For a tropical getaway, you can explore famous beach destinations, such as the Bahamas in the Caribbean. There is more to this country than the beach, because you can also go to museums and visit parks.
Are you planning a Bahamas trip as a Filipino citizen? If so, you’ll need to apply for a self-sponsored visitor visa, which is a straightforward process. Just gather the required documents and visit the nearest consulate.
Tourist Visa Application for Filipinos
Filipinos intending to visit the Bahamas must obtain a visitor visa, either for a single entry or multiple entries. A single entry visa allows a stay of up to three months, while a multiple entry visa permits stays of three months, six months, or a year.
Once approved, you can stay in the Bahamas based on your visa’s duration. To start your eVisa application, prepare your documents, fees, and attend the consulate in person.
Requirements for Visa Application
Start your visa application by getting the documents in order. Take note of these requirements before you visit the consulate:
- Application form: You can download form here
- Valid passport with over six months left before expiry
- Return ticket
- Two passport photos with a white background
- Qatar ID
- Employer’s letter, issued within six months
- Original bank statement, valid for at least six months
- Police report, written within six months
- Recent medical certificate, issued within six months
- Proposed flight itinerary or travel dates
- Hotel or cruise itinerary
- Conference or invitation letter (if applicable)
- Copies of previous Bahamas visas (if applicable)
NOTE: Remember that all supporting documents should be in PDF format and translated into English when needed.
Procedure for Visa Application
Once you have the documents ready, here are the steps you need to do:
- Organize all supporting documents, especially the application form and a valid visa
- Request an appointment with the consulate
- Submit the required documents on your appointed date
- Pay the applicable visa fee
- Wait for the visa processing to be completed
Visa Processing Fees
- Single Entry Visa $ 100
- Multiple Entry Visa $ 110
You can pay the visa fee when you visit the consulate. You can use cash, a credit card, or a debit card. Only VISA, MasterCard, or American Express are accepted. Remember, the fees are non-refundable.
Traveling from Qatar to the Bahamas
If you’re flying from Qatar to the Bahamas, you have various airline options, including Qatar Airways, JetBlue Airways, Egyptair, and United Airlines, among others. The estimated travel time is approximately 15 hours, and you can find plane tickets for as low as $1,064.
For the best weather experience in the Bahamas, consider booking your flight during the autumn and spring seasons. These seasons run from March to May, offering more comfortable temperatures for visitors.
Bahamas Consular Office Please note that there is no Bahamian embassy or consular services in Qatar. The nearest consular office is located in Israel. You can find their contact details below:
Contact Details of the Honorary Consul of the Bahamas
- 2 Paamoni Street, Tel-Aviv 62918 Israel
- Tel: 972 05 0277014 (w)/ 972 03 5465604 (h)
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Places to See in the Bahamas
The Bahamas, a tropical paradise, is a top beach destination. You could also take some time off the beach and see other sights. In Nassau, the country’s capital, you can visit other attractions and get to know the country more.
Downtown and Bay Street
This bustling area is perfect for souvenir shopping. You’ll find shops, restaurants, and street vendors offering duty-free deals on shirts, perfumes, and jewelry. The shops are open all day, and cruise ship visitors often shop here too.
Ardastra Gardens, Zoo and Conservation Park
To discover Bahamian wildlife and flora, visit this zoo. You can see local animals, including flamingos and unique fruit trees. The zoo is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, and admission is INR 1100 per person.
Both adults and children will enjoy going to the Pirate Museum. This museum provides an interactive experience so that the guests can be entertained and learn stories about pirates that have been passed from generations. What’s interesting about the museum is that Nassau has been home to pirates because its harbor is a great place to attack trade ships.
On the outside, the building looks historical because it is made of red bricks. There are also other visible elements that reflect the olden days when pirates used to rule in Nassau.
The museum opens from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm from Monday to Saturday. On Sunday, visitors are welcomed from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. Ticket price for adults is INR 1000, while children can get it at INR 500.
The Queen’s Staircase is another famous attraction in Nassau. This is a historical landmark that was named after Queen Victoria. The slaves carved the 66 steps out of limestone that provides an escape route out of Fort Fincastle.
What sets the Exuma Cays apart is the presence of pigs in this island. No one knows where the pigs originated, but they have been staying there for quite some time now. They have become an attraction, and visitors can have the chance to feed the pigs or rub their bellies. Another inhabitant of the island are the nurse sharks. These aquatic creatures are calm and quiet, and you can even pat them on the head.
The Abacos is known as the boating capital of the Bahamas. You can go there if you enjoy swimming, boating, or fishing. But if you want to visit some dry lands, you can also tour the other attractions that the island offers. From golfing, sightseeing, and bar hopping, you will never run out of places to visit.
Do’s and Don’ts In Bahamas
Before going on a holiday in the Bahamas, you can find out some tips to help you enjoy your trip. To make the most of your vacation, be sure to do the following:
- Learn basic Bahamian jargon: Although English is spoken in this country, the locals have embraced the language and added some terms that may not be familiar to you. They say “dis” and “dat” instead of “this and that.”
- Transact with legitimate taxi drivers: As with most tourist destinations, getting a taxi cab can be challenging. If you are not alert, the cab driver may charge you more by taking a longer route. To counter this, you should be familiar with the fare schedule that you can find at the airport.
- Use sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat. When you are going on a tropical holiday, you should expect to be out under the sun most of the time. It’s important to protect your skin against the harsh sun. Lather on some sunscreen before going out, or at least wear a hat to be safe.
- Try the local food. Bahamian restaurants take pride in their conch dishes and other seafood. With the clear waters of the Bahamas, you are sure to get the freshest catch everyday. On the other hand, you can also try their native fruits including sapodillas, sea grapes, or mangoes.
Be Safe by Following These Guidelines
- Avoid wearing your bikinis or bathing suits in public. Even if you are visiting a country in the Caribbean, you will be frowned upon if you wear your swimsuit outside the beach. Men are not encouraged to walk shirtless, too.
- Guests are not encouraged to walk alone in public. While the Bahamas is considered a safe place, there may be some locals with bad intentions. In particular, women should not stroll alone during nighttime as added protection.
Tourist Visa Application Video
Check out this video for guidance on applying for a tourist visa. It discusses the application process and required documents. Note that the speaker isn’t Filipino, but the information applies to applicants of various nationalities.
Take note that the speaker is not from the Philippines, but the information is mostly the same depending on the applicant’s nationality.
You can watch the full video here:
Disclaimer: The information posted here is based on personal experiences that the content creator shared in the video. Please let this post serve as a guide only. If you have specific questions, you may ask the creator by commenting on their video or on their social media accounts.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is a self-sponsored visitor?
According to the Foreign Affairs Ministry, a self-sponsored visitor is someone who is able to support themselves financially while touring the Bahamas.
- Where can I send my inquiries regarding my visa application?
You can send your inquiries to the support team in Nassau, Bahamas. Observe their business hours, which is 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Eastern Standard Time. You can also call 1 (242) 323-5578 or send an email to email@example.com.
- Can I extend the validity of my visa?
You can extend your stay in the Bahamas by applying at the Immigration Department. The contact numbers are 1 242 322 7531 (telephone) and 1 242 325 0977 (fax). With your application, you can extend your stay for up to eight months.
In summary, to visit the Bahamas, you’ll need to apply for a tourist visa, which can be single or multiple entry. As there’s no consulate in Qatar, you’ll need to visit the nearest one in Israel. Submit your documents and pay the processing fee on your appointed date, and then await the result.
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