|Frequently Asked Questions
"Here you'll find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about Barbados.
If you have a question and cannot find the answer here please contact us by e-mail and let us know.
>> What is the official language of Barbados?
>> What does 'Barbados' mean?
>> What festivals are held in Barbados each year?
Weddings & Honeymoons
>> I'd like to get married in Barbados. What do I need to know?
>> What documents will I need when I arrive at the airport?
>> Do I need a visa, and if so how do I apply for one?
>> I'd like to work in Barbados. How can I obtain a work permit?
>> Where can I get more information once I arrive at the airport?
>> Are there any fees or taxes I will have to pay when I leave?
>> What sorts of items are considered 'personal effects' by Barbados Customs?
>> What are the limits on duty free allowances?
>> What sort of items are restricted or prohibited?
Services in Barbados
>> What postal services are available in Barbados?
>> What kind of banking and financial services are available?
>> What sort of health & wellness facilities can I find in Barbados?
>> What is required if I plan to extend my stay in Barbados?
Entering other Countries from Barbados
>> What is required for entry into the U.S.?
Question: What is the official language of Barbados?
Answer: The official language of Barbados is English, but the Bajan dialect is widely spoken.Top
Question: What does 'Barbados' mean?
Answer: The name Barbados comes from the island's Portuguese christening of Los Barbados, named after the bearded fig tree, which grew abundantly on the island at the time of its discovery in the 16th century. This tree is unusual in that it sends aerial roots from its branches, thus giving the impression of being bearded.Top
Question: What festivals are held in Barbados each year?
Answer: In Barbados we celebrate many festivals all throughout the year. These festivals include The Jazz Festival, Holetown Festival, Oistins Fish Festival, The Holders Season,The Congaline Music Festival, Barbados Gospelfest Festival, Crop Over and The National Independence Festival of Creative Arts.Top
Weddings & Honeymoons
Question: I'd like to get married in Barbados. What do I need to know?
Answer: Planning to tie the knot? Then do it in a land kissed by the sun, in an ambience of joy, friendship and a stunning beauty you will never forget. It is very easy to get married in Barbados. There is no required waiting period or minimum length of stay. Application for a marriage licence must be made by both parties in person at the office of the Ministry of Home Affairs. The following documents are required: · Valid Passports or the original or certified copies of birth certificates. · If either party was divorced, an original Decree Absolute or a certified copy of the Final Judgement. · If either party was previously married and widowed, a certified copy of the Marriage Certificate and Death Certificate in respect of the deceased spouse. · Where necessary, all documents not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation. · Fees: if neither party is a citizen or resident of Barbados - BDS $150.00 cash and a $25.00 stamp. Honeymoons Your honeymoon in Barbados is sure to meet your every expectation with its infinite combinations of accommodation and activities to fill your romantic itinerary. Whether you choose to spend the time in intimate solitude or exploring the island Barbados is the honeymoon paradise of the Caribbean.Top
Question: What documents will I need when I arrive at the airport?
Answer: From the moment that you arrive in Barbados our airport staff are sure to make you feel welcome. Always have available for examination a passport and a valid return ticket. In addition be sure to have ready your completed customs declaration form when clearing immigration.Top
Question: Do I need a visa, and if so how do I apply for one?
Answer: All visitors with the exception of the citizens of the Caribbean Community, the USA, Canada and the United Kingdom are expected to obtain a visa before traveling to Barbados. Applications for visas must be completed in duplicate and accompanied by two (2) passport sized photographs. The fee for a single entry visa is BDS$50.00 and for a multiple entry visa is $60.00. Visas may be obtained from any of Barbados' Missions overseas.Top
Question: I'd like to work in Barbados. How can I obtain a work permit?
Answer: Work permits are required for both temporary and long term employment in Barbados and should be accompanied by a police certificate of character from countries of residence during the last three years. Applicants are advised to submit forms approximately six weeks to three months from the date of filing application. Please note the work permit is specific to the employer mentioned therein and if the employee wishes to work for another employer before or after the expiry date of his work permit, a new application must be submitted. The employee is prohibited from working in Barbados until the work permit application is approved. However, the Immigration Department will permit the employee to enter Barbados on a visitor's visa (usually for 28 days) for non-business purposes, such as finding accommodation, schools, etc.Top
Question: Where can I get more information once I arrive at the airport?
