The Bahamas is eligible for the ETIAS, a visa waiver program that prescreens all visitors to the Schengen Zone. It means that Bahamian passport holders must apply for an ETIAS before visiting the Schengen Zone.
ETIAS stands for “European Travel Information and Authorization System”. It was first announced back in 2016 but has taken some years to develop and fine-tune. It will take effect at the tail end of 2022 and will become mandatory from 2023 onward.
ETIAS Visa Waiver for Bahamian Citizens
You can complete an ETIAS application via the official ETIAS website. It shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes as all checks are automated. If you have a serious criminal record and are deemed to be a security risk, a manual review may be flagged, at which point it will take a little longer to receive authorization.
To apply for an ETIAS, you just need a secure internet connection, a valid Bahamian passport, an email address, and a credit/debit card for the €7 fee.
Is the ETIAS Application Difficult?
The ETIAS application process is very quick and straightforward. Unlike a traditional visa application, it does not require you to visit the embassy or consulate, and you won’t need to wait for many days or weeks or supply stacks of documents.
After all, visitors from 60 countries (including the Bahamas) need to apply for an ETIAS before they travel, and if it wasn’t simple, quick, or straightforward, it would create a lot of unnecessary work for the Schengen governments and would turn many tourists away.
Countries within the Schengen Area rely on tourism to generate billions of dollars in seasonal revenue. Regional economies in countries like Italy, Greece, and Spain would be crippled without all those tourist dollars, and so the ETIAS was developed to be as hassle-free as possible.
What are the Best Countries to Visit with an ETIAS Visa Waiver?
According to the World Tourism Rankings, France and Spain are the two most-visited nations in the world. Both of these countries are part of the Schengen Zone, which means you can access both of them with an ETIAS.
Italy and Germany are also in the top 10, giving you 4 massively popular destinations to visit with a single visa exemption.
These four countries include some of the most beautiful cities in the world (Berlin, Paris, Munich, Nice, Rome, Naples, Florence, Milan, Barcelona, Madrid) as well as landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and Brandenburg Gate.
Even if you exclude these locations, you still have all the beauty and history of Greece (from sun-drenched islands to the birthplace of democracy) and the cosmopolitan style of Denmark and Sweden.
An ETIAS visa waiver is your ticket to explore all of these regions and mark off your bucket list as you go.
Can Bahamian Citizens Travel to the US Without a Visa?
Bahamian citizens traveling through the Preclearance Facilities at Freeport or Nassau do not need to apply for a visa upon visiting the United States.
Which Countries Can Bahamians Visit Without a Visa?
The United States isn’t the only popular tourist destination that you can visit with a Bahamian passport. You can also explore all that Argentina, Chile, the United Kingdom, Mexico, South Africa, and Canada have to offer, either with a visa waiver or nothing at all.
In fact, the Bahamian passport is pretty powerful, which is why the Henley Passport Index ranked it as the 25th best in the world in early 2021, placing it higher than Uruguay, Taiwan, Vatican City, and Macau.