So, you’ve decided to visit the beautiful island paradise that is Barbados? Firstly, let us congratulate you on a fabulous choice of travel destination. Whether your visit is for work or play, you really won’t regret it!
As part of your travel preparations, you will need to organize your arrival paperwork to make your entry into the island as smooth as possible.
Your first step is to ensure you have the following travel documents on hand to present to Immigration Officials at Barbados’ Grantley Adams International Airport:
— valid passport
— valid return ticket out of the island
— entry visa (if required – see below)
— your intended address in Barbados
— arrival card (you will generally receive this on your flight to Barbados – it contains details of your arrival to and departure from the island, eg airline details, your port of final destination, and so on)
— upon request, evidence to demonstrate means of ‘personal support’ (i.e. that you have the financial means to support yourself for the duration of your stay). HINT: a personal bank statement should suffice
— children under the age of 18 years travelling without a parent/guardian must have a letter of authorization from their parent/guardian.
Upon your arrival in Barbados, Immigration Officials will generally grant you a ‘visitor’s visa’ stamp in your passport, which is valid for 28 days. However, this is not guaranteed, and some visiting foreign nationals are additionally required to present an ‘entry visa’ to gain permission to enter the island.
It is also worth noting that there are particular arrangements between Barbados and certain countries in terms of the length of stay you can potentially request at Immigration. It’s always best to check with the embassy of your home country as well as the Barbados Immigration Department before you travel, and never make assumptions.
Remember, Immigration Officials can refuse your entry into Barbados for a variety of reasons.
To confirm if you require an entry visa to travel to Barbados, please check the drop-down box at the bottom of the page www.immigration.gov.bb/pages/Visa_Requirements.aspx, where you can type in your nationality, and it will display your specific visa requirements.
Please note that in the instance where you are required to present an entry visa on arrival in Barbados, your visa application should be submitted for processing and granted before you booking your trip and confirmation of any travel arrangements.
Entry visa application forms can be obtained from any of the Barbados Tourism Authority offices and consulates overseas, or downloaded from www.immigration.gov.bb/pages/Visa_Requirements.aspx.
These forms are to be completed and signed and must include a passport size photograph, amongst other documentation as specified on the Barbados Immigration Department website www.immigration.gov.bb.
According to the website (accurate as of November 2015), entry visa fees are as follows:
— Single Entry Visa: US $104/person
— Multiple Entry Visa: the US $208/person
NOTE: Possessing a visa to enter Barbados does not guarantee you entry into the island. Permission to come can only be granted by the Immigration Officer at the port of entry.
Cruise Ship Passengers
Cruise Ship Passengers do not generally require a visa to enter Barbados if ‘in transit,’ i.e. if you are staying on the island for less than 12 daylight hours. However, please confirm with your travel agent, cruise liner and the Barbados Immigration Department before commencing your travels.
TIP: For further information on all of the above, check out both the ‘Visitors to Barbados’ and ‘Visa Requirements’ links on the Barbados Immigration Department website.
Depending on your circumstances, there are other more specified visas you may wish to apply for:
— ‘Student Visa’ for those wishing to pursue a course of study in Barbados (www.immigration.gov.bb/pages/StudentVisa.aspx)
— ‘Special Entry Permit,’ (www.immigration.gov.bb/pages/SpecialEntryPermit.aspx)
— registration as a ‘CARICOM Skilled National’ for employment purposes if you are a citizen of any of the CARICOM (Caribbean Community) member states (www.immigration.gov.bb). For a full list of CARICOM member and associate member states, please refer to the CARICOM website at www.caricom.org.
Extension Of Stay
We all know people become infatuated with our beautiful island and so it’s not uncommon for travellers to decide to stay a little longer than they had originally anticipated.
Should you wish to extend your time in Barbados, approval must be granted by the Barbados Chief of Immigration. You will need to make a trip to our Immigration Department located in Bridgetown (please see the bottom of this article for complete address and contact details).
There, you can collect an extension or ‘variation of stay in Barbados’ form (you can also download it from www.immigration.gov.bb/pages/Extension.aspx). Your application should consist of:
— a passport photo
— $100BBD (approximately $50USD)
— a valid return ticket
— evidence of your financial means of support for the duration of your extended stay.
For full documentation requirements for extensions of stay applications, please refer to the Barbados Immigration Department website.
NOTE: All of the above information on Totally Barbados is assumed accurate at the time of posting (November 2015), however, please always check with our Immigration Department website for the most up to date information.
You can also contact the Barbados Immigration Department on 1-800-268-9122 or locally on (246) 434-4100. Alternatively, you can write to:
The Chief Immigration Officer
Barbados Immigration Department
‘Careenage House,’ The Wharf
Bridgetown, St. Michael
Author: Brett Callaghan