Can a felon go to the Bahamas? If you or one of your travel companions has a felony, it’s sensible to find out the entry requirements for your destination before you book your trip.
In this travel guide for felons, we’ve got the answers to your questions about traveling to the Bahamas with a felony.
Can A Felon Go To The Bahamas in 2024?
As long as you’ve completed your sentence and aren’t a registered sex offender you can travel to the Bahamas as a U.S. citizen without any further formalities.
You will need your passport to travel but there isn’t a visa requirement for U.S. citizens visiting the Bahamas for stays of 8 months and under.
If you’re a U.S. resident with a Green Card (Alien Registration Card) you can visit the Bahamas visa-free for up to 30 days.
On arrival in the Bahamas you must have:
- Passport valid for at least 6 months (passport cards not accepted)
- Return ticket
- Financial means for your stay
- Completed Bahamas Immigration card
The Bahamas Entry Card Doesn’t Ask About Criminal Records
Entry card forms are often a worry for felons traveling abroad, so let’s set your mind at ease. You won’t be asked about your felony on the entry paperwork for the Bahamas.
Here’s a link to a copy of the form currently in use on the Bahamas immigration website: https://www.immigration.gov.bs/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Entry-Card.jpg
As you can see, there aren’t any questions about criminal records on the form.
Entry Restrictions For Felons Traveling To The Bahamas
Can felons go to the Bahamas while on probation or parole?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. According to travel information listed on the uscourts.gov website, the Bahamas does not allow anyone under a community supervision order to enter their country.
You’ll need to wait for your period of supervision to end before you can visit the Bahamas.
Can A Felon Travel To The Bahamas On A Cruise?
Yes, as long as you’ve completed all of your sentencing requirements you can take a cruise to the Bahamas.
If you’re taking a closed-loop cruise you won’t even need a passport. Because closed-loop cruises begin and end at the same port, all you need is a government-issued photo ID and proof of U.S citizenship like your birth certificate.
One problem you could face, however, involves the cruise lines rather than the Bahamian authorities. Cruise lines reserve the right to carry out background checks on guests before travel.
To protect other guests during the trip, they’re specifically looking for sex offenders and violent felons.
The age of your felony and its nature will affect the cruise line’s decision. Passengers who fail the background check will be notified before the date of travel and issued a full refund.
What About Registered Sex Offenders?
Can you go to the Bahamas with a felony sex offense? For sex offenders, the travel situation is not so clear-cut.
Under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) registered sex offenders must notify their registry officials of their intention to travel outside the United States at least 21 days before the date of travel.
The travel information supplied is used to notify law enforcement at your travel destination. So even though the Bahamas immigration form doesn’t ask about criminal convictions, the immigration authorities will already know about your sex offender status.
Then it’s up to immigration officials whether they allow you entry.
To avoid difficulties on arrival you can get advice from the department of immigration. The Bahamas High Commission provides email contact information on its website: https://www.bahighco.ca/non-bahamians/faq/
You’re asked to supply:
- Expected date of entry and exit
- Length of stay
- Address you’ll be staying at
- Details of your conviction (offense, sentence, current status)
- Proof of completed sentence
Traveling To The Bahamas Recap
Felons who have completed all of their sentence requirements can travel to the Bahamas. Those still on probation or parole will not be allowed entry.
If you’re taking a cruise, the cruise line may run a background check and refuse to carry anyone with a conviction for a violent felony or a sex offense.
Registered sex offenders must also notify their registry before travel and this information will be shared with immigration officials in the Bahamas who may deny you entry.
Charles Greg is the Co-Founder, Author, & Head Developer behind RentingtoFelons.org
With a lifelong passion for humanity.