Moving to Barbados
If this island paradise is about to become your home away from home, your newest investment and you’ve decided on moving to Barbados, Barbados comes with a thriving business environment, tantalizing culture and relaxed nature that you need to know about.
Traveling to Barbados:
The island’s lone airport, the Grantley Adams International Airport, is the main port of entry by air. If you are arriving by sea the Bridgetown Port is the main point of entry. The Grantley Adams International Airport is the transport hub for the region and has a wide and constantly growing list of international carriers arriving daily. The Airport received a multi-million dollar upgrade in recent years and is now home to a single airstrip 11,000 feet in length, with over 43,738 aircraft movements and approximately 2 million passengers passing through.
To ensure the safe operation of aircraft and movement of passengers, the Airport is committed to standards and practices of the International Civil Aviation Organisation. Hence, it can facilitate the most demanding requirements with respect to determination of runway length, pavement strength and other physical characteristics.
Some of the major air carriers that offer service to and from Barbados include; Air Canada, Westjet, Air Transat, American Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Virgin Atlantic Airways, British Airways, BMI (British Midlands), Air Jamaica and Caribbean Airlines. Please visit their respective websites for further information. There are often great travel deals on charters coming out of Europe and North America, primarily during the winter months and on travel websites like Expedia.com.
Bridgetown Seaport: this port of entry is one that is traversed by thousands of cruise visitors year round. The port is well situated in the heart of the capital Bridgetown and it features a number of retail stores that are often frequented by visitors. It also a features a Deep Water Harbour, which plays an important role in Barbados’ economy, both from the standpoint of trade in manufactured goods and raw materials. The Harbour facilitates vessel berths each approximately 183 (m) or 600ft long and having a draught of 9.75 (m) or 32 ft. Container yard space is quite adequate and there is a range of ancillary services inclusive of gantry and mobile cranes, and refrigerated storage facilities.
To be officially received in Barbados, you will need a valid Passport and return ticket. Persons who are not citizens of Barbados but are seeking to work or study in Barbados require the requisite visa. There are some exceptions for CARICOM nationals.
Persons traveling to Barbados on holiday may require a visitor’s visa. A list of countries that require visitor visas are available at: http://www.foreign.gov.bb/UserFiles/File/VISA%20info2.pdf
Additionally the Immigration Department in Bridgetown is responsible for matters relating to the issuing (of all types) of visas for entry to Barbados by non-nationals. The Department issues work permits, student visas, business visas and visitor visas. Visitor visas are also issued by Barbados’ missions and consulates abroad.
The contact information for the Immigration Department in Barbados is:
Address: Careenage House, Grantley Adams International Airport
Wharf Road Christ Church
Telephone: (246) 426-1011 Telephone: (246) 418-4180
Fax: (246) 426-0819 Fax: (246) 420-7180
When Moving To Barbados – Money Matters:
Barbados has its own currency, which has been pegged to the US dollar since 1975 at an exchange rate of US $1 – BDS $1.98. Other currencies inclusive of Canadian, Pound Sterling, Euro, and Eastern Caribbean are widely accepted by commercial banks in the island. The peg against the US dollar has worked in Barbados’ favor over the last 3 decades and has contributed to the stable economy that the island has enjoyed. Moreover, it has also worked in the favor of investors in Barbados. At the Airport baggage tipping is a suggested $1 U.S. per bag. On the street, the US rate of exchange is generally two Barbados dollars to one US dollar. Most bars, restaurants, retail shops, duty free stores and hotels, accept most major credit cards.
The island has six commercial banks with all of them having headquarters in the city of Bridgetown and branches scattered across the island. Additionally there are convenient ATM (Automatic Teller Machines) locations all over the island. For cash advances with your credit card you will need a PIN number, which you should get before you leave your home country. In Barbados, the ATMs dispense only local currency and the majority of them provide you with access in Spanish, French and Braille. If your credit card does not have a PIN you can get cash advances through the Teller in most banks. Please note that banks generally require you to show your passport and airline ticket when converting foreign currency, especially when converting back to your home currency.
As a rule, bank hours are open Monday to Thursday from 8 am to 3 pm and on Fridays from 8 am to 5 pm. There are some banks that have specific branches that open on Saturdays.
Before Moving to Barbados, Learn About Driving:
In Barbados, driving is on the left side of the road, this is unlike the US, Canada and many other countries so remember that at all times. If driving will be your transportation preference while in Barbados, you will need a visitor’s driver’s license which currently costs BDS $65. Visitor licenses are available from your car rental provider or any police station. These licenses are valid a full year so come back often and make good use of it.
All drivers must be between the ages of twenty one and sixty five with a minimum of three years driving experience, sometimes drivers between the ages of twenty one and twenty five may have to pay more to rent a car in Barbados.
All car rental companies have their own set of rules and regulations that you would be informed of upon collecting the car in Barbados. If the car you have ordered is unavailable for whatever reason, you will usually be given another car from the same class, or, if all of that class is unavailable, you’ll be upgraded.
Moving To Barbados :- Utilities:
For your utility hook up, the majority of property owners or managers will direct you on the procedures necessary if you need to get your water, electricity, or gas services put in place. For electricity, the Barbados Light and Power Ltd. is the primary provider on the island. With water, the Barbados Water Authority is the only provider of this utility and properties usually come already outfitted with this. For natural gas or bottled gas, the area where you will be living will determine if you have access to natural gas but in such circumstances where it is not available in a particular area bottled gas is widely available in various sizes.
The island has one of the best developed telecommunication infrastructures in the Caribbean. With one fixed line provider and two highly competitive mobile service providers and three internet service firms the island can provide with you with as much connectivity as you could possibly need. Lime, formerly known as Cable and Wireless, is the island’s long standing telecommunication’s provider. This company is the only fixed line provider on the island but still boasts of extensive coverage in all parishes. Cable and Wireless (B’dos) Ltd., a subsidiary of Cable and Wireless PLC of United Kingdom has been operating in Barbados for over 3 decades.
The company provides International Direct Distance Dialing Service (IDDD) utilizing international satellite, fiber optics terrestrial networks, and microwave links. This highly digital service is available from any point in Barbados. Meanwhile Digicel, Sunbeach and Telebarbados are permitted to carry International Traffic into and out of Barbados. However, for mobile services, Digicel the largest growing mobile service provider in the region offers another choice with competitive rates. This company has been in the island since 2004 and has become a good competitor in the industry. Meanwhile Sunbeach is the homegrown telecommunications firm that mainly provides internet connectivity. Additionally TeleBarbados with principal investors Barbados’ Light and Power Holdings (LPH) (25%) and Canadian International Power Company Ltd provides corporate connectivity for a number of firms in the island. This is mainly done through their parent company Leucadia National Corporation (75%). Leucadia also controls a 37% stake in Barbados Light and Power Company. TeleBarbados has formed a new under-sea fiber link from Barbados and Saint Lucia to the Eastern United States.
There are two main providers of cable television services in Barbados. The state-owned Multi-Choice Television (MCTV) service is perhaps the most widely used service, as it features a wide range of channels that include major news networks like CNN, Fox News, BBC World, and all of the top United States networks such as ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox. The Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) can be contacted for installation of this service.
The other local cable provider is a South American based Direct-TV service and it also offers similar channels. The Starcom Network Inc can be contacted for installation of this service. Some properties may come pre-equipped with either one of these services or some properties may also feature private satellite dish services, with an even wider range of channels.
Moving to Barbados is wise idea..