Right of Establishment

CARICOM nationals have the conditional right to establish a business in Barbados.

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

Table of Contents

Nationals of the Caribbean Community (except Haiti, The Bahamas and Montserrat) have a conditional right to establish a business in Barbados under Article 32 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.

Requirements prior to arrival

Persons intending to exercise the Right of Establishment must first arrive on island as a visitor and be in receipt of a valid return ticket, with evidence of financial resources that demonstrates to the satisfaction of immigration officials that they can support themselves and their dependents during their stay.

How to apply for Right of Establishment

Once a qualifying person has incorporated a company in Barbados, they must present themselves to the Immigration Department with the necessary documentation to obtain permission to work under that company in accordance with the Right of Establishment.

Documentation that must be furnished

  • Photocopy of the bio-page of the applicant's passport (must be in colour).
  • Proof of financial resources that would be reasonably sufficient to start the business.
  • Four passport photos (5cm x 5cm), one of which must be certified by a Justice of the Peace in Barbados.
  • A detailed cover letter providing an overview of what the business will do, and how that business will become established in Barbados.
  • 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.
  • Police certificate of character from each country the applicant has 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).

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.

What to expect if the application is approved

Successful applicants are granted a permit for an initial period of one year in order to establish their business. Within one month of the expiration of that permit, a further application must be submitted to extend the permit on condition that the business is established. The first extension is granted for three years. Any further extensions thereafter may be granted for ten years or an indefinite period depending on the extent to which the business is established.

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.