Barbados Is Offering 12-Month Work Visas So You Can Ride Out The Pandemic In Paradise

Leah Groth

As part of the “Barbados Welcome Stamp” program you can live and work on the island paradise for 12 months

Have you have been fantasizing about riding out the rest of the pandemic in paradise, working remotely from a picturesque island, beach chair planted firmly on white-sand beaches, fruity cocktail in-hand, as you pound those keys of your laptop? Due to the fact that COVID-19 has changed the working environment for the foreseeable future, many of us are in a situation where we aren’t chained to our office desk. The island of Barbados, the birthplace of the one-and-only Rihanna, is offering you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take a break from the coronavirus crisis and spend a year working remotely from the comfort of their tropical paradise. Did we mention you can even bring your family with you?

The island is offering 12-month visas to tourists, allowing them to work remotely and live the island dreams as part of their “Barbados Welcome Stamp” program launching in August. To apply, all you need is an income over $50,000.

The cool thing about the program is that you will also be giving Barbados a much-needed boost to their economy. According to the Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association, the country heavily relies on tourism, which makes up 40 percent of its economy, employing 26,000 people. Obviously, the pandemic has nearly eliminated travel, bruising their financial situation and resulting in a 31 percent decline in their government revenue.

“Obviously, short-term travel came to a halt in March for us. We will continue to see the decline,” Barbados Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley told NBC News.“We felt that perhaps the better thing for us to do is to open up our travel opportunities for people who wanted to stay longer, and wanted to be able to work from elsewhere, particularly with the technological platforms that afford that opportunity to us now.”

And obviously, spending a year on an island is a dream for many people. “There’s nothing like waking up and seeing the sunshine. And there’s nothing like being able to work and go for a sea bath and come back and put in the second shift of work. You can do all of that, while still being able to do the things that you’re doing in London or New York.”

The fine print? You need to have a visa, which will you set you back $2,000 for an individual and $3,000 for a family — regardless of how many children you have. You will also need to take out health insurance. Also, upon arrival, you will need to prove you are corona-free. Overseas visitors should have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours before arrival. If they don’t, once they land they will be required to take one and quarantine for two days until the results come back. There will also be temperature checks upon arrival and all visitors will be required to mask up at the airport.

According to Johns Hopkins University statistics, Barbados is one of the safer places to be in the pandemic. With a population of 286,000, there have been just 104 cases of COVID-19 confirmed and 7 deaths. This program launches in August.

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