If you have ever dreamed of working while enjoying the scenic beauty of a tropical island, now is your chance.
Barbados is going to unveil a new visa called “12-month Barbados Welcome Stamp,” under which a foreign workers can trade their urban home office for a new life in the Caribbean.
Coronavirus may have dealt a deathly blow to the tourism industry, but the pandemic has made remote working the new normal. Barbados, it seems, has found a way to capitalize on the trend.
Unlike many other Caribbean countries, Barbados is relatively safe for foreigners because of its low crime rate. The island is not particularly prone to hurricanes either. The last time it was hit by one was in 1955.
In addition, Barbados has reported barely 98 Covid-19 cases, a far lower figure compared to other countries in the region, such as the Dominican Republic.
Earlier this week, Barbados reopened its airports. It cannot afford to welcome short term visitors, though, because it is running short of rapid testing kits, according to the country’s Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley.
“You don’t need to work in Europe, or the US or Latin America if you can come here and work for a couple of months at a time; go back and come back,” Mottley said.
Every visitor needs to undergo a health test and isolate himself for at least 48 hours until the test results are announced.
Remote workers will not have to bear with poor internet connections, as the country has a strong ICT infrastructure. “Power and internet outages occur less frequently in Barbados than in other parts of the region,” said Heather Littlejohns, an independent business consultant who has been living on the island for more than a decade.
The country’s strong internet infrastructure is evident in the operations of the BPO provider KM2 Solutions, which has hundreds of home-based agents on the island.
“The cost of living in Barbados is relatively high for the Caribbean region. However, if you are earning a source of income from the US, UK or Canada the costs are more manageable,” said Littlejohns, who is from Canada. “I think this is the perfect time to set up your remote office in Barbados.”
As the island reopens, airliners are also getting ready for ferry travelers. US carrier American Airlines relaunched its service between Miami and Antigua earlier in June. Air Canada began flying into Barbados last Sunday, with British Airways resuming flights from London on July 18 and Jet Blue resuming flights from New York starting July 25.