You can make that tropical Zoom background a reality with a new visa that allows remote workers an opportunity to transport their home office to paradise by relocating to Barbados for up to a year.
The island of Barbados is now accepting applications for its new 12-month Barbados Welcome Stamp, which launched July 19.
After temporarily suspending non-essential travel to the island in response to COVID-19, Barbados has reopened to international travellers with an invitation to work remotely and live like a “Bajan” for a year.
“COVID-19 has changed the global business landscape as a larger number of people continue to work from home,” said Barbados’ Prime Minister, the Hon. Mia Amor Mottley in a news release. “With this new visa, we can provide workers with an opportunity to spend the next 12-months working remotely from paradise, here in Barbados.”
Prime Minister Mottley noted that part of the challenge relates to short-term travel.
“Rather than coming for the usual week or three weeks or a month, why not plan out your business?” suggests Mottley. “We have a mechanism that allows people who want to take advantage of being in a different part of the world, of the sun, sea and sand, and a stable society — one that functions well. Barbados is a perfect place for you to come.”
Barbados has simplified the visa application process to ensure a stress-free experience for applicants. Visa applications along with the documents listed below must be submitted electronically at Barbadiswelcomestamp.bb.
Documents needed include:
- Two passport size photographs
- Bio data page of passport
- Birth certificate (self/spouse/children)
- Proof of relationship to dependents
- Entry visa (where applicable)
Upon approval, the following non-refundable fees are applicable:
- Individual: $2,000 USD
- Family Bundle: $3,000 USD
The visa is valid for one year and participants can reapply for renewal. Applicants will not be liable for Barbados income tax.
The 12-month Barbados Welcome Stamp offers new opportunities for anyone whose work is location-independent.
This includes entire offices, multi-disciplinary creatives, digital nomads and entrepreneurs. With many companies moving the majority of their workforce to the working from home model, Barbados presents an excellent option for corporate teams or individuals.
“Barbados is firmly established as a sought-after leisure destination and has recently been growing as a destination for Millennials. We can easily accommodate visitors working remotely from on island, said Sunil Chatrani, chair of Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. “Barbados boasts the fastest fibre internet and mobile services in the Caribbean — and with a range of flexible office space locations, the working environment in Barbados definitely enables you get things done. Our country also offers excellent health care and a high education standard, which we know is critical for those who want to bring their families to the island for a 12-month period.”
Health and Safety Updates
Barbados has been commended for its ongoing COVID-19 response efforts and robust contact tracing protocols. The country of more than 280,000 people has had just more than 100 cases of the novel coronavirus and seven deaths.
Even as it has re-opened its borders the country has maintained a proper set of health and safety guidelines, making travel not onerous, but safe.
Due to a global spike in COVID-19 cases, the island has recently announced an update to its entry requirements for travellers from high-risk countries including the USA and medium-risk countries, which include Canada.
To clear immigration on arrival in Barbados, travellers will be required to present evidence of a negative result of a COVID-19 PCR test and an embarkation/disembarkation card, which covers personal health questions relating to COVID-19 symptoms.
At the airport, other general public health protocols remain in place including wearing face masks en route to Barbados, physical distancing at three feet, and temperatures checks.
Air Canada resumed flights to the Grantley Adams International Airport on July 12, with two flights per week out of Toronto Pearson International Airport, and is set to expand to three flights per week starting Aug. 15.
Petra Roach, head of Global Markets at Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc., says Barbados’ established multi-tiered tourism model has positioned the island to easily accommodate all types of remote workers.
“Barbados as a destination has always been very much in demand, so we have a wide range of accommodations from budget-friendly studios to beachfront luxury condos,” said Roach. “Added to our year-round warm climate, beautiful countryside, world class beaches and countless activities, this is an ideal backdrop for a more sustainable work-life balance that many are craving for themselves and their families.”