Barbados is one of the best Caribbean destinations for remote workers and digital nomads, home to fantastic beaches and more than 1500rum shops, boasting world-class attractions and vibrant turquoise bays. This beautiful Caribbean island nation in the southeastern Caribbean Sea with warm and friendly people draws thousands of travelers and digital nomads every year.
On 18 July 2020, Barbados became the first Caribbean country to introduce a remote work visa called the Barbados Welcome Stamp, allowing international remote workers to live legally and work remotely on this tropical island for 12 months. Barbados’ prime minister announced this new visa in a bid to boost the island’s tourism sector by attracting remote workers and digital nomads.
More than 45 countries, including many other Caribbean countries, have launched Digital Nomad Visas including Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Bermuda, The Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, Curacao, Dominica, Aruba, Montserrat, and Barbados. This digital nomad visa will not just let travelers and digital nomads stay for 12 months but also immerse them in the country’s culture, tradition and lifestyle.
In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, Barbados launched this program, which has intrigued remote workers and digital nomads not just for its beaches but for its outstanding hospitality, great food, pleasant weather, and high-speed internet fiber with free public Wi-Fi.
Also dubbed “Little England,” “the land of the flying fish,” and “Bimshire,” this beautiful country has everything to captivate travelers and digital nomads alike.
Within two years of announcing the remote long-term visa program, Barbados was ranked as the top Caribbean destination for digital nomads. By 2022, more than 2000 digital nomads have already traded their offices for a new life in Barbados.
The remote workers worldwide chose this beautiful country as it boasts year-round sunshine, beautiful beaches, enticing Bajan culture, high-speed connectivity, and fantastic nightlife. According to Barbados Today, as of March 2022, the country received around 3,500 applications and approved 2300 visa applications for the Welcome Stamp program.
If the idea of working in a country, embracing digital nomad life famous for some of the most popular beaches in the world excites you, Barbados is the country ideal for remote working in a paradise.
Here is how to apply for this remote visa and relocate your working station to the heavenly island of Barbados.
Quick facts on Barbados Welcome Stamp
Where to Apply: Online
Length of Stay: 12 months with the possibility to extend or renew
Processing Time: within 7 working days
Fee: USD 2000 (single person) and USD 3000 (family)
Who can apply for a Barbados digital nomad visa?
This new remote program allows people from all over the world to work remotely in Barbados year-round. The Barbados digital nomad visa is available to anyone who meets the visa requirements (stated below) set by the government of Barbados.
Anyone, be it a digital nomad, a remote worker, a self-employed, or a business owner working for foreign companies in a country other than Barbados, can apply for this visa. In addition, an individual or a family looking to relocate and work from one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations can apply for this visa.
Barbados digital nomad visa: Welcome Stamp requirements
Applying for the Barbados Welcome Stamp is quick and easy. To be eligible for this visa, you must meet the following requirements:
- Valid passport. Having a valid passport for the duration of your visa is mandatory. In case your passport is invalid, you must renew your passport.
- Proof of remote work. To be eligible for this visa, you must be an employee of a foreign company outside Barbados, a freelancer, or a self-employed businessman. The government of Barbados will not grant you this visa if you work for a Barbadian company.
- Private health insurance coverage in Barbados. You must provide a health insurance document with coverage that lasts you for the entire duration of your living and working in Barbados. For digital nomads, it is imperative to have private international health insurance. Please note that medical treatment, emergencies, and repatriation can cost you a lot in Barbados. Therefore, buying international health insurance before you move to Barbados is highly recommended and mandatory.
- Proof of annual income. The government of Barbados has set an income requirement of at least $50,000 per year for working remotely to apply for a digital visa. In addition, the income generated must be outside of the country. This proof indicates that you can sustain your life and support your family during your stay in the country.
- Proof of family status. If you intend to move to Barbados with your family (spouse and children), you must prove your relationship with them. You have to present their birth certificates and marriage certificate as well.
- Proof of company ownership/business established outside of Barbados (for business owners).
Barbados digital nomad visa costs
The visa fee is $2000 for a single-person visa and $3000 for a family visa. You are not required to pay the fee before or during the submission of your documents; the Barbados government asks you to pay the fee within 28 days of application approval.
Given the one-year validity of the visa, the processing fees are reasonable. Another great thing about the entire visa application is that you don’t have to travel to Barbados beforehand. Moreover, you can pay the fee after the visa is approved. This means that if the government rejects your visa for any reason, you won’t be paying a single penny.
Applicants who are not from a visa-exempt country will need to apply for Prerequisite Entry Visa and pay an extra fee ranging from BDS$200 ($99 USD) to BDS$400 ($198 USD).
Barbados digital nomad visa: Documents requirements
You will need the following documents in digital format (to attach to your online application form) to apply for the Barbados digital nomad visa:
- Passport-sized photographs of the applicant and all other members of the family
- Biodata page of your passport
- Birth Certificate
- Prerequisite entry visa if not from a visa-exempt country
- Proof of relationship of the applicant to the family members
What is a prerequisite Entry Visa For Barbados?
