The Barbados Welcome Stamp

The Barbados Welcome Stamp : Everything you need to know

As of July 1st 2020, Barbados entered into a new phase of its COVID-19 lockdown exit strategy as further restrictions were lifted. One of the major developments came in the form of the exciting and dynamic “Barbados Welcome Visa”. This new visa program allows non-nationals to relocate to Barbados for 12 months and work remotely from the beautiful island without having to commute back and forth to their country of domicile. 

The concept of remote working for individuals and companies that are adapting to work from home regimes has changed indefinitely due to initiatives such as the Barbados Welcome Visa. This new platform has opened up a wealth of opportunities that can lead to permanent residency for non-nationals. 

This exciting new opportunity gives visitors insight into life in Barbados, but what exactly does this entail and what do you need to know about Barbados ;

Key facts about Barbados

Capital City : Bridgetown

Language : English

Area : 430 km2

Population: c. 287,000

Currency : Barbados Dollar. US$1 = BBD$2 approximately

Time Zone : GMT-4. There is no daylight saving time in Barbados

Eligibility for the Barbados Welcome Visa

The Barbados Welcome Visa is accessible to any applicant that earns at least US$50,000 per year in addition to valid health insurance.  Barbados is a family-oriented destination and our welcome visa reflects this as there is a family package which allows individuals and their families to apply for a fee of US$3,000. For those who wish to travel alone, the individual visa is priced at US$2,000.

All applicants must sign a declaration stating that they have the financial means to support themselves, their spouses and their dependents accompanying them during their stay in Barbados.

All applications must be submitted electronically along with :

  1. The birth certificates of applicant, spouse and dependents,
  2. Proof of relationship of dependents, 
  3. Entry visas (if necessary) 
  4. Two passport sized photographs,
  5. Bio data page of passport

All completed applications are processed within 48 hours of submission and applicants will be notified within 7 days whether their visa has been granted or denied. Fees are only payable once the visa has been approved.

Benefits of the Barbados Welcome Visa

There are key benefits in applying for this visa which extend beyond remotely working from one of the Caribbean’s finest destinations. 

  1. Applicants are not required to pay income tax in Barbados during the 12 month period
  2. After the first 12 months, the income tax payable in Barbados will be less than 10%
  3. The Corporate tax payable in Barbados is 5%

Work Permits

The Barbados Welcome Visa can create an entry to residency in Barbados. After the 12 month visa has expired, applicants have the option to set up their own company and apply for a 5 year work permit. 

Applying for a work permit in Barbados allows applicants to :

  1. Travel to and from Barbados freely during the duration of their permit
  2. Become tax resident in Barbados
  3. Apply for permanent residency or a Barbados Passport after 7 years

History

In 1536, Pedro Campos, a Portuguese explorer came across the island and gave it the name “Los Barbados” as the islands abundant fig trees resembled long thick beards. In due course, the “Los” was abandoned and the island became known as Barbados. 

The British claimed Barbados c. 1625 and remained as the colonial force until Barbados gained independence on November 30th 1966.

Barbados formed the third oldest parliament in the British Commonwealth and is recognized as one of the most politically stable countries.

Geography

Barbados is the easternmost island in the Caribbean and is surrounded completely by the Atlantic Ocean. This beautiful island is 166 square miles, 21 miles long and 14 miles wide at its widest point. Also known as the gem of the Caribbean Sea, Barbados is made up mostly of limestone and is fairly flat. Barbados has eleven parishes in total. Its capital, Bridgetown, is located in the south-west of the island in the parish of St. Michael, which is the most populated. 

Getting to Barbados

Barbados is easily accessible from major markets such as the UK, US, Canada, Europe and Latin America. There are a number of international airlines that schedule daily flights to and from Barbados.  Airline fares will vary depending on the time of year you travel and whether the airline is offering discounted fares. 

Climate

Barbados’ weather is generally warm and sunny all year round with an average temperature of 30°C / 86°F.  The weather is not insufferable due to the consistent northeast trade winds that blow steadily throughout the island.

Barbados does have a hurricane or “rainy season” which commences in June and concludes in November. The average hurricane season entails bursts of mild to moderate showers throughout the season. The great news is Barbados is extremely fortunate and usually escapes the effects of severe hurricanes and tropical storms which navigate through the Eastern Caribbean due to its prime location and therefore the majority of hurricanes miss the island completely. The last hurricane to hit Barbados was Hurricane Janet in 1955, since then, Barbados has been affected by mild tropical storms during the season.

Accommodation 

Barbados has a wide scope of accommodation from inexpensive self-catering guest houses to boutique hotels to air bnb’s to luxury villas. Many rental properties are located in close proximity to the beach or other facilities that will make your stay in Barbados memorable.

There are many luxury villas, cottages and condominiums that are situated on the West Coast of Barbados and are therefore more expensive. The cost of accommodation will vary depending on the location and the size of the property. The average price for a two-bedroom townhouse is BBD$2,000 (USD$1000) per month. Other villas on the West Coast are averaged at BBD$6,000 (USD$3,000) per month. 

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Barbados is reflective of Barbados’ positioning as a premiere luxury destination in the Caribbean. Barbados is one wealthiest island’s in the Caribbean and is one of the most developed nations. 

Education and Schools

Barbados is home to some of the best primary, secondary and tertiary education institutions throughout the Caribbean region. Both public and private schools will accommodate international students who are relocating to Barbados under the Welcome Visa. Non-national students that attend public schools are required to pay a small fee, however, there is also the option for international students to attend private schools, all of which have individual fee schedules. 

There are also options international students are required to apply for a student visa at the Immigration Department of Barbados. The cost of the visa is USD$150 and is valid for 12 months. 

Telecommunications

Barbados is home to a contemporary telecommunications infrastructure which allows both residents and visitors alike to work remotely without challenges. Barbados’ 4G LTE coverage surpasses that of other Caribbean islands and has full fiber optic connectivity with download speeds as high as 1000mbps and upload speeds of 500mbps. 

Providers of telecommunication and internet services are: 

  • Cable & Wireless (Barbados) Limited 
  •  Digicel Barbados 
  • Flow Barbados

The average price of a telecommunications package is priced at USD$90. This package includes ;

  • Broadband
  • TV
  • Unlimited local calls from landline telephones
  • Unlimited international calls to the UK, USA & Canada

Some packages include mobile data and various other services. 

Entertainment

Barbados offers a wealth of entertainment and activities for residents and visitors alike, these are inclusive of but not limited to ;

  1. Beach and water sports
  2. Catamarans, submarines and fishing
  3. Adventure, historic and Nature tours
  4. Rum distillery tours
  5. Organized events and nightlife
  6. Music festivals
  7. Food, Wine and Rum, festivals
  8. Golf, cricket and Polo
  9. Equestrian tours
  10. Local arts, crafts and culture festivals

Other things you should know about Barbados

Camouflage is illegal

Camouflage print is exclusively worn by the defense force in Barbados. Residents and visitors who violate this law may be subject to fines or imprisonment.

No Smoking in public places

Smoking is not permitted in public places in Barbados (this does not include beaches). Please click here for further guidance on smoking laws in Barbados.

Taxi fares are not metered

Taxi fares are not metered in Barbados therefore you should always confirm the price before getting into a taxi

Look out for the Manchineel Tree

Also known as Poison Guava, the Manchineel is well known due to its poisonous fruits. It is found on beaches in the Caribbean and South America and bares fair green leaves. These trees will often have a red ring drawn around the trunk as a warning sign for residents and visitors.

Please contact Rianna Holas at rianna@mithriladvisors.com should you require further information or assistance.

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