The Caribbean Island nation of Barbados was quick in realising how Digital Nomads or remote workers could help its economy recover from the devastating slump in tourism that followed The Covid-19 pandemic. On 18 July 2020, it launched its brand new Remote Work visa called the Barbados Welcome Stamp. It was the first Caribbean country to offer a Digital Nomad Visa but was quickly followed by Bermuda.
The first country in the world with a digital nomad visa was Estonia, and like Barbados, a lot of countries came soon after with their own programs.
This 12-month Barbados Welcome Stamp visa allows digital nomads and home working professionals to stay and work on this beautiful island. By being so quick in releasing the scheme, quite a lot of people took up the offer between the 1st and 2nd wave of the coronavirus. In a country where 36% of GDP is generated by tourist visits, long-stay Digital Nomads offset a part of the slump experienced.
In its first ten months, the one-year Barbados visa for digital nomads received over 2,500 applications and brought in $6 million for the government. But what was even better was that it brought over $100 million in tourism revenue offsetting the $70 million drop from the covid pandemic.
If you don’t want to apply for the Barbados Digital Nomad Visa you can also use a tourist visa which allows you to stay up to six months each time.
Facts On Barbados
- Capital: Bridgetown – population of 110,000
- Currency: Barbados Dollar (2 BBD = 1 USD)
- Climate: tropical and humid daytime max of 30 degrees celsius and 1300 mm of rain per year.
- Size: 431Km up to 34km in length and 23km in width
- Population: 287,025
- Official Language: Bajan Creole, English
- Internet Speeds: 109.41 Mbps Average (source speedtest.net)
- Cost of living index: 4 out of 137 (source numbeo.com)
How Do I Apply For The Barbados Welcome Stamp?
It is very straightforward as you can apply online here. All you need is to fill out the online application form and you will need to upload the following documents.
- Biodata page of passport – Principal Applicant and all other members of the Family Group
- Photograph Passport sized – Principal Applicant and all other members of the Family Group over the age of 18
- Proof of relationship of dependents – marriage certificate, partnership registration and birth certificates
- You will need to self-certify an Income Declaration that you have an income of $50,000 a year to support yourself.
- You will need private health insurance coverage that includes Barbados. You can also buy this health insurance cover in Barbados if you can’t do this abroad. We recommend SafetyWing.
What are the Fees for the Barbados Digital Nomad Visa?
You only have to pay the fees upon approval and these are non-refundable.
- $2,000 for an Individual
- $3,000 for a family
How Long Will it Take?
- The online application will be processed within 48 hours of receiving it and the Visa will be confirmed or denied within 5 working days.
- After the long-term visa is granted you have 12 months to activate it upon arrival. From the day it is activated you can stay in Barbados for 12 months. You can travel in and out of Barbados during the 12-month period of your visa.
Do I Have to Pay Income Tax?
- You will not have to pay income tax in Barbados for the 12 months duration.
Why Should You Be A Barbados Digital Nomad?
Barbados is not a large island, in fact, you can drive around it in less than 3 hours. The capital Bridgetown is not the main destination for digital nomads to live. It is the smaller neighbourhoods along the west and south coast that are popular. Here you can find gorgeous beaches, good nightlife (where you can sample the local rum), and plenty of accommodation on offer.
The south coast is a great place to live in to experience it all. It has decent public transport for those without a car. The best places are Hastings, Worthing and Oistins.
Cost of living
One-bedroom apartments can be had for $1,000 a month and can be even cheaper if you commit to a longer 12-month term. Food is expensive and so are a lot of other goods due to high taxes on imports. The thing that is free though is the magnificent beaches.
What Other Caribbean Countries offer Digital Nomad Visas?
Nomad Girl has written an extensive article that is being kept up to date on all the countries offering Digital Nomad visas or programs. So far the following other Caribbean destinations are on the list:
- Anguilla – Work From Anguilla
- Dominica – Work in Nature
- Antigua & Barbuda – Antigua Nomad Digital Residence
- Bermuda – Work From Bermuda
- Cayman Islands – Global Citizen Concierge Program
- Montserrat – Montserrat Remote Work Stamp
- The Bahamas – Bahamas Extended Access Travel Stay
- Curaçao – @Home in Curaçao
- Grenada – Grenada Digital Nomad Visa
- St Lucia – Live It
Some other nearby countries with Digital Nomad Visas that offer long stay beach access to the Caribbean Sea are:
- Panama – Short Stay Visa for Remote Workers
- Costa Rica – Rentista & Digital Nomad Visa
- Mexico – Temporary Resident Visa
Alternative Tropical Islands With Digital Nomad Visas
If you fancy tropical island life there are a few alternatives not in the Caribbean that offer a Digital Nomad Visa:
- Sri Lanka
- Malta – Malta Digital Nomad Residence Permit
- Cape Verde – Remote Working Cabo Verde
- Mauritius – Premium Travel Visa
- Seychelles – Seychelles Workcation Program
As you can see it is a very straightforward process. With world travel severely hampered now you can make Barbados your home for the next 12 months and enjoy this paradise island with its friendly people. You can experience the digital nomad lifestyle and enjoy some vacation time at the more than 80 pristine white-sand beaches with a total length of 110 km.
Barbados has done a great job in keeping the spread of the coronavirus under control. As of the time of writing you need to quarantine for 5 days and have 2 negative PCR tests.