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Old 19-07-2018, 05:12   #1
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Canadians in the Bahamas (advice for newbie cruisers)

Good morning!

Any Canadian cruisers with experience checking into the Bahamas and staying longer than 3 months? The website ( states that citizens of the U.S. & U.K. can stay up to 8 months on a cruising permit, but Canadians must obtain a Bahamas visa for stays exceeding 3 months!?

Please share if you have any insight? Is obtaining the visa difficult? Or after three months can we just sail off shore, return, and pay the $300 fee again?

We plan to sail from Fort Lauderdale for our first time on our new-to-us boat in mid-August...we're so excited! :-) Thanks for any advice.

Adam, Sarah, & Lilly
s/v Sandy Pause
2009 Leopard 40
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Old 19-07-2018, 06:48   #2
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Re: Canadians in the Bahamas (advice for newbie cruisers)

I'm a US citizen, so I can't help with your question. I can tell you, however, that September and October are probably the two most dangerous months of the year to be on a boat in the Bahamas. I would respectfully suggest waiting until November before crossing over.
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Old 19-07-2018, 07:30   #3
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Re: Canadians in the Bahamas (advice for newbie cruisers)

No problem staying six months when cruising the Bahamas. It's best to clear in in a larger port of entry as the officer there can authorise a six months stay. In smaller ports they will usually give you three months. You can re-new this by going to Immigration about two weeks before your time expires. From Ft. Lauderdale I would sail to Nassau and clear in there. No problem with six months.

The cruising permit and immigration visa are two different things. The cruising permit is for a year. The permit is for the vessel, nothing to do with visas for the crew. The immigration visa can vary based on the whim and seniority of the immigration officer. In nearly thirty years cruising the Bahamas we have never had an immigration problem although I have heard of cruisers being forced out when immigration refused to re-new their visa. This sometimes happens if you try to re-new AFTER your original visa has expired. If you are given less than six months initially make sure you are at an island where there is an immigration office a week or two before it expires.
Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.
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