Public Affairs Section
Telephone: 322-1181, ext. 4251/4220
Nassau, Bahamas
September 2, 2008

The U.S. Department of State today officially authorized non-emergency American citizen personnel and all family members to depart post, due to the possibility of adverse weather conditions as a result of Tropical Depression Gustav, and Tropical Storms Hanna, Ike, and Josephine. The authorization takes effect immediately.

Under authorized departure, non-emergency personnel and family members are permitted to leave their post of assignment to return temporarily to the United States. The decision to depart is their choice; they cannot be compelled to leave.

The Embassy has taken this precautionary step in order to protect the welfare of American citizens and to lessen the potential demand placed on disaster relief resources in the Bahamas.

All non U.S. passport holders wishing to depart the Bahamas are required to have a valid U.S. visa.

Bahamian nationals are allowed to travel to the U.S. without a visa only if prior to or at boarding a flight destined to the U.S. they are cleared by a CBP officer (i.e. Pre-clearance Nassau and/or Freeport).

If and when CBP pre-clearance operations in Nassau and Freeport close, Bahamian nationals applying for entry upon arrival into the United States will be required to have a valid Bahamian Passport and U.S. Visa. U.S. Visa waivers may be considered on a case by basis. These individuals will be subject to paying the visa waiver fee of $545. All non-U.S. travelers will still be subject to inspection and final entry approval by CBP.