Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 20-12-2018, 07:32   #1
Registered User
 
Freeoneday's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 3
Entering the Bahamas with a criminal record

Good morning

I’m currently on probation in the state of Florida but I will have completed my time following one more long year of supervision and surpressed travel.

I do not currently have a passport but I have been told that once off probation this will not be a problem to acquire as it viewed as another form of identification. I currently hold a MMC from the coast guard (which did require many stages of appeals due to the arrest)

I own a cruising sailboat that I have refitted through the term of the sentence of probation and I have been working towards a dream of cruising the Bahamas.

I am curious if anyone has any experience with Bahamian customs and if there is any specific protocol to enter the country when one such as myself has a prior criminal record but is free from state supervision and sanctions.

I have just the one arrest on my record and it will actually be expunged having a “withhold of adjudication” which means I will not be considered a convicted felon due to mitigating circumstances with the nature of the crime.


Any knowledge on the matter will be useful and greatfully appreciated.
__________________

Freeoneday is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-12-2018, 07:39   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: East Coast, Canada
Boat: Big C Marine, 15 metre Catamaran
Posts: 741
Images: 2
Re: Entering the Bahamas with a criminal record

They don't ask about criminal records in the Bahamas.

Dress "properly", and be respectful, when you present yourself to Customs, and you'll be fine.

Cheers.
Paul.
__________________

GRIT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-12-2018, 07:48   #3
Registered User
 
Freeoneday's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 3
Re: Entering the Bahamas with a criminal record

Thank you for your quick reply. That’s great to hear.
Freeoneday is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-12-2018, 07:53   #4
Senior Cruiser
 
GordMay's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 38,198
Images: 241
Re: Entering the Bahamas with a criminal record

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Freeoneday.
__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-12-2018, 08:53   #5
Registered User
 
Jeanneau 45.2's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Marina Del Rey,CA
Boat: 2000 Jeanneau, 45.2
Posts: 244
Re: Entering the Bahamas with a criminal record

The forms to be filled out when a person enters the Bahamas and obtaining a cruising permit for the boat do not ask about criminal record or any such question. Ships papers and passports for all aboard is all that is required.

Here is a link to the official Bahamas website:

https://www.bahamas.com/faq/enteringexiting-policies

Glad you had something to do (refit) while waiting out your time. Best of luck. You'll find this forum to be very welcoming and helpful.

Alan
Jeanneau 45.2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-12-2018, 09:30   #6
Registered User
 
transmitterdan's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2011
Boat: Valiant 42
Posts: 6,029
Re: Entering the Bahamas with a criminal record

Some countries have access to the US criminal record database. Thus they don’t need to ask about that on any forms. I know Canada stopped a friend on entry because he had a criminal record. Would not allow him entry at the port. He had to return to the US on the next flight. After some discussion with the Canadian embassy it got worked out that he could enter. As I recall he was traveling on business instead of tourist and that may have been part of the problem. But the Canadians knew his rap sheet without asking.
transmitterdan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 20-12-2018, 09:51   #7
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29° 49.16’ N 82° 25.82’ W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 14,615
Re: Entering the Bahamas with a criminal record

I know a couple of guys that were convicted for pot possession that have been to the Bahamas several times with no problem or question at all. One went to work for a large corporation and travels extensively on business and had no problems in the countries he visited in Europe and Latin America.

Convictions for other things might be treated differently. I don't recall the office where I last cleared in the Bahamas having computer access at all so may not matter there regardless. I think they are mainly interested in collecting your cruising fees.

