BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Barbados says it has approved over 2,000 applications from foreign nationals wanting to participate in the country’s Welcome Stamp Program that the government said would diversify the island’s tourism product, attract a new type of visitor as well as generate foreign exchange.
The government introduced the program in July 2020 as part of the efforts to encourage visitors to the island, as it dealt with the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that resulted in a shutdown of borders and a significant decline in tourism revenue.
A government statement said that as at December 31, last year, the “Barbados’ 12-month Welcome Stamp Program has received 3,257 applications, and of those applications, 2,163 were approved”.
It said data showed that the foreign nationals taking advantage of the program were from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Nigeria and India.
“From the applications received, 65 per cent were from individuals and 35 per cent from families. A further breakdown of the statistics revealed that 62 per cent of the applicants were male, while 38 per cent were females,” the statement said.
It said that those applying under the program have occupations in fields ranging from technology and communication to marketing; finance; manufacturing; education and training; law and public administration.
The Remote Employment Act 2020-2023 allows for the Welcome Stamp to be renewed, fees to be paid, and for the renewal of the stamp itself for those persons who have been resident in Barbados under the program for a year, the statement noted, giving no details as to the revenue collected under the scheme to date.