We hold an L1 visa (Citizens of India) and are planning a cruise to the Bahamas this summer. Are there any Visa requirements to enter Bahamas.
As per wikipedia, Visa is not required if entering and leaving by Cruise vessel
Just wanted to share our experience too as it may help others. We were also back from a cruise to Nassau, Bahamas in May, 2016. We(myself and my wife) are both on H1b visas and my visa actually expires after 2 weeks of our trip(Of course I had an H1B extension too). We also took our parents who has B2 visa.
I'm listing out various entry and exit points and the documents that have been checked.
1) While we are embarking on the ship at Miami, they checked our passports (Not sure if they had verified if we have any valid visa to return) but we were asked if we have any permanent card, I told them we just have non-immigrant visas.
2) While disembarking the ship at Nassau,Bahamas they just checked the Sail card(similar to boarding pass for flights) and a picture ID. We just showed our passports for picture IDs for all of us. No body checked/asked for any Bahamas visa or as such. Btw, this check happened in the ship itself before we got out. There are no other checks once we are out
3) Again to get back on to the ship at Bahamas, they just checked our passports and sail cards. But this time the verification is done before we even get on to the dock. The sail cards are verified and the baggage was scanned while entering into the ship.
4) While disembarking at Miami the CBP official is checking the Visa on passport and verifying the photo. He just asked me what do I do and what company I work for. He didn't even ask for any I797 or anything. He also asked about our parents when would they leave and if they had return ticket. We answered yes and that's all - we are out of the port.
Based on our experience it is safe to go to Bahamas without having to get Bahamas visa for Indian citizens who are in the USA on a non-immigrant visa. But I believe we definitely need a valid (unexpired) US visa stamp to return to US.
My friend family also accompanied us. And his case is that even though he has valid H1b visa, his current company holding the visa is different. But there was no cross verification and he was not even asked any questions.
On a side note, We thoroughly enjoyed the cruise and I would recommend to everyone. It's a nice experience.
we just came back from a cruise which had a 8-hour stop-over in Nassau, Bahamas. We will not need a bahamas visa to get on the island (weren't even asked for the passport during dismebarkation). We did use our passport for ID verification during the embarkation and even at that time, there were no questions asked about visa.