Barbados Offering 12-month Remote-Work Stay Incentive to Attract Visitors

Barbados Offering 12-month Remote-Work Stay Incentive to Attract Visitors

Barbados Prime Minister, Mia Mottley, has proposed a new policy that would allow remote workers from around the world to relocate to Barbados for a year, in response to the impact of Covid-19 on travel.

Under the scheme, travellers would have the option of a year-long stay on the paradise island after it officially opens its borders to international visitors on July 12.

According to Mottley, the scheme – dubbed the ‘Barbados Welcome Stamp’ – would allow workers to work from the island digitally so people ‘don’t need to remain in the countries in which they are’.

According to the country’s tourism website, usually non-nationals seeking to work on the island must register for and obtain an immigration status or work permit from the Barbados Immigration Department.

While British passport holders don’t currently require a visa to visit Barbados, they are normally granted a specified period to stay on arrival.

The UK government’s website states: ‘If you wish to stay longer, you must apply and pay for an extension of stay through the Barbados Immigration Department. It’s an offence to overstay the entry period or to work without a work permit.’

Given the complexities of obtaining work permits overseas and short-term travel during the pandemic, it is believed that a 12-month stamp would make the idea of staying on the island more appealing for remote workers and much easier from a visa perspective.

The scheme would also be incredibly beneficial to the island’s loss of tourism income, which the Telegraph reports accounts for 40 per cent of its GDP and has around 30 per cent of its workforce employed by the industry.

‘You don’t need to work in Europe, or the US or Latin America if you can come here and work for a couple months at a time; go back and come back,’ Mottley stated.

‘But in order for those things to truly resonate, what does it mean? It means that what we offer has to be world class and what we continue to offer is world class.’

The concept is currently being refined by the Barbados government.

The scheme will be welcome news to the majority of remote workers. A recent survey from YouGov has found that seven in 10 (68 per cent) of new at-home workers said they would like to carry on working in the same way once the pandemic is over.

The majority (70 per cent) of the 4,002 adults who took part in the survey also believe that they can be as productive when working from home as in the office.

After the British government announced the opening of ‘air bridges’ earlier this month, Barbados has been included in its list of countries exempt from UK quarantine.

Meanwhile, Virgin Atlantic is expected to restart flights from Heathrow on August 1st.

Those arriving in Barbados must take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) antigen test for the virus within 72 hours of their visit and to present a certificate confirming that they are Covid-19 negative.

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