Immigrant Status

Also known as residency. Learn about the requirements and how to apply.

This is not professional advice. If you need help with an immigration matter, please consult a qualified lawyer.

Table of Contents

Immigrant status is the equivalent of a permanent visa in other jurisdictions. It is not the same as permanent residency, but persons with immigrant status have permission to live and work in Barbados on an indefinite basis.

Requirements for immigrant status

Any person who has been lawfuly residing in Barbados for at least five years will usually be granted immigrant status unless there are reasonable grouds to reject the application.

Any person who has been lawfully residing in Barbados for less than five years may be granted immigrant status if they have a family connection to a Barbadian citizen, or where that person has qualifications and/or experience highly desirable to Barbados. In the latter case, persons are expected to provide a compelling case that would justify the granting of the application.

What constitutes a compelling case is considered on a case by case basis. For example, if a person with highly desirable skills can demonstrate that they are established in Barbados, this may create a compelling case in support of the application.

Persons residing in Barbados for less than five years who are unable to demonstrate a compelling case may be granted permission to reside and work for a period of three years in lieu of immigrant status. This may also apply to foreign nationals seeking a pathway from the Welcome Stamp visa, as such persons are not considered to be established in Barbados.

Documentation that must be furnished

  • Completed medical form (including written report of x-ray results).
  • Photocopy of the bio-page of the applicant's passport (must be in colour).
  • Completed application form, which must also be certified by a Justice of the Peace in Barbados.
  • Three passport photos (5cm x 5cm), one of which must be certified by a Justice of the Peace in Barbados.
  • Proof of assets (e.g. bank statements, bond certificates, title deeds, etc). If you own any real estate in Barbados, evidence of this should be supplied.
  • Original birth certificate or a certified copy thereof. You must present the original document, as well as one photocopy of the original (must be in colour). Birth certificate 'slips' are not accepted.
  • Proof of qualifications and, where applicable, proof of membership to any domestic or overseas professional bodies. You must present the original documents, as well as one photocopy of each original (must be in colour).
  • Proof of employment (e.g. signed letter of appointment and/or signed employment contract). If you are the director of your own company, a signed letter from your company confirming your appointment and role should be supplied.
  • A detailed cover letter in support of your application. At the minimum, this should consist of a personal statement, an overview of your prior work experience and how you intend to contribute to the country with your skillsets and/or connections to Barbados. Any prior contributions to Barbados should be noted as this may strengthen your application.
  • Police certificate of character from each country you have lived in for at least six months in the past three years. Persons needing a UK police certificate may need to apply to the ACRO Criminal Records Office as a basic DBS check may not be accepted. Persons needing a Barbados police certificate can apply online (a non-refundable fee of BBD $20 applies).

Application fees for immigrant status

There is a non-refundable application fee of BBD $300. If your application is approved, there is a final fee of BBD $1,200. If you are granted permission to reside and work in lieu of immigrant status, the final fee is BBD $1,000. These fees must be paid in person at the Immigration Department. Credit and debit card payments are accepted.

Finding a Justice of the Peace

There should be at least one Justice of the Peace in every local community. You should reach out to your nearest Justice of the Peace to request your documents to be certified.

It is against the law for any person who has been sworn in as a Justice of the Peace to charge, or attempt to charge, members of the public for the certification of official documents.

Frequently asked questions

Is there a pathway to citizenship from this status?

If you are a citizen of a country within the Commonwealth of Nations, or a citizen of the Republic of Ireland, there is a pathway to citizenship under Section 4(3) of the Barbados Citizenship Act, Cap. 186 if you have been 'ordinarily resident' in Barbados for at least seven (7) years and, within that period, have resided therein for at least five (5) years.

Is there a pathway to permanent residency from this status?

There is a pathway to permanent residency under Section 5(2) of the Immigration Act, Cap. 190 if you have resided in Barbados as an immigrant for at least five (5) years.

Is there a pathway to immigrant status if I am only granted permission to reside and work?

Any person who has been lawfuly residing in Barbados for at least five years will usually be granted immigrant status unless there are reasonable grouds to reject the application. For example, if you reside in Barbados for two years on a Welcome Stamp visa or a work permit, and three years on a reside and work certificate, this will be treated as five years' residency.

Does the Immigration Department accept credit and debit card payments?

Yes, credit and debit card payments are accepted.

If you have an Amex or Discover card, please contact the Immigration Department before arriving to verify if your payment method is accepted.