Visa Destination Bahamas

For those Indian’s in US whose Visa is nearing its renewal time, it is a costly and time consuming option to have to return to their country of origin simply for this purpose. An alternative is to head for the many neighboring countries and process the renewal through the US consulate there.

In our article How to Apply For A Visa If You Are A Third Country National in The U.S. we mentioned how this can be done. One more emerging Visa destination is currently the Bahamas. This beautiful tropical destination also boasts a very good consulate track-record. Here is how you can renew your visa or change your status through the US consulate in Bahamas.

Getting to the Bahamas

In order to enter the Bahamas you will need a visa. If you are an Indian citizen in US, for a Bahamas Visa you will need:

  1. A valid passport and
  2. A valid return ticket with journey date preferable within 30 days of entry.

A Bahamas Visa can be applied at:

Washington, D.C.
Embassy of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas
2220 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20008
Phone: 202-319-2667
Fax: 202-319-2668

Miami
Bahamas Consulate General
25 S.E. Second Avenue
Ingraham Bldg. Suite 818
Miami, FL 33131
Phone: 305-373-6295
Fax: 305-373-6312
Telex: 203-807849
bcgmia@bellsouth.net

New York
Bahamas Consulate General
Bahama House
231 East 46th Street
New York, NY 10017
Phone: 212-421-6420
Fax: 212-688-5926
Telex: 2343-2580
bahamasconsulate@bahamasny.com

How to Apply

Start by scheduling an interview appointment through the Embassy’s Visa Information Service (VIS) before applying at the Visa Section of the U.S. Embassy in Nassau. This you can do online at http://evisaforms.state.gov.  Applicants for Non-immigrant visa can call the VIS @ 1-800-763-6812 from the Bahamas or the United States or @1-877-709-1892 from the Turks and Caicos Islands. As per law, all applicants from age 14 to 79 have to appear in person at the US Embassy.

You will need to purchase a Personal Identification Number (PIN) from VIS to access the service. You can do this by either charging the $14 fee to a Mastercard/Visa during the call or purchasing it at a local distribution center, listed at www.usvisascratchcards.info. VIS operators will walk you through the visa application process and its requirements. So we suggest you clarify all doubts at this stage to avoid delays or mix-ups later.

Documentation Required:

  1. Valid passport, with at least six months validity remaining. Carry previous passports if any. A report is required for any lost/stolen passports.
  2. Form DS-156, fully completed and signed application and DS-157 (for male applicants from age 16 – 45.) All forms must be completed online at http://evisaforms.state.gov and then printed out and signed.
  3. One passport-size photograph taken within the past six months; plain white background, no head coverings.  Hair should be pushed away from the face. (Glasses may be worn if there is no glare and eyes are clearly visible.)
  4. $100.00 in exact change, payable in cash (either Bahamian or U.S. currencies), postal money order or certified check only.

Documentation Required for Student Visa (F and M):

  1. I-20 form issued by the school or university in the U.S.
  2. Non-Immigrant Visa Application Form DS-156
  3. DS-157 (needed only for males age 16 through 45)
  4. DS-158 Contact Information and Work History
  5. Itemized bank statements going back at least three months
  6. Any other documentation that shows how your tuition and all related expenses will be paid.
  7. Evidence of payment of the SEVIS fee (this can be paid at the website)

Documentation Required for Student Visa (J Visa):

  1. A DS-2019 (issued by the sponsoring organization)
  2. Non-Immigrant Visa Application Form DS-156
  3. DS-157 (needed only for males age 16 through 45)
  4. DS-158 Contact Information and Work History
  5. Evidence of sufficient funds or arrangements to cover expenses
  6. Evidence of payment of the SEVIS fee

Documentation Required for Work Visa (H1A, H1B, H2A, H2B, H3, I, O, P and Q Visa):

  1. An approved I-797
  2. For dependents, original form I-197 and proof of marriage (for spouse)

Interview

The next step is the interview. Please make sure are documents are genuine and correct. Answer questions confidently and to the point. Be prepared for questions regarding purpose of visit and be ready with answers.  The interview will be held at the:

The U.S. Embassay, Nassau
P.O. Box N-8197
Nassau, Bahamas
Telephone: (242) 322-1181
E-Mail: embnas@state.gov
http://nassau.usembassy.gov/

American Citizen Services:
Telephone: (242) 322-1181
Email: acsn@state.gov

Business Hours:
Monday – Thursday 8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Friday 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. The Embassy is closed on American and Bahamian Holidays.

If the visa application is approved, the visa is typically ready for pick-up between 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.  Non-immigrant Visa Hours are 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Monday to Thursday (except holidays).