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Bahamas govt. copies Barbados 12-month Visa program

The Bahamas has ripped a page directly from Barbados’ economic playbook and is passing it off as the Economic Recovery Committee's idea.

Today, the Economic Recovery Committee (ERC) announced that the Cabinet of The Bahamas approved its recommendation of The Bahamas Extended Stay Visa Programme for persons wishing to work or study from The Bahamas for a year.

However, the initiative bears striking similarities to the program recently announced by the Barbados government.

Last week, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley announced a plan to introduce a “12-month Barbados Welcome Stamp” that allows international visitors to stay for up to a year and work remotely.

The visa “allows people from the United States, Europe, and Latin America to come and do their jobs digitally for a couple of months and then go back home, if they feel they can work better in a more relaxed atmosphere such as next to a beach,” according to Mottley.

Here in The Bahamas, the ERC announced today that persons from abroad will be able to apply for a visa online and be granted permission to live in The Bahamas for remote work or study purposes for one year.

Sound familiar?

“The Extended Stay Visa Programme is a remodeling of the current annual residence regime, to expand its qualifying criteria and to make it easier and faster for persons to get consideration and approval”, according to Kenwood Kerr, co-chair of the ERC.

He said persons will not be able to be engaged in work locally while resident in The Bahamas.

The initiative will be marketed to small firms who may want to shift operations for the full year.

It will also target university students – a segment not highlighted in other similar initiatives, according to the ERC.

Successful applicants will have to demonstrate financial means to support themselves while in The Bahamas.

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