Most countries do not require a visa to enter Barbados. However, some countries, including but not limited to Bhutan, Egypt, Namibia, Cameroon, and Libya, do need a visa.
If you are from a non-exempted country, you must apply for a tourist visa that grants stay up to six months following instructions set by the government. Please be informed that the visa process is not complicated and should not discourage you from applying for the digital nomad visa. If you’re not from a visa-exempt country, you should apply for a Prerequisite Entry Visa before applying for the digital nomad visa.
Do remote workers need to pay tax in Barbados?
Digital nomads in Barbados will be working for companies outside of Barbados and hence are not liable to pay Barbados income tax. That means there is a 0% income tax for anyone who holds the Barbados Welcome Stamp.
It is stated that neither the remote workers nor the foreign company is liable to pay income tax for the duration of the visa. However, the Welcome Stampers staying in Barbados must pay 17.5% VAT on any purchased products and services.
What is the cost of living in Barbados for digital nomads?
According to a 2020 report from CEOWORLD Magazine, Barbados has been ranked as one of the world’s most expensive places to live. Out of 132 countries on the list, Barbados was ranked 12, after Singapore, South Korea, and Hong Kong.
Ultimately, the cost of living in Barbados depends on your preference and needs. Arguably, the cost of living in Barbados is cheaper than in other Caribbean islands. Many digital nomads are living a standard life in Barbados for a reasonable cost. As a digital nomad, you can choose to stay in budget-friendly studios or opt for luxury condos.
One-bedroom apartments can cost you $1000 per month, while beachfront condos are much more expensive. You can cut down the cost by renting long-term. If you do not fancy a 5-star luxury hotel, there are affordable hotels for you. Guess what; the beaches are free for anyone.
Typically, the monthly costs of a family of four are approximately $4,441 USD (8,963 Bds$), rent included. If you are traveling alone, then you will need on average $1,954 USD (3,949 BDS$) to live comfortably in Barbados. Compared to the cost of living in the United States, the cost of living in Barbados is on average 24.45% higher.
Be mindful of importing goods; import taxes are high in Barbados. You must pay a 17.5% tax to import anything to Barbados. For example, if your item is valued at 100 USD, you are liable to pay an additional amount of 17.50 USD in taxes. In addition, your shipment is subject to custom duty and import tax when shipping a package.
Step-By-Step Guide to Apply For A Barbados Digital Nomad Visa
The online application process for a Barbados Digital Nomad Visa is pretty simple; just follow the steps below.
Step 1: Gather the documents
First things first, collect all the essential documents you need to apply. Please ensure you have the correct documents. Before you access the website, here is the documentation required:
- Passport-sized photograph
- Biodata page of your passport
- Birth Certificate
- Proof of Health Insurance
- Proof of Annual Income declaration
- Proof of Remote Work
- Proof of Family Status
Step 2: Submit the application
Now it’s time to submit the application. Access this website to apply for the Barbados Welcome Stamp. It should not take much to fill out the application form, upload your documents and submit the application.
If you want to apply for your family, please provide essential information about your spouse and children. You will need to provide information like the name, passport details, and whether or not your children will attend a local school in Barbados.
Step 3: Wait for approval
After submitting your application for this specific visa, all you have to do is wait for the approval. If you think it takes weeks, you are wrong. The processing will begin within 48 hours of receiving the application. And within seven business days, the government will confirm or deny your visa.
Step 4: Pay the visa fee
The last step of the application process is to pay the fee after your visa approval; you will need to pay the visa fee within 28 days. Failing to do so, you will have to reapply again for the digital nomad visa.
The fee for the individual and family bundle is at the given rate:
- Individual applicant – $2,000 ( approximately BDS$1000; equivalent to Barbados dollar)
- Family Applicants – $3,000 ( covers everyone’s visa, approximately BDS$1500; equivalent to Barbados dollar)
Why should you apply for the Barbados Digital Nomad Visa?
Below are some decent reasons why you should apply for the “12-month Barbados Welcome Stamp digital nomad visa”:
- The application process is hassle-free and pretty straightforward.
- You are required to pay the visa fee only after the approval of your visa.
- The visa grants you 12 months to work and live on a beautiful Caribbean island.
- You will not be liable to pay income tax for 12 months.
- Children of the visa holder can attend state-owned public schools.
- You can apply as an individual or with your family as well.
- The visa processing time is superfast: within 48 hours.
The Barbados Welcome Stamp visa from 2020 is targeted at all remote workers who wish to live and work remotely in Barbados for one year. Holders of this visa will get to chance to escape cold winters in their home countries and enjoy long-stay beach access on this tropical island.
One of the key requirements for the Barbados digital nomad visa is the annual income of a minimum of $50, 000 (around $4,166 per month). If you are lucky enough to make $4,000 a month, you will not be short of anything during your stay in Barbados, despite the high cost of living.
Once you are approved for the visa, you can apply for family members to join you, including your spouse/partner, children, and parents.
The application process is online, very simple, fast, and easy. It takes 48 hours to receive an approval (or refusal) email.