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Expat Advice: Working in Paradise Island, Bahamas

Sep 25, 2018


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An expat talks about taking the plunge and moving his family to The Bahamas. He talks about the process about obtaining a work permit. And, he advises others hoping to find a job in The Bahamas to used LinkedIn and talk to others in their industry.

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Paradise Island

What are the main industries in this city? What types of career opportunities commonly exist? How do most people find new jobs?

Tourism, fishing, international banking and some farming. Many of the expats here made their money in banking. I believe finding jobs here is more by word of mouth and being in the right place at the right time. Being able to open your own business is probably the best way to ensure work.

What type of work do you do and how did you find your job?

I work in the Theme Park business, specifically, water parks. The industry is quite small so when specific jobs pop us the pool can be small to fit the right person. I had industry peers suggest the opening would be a good fit so I applied and went through the application process.

Expats living in Bahamas interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA. Get a Quote

Expats living in Bahamas interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA.

How did you obtain your work permit? What advice would you have for others about work permits?

I moved from a completely different country other than my home citizenship. The work permit is obtained through the HR department by completing a series of documents and requests. Other than typical identification documents, I had to get (for my family as well): police reports and medicals.

Best advice: complete and submit the documents immediately to ensure the fastest approval. Follow up with the HR department is extremely important. The HR department needs to stay on the government officials making the decision of whether you can even have the job. The government officials meet once a month, so make sure the HR dept gets everything in quickly and follows up to ensure your 'case' is heard. Bahamas is a country that likes to make sure no Bahamian can do the job before the job is extended to an expat. Once you get the work permit, you can book travel to the country.

I had to wait four months for my paperwork to clear. This was I was told it would take 4-6 weeks. Follow up is extremely important. I would suggest not even putting in notice until you have confirmation of the work permit. I lost 2 months salary but, I have a really cool job so it was all worth it.

Have you taken language and cross-cultural training courses to prepare for your assignment? If so, how have they helped you on the job?

Living abroad for the last 12 years prepared me for expat lifestyle. I had several years of Spanish class through schooling, lived abroad as a child, lived abroad as a professional and traveled many countries around the world to develop an aptitude to adapt in different cultures.

If you were transferred abroad by your employer, were you guaranteed a job upon repatriation? What type of mentoring programs does your employer offer?

I was not transferred by my employer. We chose to come here as a professional promotion in my industry of choice. My employer does well to mentor. There are internships available for our division. Many colleges use our company to satisfy internship programs.

What advice would you offer others about finding jobs and working abroad?

Do it! Do search engines with the jobs you want and what countries you want to live in. Use LinkedIn as valuable resource. Headhunters will come after you if you have a decent resume. Do it. Worth everything.

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Get a quote for expat health insurance in Bahamas from our partner, Cigna Global Health.
Get a Quote

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