Visiting Barbados in December 2016,

Hello Expats

My Fiance and I shall be visiting Barbados In December for 3 weeks, it is a holiday but also we want to be looking at possibilities of moving here from the UK, My man is half Bajan and English,

I would love to meet up with fellow expats and holiday makers, maybe you can give us some tips of trying to move over, My Steve is in the legal Business, I am Into Business Development and Employment Coaching, also Events management.

If anyone would be interested in meeting us I can arrange to meet ,We will be staying in The Sugar Cane club.


Jan and Steve


I am English moved here in 2006; just had my permanent residence interview - waiting on the outcome.

Have worked here for five years for a firm and since summer 2011 for myself.

Do drop me a line when I am over, I will be on the island up until the 15th at least - happy to meet up and talk over my experiences.


Hi Eb,
So nice to hear from you! and thank you for your reply.

So many questions to ask!

Did you find buying or renting is better?
How easy is it to integrate?
Will I be able to start a new business with out too much hassle.?
What is Christmas like on the Island?

I am very excited to come to barbados and look forwrd to meeting people there.

I will start you of with these questions, if there is anything else i should know by all means do inform me.

Looking forward to your reply!



The most important thing is to establish your immigration status - you mention your, I assume soon to be, husband is half Bajan, does he have a Barbados passport/citizenship or is unquestionably qualifiec for them?

If the answer is yes; see the following if the snswer is nonit is far come complicated

I would suggest that you rent until you are sure you will remain it will also give you a chance to decide in what neighbourhood you would like to live, relative to business, school, friends etc.

Intergrating into society is not difficult, although getting things done here can be frustrating compared to UK or parts of North America.

Starting a business will depend on your immigration status - to start a business or to gain employment you either need to establish permanent residence (being the wife of a national would enable that but it would take many months, if you do not marry you will likely find it impossible to start a business as you'll probably not get a WP). Once you have that setting up a business, incorporsting etc is not that difficult - the question of gaining clients/customers is far more complicatec. What I mean is that one had to be intergrated into the society in order to have the contacts - it varies depending on ones sphere of activity e.g. a retail business would be much easier than a consulting business. Let me know ehat you would be doing and maybe I'll have an idea of the ease with which it can be done.

All that said, Barbados has never really recovered from the 2008 recession, you may be aware of the catalog of S&P downgrades over the past seven years. Things were starting to improve, but the hugh drop in the value of the pound following Brexit will lead to a dtop in spending by UK visitors in the 2017 season and likely a drop in UK visitors in 2018 - so the tightening of the business climate seems likely to continue.

Christmas here is not like the current UK situation - we have independence on 30th Nov and for the US focussed people Thanksgiving at around the same time, so that distracts. We do have carols services etc., we do wear Santa hats, but it is not as commercial as the UK. The Christmas/New Year hoilday is significant here - msny firms shut for two to three weeks and not much goes on in the week before the shutdown. This is for many their annual leave - since we are a small island snd businesses are cobsequently small, losing prople to leave means the business may struggle to operate - so simple solution, all take leave at the same time. This appkies across many sectors e.g. construction, manufacturing, government departments, parts of the service sector - those businesses that serve the tourism industry bring the prime exception.

Other things would depend on your circumstances - generally though things here can take a long time to get done, they get done it's just not instant. As an example my TV antenna was ripped off by a big storm that hit in late 2010, so no TV - I got a call in Feb 2012, over two years late from the provider asking me for a convenient time for them to call to repair it; the lady seemed quite surprised when I said I'd got used to not having it so not to bother.

The other thing is that things here are very expensive - I'll leave that hanging.


So In Depth , Thank you!

My fiance is an Employment Lawyer,he also likes to dabble in fixing small yachts where we have 2 in Portmadag , Wales, I know he would love to have a few and charter them out.
He is also a motorbike trainer, a passion of his.

I am a Events manager and have worked as an Employment coach, also a Business developer. I was looking more to start promoting events be they having weekend markets with local stall holders to sell their wares. or maybe musical events, charity events. also to run weekend used market as i have contacts in UK to bring over containers of used clothes.

If we did rent could we rent out a portion for guest?

My Steve is looking to apply for dual nationality, and once we are married then my turn.

Making friends is easy for me, i can integrate anywhere having lived for 20 years in Germany and pakistan,

where would you say is the nicest place to live?, I have been told it is the West side!

Looking forward to your repy



OK - first thing - to be lawyer here (as everywhere) he would have to do the course and pass the local bar; assuming of course he want to practice law.

The catch being that there are almost 1,000 lawyers in Barbados and many who simply cannot find work - one sells eggs on the ABC highway to make his income (opposite side of the Gildan factory at the second roundabout as you leave the airport)!

The yacht thing is a good idea - there is an established market for sailing in the Grenadines - the problem being the voyage over or more correctly the voyage back to Barbados (not fun!). There is a well established sailing community at the Barbados Yacht Club and the Cruising Club - BTC tends to be the expats and CC the locals. Both have their buildings on Carlisle Bay. You would have to investigate the commercial viability - not something I have any expertise in - airplanes I know about but not yachts.

