Digital nomads are always on the hunt for amazing places to work while traveling, soaking up the local culture while also being able to be productive.
Nobody knows exactly how many digital nomads there are in the world but suffice to say the number over the last decade has gone from just a handful of people to upwards of millions—with many more new nomads joining the movement after COVID-19, as they can now work remote (or in other words, work from anywhere).
Governments are starting to take notice—like Barbados—and have created digital nomad visas and incentives for remote workers who travel while working.
Barbados is a beautiful island country located in the Caribbean. Beginning in the 13th century, the indigenous Kalinago people inhabited Barbados.
Between the 15th and 19th centuries, Barbados was colonized by Spain, Portugal, and Britain, during which time it became a significant producer of sugarcane, tobacco, indigo, ginger, and cotton, as well as a major center of the transatlantic slave trade until the practice was outlawed in the British Empire in 1807.
Nowadays, Barbados is an independent member of the British commonwealth, and is most well-known for its vibrant culture, music, festivals, cuisine, and of course, its beautiful beaches and tropical weather.
Bridgetown, formerly known as The Town of Saint Michael, is Barbados’ largest and most populous city, as well as its capital. It’s one of Barbados’ most popular tourist destinations and is also a major port city. Other major cities in Barbados include Speightstown, Oistins, and Holetown.
Barbados is one of the leading tourist destinations in the Caribbean, and for good reason! Its gorgeous tropical landscape, pristine beaches, unique culture, language, food, and music all make it one of the most beautiful and interesting countries on Earth!
Barbados’ culture combines elements of West African, Portuguese, Creole, Indian, and British cultures, reflecting its rich and tumultuous national history. Although English is Barbados’ official language, many of its residents speak a distinctive dialect known as Barbadian or Bajan English. Barbados is also well-known for its music scene—calypso, reggae, and jazz are all popular genres in Barbados.
The island has also produced some of its own unique national musical genres, like soca, tuk, and spouge. Additionally, Rihanna, one of the most famous singers in the world, is from Barbados.
Bajan cuisine also combines attributes of African, Portuguese, Indian, Irish, Creole, and British cooking. Some of the most popular Bajan dishes include cou-cou (made from cornmeal and okra), fried flying fish, curry beef, cassava and yam, and of course, rum, which has played a major role in Caribbean culture since the 16th century.
Of course, one of the most popular things to do in Barbados is visit the beach—popular spots include Bathsheba Beach, Carlisle Bay, Browne’s Beach, Pebbles Beach, and Bottom Bay. For a glimpse of Barbados’ complex colonial history, take a stroll through historic Bridgetown, which became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011.
If you like rum, be sure to visit Mount Gay Rum, which was founded in 1703, making it the oldest commercial rum distillery in the world. Finally, for a totally one-of-a-kind experience, visit Harrison’s Cave, an incredible limestone cavern featuring breathtaking stalactites and stalagmites.
Barbados has a tropical monsoon climate, meaning that it’s very warm year-round, with temperatures averaging between 70°F and 90°F. Barbados’ “wet season” happens between June and December, while its “dry season” happens between December and May.
There’s a ton of incredible wildlife in Barbados, including armadillos, Brocket deer, pelicans, caimans, parrots, flamingos, peacocks, iguanas, and monkeys, all of which can be seen at the Barbados Wildlife Reserve. Barbados’ beaches are also home to some of the most endangered sea creatures on Earth, hawksbill and leatherback sea turtles.
Barbados is a great place for digital nomads and remote workers. In Bridgetown, its largest city, Internet speeds average out at around 27 Mbps.
Barbados’ newly-launched digital nomad visa is an incredible opportunity for remote workers and freelancers! As of June 30, 2020, eligible remote workers can apply to live and work in Barbados for up to twelve months through their Barbados Welcome Stamp program!
Most long-term visas require local employment. This has been a problem for digital nomads, who have a remote job and simply want to live in a location like Barbados for a span of time.
The idea behind a digital nomad visa is the sound reasoning that it shouldn’t matter where you are, as long as you can support yourself. It’s a government recognizing what digital nomads have known for years.
In other words, the digital nomad visa legitimizes the lifestyle by saying you can live in a country legally for a period of time and you can work from your laptop there.
Digital nomad visas are a relatively new development in the world of international travel. If you’re a remote worker or freelancer who is not geographically bound to your workplace, a digital nomad visa like the Barbados Welcome Stamp program is an incredible opportunity to combine work with travel.
If you’ve always wanted to visit the Caribbean or live in a tropical environment, the Barbados Welcome Stamp program is an unprecedented opportunity. Plus, Barbados’ infrastructure is quite solid, so you don’t have to worry about restricted access to healthcare, the internet, or education.
The Barbados Welcome Stamp program allows you to live and work in Barbados for up to one year. You must arrive in Barbados within 12 months of the date your visa is granted, and once you arrive, your visa is eligible for 12 months. However, during this time, you may travel in and out of Barbados any time during your visa eligibility period.
One of the greatest perks of the Barbados Welcome Stamp program is that you will not be liable for paying income tax in Barbados!
Valid health insurance is a prerequisite for your Welcome Stamp program application to be approved. However, if you experience challenges obtaining health insurance in your home country, Barbados may provide you with health insurance for the duration of your stay.
There are a few eligibility requirements that you need to meet in order to qualify for Barbados’ Welcome Stamp program. You must be a national of a country other than Barbados, and you must be employed by a company registered and operating outside of Barbados. If you have a spouse, partner, and/or dependants, they can also apply for visas through the Barbados Welcome Stamp program.
As part of the application form, you must declare that you expect to make $50,000 USD or more over the next twelve months and have the means to support yourself and your family group, if applicable, during your stay in Barbados.
Once you’ve established that you’re eligible for the Barbados Welcome Stamp program, the application process is fairly simple and straightforward. It can be filled out online here.
In addition to filling out the application form, you must electronically submit a passport-sized photograph of yourself and of any family members that are applying for the visa with you, the bio-data page of your passport and of any family members that are applying for the visa with you, and proof of your relationship to all other members of your family group, if applicable.
After your visa is approved, you will be asked to pay a nonrefundable $2,000 USD fee if you applied individually, or a $3,000 USD fee if you applied with family members.