Visitor visa

Planning to visit sunny Barbados? Check if you need an entry visa before you arrive.

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A visitor visa is a great option for persons who wish to stay in Barbados for a few months or less. However, precisely how long a person can stay in Barbados as a visitor depends on their nationality.

Citizens of countries within the Caribbean Community can stay in Barbados as a visitor for up to six months in aggregate within a one year period.

Citizens of countries within the Commonwealth of Nations can stay in Barbados as a visitor for up to six months in aggregate within a one year period.

Citizens of countries within the European Union can stay in Barbados as a visitor for up to three months in aggregate within a six month period.

Citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the French Republic, the Republic of Ghana, the Republic of Ireland, the Republic of South Africa, the Swiss Confederation and the United States of America can stay in Barbados as a visitor for up to six months in aggregate within a one year period.

It is important to note that even if you are allowed to stay in Barbados for up to six months a year, that does not mean you will be granted an entry period of six months when you arrive. Most foreign nationals are granted an initial period of three months on entry.

If you want to extend your stay, you will need to apply for an Extension of Stay with the Immigration Department at Bridgetown before your current entry period expires. A non-refundable application fee of BDS $100 applies.

You may see 'advice' online suggesting you can leave Barbados and return a few months later. This is called a 'visa run' which you should never do. It is an offence to overstay the maximum aggregate entry period.

If you work in a location-independent manner and are thinking of working remotely in Barbados, learn more about the Welcome Stamp visa.

How to apply for a visitor visa

You don't need to apply for a visitor visa; all travellers are assessed on entry.

However, you will need an entry visa (which is different to a visitor visa) before travelling to Barbados if you are a citizen of any of the countries or regions listed here.

Note: If you have the Welcome Stamp visa, you do not need to apply for an entry visa.

Frequently asked questions

Will I need a return ticket when I arrive in Barbados as a visitor?

Yes, you may be denied entry if you do not furnish a valid return ticket on arrival.

Please note this does not apply to persons on the Welcome Stamp visa.

How do I find out what my entry period is?

It is usually three months, but if you are not sure, please contact the Immigration Department after you arrive.

Is the tap water safe to drink in Barbados?

Yes, the water supply is safe and refreshing to drink.

Barbados is a limestone island. Most of the water supply is pumped from wells within natural coral aquifers, which is then treated with chlorine to comply with World Health Organisation standards.

What clothing and footwear should I bring to Barbados?

It is always warm in Barbados even during the winter months, so you should bring a good variety of summer garments with you (i.e. clothing which is light and airy). Also consider bringing trainer socks, as you may find them more comfortable than normal socks if you will primarily be wearing shoes or trainers on the Island, given the climate.

Barbados has a blend of English and African culture. The chances are high that any garment deemed acceptable in most western countries will be acceptable in Barbados.

English customs are more noticeable when conducting official business. For example, you will not be allowed to enter most government buildings if you are wearing sandals, shorts or sleeveless t-shirts. This custom used to be common in the UK until the mid to late 20th century, so it can be a culture shock even to British visitors.

You should bring trousers (long pants) and sleeved t-shirts if you think you'll need to enter a government building (e.g. Immigration Department), as a dress code often applies. Some high-end restaurants and night clubs also enforce a similar dress code.

Please note it is a criminal offence to have possession of, or to wear, camoflauge clothing (i.e. any garments bearing text, colours, patterns or designs associated with the military). [1]

[1] Section 188(1) of the Defence Act, Cap. 159.

Can I bring my dog or cat to Barbados?

You must obtain an Import Permit from the Veterinary Services Department.

Your dog or cat must be permanently identified with a microchip, and be vaccinated against rabies after the microchip has been implanted. If your dog or cat was vaccinated before being fitted with a microchip, it must be vaccinated again. Your dog or cat must be vaccinated against rabies for at least thirty five (35) days before being eligible to enter Barbados.

Within thirty (30) days prior to travel, your dog must be tested for heartworm disease, unless your dog is less than six (6) months old.

Within seven (7) days prior to travel, your dog or cat must be treated against ticks and tapeworms, and undergo a veterinary examination and be issued with an Official Export Health Certificate endorsed and stamped by an official government veterinarian of the country of origin.

Please do not take the foregoing information as a complete description of the requirements to import dogs or cats. The Barbados government strictly enforce rules on the importation of pets; failure to comply is a serious offence.

You should read this guidance from the Barbados Government Information Service.

If you are importing a pet from the UK, please also read this guidance.

If you are importing a pet from Canada, please also read this guidance.

If you are importing a pet from the USA, please also read this guidance.

Does Barbados frequently experience hurricanes?

Barbados often experiences tropical depressions [1] during the hurricane season, but is rarely impacted by a hurricane-strength tropical cyclone because the island is outside the principle hurricane belt.

The most recent tropical cyclones to impact Barbados at hurricane-strength was Hurricane Janet in 1955 and Hurricane Elsa in 2021.

[1] A tropical depression is a 'tropical cyclone' that has maximum sustained surface winds (one-minute average) of 38 mph or less.

When is it the best time to visit Barbados?

Generally speaking, it is always a good time to visit the Island.

There are two distinct seasons in Barbados – a dry season and a wet season. You will struggle to find a day where it is not sunny, even after heavy downpours or during the odd day when it is overcast.

While it still rains during the dry season, it does not rain nearly as much or as often as it does during the wet season. The weather is generally more predictable during the dry season.

The temperature varies only slightly throughout the year but the difference is quite noticeable between the two seasons because it is less humid during the dry season.

If you are a budget-conscious traveller, you may find the best rates during the wet season – also known as the hurricane season – which runs from July to October.

You may struggle to find affordable short-term rentals between December and April, which are often the busiest months for tourism in Barbados.

I am in a same-sex relationship. How tolerant are people in Barbados?

People in Barbados are not as tolerant towards homosexuality, but attitudes are slowly changing. You may wish to avoid showing public displays of affection as it may trigger inappropriate remarks from others.

Barbados is heavily dependent on tourism and most same-sex couples have no issues with hotels and other businesses that primarily serve tourists. Many same-sex couples are regular visitors to Barbados.

Is it still legally necessary to wear face masks in Barbados?

From December 22nd, 2022, wearing a face mask is no longer required as a matter of law. For more information, please read our blog post.

Do I need to be fully vaccinated to enter Barbados?

No, all remaining travel protocols were discontinued on September 23rd, 2022.

Do I need to complete the online Immigration and Customs Form?

All persons travelling to Barbados are required to complete the online Immigration and Customs Form at no sooner than 72 hours before their arrival.

If you are experiencing any difficulties or do not wish to use the online system, you will be directed to complete the Immigration and Customs Form at the immigration kiosks on arrival in Barbados.