Answer: Should you have any queries upon reaching Barbados, about anything at all, feel free to contact the visitor information booth which is located in the baggage collection hall of the Grantley Adams International Airport. There you will also find information on accommodation, attractions and lots more.Top
Question: Are there any fees or taxes I will have to pay when I leave?
Answer: All persons departing from the Grantley Adams International Airport must pay departure tax of BDS $25 or US $12.50. This money can be paid in when you check in.Top
Question: What sorts of items are considered 'personal effects' by Barbados Customs?
Answer: Under the customs regulations of Barbados, personal effects are passengers' baggage containing apparel and articles for personal use which a traveler may reasonably require during his vacation, for example clothing, cosmetics and accessories.Top
Question: What are the limits on duty free allowances?
Answer: Duty free allowances are granted for up to 1 liter of potable spirits or wine, 200 cigarettes (one carton) or 100 cigars or 50 cigars and cigarettes not exceeding 230 grams in aggregate. All articles in excess of this exemption are subject to the relevant duty and tax.Top
Question: What sort of items are restricted or prohibited?
Answer: The importation of certain articles is restricted or prohibited in order to protect the community, to maintain animal and plant life, among other reasons. Prohibited articles such as illegal drugs and pornography will be seized and persons may face penalties or prosecution. All fruits, vegetables, plants, cuttings, seeds or unprocessed plant products must be declared to customs and presented for inspection by a Plant Quarantine Officer.Top
Services in Barbados
Question: What postal services are available in Barbados?
Answer: Barbados' postal service was set up in 1663 making it one of the oldest in the world. There are eighteen (18) postal counters located across Barbados including the General Post Office at Cheapside and post offices at the Grantley Adams International Airport and the Bridgetown Cruise Terminal. There are also conveniently located red mailbox inlets in walls and cemented bins across the island. Express Mail Service (EMS) The Express Mail Service is designed to give the customer a fast, efficient and reliable yet fully documented service. EMS is either local or international and can be purchased from any District Post Office. Barbados Philatelic Bureau The Barbados Philatelic Bureau has recognized the growing demand for Barbados stamps by Philatelists over the last three decades. As a result, it now publishes four to six commemorative issues yearly and a definitive issue every four to five years. Visitors to the island can take advantage of our walk-in policy and make a visit to the Bureau a must during their holidays. For further information contact the General Post Office at (246) 427 5772 or visit their website at www.bps.gov.bb.Top
Question: What kind of banking and financial services are available?
Answer: Barbados has six (6) commercial banks providing full banking services. These are the Bank of Butterfield, First Caribbean International, Caribbean Commercial Bank, the Bank of Nova Scotia, Barbados National Bank and the Royal Bank of Canada. Regular banking hours are Monday to Thursday from 8 AM to 3PM and until 5PM on Fridays. The official unit of currency in Barbados is the Bajan dollar. The rate of exchange is currently at Bds$2 to US$1. Both currencies are accepted nationwide including most major credit cards, which can generally be used at Automatic Teller Machines across the island. Foreign exchange transactions are also done in EC (Eastern Caribbean) dollars, US dollars, Pounds, Canadian and Euro dollars. Visitors can also change travelers' checks and perform cable transfers.Top
Question: What sort of health & wellness facilities can I find in Barbados?
Answer: Barbados has a large array of private and public facilities, the primary ones being the Queen Elizabeth and Bay View Hospitals. There are also a number of polyclinics that are effectively decentralized and many private medical practitioners as well. The omnipresence of the ocean and the endless activities that take place thereof have caused the government to invest in one of the most sophisticated decompression chamber in the region. Visitors will also be impressed by the wide availability of pharmacies and dental clinics. Wellness Facilities Auxiliary facilities are available island wide as well in the form of spas, gyms, and healing centers offering treatments ranging from Reiki to acupuncture.Top
Question: What is required if I plan to extend my stay in Barbados?
Answer: Visitors coming to Barbados should provide proof of adequate means of support during their stay. Visitors wishing to extend their stay should make an application to the Immigration Department on the prescribed form that is available at the department. The following items should be submitted with the application:
one passport size photograph
a valid passport or travel document
a valid airline ticket
evidence of means of support
application fee of BDS $25 (US$ 12.50)
Visitors are not permitted to engage in any occupation or to accept any employment during the period of their stay without first obtaining a work permit. For further information please contact the Chief Immigration Officer at Immfirstname.lastname@example.org.Top
Entering other Countries from Barbados
Question: What is required for entry into the U.S.?
Answer: Click here to download the Visa Waiver Program in PDF format." Top