These days, a lot of us are working or studying remotely — and likely will be for some time. And though you may be stuck working or learning from home, nobody says it has to be YOUR home.
On October 29, the Bahamian government launched the Bahamas Extended Access Travel Stay (BEATS) program, a residency permit that allows professionals and students to reside in the Bahamas while working or studying remotely. Whereas visitors are normally granted stays of up to 90 days, the BEATS permit is valid for an entire year from the date of issue.
It’s the perfect opportunity to work from paradise. Or try island living without giving up your day job.
Abaco would be the perfect place for this sort of working vacation. If it were me, I’d spend several months each on Guana Cay, Elbow Cay, Man-O-War Cay and Green Turtle Cay, and some time on the mainland, exploring it from Crown Haven to Sandy Point.
I’d snorkel in the clear, warm summer waters, sail and storm-watch in the fall and, of course, enjoy a colourful island Christmas and New Years Junkanoo.
Travel between the various Abaco communities takes very little time and you need never get on a plane. (Although of course, if you’re craving “big city” life, Nassau is a half-hour flight away.)
The BEATS application process sounds simple. You complete an online application, for which you’ll need a valid passport, proof of medical insurance and proof of foreign employment or a student ID. The government commits to responding to your application within five days, and if you’re approved, you’ll receive an email requesting permit payment.
Total permit cost for an individual is $1,000 (plus $500 each per dependent who will accompany you), and $500 for college students. A $25 application fee also applies. Once your payment is processed, you’ll receive a confirmation QR Code to show upon entry into The Bahamas. That’s it!
Of course, BEATS program participants will be required to adhere to all current Bahamian COVID-19 protocols.
And to plan your Abaco working vacation, see A Visitor’s Guide to Abaco.