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Expats & Barbados

Barbados welcomes expats from around the world and is home to young entrepreneurs, professionals on contract, skilled professionals, senior executives on secondment, business owners and those looking for a safe retirement location.

The island is the most easterly of the Caribbean chain of islands. It is located latitude 13 degrees N. and longitude 59 degrees W. Affectionately known as “Little England” and “Bim”, it has a population of approximately 273,400 and yet is a mere 166 square miles (416 square meters). The capital city is Bridgetown which is located on the southwestern side of the island.

Language - English is the official language but there is also a local dialect. Locals are called “Bajans”.

Currency - The currency used is the Barbados dollar which is tied to the US dollar at the fixed rate of US$1.00 = BDS$1.98.

Climate - Barbados enjoys a warm and sunny climate year-round with average temperatures ranging between 75 and 88 degrees Fahrenheit (24 and 31 degrees Celsius). The rainy season begins in June and goes through to November but the showers are usually brief and sunny skies soon reappear. The other half of the year is the dry season and encompasses the tourist “winter season” which runs from December to April. During this period, you can expect sunny skies day after day and cooling breezes with breathtaking sunsets.

Stability - Barbados with its social and economic stability, low crime rate, excellent infrastructure and telecommunications along with its beautiful year-round climate, white sandy beaches, high standard of living and quality of life all help make the island an attractive destination for expats.

Immigration - The Immigration Act of Barbados makes provision for persons who can prove that they can successfully maintain themselves and their dependents in Barbados, to be granted the status of immigrant in the first instance, and upon application five years thereafter to be granted the status of permanent resident.

Social Security - Foreign workers contribute to and are entitled to social security benefits on the same basis as Barbadian nationals.

No Restrictions - There are no restrictions on non-nationals to buy real estate in Barbados.

Integration - Settling into the Barbados community is relatively easy with the help of local experts in relocating to a new and interesting culture. Immigrants should learn about the Barbadian history and culture and seek to embrace both for successful integration into the community.

Medical care - Barbados enjoys a safe and secure environment in which to live as well as a very high standard of medical care. All but the most complex surgeries can be performed at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. There are treaties with some countries, such as the United Kingdom, that do allow some level of health care for their nationals under the local health care service. Air Ambulance services are readily available.

Education - Barbados has a high standard of education and is one of the highest in the Caribbean. Education is compulsory for children between the ages of 5 and 16. The educational programme is administered by the Ministry of Education and is free for nationals in all government schools.

There are numerous Government Primary and Secondary schools including two single sex schools as well as several privately run Primary schools.

Religion - There are several dozen religious denominations in Barbados including Anglican, Evangelical, Hindu, Jehovah Witness, Jewish, Methodist, Moravian, Muslin, Pentecostal, Rastafarian, Roman Catholic, Seven Day Adventist and Spiritual Baptist.

Housing - There is a wide variety of affordable and luxury housing options on offer in Barbados. Choose from residential homes, luxury homes, villas, beachfront properties to gated communities, condos, townhouses, retirement homes, apartments and more.

Restaurants - There is an abundance of fine and informal restaurants in Barbados offering some of the most sumptuous cuisine found anywhere. A wide range of dining options is available to meet every taste and budget. The local dish is Cou Cou and “flying fish”.

Pets - Bringing pets into Barbados now has never been easier. Effective January 01, 2015 the Ministry of Agriculture has introduced new regulations which no longer stipulate the requirement for persons wishing to bring cats and dogs into Barbados to have them quarantined for six months in Britain before bringing them into the island. The new regulations apply to pets coming from any country in the world – provided you follow the new simplified regulations. For further information, please call the Ministry of Agriculture, Veterinary Services Division at 246-427-5073.

Air Services - There are daily non-stop and connecting flights to and from all the major international cities in North America and Europe, such as: New York, Miami, Philadelphia, Toronto, Montreal, London, Germany and the Caribbean islands. Some of the airlines flying to Barbados include: Air Canada, American Airlines, British Airways, Caribbean Airlines, Delta, GOL Airlines, Jet Blue, LIAT, US Airways, Virgin Atlantic, West Jet and numerous charter companies.