Under Section 17 of the Immigration Act, non-citizens, can work on the island only if they have been granted a work permit. An amendment to the Act provides for certain CARICOM (Caribbean Common Market) nationals to live and work in Barbados without a work permit.

There are no statutory restrictions on the number of foreign employees on the payroll of a company at any given time, although in practice this is often controlled through the mechanism of work permits. Foreign workers contribute to and are entitled to social security benefits on the same basis as Barbadian nationals. Please note special concessions may apply.

Long-Term Work Permits

Generally, jobs requiring a long-term work permit must be advertised in the local newspaper. If no suitable applications are received, then the prospective employer may apply for a work permit for a foreign national. Prior to doing this, a notice must be placed in the newspaper informing the public that it is the employer’s intention to apply for a work permit.

Most applications are processed in approximately six to eight weeks. Approval is specific to the job and employer and is normally for a period of two (2) to four (4) years. On approval, there is a fee payable to the Chief Immigration Officer based on the position (e.g. manager) and the length of the permit. This fee is usually in the region of US$700 per annum.The full fee is payable on approval.

Requirements:

  • Cover letter from company
  • C-1 and C-2 application forms to be completed in duplicate.
  • A medical form is to be completed by a medical practitioner. If the medical is completed outside of Barbados, a chest X-ray film must be submitted.
  • Four passport-size photographs.
  • Two character references.
  • Documented evidence of applicant’s qualifications.
  • A Police Certificate of Character (PCC) from the applicant’s place of residence or a sworn affidavit in lieu of a PCC if applicant is from the UK.
  • Application fee of US$150.

Short-Term Work Permits

This type of work permit is for foreign nationals who will be taking up temporary positions with companies in Barbados, or who are coming to Barbados to train employees of a company operating in Barbados. Six months is the maximum time allowed for this type of permit. These applications are typically approved within three to four weeks of submission.

Requirements

  • Cover letter from company
  • C-3 application form completed in duplicate.
  • One passport-size photograph.
  • Two character references.
  • Documented evidence of applicant’s qualifications.
  • A Police Certificate of Character (PCC) from the applicant’s place of residence or a sworn affidavit in lieu of a PCC if applicant is from the UK.
  • Application fee of US$150.

Extension of stay

An individual who desires to remain on the island longer than the duration given at the port of entry must also apply to the Immigration Department for an extension of stay. This application often takes about four to six weeks to be processed. No additional fee is payable if the request is approved.

Anyone accompanying a work permit holder (wife/husband, children) is required by law to apply for an extension of stay covering the period of the work permit. This extension simply gives the accompanying person permission to reside in Barbados for the stated period. It is not permission to work on the island.

Requirements

  • Completion of application Form B.
  • One passport size photograph.
  • Applicant’s passport.
  • Proof of work permit.
  • Application fee of US$50 per 6 months.

Student Visas

Children who are accompanying a work permit holder or who intend to come to the island for the sole purpose of studying should apply to the Immigration Department for a student visa. Student visas are issued for one school year at a time and take about four to six weeks to be processed.

Requirements

  • H-1 and H-2 application forms completed in duplicate.
  • A valid passport.
  • Three passport-size photographs.
  • Birth certificate.
  • Parent’s work permit certificate.
  • Application fee of US$100.

Amendment to Immigration Act with Respect to Caricom Nationals

In accordance with Section 17B of the Immigration (Amendment) Act, 1996-9, university graduates from CARICOM countries can live and work in Barbados without obtaining a work permit. Graduates should first register with the Barbados Accreditation Council and once approval is received, they can then register with the Immigration Department.

Requirements

Barbados Accreditation Council Immigration Department
Application form for certification of recognition Four (4) passport size photos (must be certified by a Justice of the Peace signing form)
Birth certificate or proof of citizenship Police certificate(s) of character (from home country and any other countries which applicant has resided for more than six months since the age of sixteen years)
Marriage certificate (where applicable) Birth certificate or proof of citizenship
Qualifications (undergraduate/postgraduate professional) Documentary proof of qualifications (undergraduate/postgraduate professional)
Proof of registration with professional agency Marriage certificate (where applicable)
Passport (copy of bio data page & date of issue) Barbados Accreditation Council certificate
Two (2) passport size photos (applicant’s name in block letters at back) Copy of Job letter
Police certificate(s) of character (from home country and any other countries which applicant has resided for more than six months since the age of sixteen years) Passport
Application fee of BDS $100
Form C4 Registration of Employment of Caricom Skilled Nationals completed in duplicate

Immigrant status

An immigrant is any individual who wishes to move to Barbados to reside indefinitely. Applicants must be of sound mind and body and be able to support themselves so they will not become a liability to the country. This application takes about six months to one year to be processed and if approved, the fee is US$250. While the application for immigrant status is being processed, persons can remain in Barbados as long as they have been granted an extension of stay. Permission to work on the island depends on the individual circumstances.

Requirements

  • Form A application form completed in duplicate.
  • Medical form completed by a medical practitioner. If medical is completed outside of Barbados, a chest X-ray film must be submitted.
  • Four passport-size photographs.
  • Two character references.
  • A Police Certificate of Character (PCC) from the applicant’s place of residence or a sworn affidavit in lieu of PCC if applicant is from the UK.
  • Applicant’s birth certificate.
  • Applicant’s marriage certificate (if applicable).
  • Statement of Affairs and supporting documents evidencing applicant’s financial resources.
  • Application fee of US$150.

Permanent Residence

An application for registration as a permanent resident may be made by someone who has been an immigrant for five years or more, or who is the immediate relative of a citizen of Barbados by birth or descent, i.e., mother, father or wife/husband is a Barbadian citizen. This application takes about six months to one year to be processed and the fee, if approved, depends on the status of the applicant.

Requirements

  • Form A1 application form completed in duplicate.
  • Medical form completed by a medical practitioner. If medical is completed outside of Barbados, the chest X-ray film must be submitted.
  • Four passport-size photographs.
  • Two character references.
  • A Police Certificate of Character (PCC) from the applicant’s place of residence or a sworn affidavit in lieu of PCC if applicant is from the UK.
  • Applicant’s birth certificate.
  • Applicant’s marriage certificate (if applicable).
  • Statement of Affairs and supporting documents evidencing applicant’s financial resources.
  • Application fee of US$150.

Tips on immigration as you prepare to relocate…

  • Obtain or renew passports for yourself and each family member (a certified copy of your birth certificate or proof of citizenship will be required, along with two passport-size photographs).
  • Obtain certified copies of college diplomas.