1) Travel to a major western city i.e. New York, London or Ottawa
Step 2) Make a formal application via courier ~ typically application takes 7days
Step 3) Wait for your passport delivery
While you are in the US, UK or Canada as a visitor, student or worker, it is possible to actually mail your application to The Bahamas Embassy via DHL or using any courier of your choice (Note: You cannot do this from Nigeria).
As previously mentioned, the Visa process is very easy as long as you have all the documents required for the visa you will be given.
Document Requirements and Application procedure for Bahamas Visit Visa:
1. ORIGINAL PASSPORT:
You must submit your original passport or travel document. The expiry date of the passport/travel document, after returning from The Bahamas, must NOT be less than 3 months (for direct travel) and NOT less than 6 months (if transiting through other countries such as the U.S.).
2. PROOF OF STATUS:
Where applicable, original proof of visitor status in the country must be provided:
All visitors must have, where applicable, a multiple-entry or a valid single-entry visa. The ending date of all visas must NOT be less than 3 months (for direct travel) and NOT less than 6 months (if transiting through other countries such as the U.S.).
3.OTHER VISAS: You must find out if you need a visa to enter or transit other countries (such as the U.S.) on the way to and from The Bahamas. Should visas be required, they must be acquired before submitting your application to The Bahamas High Commission and must have no less than 6 months validity remaining, following return from The Bahamas.
4.CONSULAR FEE: The application fee has to be the EXACT amount and only in U.S. dollars in the form of a bank draft, a bank money order or a postal money order made payable to The Bahamas High Commission. The Bahamas High Commission will NOT accept any other currency, cash, personal or business cheques or credit cards – doing so will result in your application not being processed and/or returned.
5. COLOUR PHOTOGRAPHS: You must submit two original passport-size photographs, taken within a year of the application.
6. PROOF OF ACCOMMODATION: You must provide confirmed hotel booking or letter of invitation if staying at private home (letter must include address and telephone number of host)
7. PROOF OF SUFFICIENT FUNDS: You must provide proof of sufficient funds to finance the visit – an employment letter with position and length of employment OR a letter from a sponsor/employer/company who will be covering all of the applicant’s expenses while in The Bahamas.
8. PROOF OF RETURN: You must provide confirmed flight and or cruise itinerary in the applicant’s name
9. COURIER WAYBILL: A pre-paid courier waybill with an envelope must be supplied for returning the documents from The Bahamas High Commission to your address.
Once ALL of the requested items have been submitted, it will take the High Commission at least 7 working days to process a visa. Please note that this does not include the courier delivery time. There will be delays at peak travel periods (November-March and July-August), the High Commission will require up to 14 working days to process visas during these periods.
Applicants needing their passports due to other existing travel plans should first consult with the Consular Assistant at the High Commission to determine how far in advance one should submit an application for a visa. Additionally, applicants should submit copies of all relevant travel itineraries at the time of application.
In summary, as you can see, there are not much to getting a Bahamas Tourist or Visit Visa as a Nigerian Citizen other than the normal way of getting Visa to any major Western countries. Travelling to the United States, United Kingdom or Canada provides a better approach and much quicker response as opposed to using the British Embassy in Nigeria.
Have a good holiday and take some pictures 😉