Do you need a passport for The Bahamas?

Published by Travel Visa Pro on Sun Sep 10 2017

Although U.S. citizens do not technically need to hold a passport to visit The Bahamas, having a valid passport in your possession will ensure your re-entry into the U.S. is as simple as possible.

 

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You will be granted entry into The Bahamas if you show identification such as a passport or a document that complies with the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), which can include
passport cards or an Enhanced Driver’s License. It is worth noting that not all U.S. states currently provide Enhanced Driver’s Licenses (you can check with your state’s motor vehicle agency) and regular driver’s licenses are not valid for international travel. However, if you are travelling by air from the United States then you must show a passport in order to board your flight. If a U.S. citizen is traveling from a country other than the U.S. then they may be allowed to board their flight to The Bahamas, but this will depend on the policy of the country that you are flying from.

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Whilst it may technically be possible to visit The Bahamas without currently holding a U.S. passport, the real problems start when you try to re-enter the U.S.. Anyone flying into the United
States must show a valid passport or they will be denied entry, this is also true for US citizens. If you are entering the U.S. via a sea border, if you have visited The Bahamas on a cruise for example, then you can present either a passport or a passport card at immigration to re-enter the United States. It is possible to travel from the United States to The Bahamas on a cruise and enter both countries without any issues if you do not hold a passport book. However, travelling to The Bahamas with a passport card or an Enhanced Driver’s License means that you can only return to the United States by sea.

If there is an emergency that requires you to return to the U.S. at short notice then you will be unable to fly unless you can arrange for a replacement or second passport or pay for a fast-tracked application. In this situation not having a valid passport will cause a huge amount of unnecessary hassle and stress to everyone involved. It will also take much longer for you to return home which is the very last thing you want in the event of an emergency. It is worthwhile and hugely recommended to travel with a passport to The Bahamas as it will keep your options open and ensure that you are able to return to the United States quickly if necessary rather than be forced to travel by sea.

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Although it may seem like a cheaper option to travel to The Bahamas without a valid passport, this may be a decision you come to regret. Travel Visa Pro provides a full range of passport services including expedited passports and passport renewals to ensure your trip runs as smoothly as possible.

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