The Islands of The Bahamas has launched the Bahamas Extended Access Travel Stay (BEATS) program — a one-year residency permit designed to allow professionals and students to pack their laptop and their swimwear as they march to the island rhythm of their own drum, remotely, from The Bahamas.
BEATS applies to those whose workplaces and classrooms have shifted from face-to-face to virtual as COVID-19 has brought unprecedented flexibility to the traditional work from home environment.
Joy Jibrilu, director general of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation, explained that: “What has always been unique about The Bahamas and even more so significant today, is that we are home to 700 islands and cays with 16 unique island destinations viable for travel.”
Jibrilu continued: “This means that you can essentially choose your own work, study and play adventure. If you’re seeking serenity and seclusion, you can head to Mayaguana or San Salvador, or if you’re looking for an off-the-beaten path stay, you can opt in for Grand Bahama Island, Eleuthera or Long Island. The opportunities are endless.”
The new program offers visitors a chance to explore and take a deep dive into the culture of the Bahamas.
Remote workers can “backpack” their way through the country, island-hopping throughout the length of their stay. More time allows guests to become fully immersed in the beautiful Bahamian culture as they experience the destination in a much deeper way.
Extra-curricular activities and “overtime” offerings include:
- Learn new skills: Head to Long Island, home of Dean’s Blue Hole, the second deepest blue hole in the world, where the learning extends far beyond the classroom at diving school.
- Outdoor Physical Education: Master the art of bonefishing across the flats of Andros; hike to the top of Cat Island’s Mount Alvernia, which is the highest point in The Bahamas, or snorkel through the shipwrecks of Bimini.
- Lunch break: Your remote “cafeteria” gets a serious upgrade on New Providence, where the local Fish Fry at Arawak Cay or Potter’s Cay serves the best seafood in town.
- Sip Sip at Happy Hour: Clock out and clock into happy hour with any of the Bahamian staples, from the Bahama Mama and Goombay Smash cocktails to a refreshing Kalik or Sands beer.
- Make new friends at “recess:” The swimming pigs, iguanas and nurse sharks on Exuma or the flamingos on Inagua can’t wait to meet you.
Dionisio D’Aguilar, Bahamas Minister of Tourism & Aviation, said of the new program: “We’re thrilled for travelers to have the opportunity to enjoy a rich Bahamian experience through an extended stay with us. Simply put, a workday is better in The Bahamas. At the end of a long day of meetings or classes, you will be rewarded with breathtaking sunsets, a relaxing walk on the beach, or fresh conch salad to feed your soul. It doesn’t get any better than that.”
The BEATS permit is valid up to 12 months from the date of issue. The total cost for individual professionals to apply for and obtain a BEATS permit is $1,025, while college students wishing to apply will be required to pay $525, inclusive of the application and permit fee.
For more on BEATS, go to www.bahamasbeats.com.
To apply, go to https://portal.immigration.gov.bs/ .
All incoming visitors must follow all current COVID-19 government protocols in place to ensure the safety of visitors and residents of The Bahamas. Know before you go and visit www.Bahamas.com/travel updates for the most up-to-date information.