Welcome Stamp visa

A special work visa for foreign nationals who work remotely and earn at least US$50,000 a year.

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12 Month Barbados Welcome Stamp

In July 2020, the Barbados government introduced a special type of work visa for digital nomads and persons who work in a location-independent manner. The visa is called the Welcome Stamp. It grants eligible applicants the right to live and remotely work in Barbados for an entire year. The cost of the visa is BBD $4,000 for an individual or BBD $6,000 for a family.

The requirements of the Welcome Stamp visa are straightforward. You must:

  • Be a foreign citizen (non-national)
  • Only work for entities based outside Barbados
  • Have adequate health insurance that covers your period of stay in Barbados

The Prime Minister announced in June 2021 that the Welcome Stamp visa programme will be continued indefinitely. This opened a pathway for persons to apply for a renewal of their visa if they wanted to stay for another year.

There are many great benefits to the Welcome Stamp visa:

  • You are exempt from paying Income Tax in Barbados [1]
  • You can renew your visa as many times as you like, subject to approval and payment of the requisite fee

How to apply for the Welcome Stamp visa

To apply for the visa, complete the online application form.

After you've applied for the visa

Once your application is submitted, you will receive an e-mail from the Chief Immigration Officer within 7 working days with a decision from the Minister responsible for Immigration. If your application is approved, you will be directed to pay the applicable fee via a secure payment page on ezpay.gov.bb, the official payment gateway of the Barbados Government. Learn what to expect in an approval e-mail.

[1] Persons on the Welcome Stamp are exempt from paying Income Tax in Barbados pursuant to Section 4 of the Remote Employment Act, 2020.

[2] Local banks are required by law to perform due diligence checks on new customers. You will be required to provide proof of your identity and visa entitlement, proof of residential address in Barbados, proof of residential address overseas, and proof of overseas employment.

Frequently asked questions

I am only in Barbados for a few months. Do I neeed this visa?

You do not need to apply for the Welcome Stamp visa if you are only in Barbados for a few months during the year as long as the remote work you are undertaking for your overseas employer or client is incidental to your holiday in Barbados and not the main purpose of your visit.

Will I need to be overseas when I apply for this visa?

You can apply for the Welcome Stamp whilst you are in Barbados. This gives you the opportunity to visit the Island first to make sure it’s right for you.

Remember, having a vacation in a country is not the same as living in a country. Moving to a new country is a big decision – take your time.

Will I need a return ticket when I arrive in Barbados on the Welcome Stamp?

Persons on the Welcome Stamp are not required to furnish a return ticket on arrival in Barbados.

Is the Welcome Stamp visa only available to certain passport holders?

Any person meeting the standard requirements can apply for the visa regardless of their nationality.

Will I need to continue paying taxes in my home country?

It is possible you may still be required to pay taxes on your income even if you are, or will become, non-resident in your home country for tax purposes. Seek legal advice from a chartered accountant or qualified tax advisor.

Will I really not need to pay any Income Tax in Barbados?

Persons residing in Barbados on the Welcome Stamp visa are treated as non-resident for income tax purposes.

However, that does not necessarily mean you no longer owe income tax in any country, even if you reside in Barbados for an entire year. You may still be liable to income tax in the country from which your income is derived. Seek legal advice from a chartered accountant or qualified tax advisor.

I can't find adequate health insurance in my home country. Is it strictly required?

Persons residing in Barbados on the Welcome Stamp are required to have adequate health insurance. [1]

If you are unable to find appropriate health insurance in your home country, you can enter Barbados on the Welcome Stamp but you will be required to aquire local health insurance as soon as possible after your arrival.

[1] Pursuant to Section 3(c) of the Remote Employment Act, 2020.

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.

Can I register a company in Barbados on this visa?

