moving to the bahamas

Moving to the Bahamas

Bahamas Score
0%
Shithole Paradise

What are the Bahamas?

The Bahamas is a sunny Atlantic archipelago with no income tax

The Bahamas consists of over 3000 islands, cays and islets, and is located very close to Miami (southeast of Florida) and north of Cuba.

It’s a former British colony which became independent in 1973. As such, the official language is English.

The Bahamas is one of the most prosperous countries in the Americas (behind US and Canada) and has an economy which is largely based on tourism (50% of its GDP and provides jobs for half the country) and offshore finance (the most offshore entities or companies in the world).

This should come as no surprise, because the Bahamas is considered a tax haven: no income tax, corporate tax, capital gains tax, or wealth tax.

However, its currency (the Bahamian dollar) is tied to the USD, which isn’t an ideal situation at all. In addition, it maintains strong bilateral relationships with the US and the UK.

The capital is Nassau, and the total population is around 400.000 people, of which 90% are of African descent.

The Bahamas is a very sunny and dry country, with an average of 340 days of sunlight per year. Yeah, that’s a lot.

Its climate can be described as a warm and winterless tropical savannah climate, with a hot and wet season.

Unfortunately, its location also means that tropical storms and hurricanes do occur, and this is definitely something you should take into account.

Some of the Bahamian islands are absolutely stunning, with loads of beaches, coral reefs and pristine waters.

expats in the bahamas

Requirements for moving to the Bahamas

Moving to the Bahamas isn’t hard at all.

First off, for Americans and Canadians there’s the proximity factor: The Bahamas lies to the southeast of Florida, and you can just take a boat to get there.

For Europeans it’s a much farther trip, but fortunately most of us can stay in the Bahamas for up to 8 months without needing to get a visa in advance.

You can then extend your stay, or apply for Annual Residency which costs around $1,000 per year.

If you invest in real estate here, you can also get a Home Owner’s card.

Real estate is moderately expensive here, so this might not be an option for everyone.

Once you make this real estate your home, you can apply for permanent residence.

Other options to attain this are investing half a million dollars in the country, or reside there for at least 10 years with a work permit.

In addition, once you get permanent residence, citizenship becomes an option.

The only real requirement for moving to the Bahamas is having (multiple sources of) international, location independent income.

You won’t have to pay taxes on this income when you’re living here, which is a massive advantage.

However, the cost of living in the Bahamas is elevated compared to many of the other countries I’ve talked about.

What is the cost of living in the Bahamas?

The cost of living in the Bahamas lies around $2,000 per month for a single person, so I would advise you to at least make double that if you intend to move here.

$2,000 a month will allow you to live here reasonably comfortably, but you wouldn’t enjoy the carefree life such an amount would get you in countries like Paraguay or Thailand.

In addition, if you live in a cheaper but less-prosperous neighborhood, you will be faced with higher crime rates.

Benefits of living in the Bahamas

  • Tax haven

    The Bahamas has one of the best tax regimes in the world, and there is no income tax, corporate tax, capital gains tax, or wealth tax

  • High English proficiency

    English is an official language here, and most inhabitants speak it fluently

  • Sunny and warm

    The Bahamas is sunny nearly every day of the year, and the temperatures are very pleasant

  • Beautiful beaches

    As you’d expect from a Caribbean island nation, there are plenty of gorgeous beaches and coral reefs to be found

  • Easy visa system

    As a Westerner, you probably do not need to apply for a visa beforehand, and extending your stay can be done through many ways

  • Prosperous country

    The Bahamas isn’t just a country that is doing well (at the moment), it’s the 3rd most prosperous country in the Americas

moving to the bahamas

Downsides of living in the Bahamas

  • Tied to the US

    The Bahamas has strong ties to the US, and its currency is even pegged 1-to-1 to the USD, which does not bode well once the USD goes down

  • Natural disasters

    The Bahamas is at risk of getting hit by tropical storms and hurricanes

  • Iffy safety

    While the level of terrorism in the Bahamas is very low, the homicide rate and other crime figures are something to keep in mind – especially if you cannot afford to live in the richer neighborhoods

  • Higher cost of living

    The Bahamas is by no means a very expensive country, but neither does it have a low cost of living such as many other countries in Latin America or Southeast Asia

Moving to the Bahamas - by the numbers

Bahamas Score
0%
Shithole Paradise

Climate: 8.5/10

Hours of sunshine (10/10) Temperature (10/10) Rainy days (8/10) Humidity (5/10)
8
25 C – 77 F
11
78%

Level of English: 10/10

Very High Proficiency

Cost of Living: 6/10

Minimum Annual Wage Average monthly cost single person

Taxes on international income: 10/10

0%

There is no income tax in the Bahamas.

Economic growth: 3/10

Average GDP growth over the last 10 years: 1%

Safety: 5.3/10

Global Terrorism Index (10/10) Intentional homicide rate (0/10) Rape rate (6/10)
0
32
22.7

Visa: 9.3/10

  • Visa (10/10)

    Most Westerners can stay there for 3 to 8 months without a visa, which can be extended. You can also get Annual Residency for $1,000 per year, or get a Home Owner’s card if you own a home

  • Permanent Residence (8/10)

    Possible through marriage, or for financially independent individuals or investors. You need to have a residence in The Bahamas, invest at least $500,000 in the country, or reside in the country for at least 10 years with a work permit

  • Citizenship (10/10)

    Possible if you have permanent residency

living in the bahamas

How is life for expats in the Bahamas?

Life for expats in the Bahamas can be a dream come true.

If you’re looking for a sunny island to move to upon escaping the West – but you don’t want to go too far from the US or Canada, then the Bahamas should be near the top of your list.

There’s the very enjoyable climate (although a bit too humid), the beautiful beaches and the high biocapacity (which means the country is doing well for the environment compared to the rest of the world).

Having English as its primary language definitely comes as an advantage if you are unwilling or unable to learn another language.

The major benefit of course is its status as a tax haven, and if you dislike paying taxes, you’ll be very happy here.

However, the downsides of the Bahamas shouldn’t be taken lightly.

If you plan to move there, you do have to keep in mind the higher cost of living compared to other options, the similarly higher crime rates, and the fact that this country has strong ties to the collapsing United States.

In short, the Bahamas is pretty awesome, but I would not live there.

If you want to start a business, basing it in the Bahamas isn’t a bad idea at all – tax wise.

You can also go for residence or open a bank account, but I wouldn’t go further than that.

Avoid too strong ties to the nation, because unlike countries such as Paraguay, when the West starts to enter later phases of its collapse, The Bahamas will certainly feel the effects.

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