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Complete guide to obtaining a Bahamas digital nomad visa, the required documents, the application steps, and FAQs

With the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are changing their traditional working places into more relaxed ones. Therefore, working remotely is rising continuously. In order to work remotely, you need legal rights. Many countries have issued digital nomad visas, which give you the legal right to work remotely in other countries. The digital nomad visa is deemed successful because, besides the great opportunities remote workers get, the countries as well have improved their economies through tourism.

One of those countries that offers digital nomad visas is the Bahamas. The Bahamas has a digital nomad visa called the Bahamas Extended Access Travel Stay (BEATS) since October 2020. The Bahamas digital nomad visa is offered to remote workers and students who want to study or work remotely. More information on what BEATS offers and requires, you will see in the next sections.

Benefits of Working as a Digital Nomad in the Bahamas

Working as a digital nomad in the Bahamas has the following benefits:

  • Tax matters. As a digital nomad in the Bahamas, you are not required to pay any income taxes or capital gain taxes. 
  • Facilitated visa application process. Completing the online application for a Bahamas digital nomad visa only take a few minutes, and you will receive an answer within five working days.   
  • Affordable costs of living. The cost of living in the Bahamas varies depending on location and season. For a one-bedroom apartment in the city center, you might spend $927.78, whereas, outside the center, you might spend $725. You can expect tpo spend about $237.58 per month on utilities and $76.18 per month on internet.
  • Warm weather. The Bahamas is the perfect place for those who enjoy sunny weather, beaches and want to work outside. The best time to go is between November and April when there is warm weather, a lot of sunshine, and fewer rainy days. 
  • Modern healthcare. The Bahamas has a strong healthcare system. When in need, you will never be far from hospitals or doctor’s offices because all around the island, there are about 55 medical centers.
  • Rich culture. The Bahamas has a unique culture that has evolved over the years. The culture is a mixture of mostly African with British and American influences. Bahamian culture values music extremely, hence there are many festivals. The most famous festivals are Junkanoo Carnival, the Andros Crab Festival, the Eleuthera Pineapple Festival, and the Bahamas International Film Festival. 
  • Leisure activities. Besides relaxing on the wonderful Bahamian beaches, there are plenty of other activities you can enjoy while being a digital nomad. Some of these activities are tubing, snorkeling, parasailing, boat rentals, and shark diving.

Requirements for Bahamas Digital Nomad Visa

The documents required to apply for a digital nomad visa are the following:

  • A completed application form. To apply for a Bahamas digital nomad visa, you can do it online. You can find the link here.
  • A valid passport. Your passport needs to be valid for at least six months.
  • Proof of employment. This can be an employment contract or proof of self-employment.
  • Medical insurance. You and all your dependents need health insurance that covers the Bahamas, including the COVID-19 coverage.
  • Student ID. Student ID is needed for those who want to study remotely.
  • Entry visa (if applicable)
  • Proof of income. You need only a letter from your employer or school proving that you are financially self-sufficient. A specified percentage of the income is not stated. 
  • Proof of clean criminal record. The proof of a clean criminal record you can get at your local police department where you live.

How to Apply for a Bahamas Digital Nomad Visa?

You have to apply for a Bahamas digital nomad visa online, through the official BEATS website. You must follow these steps:

  1. Gather the required documents. Your first step is to find out what kind of documents you need to apply for the Bahamas digital nomad visa and collect them.  (See the list of documents under “Requirements for Bahamas Digital Nomad Visa”).
  2. Start the online application. On the official BEATS website, click on “Get Started” to be redirected to the application platform. You must complete all the required information fields.    
  3. Pay the application processing fees. Before submitting the application, you need to pay an application processing fee of $25.
  4. Wait for approval. You have to wait up to 5 business days to get an email of approval or denial.
  5. Pay the residence permit fees. You have to pay the permit fees after the approval. The fees are $1000 for each applicant; $500 for each additional dependent, and if the dependent is working remotely as well, the $1000 fee applies. In addition, if you are a student who wants to study remotely, your permit fee will be $500. 
  6. Receive the electronic QR permit. After finishing all the previous steps, you will receive a confirmation QR code, which you need to show upon your arrival in the Bahamas. 
  7. Travel to the Bahamas. Your last step is to travel to the Bahamas. You do not need a fixed accommodation because the Bahamas encourages remote workers to visit all the 16 islands. 

It is extremely important to mention that, depending on your citizenship and residency, you might need an entry visa. To apply for a Bahamas visa, you need to go to the local Bahamas embassy or consulate. 

How Much Does the Bahamas Digital Nomad Visa Cost?

Firstly, you have to pay an application fee of $25 before you receive an answer. After your application is approved, the permit fees are:

  • $1000 for the main applicant
  • $500 for each additional dependent, but if the dependent is working remotely as well, a $1000 fee applies.

For students:

  • $500 for each applicant
  • $1885 for access to the University of the Bahamas (optional)

Processing Time For A Digital Nomad Visa in the Bahamas

Filling out the application form takes only a few minutes. Then, you have to wait five working days for an immigration officer to approve or deny your application. 

How Long Can I Work in the Bahamas as a Digital Nomad?

The validity of the Bahamas digital nomad visa is up to one year. This visa can be renewed twice, and you can stay for up to three years. 

Paying Taxes as a Digital Nomad in the Bahamas

The Bahamas is a tax haven. This means foreigners are not required to pay any income taxes, capital gain taxes, taxes on inheritance, or gifts. The government also gets income from other forms of taxes, such as value-added taxes (VAT), property taxes, stamp taxes, import duties, and license fees. The stamp tax is between 2.5% and 10%. In addition, property taxes, in the case of investment properties, are based on the assessed value of the property. There is a 1% tax rate on investment properties under $500,000. The tax rate is 2% for properties worth more than $500,000. On owner-occupied properties, the annual property tax is $60,000 maximum.

As a digital nomad in the Bahamas, you are not required to pay income taxes or capital gain taxes. However, you have to pay value-added taxes (VAT) when you purchase goods and services.  

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