After 20 years of vacationing on the Caribbean island of Barbados, British architect Ian Adam-Smith and his wife, Helen Adam-Smith, decided to buy a property and relocate there. “My three children have grown up visiting Barbados, and every time we went, we wished we could buy something there,” he says. “We love the climate, the beaches and the people.”
Having recently bought a property, the Adam-Smiths are taking advantage of the island’s innovative new visa scheme to move to the island full-time while they pursue their application for permanent legal residency status.
Called the Welcome Stamp, the visa, which launched in mid-July, gives non-nationals a 12-month residency permit while working remotely for an overseas employer. It was designed as an antidote for the island’s pandemic-damaged economy, by creating demand in the property rental and sales market and for long-term tourism.
The Adam-Smiths moved in October from their English farmhouse in West Sussex to their new home in Barbados, using the new visa scheme to live there legally while waiting for their application for full residency to be processed. “It’s a great scheme,” says Mr. Adam-Smith, 54. “Prior to the pandemic, no one had really realized how well working remotely could function. We’re applying for residency but as these things take time, the Welcome Stamp gives us the opportunity to move there earlier.”
The architect will continue to run his practice with his two sons, and remain actively involved in online client meetings, bringing business to the firm, and working on project plans. “The visa allows me to continue working and to travel between Barbados and Britain as needed,” he says.