I have heard of problems visiting Canada and Australia if you have a criminal record for any felony including DUI.
__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
Sometimes it's necessary to state the obvious for the benefit of the oblivious.
Rust is the poor man's Loctite.
skipmac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-12-2018, 10:06   #8
Registered User
 
01kiwijohn's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Tacoma, Washington, USA
Boat: Casacde 36
Posts: 539
Images: 1
Re: Entering the Bahamas with a criminal record

I'm not a lawyer but have had a friend with similar experience, when entering Canada.
Looks like you're dealing with some kind of deferred prosecution. That being the case, wait for a month or so, after your time is up, then go to the courthouse and get a copy of the disposition of your case. The two words you are looking for are " case dismissed". If you've completed your obligation, there should be words to that effect there somewhere.
Hope that helps, good luck.
01kiwijohn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-12-2018, 10:09   #9
Registered User
 
taxwizz's Avatar

Join Date: May 2013
Location: Toronto
Boat: Small yellow rubber ducky
Posts: 564
Re: Entering the Bahamas with a criminal record

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freeoneday View Post
I have just the one arrest on my record and it will actually be expunged having a “withhold of adjudication” which means I will not be considered a convicted felon due to mitigating circumstances with the nature of the crime.
I suggest that you wait until the record is "clean" before travelling.
Then you can truthfully answer "no" when asked if you have a record.

Otherwise, the conviction may become part of their permanent record on you.

Modern computer technology means that your whole life history is avilable to authorities and never is forgotten. Very pervasive and intrusive. A small "mistake" as a teenager will screw up your life FOREVER.
taxwizz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-12-2018, 10:26   #10
cruiser

Join Date: Jan 2017
Boat: Retired from CF
Posts: 13,304
Re: Entering the Bahamas with a criminal record

The usual process, when they want to know, is to ask you to provide a statement from the police at the places where you've lived in the past decade or so.

Like when applying for a work permit or residence, working as a teacher, etc.
john61ct is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-12-2018, 10:26   #11
Registered User
 
grantmc's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Wellington, NZ and Fiji
Boat: Reinke S10 & Raven 26
Posts: 536
Send a message via Skype™ to grantmc
Re: Entering the Bahamas with a criminal record

OP you need to phone a Bahamanian Embassy and ask this question, they probably wont be able to tell you immediately.
But they'll likely tell you that you're means you wont qualify for an automatic a US citizen 30 day visa, and so you will need to apply for a visa and after a period of time it will either be granted or not.

No point asking here.

Also the decision to grant a visa or not will depend on the nature of the conviction and penalty imposed, especially if there was a prison (or equivalent like home stay) sentence. They'll require full disclosure. That's true for virtually every country in the world. They all have two doors at the border, a door for good people and another for potential bad guys.

That's not to say you wont be granted a visa, but you'll be pointed to the bad guy door obviously where there is a much closer analysis of your intentions during the stay. Clean slate wiping of convictions usually doesn't apply to visa applications, in the same way it doesn't if you wanted to get a security clearance to work as say an FBI agent. And lying in a visa application is never a good idea as I'm sure you know.

in the same way as people with two passports (dual citizenship) might use the passport of the country where they have a clean record to apply. But there is considerable co-operation between Governments to stop bad people crossing borders. So Immigration officials usually know the answers to their questions before they ask the person concerned. And if the applicant lies in their answer they just kick them to touch without wasting more time or worse, lock you up.

As you'll already know, foreigners wanting to enter the USA just for a visitor's visa with a criminal conviction means the bad door. So a simple test you can do might be this: imagine you were from another country trying to enter the USA. Would the USA Govt give you a visa with your record?

The Bahamas, like many countries, provide automatic visas to citizens of various countries including USA. But in the fine print automatic visas are restricted for people with clean records (plus all manner of other exceptions).

But to save you a little time here are the requirements from the Bahamanian Govt's web site:

Supporting Documents
Contact the nearest Bahamas Consulate or Embassy for required supporting documents to be submitted with application form supporting documents vary from Mission to Mission.

