Essential Employment Paperwork in the Bahamas



Every year, the Bahamas lures millions of people to its breathtaking coral-based archipelago. Its undeniable natural beauty has attracted foreign investors and multi national companies thus, creating job opportunities for locals as well as expats. However, working in this country is not as easy as it seems and everyone must comply with the strict immigration procedures. 

The government of Bahamas has one golden rule when it comes to employing expats: No foreign immigrant may be offered or given a job that a Bahamian is ‘qualified’ to do. In this country, any job that doesn’t require a higher education is strictly off limits to foreign nationals and employers must first advertise the vacancy in the local labour market to make sure that all Bahamians have been given ample chance to apply for the job. 

Work Permit 

No foreign national is allowed to work in the Bahamas without a valid work permit. Prospective employers of foreign nationals are the ones responsible for the application of their work permit. The government agency responsible for the issuance of work permits is the Deparment of Immigration and the employer must prove to the ministry that the job has been advertised in the local newspaper for at least three days and the Department of Labour has been notified about the said position. Work permits are valid from a period of one to three years and are classified into two categories: 

Short Term Work Permit 

The short term work permit is for foreign nationals who plan on working in the country for a period of up to 90 days. Some of the requirements for this permit are: 

  • Copy of the expatriate’s passport
  • Several passport-sized photos
  • Letter of Request addressed to the Director of the Department of Immigration
  • Copy of the expatriate’s Curriculum Vitae 

Long Term Work Permit 

The long term work permit is for foreign nationals who will work The Bahamas for more than 90 days. It also has the aforementioned requirements, plus a few more like: 

  • Police Certificate
  • Medical Certificate dated not more than 30 days prior to the submission of work permit request
  • Written references from previous employers