If you’re looking for a change of scenery and you’ve always wanted to give island life a try, shift your focus to Barbados. There are multiple ways in which you can move to this beautiful island. However, the Barbados Welcome Stamp is currently the most popular option for professionals who want to relocate temporarily and if you’re a location-flexible worker, this visa program is especially suitable for you.
The Barbados Welcome Stamp was introduced in June 2020 to attract long-stay visitors to the island in light of the disruption the COVID-19 pandemic caused to short-stay tourism. It initially allowed people to work remotely in Barbados for up to 12 months and now with a 1-year extension, working remotely on the island for a two year period is possible. As long as you meet the requirements of the visa and you work for a company or individual outside of the island, you’re invited to apply. (See Explore 12 Month Barbados Welcome Stamp – Visit Barbados for details on how to apply.)
If you’re a digital nomad thinking about relocating to Barbados, you probably have lots of questions. This article will cover many of the things you need to know.
What Are the Costs Associated With the Barbados Welcome Stamp?
The visa costs US$2,000 for individuals. If you want to relocate with your family, the family bundle fee is US$3000. You pay after your visa application has been approved. Applicants must also make an annual income of at least USD$50,000 over the 12 month period that you’ll be using the travel stamp.
How’s the Internet?
As a remote worker, this is probably the first question on your mind. Internet connectivity is provided by the two main telecommunications providers on the island: Flow and Digicel. Barbados has high-speed fibre internet with download speeds of up to 1,000 and upload speeds of up to 500 Mbps. You’ll find reliable Wi-Fi in most hotels, villas and AirBnbs. In addition, more and more cafes are catering to remote workers by offering co-working spaces, and some public parks and beaches offer free Wi-Fi.
Barbados is just 166 square miles so as the locals like to say, nowhere is far! That being said, if you want to be close to cafes, restaurants, spas, shops and other amenities, you’ll prefer the south and west coasts. From these bases, you’ll also have easy access to the capital city of Bridgetown. Alternatively, you may opt to settle in the fast-growing commercial hub of Warrens, St Michael or get away from it all on the East Coast. The choice is yours! You’ll find everything from budget apartments to luxury condos.
What’s The Transportation System in Barbados Like?
Both public and private buses and vans traverse the island. Some routes are better serviced than others but if you choose to stay on the popular south or west coast, there will be no shortage of transportation. The fee is a standard BDS$3 for any trip. If you’d like a bit more independence, you can hire one of our friendly taxi drivers, rent a car as needed or even purchase a vehicle if you’re in for the long haul.
If you plan to live and work in Barbados for a while, you’ll need a local bank account. There are five commercial banks on the island: Republic Bank, CIBC First Caribbean, First Citizens, Scotiabank, and RBC Royal Bank. The services and fees vary for each financial institution, so you’ll want to shop around before you settle on a bank. When attempting to open your account, be prepared to present two valid forms of identification, proof of address on the island, and a letter or statement from your bank overseas.
It all depends on where you’re coming from, but Barbados receives multiple flights each week from Miami, New York, Toronto, London, and several Caribbean countries. If you make it to one of these hubs, Barbados is just hours or even minutes away. Be sure to check the COVID-19 travel protocols and quarantine rules (Visit https://gisbarbados.gov.bb/ to stay up to date) ahead of your trip so you know what to do before and after your arrival.
If you’re looking for beautiful beaches, warm weather and even warmer locals, you should seriously consider moving to Barbados temporarily. Whether you want to be in the middle of the action or a little off the beaten track, you’ll find that this little island ticks all the boxes. Come visit us today!
By Natasha Beckles