Valid Passport - All visa applicants must be in possession of a valid passport, with more than 6 months remaining, and a return ticket.
2 passport photos on white background
A job letter/business licence
An original bank reference letter/statement
Police report
Hotel/Cruise itinerary
Flight itinerary/ticket copy
Copy of conference/invitation letter
Copies of previously held visas
Copy of Children’s Birth Certificate to prove parental relations
Copy of a valid work permit (for Companies applying for a foreigner to take up employment in The Bahamas)
All foreign marriage, birth, and death certificate submitted in support of a visa application must be legalised/Apostilled in the country of origin before submission
Valid US visa (for Foreigners who wish to visit The Bahamas via cruise ship from the USA)
__________________
Grant Mc
The cure for everything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea.
grantmc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-12-2018, 10:40   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Abaco, Bahamas/ Western NC
Boat: Nothing large at the moment
Posts: 999
Re: Entering the Bahamas with a criminal record

Grit gives a proper answer. The only time a police record would come up here is if you were buying property or applying for permanent residence. A cruising permit is not a problem. The reply on Canada are also correct, they even refuse entrance for DWI convictions.
Tingum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-12-2018, 10:47   #13
Registered User
 
Group9's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 2,393
Images: 10
Re: Entering the Bahamas with a criminal record

Quote:
Originally Posted by taxwizz View Post
I suggest that you wait until the record is "clean" before travelling.
Then you can truthfully answer "no" when asked if you have a record.

Otherwise, the conviction may become part of their permanent record on you.

Modern computer technology means that your whole life history is avilable to authorities and never is forgotten. Very pervasive and intrusive. A small "mistake" as a teenager will screw up your life FOREVER.
Expunged records generally don't go away on federal database searches. The court record may be "sealed" or "expunged" but the NCIC record is rarely removed. It basically takes a specific order from a federal judge to do it, if I recall correctly.

We had more than one person seeking a security clearance find that out the hard way when asked "if they had ever been arrested or convicted, even if expunged".

I worked with law enforcement in the Bahamas and they certainly have access to US NCIC records (there is a long running US/Bahamas/Turks&Caicos law enforcement task force called OPBAT). As to what they would do if they inquired and found out, I don't know. That particular situation never came up when I was working with them.

I would not be surprised to find that someone does eventually check when the immigration forms finally get to Nassau.
__________________
Founding member of the controversial Calypso rock band, Guns & Anchors!
Group9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-12-2018, 10:48   #14
Registered User
 
taxwizz's Avatar

Join Date: May 2013
Location: Toronto
Boat: Small yellow rubber ducky
Posts: 564
Re: Entering the Bahamas with a criminal record

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tingum View Post
Grit gives a proper answer. The only time a police record would come up here is if you were buying property or applying for permanent residence. A cruising permit is not a problem. The reply on Canada are also correct, they even refuse entrance for DWI convictions.
Yes. Both the USA and Canada ban you FOR LIFE if you have ever had a DUI conviction.

Imagine getting a drunk driving conviction at age 21 and still being banned from the USA 50 years later. YIKES !

I guess that the assume that no one ever changes and that prison does not cause any reformation. "Once bad....always bad" eh? Never forgive !
taxwizz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-12-2018, 11:04   #15
Registered User
 
Sailorman Ed's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2010
Boat: Polynesia 40/42
Posts: 785
Images: 15
Send a message via Skype™ to Sailorman Ed
Re: Entering the Bahamas with a criminal record

Freeoneday, I have never been asked nor is there a place on the form to enter that info. Last time in Great Harbor Cay, check in was done at a picnic table at the marina, no computer involved. Follow Grit's advice and you will have no problem.
__________________

Sailorman Ed is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
Bahamas, record

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Recent Violent Criminal Incidents in Popular Area CarstenWL General Sailing Forum 7 26-03-2015 14:30
When Does an Irresponsible Skipper's Actions Become Criminal? bazzer Navigation 38 19-06-2013 03:56
No Criminal Record ? Geminidawn Rules of the Road, Regulations & Red Tape 59 06-12-2010 10:37
Criminal Penalties for Hit/Run Freighters? andrejsv General Sailing Forum 8 14-05-2009 03:36

Advertise Here


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 16:28.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.