Acquiring a Barbados Work Permit

Acquiring a Barbados Work Permit

With the lowest crime rate in the Caribbean, an English speaking population, beautiful scenery and infamous Caribbean sunshine, the appeal of working and living in Barbados is obvious.

Barbados has an active expatriate community, and if you are a non-national, the process of finding a job in Barbados is similar to what you would undertake in your home country.

However, non-nationals seeking to work in Barbados must register for and obtain an immigration status or work permit from the Barbados Immigration Department, before commencing any employment here on the island.

Under certain conditions, CARICOM (Caribbean Community) nationals are permitted to live and work in Barbados without a work permit and can register with the Barbados Immigration Department as a ‘CARICOM Skilled National’ for employment purposes.

For further information, visit the Barbados Immigration Department and always check regarding eligibility.

For a full list of CARICOM member and associate member states, refer to the CARICOM website.

Barbados Jobs

Job postings can found listed within the two leading newspapers of Barbados.

— The Nation

— The Advocate

Job seekers may also refer to the Barbados Labour Market Information System, or contact one of Barbados’ employment agencies.

Find out more information about employment and tips on finding a job on our ‘Finding a job in Barbados‘ page from the links at the bottom of this page.

The two main types of work permits available to non-nationals are:

— Short-term Work Permit
— Long-term Work Permit

NOTE: Certain statuses granted by the Barbados Immigration Department such as Immigrant Status, Permanent Residency and Citizenship also carry specific entitlements about employment on the island. To find out more, please see our ‘Immigration Statuses’ page.

Work Permits

Work permits must be applied for and submitted to the Barbados Immigration Department by the potential employer, as a ‘sponsor’ of the prospective employee.

Applications cost $300 BBD (approximately $150 USD), with an approval fee of approximately $1,500 BBD for each application (roughly $750 USD). Final fees are determined by the category of work and length of the employment period. No approval fee is required for ‘Training Attachments.’

It is worth noting work permits in Barbados apply specifically to the employer’s business, company or organization, and the job specified on the application. In other words, they are not transferable.

You can collect work permit application forms from our Immigration Department in Bridgetown (please see the bottom of this article for full address and contact details) or from the Barbados Immigration Department.

Short-Term Work Permit/Training Attachment

Short-Term Work Permits are valid for a period of up to 11 months.

Typically, short-term work permits are provided to companies in need of operation set-up or employee training assistance; however, there are a wide variety of reasons why a business may require the skills of a non-national employee.

Applications require the following documentation:

— C-3 Immigration Department application form (in duplicate) $300BBD application fee
— 4 passport-sized photos
— A detailed cover letter from the potential employer
— A Police Certificate of Character (PCC) or Sworn Affidavit from the employee’s country of origin. NOTE: if the applicants resided in Barbados 6 months or more, a Barbadian PCC is also required. You can pick up an application form from the Central Police Station in Bridgetown or at the Royal Barbados Police Force.

— A copy of the bio-data page of the applicant’s valid passport.

Long-Term Work Permit

Long-Term Work Permits are valid for a period of up to 3 years. Inorder to be eligible, prospective employers must sufficiently prove that no resident or Barbadian national is capable or willing to fulfill the requirements of the job position they require.

Evidence of this can consist of proof of advertising in the Barbados newspapers; however, it’s best to seek guidance from our Immigration Department before undertaking the process of applying for this kind of permit.

Applications require the following documentation:

— $300BBD application fee. C-1 and C-2 Immigration Department forms (in duplicate).
— Completed medical questionnaire (see Barbados Immigration Department)
— 4 passport-sized photos
— 2 character references on the applicant
— Evidence of the applicant’s qualifications
— A detailed cover letter from the potential employer outlining the nature of the business, the reason for the request, as well as the job position they require.
— A Police Certificate of Character (PCC) or Sworn Affidavit from the employee’s country of origin. NOTE: if the applicant has resided in Barbados 6 months or more, a Barbadian PCC is also required
— A copy of the bio-data page of the applicant’s valid passport.

Applications can take between 6 to 8 weeks to process; however once approved, non-nationals are entitled to begin working in Barbados with the same social security benefits as Barbadian nationals.

Refer to the Barbados National Insurance Scheme website for further Barbadian social security information.

Are you seeking to establish a business in Barbados?

You need the following information available when applying through the Barbados Immigration Department:

—Proof of the transfer of funds for investment (bank transfer statements are acceptable)
—Certificate of Registration/Articles of Incorporation (both the original and a copy)
— Related business licenses.

The application fee is BBD 300 and also carries an approval fee, with the amount at the discretion of the Barbados Immigration Department.

Additional information on setting up a business in Barbados is available at The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade website or check out what Invest Barbados (IB) has to offer – their office is conveniently located in Bridgetown.

NOTE: Visa requirements and conditions may be subject to change. Before pursuing a job or relocating to Barbados, seek advice from the Barbados Immigration Department on 1-800-268-9122 or locally on (246) 426-1011. Alternatively, you can write to:

The Chief Immigration Officer
Barbados Immigration Department
‘Careenage House,’ The Wharf
Bridgetown, St. Michael


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About Totally Barbados (Edit profile)

Brett Callaghan is the founder and managing director of Totally Barbados. I specialize in writing content for the tourism industry for my island home of Barbados. I help companies build strategies to grow online businesses with SMART marketing, advertising, and social media goals.