Barbados’ “live and work remotely” initiative went live today and its focus will be on offering those who buy into the programme an experience they will cherish forever. Working from home just got more exciting with the programme going live at www.barbadoswelcomestamp.bb.
Prime Minister Mia Mottley said that though the Covid-19 pandemic might have hurt Barbados’ tourism numbers, it was now giving tourists a chance to live like a “Bajan” for a year. The Prime Minister noted the pandemic was part of the impetus for the new visa.
“COVID- 19 has changed work globally, with a larger number working remotely from home. Now we can give you certainty for the next 12 months that you can work from here,” she said.
Prime Minister Mottley added that part of the challenge related to short term travel. “Rather than coming for the usual week, or three weeks or a month, why not plan out your business? 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 been commended for how it has handled the virus thus far with robust and effective contact tracing protocols that are still in place. With a population of more than 280,000 people, Barbados has had just over 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 travel protocols making travel not onerous but safe.
The 12-month Barbados Welcome Stamp offers new opportunities for anyone whose work is location-independent. This now includes entire offices, multi-disciplinary creatives, digital nomads and bold entrepreneurs.
Chairman of the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) Sunil Chatrani said that with many companies moving the majority of their workforce to the working from home (WFH) model, Barbados also presented an excellent option for corporate teams or individuals. “Recently Barbados was growing as a destination for Millennials and it was firmly established as a leisure destination but we can easily accommodate working from on island. Barbados boasts the fastest fibre internet and mobile services in the Caribbean and with a range of different flexible office space locations the working environment in Barbados definitely enables you get things done. As our country also offers excellent health care and a high education standard, we know it is ideal for those who want to bring their families to the island for the 12-month period.”
Barbados has worked to ensure the process to apply is as simple as possible to facilitate travel. Fees are US $2,000 for individuals and there is a family bundle fee of US$3000 available. The visa is valid for one year but may be re-applied for. Applicants will not be liable for Barbados Income Tax.
Head of Global Markets at the BTMI Petra Roach said Barbados’ established multi-tiered tourism model has positioned it to easily accommodate the different types of remote workers. “Barbados as a destination has always been very much in demand, so we have a wide range of accommodation from budget-friendly studios to beachfront luxury condos. Added to our year-round warm climate, beautiful countryside, world class beaches and countless activities, this is an ideal backdrop for the more sustainable work-life balance many are craving for themselves and their families,” she said.
“COVID-19 has placed a severe strain on people’s mental wellness,” Prime Minister Mottley told Today’s WorldView in an interview. “The sunshine is powerful. The seawater is powerful. They’re both therapeutic in ways that are hard to explain. And we felt that, why not share it?” (PR)
People wanting to work remotely in Barbados can apply electronically at Barbadoswelcomestamp.bb. Documents needed include:
• Two passport sized photographs
• Bio data page of passport
• Birth certificate (self/spouse/children)
• Proof of relationship of dependents
• Entry visa (where applicable)
• Upon approval the following non-refundable fees are applicable:
• Individual – Fee of US $2,000.00
• Family Bundle-Fee US $3,000.00