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A Bahamas Citizenship: Not as Easy as you Might Think
By Travel.Gather.com
Mar 18, 2010 - 1:40:38 PM

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Obtaining a Bahamas citizenship is not as easy as you might think. Even if you were born in the Bahamas, it does not mean that you are entitled to citizenship. There are many strict rules and regulations in the Constitution of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, dated July 10, 1973, with regard to a Bahamian citizenship.

Bahamas CitizenshipIndividuals Entitled to a Bahamas Citizenship

  • If you were born in the Bahamas before July 10th, 1973, the date the constitution, and were a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies, you are unquestionably a citizen of the Bahamas.
  • If you were born in the Bahamas after July 10th, 1973, and your parents are Bahamian, you are automatically granted citizenship.
  • If your father is Bahamian but your mother is not, you are still considered a Bahamian citizen.
  • If you were born outside the Bahamas, your father must be Bahamian for you to attain a Bahamas citizenship or your mother has to be Bahamian and unmarried.
  • If your mother is Bahamian but married to a non-Bahamian, it does not guarantee automatic citizenship.

Individuals Eligible for a Bahamas Citizenship

  • Foreign women who marry a citizen of the Bahamas
  • Individuals born in the Bahamas, but whose parents were not Bahamian citizens
  • Individuals born to a Bahamian mother outside the Bahamas
  • Children adopted by Bahamian citizens.

Individuals Eligible to Apply for a Bahamas Citizenship

It is possible to acquire a Bahamian citizenship if you have resided in the Bahamas for an extended period of time (approximately 6 to 9 years) and have lived there for a minimum of 12 consecutive months.

Your chances of obtaining citizenship are even greater if you plan to remain in the country permanently and know the Bahamian language and customs. You must also be a law-abiding resident and an individual of ‘good’ character.

Can a Bahamas Citizenship be Revoked?

Even if you are a legal Bahamian citizen, the government has the power to cancel your citizenship, albeit, not without valid justification.

Citizenship can be revoked if an individual voluntarily acquires another citizenship from a foreign country. If you were born in a country that awards citizenship at birth, that citizenship must be cancelled before you can obtain a Bahamas citizenship. There is an exception - anyone under 21 years of age may retain dual citizenship until the age of 21, at which time the individual has 12 months to cancel their foreign citizenship, otherwise their Bahamian citizenship will be annulled.

How do Visitors to the Bahamas Obtain Citizenship?

Being a Bahamian citizen has its advantages, and many visitors to the islands end up wanting to acquire citizenship. Visitors to the Bahamas, who are not citizens, are typically not allowed to reside in the country for more than 8 months at a time, and have to prove that can support themselves financially during that period of time.

The government regulates non-citizens diligently, but international applicants are often granted immediate attention if they invest or purchase property valued at a minimum of $500, 000. To obtain permanent residency, an individual must consider investing over $500, 000 into the Bahamas.

Visitors applying for a Bahamas citizenship cannot have a criminal record and must be individuals of ‘good character.’ Non-citizens are normally not eligible to work unless they are given the right to do so by the government. Most jobs prioritize Bahamian citizens.

If you are contemplating a move to the Bahamas and have other questions, check the immigration and visa requirements page for additional information.

Living and working in the Bahamas means life under the warmth of a tropical sun, surrounded by the incomparable beauty of white sand and blue sea. Serenity does exist in the Bahamas.


About the author :
Ester Napoli: They say if you want to be happy, you have to do something you are passionate about. One of my passions is traveling and the one place I fell in love with was the Bahamas; the white sand, clear waters, friendly environment. It is paradise on earth. I enjoy all aspects of the Bahamas; the culture, the history, the countless sports and activities to keep you busy, and of course, the fabulous weather. Website: Glorious Bahamas Real Estate (www.gloriousbahamas.com).

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