Santa arrives in The Bahamas for an extended stay on Stocking Island

Santa arrives in The Bahamas for an extended stay on Stocking Island
Essential worker Santa Claus unwinds in The Bahamas after a stressful year, thanks to complimentary BEATS (Bahamas Extended Access Travel Stay) visa. (PHOTO: BMOTA)

Essential workers Mr and Mrs Claus kick off their boots and unwind in The Bahamas after stressful year, thanks to complimentary extended stay visas

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — This year has been long and taxing for everyone — even the world’s jolliest. As an essential worker, Santa’s annual duties this year came with the added pressure of spreading more cheer than ever before.

As a token of appreciation, The Bahamas invited Santa to hang up his suit and hat after the holidays and spend the next year defrosting on Stocking Island in the picturesque Exuma Cays.

By gifting Santa and Mrs Claus complimentary BEATS (Bahamas Extended Access Travel Stay) visas, they are now able to unwind and experience The Bahamas’ most merry offerings until next Christmas.

The BEATS programme was launched in October as a remote study and work permit program allowing foreign students enrolled in online courses and foreign remote workers to reside in The Bahamas.

At that time, Minister of Financial Services, Trade and Industry and Immigration Elsworth Johnson said the “innovative program” aimed to create a new revenue stream for the government while also stimulating the local economy.

The residency programme lasts up to one year.

Trading snowy boots for bare feet on one of the most beautiful beaches in The Bahamas and where they will feel right at home, Mr and Mrs Claus are now soaking up the sun on Jolly Hall Beach, which is reserved especially for the Clauses and their elves. And, thanks to the seclusion of the Out Islands of The Bahamas, they can remain socially distant and out of the public eye on Stocking Island, while they relax and enjoy all the outdoor adventures The Bahamas has to offer.

Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation Director General Joy Jibrilu said: “Santa wasn’t the only one working overtime this year; we know that people everywhere need a break and change of scenery.

“The Bahamas welcomes paradise seekers of all kinds to embrace island time, and we offer a variety of island escapes perfect to suit each visitor’s unique remote working needs.”

Given that Santa and Mrs Claus are immune to COVID-19 and in recognition of their hard work during the 2020 holiday season, the director general was honored to grant them honorary travel health visas.

Additional details related to the BEATS program application are available at BahamasBeats.com.