Covid-19 hit tourist destinations hard. While travel isn’t exactly top of mind for many, Barbados is hoping you’ll change your mind with their new “12-month Barbados Welcome Stamp.” The unique program was announced recently and would allow travelers to move to the island for one year and work remotely. It’s in its final stages (meaning this post will be updated when all is said and done).
Update: All has been said and done! Read on for more info on how to apply for the Barbados Welcome Stamp Program!
Seeing as I have a remote job (and this beloved blog) this piqued my interest. If you’re curious like me, here’s what to consider and how to apply to the 12-month Barbados Welcome Stamp program.
12 Month Barbados Welcome Stamp
Am I eligible for the Barbados Welcome Stamp?
To find out if you’re eligible to apply for the Barbados Welcome Stamp, take a look at how Barbados has defined the terms on their application page. Straight from the source:
“Applicant: Individual who will be engaging in remote work in Barbados.
Family: Applicant, spouse, partner and dependant(s)
- a child or step-child under the age of 26 years;
- any other relative who is, by reason of age or any infirmity of body or mind, wholly dependent on that person for his/her subsistence.
Duration of Stay: Maximum 12 months from date of approval”
Does this sound like it applies to you? Yay! You’re eligible!
Next, Barbados would like you to submit a few documents for yourself and defined family who may be traveling with you. They’ve outlined the required documents below:
So, photo, passport, birth certificate (for all involved) and proof of relationship. Got all that? Great, now it’s time to move onto the application for the Barbados Welcome Stamp.
Barbados Welcome Stamp Application
Here’s the important part. You must meet certain requirements in order to be approved for this program. Read these requirements carefully. They may disqualify you automatically.
Important things to note:
- You must be over the age of 18 to apply.
- There are non-refundable fees to enter. Individual fees are $2,000 USD and $3,000 USD for a family.
- You must certify that you expect to earn an income of $50,000 USD or more over the next 12 months and/or have the means to support yourself while in the country.
Barbados is taking this program very seriously, and so should you. If you don’t expect to be able to contribute to the country’s economy and be a respectful visitor, this probably isn’t for you.
Barbados Welcome Stamp FAQs
Barbados has provided an FAQ page listing just about everything. Here are a couple of highlights:
- It will take about 7 days to process your application.
- You can travel in and out of the island upon arrival.
- You will not have to pay Barbados Income Tax.
- You will be asked to present evidence of health insurance when you arrive.
- You can apply to extend your visa when the 12 months is over.
- Non-national children may attend the schools in Barbados.
Other Things to Consider
If this program sounds perfect for you and you meet the requirements, you may be tempted to go for it. before you do, I’ve listed a few other considerations to mull over before making the move to Barbados.
First thing to note is that Barbados runs on Atlantic Standard Time (AST). You may be just fine working remotely in your current location, but if a move to Barbados means a massive time difference, check with your employer first. For reference, I’m a Kansas City resident and Barbados is one hour ahead of my local time. Likely a feasible switch for me, but maybe not for our friends on the west coast.
Second, price out your stay on this majestic island. It can be easy to get carried away with the dream of taking a Zoom call on the beach, but… money. Would renting an apartment in Barbados be more, less, or about the same as your current rent? What about costs of living? You’ll of course want to tour the area, so factor that in as well.
Keep in mind, this proposal is meant to inject long-term dollars into Barbados economy. I would take that to heart and eat at restaurants often. So that’s something that I’d need to remember as I build my own Barbados budget. What behaviors would influence your month-to-month budget?
Third, while Barbados is still welcoming Americans into the country, Barbados suggests that travelers take a Covid-19 test 72 hours upon arrival. Let’s play on the safe side and self-quarantine for the recommended two weeks and then get a test. Where would you quarantine, and how would that affect your budget? Would it delay your move to your apartment, or would you self-quarantine there? If so, how would you get there safely avoiding contact as much as possible? All things to consider.
Next, do you know how to get around? Barbados has a bus system, but you may prefer to drive. That’ll mean looking into short-term car rentals and pricing it out.
There’s much more to consider, and we’ll know just what as Barbados releases the details of this program. In the meantime, start considering the above if this is a program that really appeals to you. After all, who wouldn’t want to work on the beach every day?
Would you apply for the 12-month Barbados Welcome Stamp? Let me know in the comments!
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