Living in Barbados

Advice for British people living in Barbados, including information on health, education, benefits, residence requirements and more.


This guide sets out essential information for British national residing in Barbados including advice on health, education, benefits, residence requirements and more. We are unable to provide any guidance on general lifestyle enquiries apart from the information and links listed below. See our ‘Our services’ section for information on what we can and cannot do for British nationals.


You should follow the advice of the Barbados government and your local authority. You can also read our Barbados travel advice for our latest guidance.

For information on getting a COVID-19 vaccine as a UK national in Barbados see our coronavirus travel advice.


There is no reciprocal health care agreement between Barbados and the UK. Medical treatment in Barbados can be expensive. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment and repatriation.

The main government hospital, Queen Elizabeth, can cope with many types of treatment, but serious cases will mean emergency evacuation, usually to the USA. There are also a number of private hospitals and clinics. Make sure you have adequate health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation. Further information on health care in Barbados can be found on our travel advice health page.


Barbados has a good standard of education for all ages and the school system is similar to that in the UK. In addition to state schools, there are a number of private schools. Most private schools follow the Barbados Government Curriculum, and there is also one International Baccalaureate (IB) school.

All non-nationals are required to have a student visa, issued by the Immigration Department, to attend school in Barbados. For information on the school system in Barbados, please contact the Barbados Ministry of Education.

Entry and residence requirements

Entry requirements for British nationals can be found on our travel advice page. British nationals are not permitted to work in Barbados without a valid work permit and students are required to hold a student visa.

Information and advice regarding residency, work permits and student visa should be obtained from the Barbados Immigration Department or Barbados High Commission.


British nationals may be entitled to UK benefits while living in Barbados.

The UK basic state pension is payable in Barbados. Please contact the International Pension Centre for more information on getting your pension in Barbados.

You may be thinking about paying voluntary contributions to top up your pension entitlement. For further information on paying voluntary contributions in the UK, contact HM Revenues & Customs.

Driving licences and vehicles

Residents and visitors are required to hold a valid Barbados licence or permit. Driving licences and permits are issued by the Barbados Licensing Authority or hire car agency.


There are a number of banks in Barbados and advice should be sort sought directly from them on how to open an account. You are likely to be asked to produce a reference from your UK bank.

The UK has a double taxation agreement with Barbados to ensure that people do not pay tax on the same income in both countries.


This information is provided as a general guide and is based upon information provided to the High Commission by the relevant local authorities and may be subject to change at any time with little or no notice. The FCDO and the British High Commission will not be liable for any inaccuracies in this information. British nationals wishing to obtain any further information must contact the relevant local authority.

Published 18 November 2013
Last updated 3 February 2021 + show all updates
  1. Pleaase see our updated 'Living In' Guides for Barbados - February 2021

  2. First published.