Immigration & Work Permits

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 about six to eight (6-8) weeks.  Approval is specific to the job and the employer is normally for a period of two to four (2-4) 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, the chest X-ray film must be submitted. As noted on the medical form, the VDRL Report is also required.
  • Four passport-size photographs.
  • Two character references.
  • Documented evidence of applicant’s qualifications.(original or certified copies only).
  • Finger print based police certificate of character (from home country and any other countries which applicant has resided for more than six (6) months since the age of sixteen (16) years). Enhanced disclosure form in lieu of police certificate of character for British applicants.
  • 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.
  • Two passport-size photographs.
  • Two character references.
  • Documented evidence of applicant’s qualifications (original or certified copies only).
  • Finger print based police certificate of character (from home country and any other countries which applicant has resided for more than six (6) months since the age of sixteen years).  Enhanced disclosure form in lieu of police certificate of character for British applicants.
  • Application fee of US$150.

Extension of stay

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.

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.

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.
  • Original and copy of most recent school report.
  • Parent’s work permit certificate.
  • Application fee of US$150.

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, then they can register with the Immigration Department.

Requirements

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

Special Entry Permits

A special entry permit is generally granted for a period of five (5) years to persons who have property in Barbados and want to remain on the island. The permit can be renewed at the end of the period.

Requirements

  • Form B – Extension of Stay form.
  • Birth certificate.
  • One passport size photograph.
  • A copy of the bio-data page of the applicant’s valid passport.
  • Finger print based police certificate of character (from home country and any other countries which applicant has resided for more than six months since the age of sixteen years. Enhanced disclosure form in lieu of police certificate of character for British applicants.
  • Title Deeds – if applicable .
  • Land Tax document – if applicable.
  • Proof of financial resources – ability to support self and dependents e.g. bank statements, pension document Health insurance (insurance coverage must be valid in Barbados).
  • Proof of high net worth – if applicable.
  • Proof of relationship to dependents where applicable i.e. birth certificates / legal documents.
  • Marriage Certificate.
  • Application fee of US $150.

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 be a liability to the country. This application takes about six (6) months to one (1) 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 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, the chest X-ray film must be submitted. As noted on the medical form, the VDRL Report is also required.
  • Four passport-size photographs.
  • Two character references.
  • Finger print based police certificate of character (from home country and any other countries which applicant has resided for more than six (6) months since the age of sixteen (16) years). Enhanced disclosure form in lieu of police certificate of character for British applicants
  • 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 (5) 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 (6) months to one (1) 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. As noted on the medical form, the VDRL Report is also required.
  • Four passport-size photographs.
  • Two character references.
  • Finger print based police certificate of character (from home country and any other countries which applicant has resided for more than six (6) months since the age of sixteen (16) years). Enhanced disclosure form in lieu of police certificate of character for British applicants.
  • 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.