Returning to Reside in Barbados

Barbados Network Programme

One of the hallmark initiatives of the Consular Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade is the Barbados Network programme, formerly referred to as the Returning National programme. 

The policy was first administered by the Facilitation Unit for Returning Nationals (FURN), but later amalgamated as an integral part of the Consular portfolio in the 1990’s. Its establishmemt was borne out of a commitment by government to tangibly recognize the contributions of the diaspora in accelerating Barbados’ economic, social and cultural development. 

Through a package of incentives designed to facilitate resettlement in Barbados; the policy was revised in September 2010, to create a platform for eligible Barbadians to benefit from duty-free concessions on their personal effects and one (1) vehicle per household at the time of resettlement.

In an effort to further enhance the resettlement experience, the Government of Barbados allowed nationals returning home “to purchase a vehicle free of duty, locally, once they have clearly established that they are using their own foreign exchange for the purpose.”

Purchasing a Duty-Free Vehicle as a Barbados Networker

Barbadians who are intending to resettle on the island, having legal residence overseas for ten (10) years or more may purchase a duty-free vehicle under the Barbados Network programme. Barbadians who qualify for a duty-free vehicle must transfer the funds in full from their overseas account directly to the local car dealership. The designated vehicle dealers are Courtesy Garage, Ansa Motors, Simpson Motors, NASSCO and Platinum Motors.

Planning for resettlement

  • Plan your return in advance. Start the process early. In ideal circumstances about one (1) year ahead. Otherwise, commence your preparations 4 to 6 months in advance.
  • Review the revised Barbados Network brochure and understand the requirements for eligibility, the benefits of the programme and the resettlement process.
  • If possible schedule an advanced meeting with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade to seek clarity if there are queries.
  • Communication is key. It is always best to seek answers from the Ministry’s Consular Division or alternatively, the overseas Missions. Keep the Consular Division apprised of your progress.
  • All applicants must undergo travel and security vetting procedures at the start of the application process. All valid passport information submitted. Within three (3) working days, applicants are notified of the remaining next steps.
  • Summary of documents required for preliminary review:

Full Name
Date of Birth;
Passport Number;
Barbados ID Card Number;
Citizenship of Barbados (Y/N);
Proof of Citizenship;
Legal status overseas;
Estimated date of arrival in Barbados;
Estimated Date of arrival of shipment;
Indicate the type of shipment (container, pallettes, barrels etc.);
Indicate whether a vehicle is being shipped;
Include the Make and Model of the vehicle;
Country of residence overseas.

(Use Model of the Consulate-General at New York as the sample for capturing preliminary information) This information has to be provided.

Confirmation of Eligibility for Duty-Free Concessions

  • Indicate your expected date of resettlement and schedule an interview with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.
  • Submit the following documents for final processing.

– Valid Passport(s). 
– Proof of residence overseas for at least 10 years prior to resettlement.
– Submission of income tax statements or proof that the applicant receives social security payments.
– Letter from the previous employer citing the dates of employment.
– If importing a vehicle, the Proof of Ownership or Title must be submitted to the Ministry.
– To purchase a vehicle locally, the funds must be transferred to the car dealer and an authorization letter issued by the Ministry for the duty-free concessions.

There is one (1) duty-free vehicle per household.

  • A vehicle may be purchased overseas and  included in the shipment or purchased from a dealer in Barbados.
  • A vehicle purchased from a dealer in Barbados is subject to the following conditions.
  • The vehicle must be paid for in full from the applicant’s overseas account.
  • Direct transfer of currency is forwarded to the car dealer’s bank account.
  • Proof of payment is forwarded to the Ministry by the car dealer. Other details including the vehicle specifications are transmitted by the car dealer.
  • The Ministry issues a letter of authorisation for duty-free concessions to the car dealership on behalf of the Barbados Networker.
  • The car dealership completes its administrative procedures with the Customs and Excise Department and the Barbados Revenue Department before the vehicle is released to the Barbados Networker.
  • To maintain duty-free status on the vehicle, the Barbados Networker must have the vehicle in his/her possession for five (5) years to avoid government penalties.

Clearing Personal Effects Shipped to Barbados

  • A Customs broker is an essential partner when clearing personal effects in Barbados.