You do not need a Welcome Stamp visa to incorporate a company in Barbados. However, a foreign national cannot work for any company in Barbados, even if its their own, without a valid work permit unless that person—

  • is an immigrant;
  • is a permanent resident;
  • has been granted a Reside and Work permit;
  • is a CARICOM Skilled National under Article 46 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas; or
  • is a CARICOM national having been granted a Right of Establishment under Article 32 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.

If you want to work for your own Barbados-registered company, the Welcome Stamp visa is not relevant, even if your company trades with, or offers services exclusively to, persons overseas. Please contact Invest Barbados for advice.

Will I need to provide evidence of my income when I apply?

Persons on the Welcome Stamp visa must earn at least BDS $100,000 a year, in equivalent foreign currency. [1]

Applicants are not usually asked to provide evidence as it relates to income. However, applicants must certify on their application that they expect to earn at least USD $50,000 a year and/or have the means to support themselves and their accompanying partner and dependants during their stay in Barbados.

[1] Pursuant to Section 3(b)(i) of the Remote Employment Act, 2020.

I am in a same-sex marriage or civil partnership. Can I apply with my partner under a single application?

Same-sex marriage and civil partnerships are not recognised under Barbados law, but the Minister responsible for Immigration will recognise same-sex relationships for the purposes of identifying a spouse or partner accompanying an applicant under the Welcome Stamp visa programme.

Will I be able to renew my Welcome Stamp visa?

Yes, you can apply to renew your Welcome Stamp visa before it expires. If your application is approved, you are eligible for a reduced visa fee of BDS $3,000 for an individual or BDS $4,500 for a family. [1]

To renew your Welcome Stamp visa, visit the official website.

[1] Pursuant to Section 7A(3) of the Remote Employment Act, 2020 (inserted by the Remote Employment (Amendment) Act, 2021).

Is the Welcome Stamp visa fee refundable?

The visa fee is non-refundable. However, you are not required to pay the visa fee unless your application is approved.

I have an immigration question pertaining to the Welcome Stamp. Who do I contact?

You should direct your question to the Immigration Department.

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. It is common to see Barbadians wearing sandals (also known as flip-flops or thongs).

Any garment deemed acceptable in most western countries is likely to be acceptable in Barbados, but there are some exceptions. For example, it is against the law to wear camoflauge clothing (i.e. any garments bearing text, colours, patterns or designs associated with the military).

Please note a dress code usually applies when conducting official business. You should bring long pants (trousers) and sleeved tee-shirts if you think you'll need to enter a government building (e.g. Immigration Department). Some high-end restaurants and night clubs also enforce a similar dress code.

Avoid entering supermarkets or convenience stores either bare-chested (shirtless) or wearing minimal beach attire. You will be asked to leave the premises if you enter without wearing a shirt or vest.

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 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 very 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 travelform.gov.bb 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.

I am on the Welcome Stamp and my overseas bank is asking for a Barbados Tax Identification Number?

Persons on the Welcome Stamp visa may submit a request to the Barbados Revenue Authority for a local Tax Identification Number (TIN) via the TAMIS online platform.

Due to the novel nature of the visa programme, not all administrators within the Barbados Revenue Authority understand the reasons for such persons to require a local TIN, given their exemption from local income tax. You may need to explain to the administrator who reviews your application that your overseas bank requires this information for tax compliance purposes.

I am returning from overseas on the Welcome Stamp. Which immigration queue do I need to join?

When you arrive at immigration control, you need to join the visitor queue. You do not need to show your visa: it is electronically linked to your passport. If you are asked how long you intend to stay in Barbados, you just need to inform the officer that you are on the Welcome Stamp visa.

Am I allowed to work for a company or employer based in Barbados under the Welcome Stamp visa?

No, persons on the Welcome Stamp visa programme are only permitted to work remotely in Barbados for an overseas business.

For the avoidance of doubt, if your employer is the owner of an overseas business who lawfully works remotely in Barbados under the Welcome Stamp visa programme, this is not treated as working for an employer based in Barbados.