Most places you can rent would have no objection to you having paying guests and what the landlord doesn't know won't hurt him - Airbnb!! That said you would have to likely be close to the beach, main bus routes etc etc. in those places the rent can be maybe $20,000 a year higher than in more inland places, so it would be a balance.

The thing is it appears Steve does not have Barbadian documentation - so he is for the purposes of the immigration not a "local" (yet!) - so he would have to apply - now this is where it gets complicated - if one of his parents was a Barbadian (and he can prove it) is should be simple, if not very complicated - it would take me ages to explain.

There is a good lawyer here with connections to the immigration department (Sam LeGay) that I can recommend - would be worth having a brief meeting with him he can set out the ins and outs of the system and also maybe on the local bar situation.

Until you get your papers sorted it works like this - when your arrive you get 28 days here - you can go to the immigration dept and they will (maybe) extend for up to a maximum of six months. Steve should be good all he has to do is get is immigration application in (assuming he is able to provide the proofs - bring original documents) he will then get stamps to remain no problem.

On the other hand if you are not married, you will under normal circumstances get the maximum of six months - normally handed out in three month batches. If your return ticket is longer than a month you will get a three month stamp on arrival.

If you are married and Steve has a his citizenship sorted no problems with working and/or setting up a business - until then probably no chance at all.

West side of the island is in my opinion not the best place - I prefer the south coast (well it is where I live), the cost of rent is lower and it has good access to other places on the island. I live across from the boardwalk at Hastings Rocks, I think it is the optimum spot on the island - but I would!

I am at about 0:53 through the video

Right there every Saturday there is a small transient flea market and maybe another 300m along there is a farmers market - so we do have such things here. On the clothes thing be very, very aware of duties and levies here - it would need to shift a lot of stuff to be profitable.

As to events management - we do have lots of events here - there are lots of events managers - depends on what strata you are in - the trick no matter is contacts here as much and in fact much more than other places. Contacts are everything - if Steve has extended family connections here it would give a good intro otherwise it would be very difficult to establish.

If you want to do it yourself, I would suggest "bringing things in" as the trick - you place an ad for something then import a whole container load e.g. IKEA furniture - that can be good - but it takes a lot of capital even if you are pre-selling.

You mentioned Germany - I would think that the language thing would be what would work best - try real estate agents who have Germany clients, hotels, tour groups - a good low cost/no cost thing to set up and a good way to make contacts.

The important things on which all else depends are immigration status, immigration status and immigration status.


Bless you EB!

You are so detailed and succinct, Thank you so much, you have filled me into a lot of things no book could tell me,

Steves father is Bajan so I don't think he will have problems there!, he also has some family members in Barbados which helps i suppose.

Considering B was a British Colony, would it not suggest that his qualifications would be acknowledged there ?

Did I Also mention that Steve is also a Motorbike Instructor, doubt there is much business for that there!

South sounds exciting! lots to look at, I wonder what the average house price would cost to rent?

Ikea! hmm I was also thinking of maybe opening a small shop for second hand furniture that is left behind by expats when they leave, they can sell there and buy from there if they are new, also locals can buy too

EB which country have you come from and what do you do if you don't mind me asking?

Jan :-)


As Steve's father is Bajan he will have no problem establishing that he is considered a national - for you marriage is the only way:)

Having family members here will help greatly with things and also with the living situation and decisions generally.

The qualifications thing is not a problem - I am a chartered surveyor and mine work here  - it still took the usual seven months for me to get my first work permit here and I was sponsored by the largest surveying firm on the island - a notional seven months holiday in sun!

Not too sure what the rules are here for learning to ride motor bikes - I think it is just a case of hoop on, give it a go and do the test - there must be some training but it is not regimented like the UK.

Houses vary massively from less than $1,000 a month with at the upper limit $100,000 - typically a reasonable 2-3 bed home would run $2,500 -$3,000 - but in some fairly "ordinary areas" $7,000/month would not be uncommon. You can take a look on real estate agent site (we do have lots of real estate agents here) e.g. TerraCaribbean, Ron Karp, Hannah Properties, Realtors Limited, Altman and many, many others - if you Google those names you will find the sites. That said you will really needs to be here to see places and areas before you decide where to live or that a house is as good as the real estate agent's photos make it look (they do have skill when it comes to photos).

When expats leave here they just put up an ad outside their house which says "Garage Sale this Saturday" and/ot put an ad on the notice board of the local supermarket - I am not aware of any second hand furniture shops here - probably the high rents for retail space make it unviable.

I am originally from the UK - before moving here I lived and worked at NATO JHQ in Hardt in Germany.



Are you over yet?

If you like we can all meet up and have a chat.

I am good until the 15th when I am going to the US - back around 24th


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