BarbadosOfficial Name: Barbados
Must be valid at time of entry
BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:
One page required for entry stamp
TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:
Not required for stays under 6 months
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:
Embassies and Consulates
Wildey Business Park
St. Michael BB 14006
Telephone: +(246) 227-4399
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(246) 227-4000
Fax: +(246) 431-0179
Barbados is an independent Caribbean island nation with a developed economy. The capital is Bridgetown. Facilities for tourism are widely available. The U.S. Embassy in Barbados has consular responsibility for Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, as well as the British dependent territories of Anguilla, British Virgin Islands and Montserrat, and the French islands of Martinique, Guadeloupe, St. Barthélemy and St. Martin. Read the Department of State Fact Sheet on Barbados for additional information.
Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements
U.S. citizens must have a valid U.S. passport to enter Barbados. No visa is needed to enter Barbados for stays up to six months. For further information, travelers may contact the Embassy of Barbados, 2144 Wyoming Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, telephone (202) 939-9200, fax (202) 332-7467, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; or the consulates of Barbados in Los Angeles, Miami or New York.
All U.S. citizens traveling outside of the United States are required to present a passport or other valid travel document to enter the United States. This was extended to all sea travel (except closed-loop cruises), including ferry service on June 1, 2009. Travelers must now present a Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) compliant document such as a passport or a passport card for entry to the United States. While passport cards and enhanced driver’s licenses are sufficient for entry into the United States, they may not be accepted by the particular country you plan to visit; please be sure to check with your cruise line and countries of destination for any foreign entry requirements. We strongly encourage all U.S. citizen travelers to apply for a U.S. passport or passport card well in advance of anticipated travel. U.S. citizens can call 1-877-4USA-PPT (1-877-487-2778) for information on how to apply for their passports.
NOTE: Be aware that Caribbean cruises that begin and end in the United States (closed loop cruises) do not require that you travel with a valid passport. However, should you need to disembark due to an emergency and you do not have a valid passport, you may encounter difficulties entering or remaining in a foreign country. You may also have difficulty attempting to re-enter the United States by air because many airlines will require a valid passport before allowing you to board the aircraft. As such, we strongly recommend that you always travel abroad with your valid passport.
HIV/AIDS entry restrictions may exist for visitors to and foreign residents of Barbados. Please contact the Embassy of Barbados before you travel at:
2144 Wyoming Avenue N.W.
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 939-9200 through 9202
Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page
Safety and Security
To stay connected:
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program so we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements.
- Follow the Bureau of Consular Affairs on Twitter and Facebook.
- Bookmark the Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution.
- Follow the U.S. Embassy in Barbados on Twitter and visiting the Embassy’s website.
- In the event of an emergency, contact us at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free within the United States and Canada, or via a regular toll line, 1-202-501-4444, from other countries.
- Take some time before traveling to consider your personal security and checking for useful tips for traveling safely abroad.
CRIME: Crime in Barbados is characterized primarily by petty theft and street crime. However, incidents of violent crime, including rape and armed robbery, do occur. As always, visitors to and residents in Barbados should always be aware of their surroundings and exercise caution, especially when walking alone, even during the day. Visitors should be especially vigilant on the beaches at night. If walking alone, avoid secluded areas. Always secure valuables in a hotel safe, and always lock and secure hotel room and rental home doors and windows. Statistically, violence and criminal activity in Barbados is on the rise. Embassy staff have been directed to avoid the following areas at all times: Crab Hill, St. Lucy and The Ivy, St Michael. Embassy staff have further been directed to avoid three additional areas at night: Nelson Street, Wellington Street, and Jolly Rogers Cruises. Embassy staff have been advised to exercise extreme caution in the following areas: New Orleans, Deacons, Black Rock, Pine, Carrington Village, and Green Fields.
VICTIMS OF CRIME: If you or someone you know becomes the victim of a crime abroad, you should contact the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate (see the Department of State’s list of embassies and consulates). If your passport is stolen we can help you replace it. For violent crimes such as assault and rape, we can, for example, help you find appropriate medical care, contact family members or friends and help you get money from them if you need it. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime are solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.
The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line in Barbados are: Fire: 311, Police: 211, Ambulance: 511.
Please see our information on victims of crime, including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.
Local Laws & Special Circumstances
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While you are traveling in Barbados, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different than our own. In some places you may be taken in for questioning if you don’t have your passport with you. In some places, it is illegal to take pictures of certain buildings. In some places, driving under the influence could land you immediately in jail. These criminal penalties will vary from country to country. There are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States and you can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy pirated goods. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States. If you break local laws in Barbados, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not where you are going.
Persons violating Barbados laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Barbados are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Also, be aware that it is against the law, even for children, to dress in camouflage clothing or carry items made with camouflage material.
Arrest notifications in host country: While some countries will automatically notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested in that country, others may not. To ensure that the United States is aware of your circumstances, request that the police and prison officials notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate as soon as you are arrested or detained overseas.
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: All Caribbean countries can be affected by hurricanes. The hurricane season normally runs from early June to the end of November, but there have been hurricanes in December in recent years. General information about natural disaster preparedness is available via the Internet from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
U.S. citizens are encouraged to carry a copy of their citizenship documents with them at all times so, if questioned by local officials, proof of identity and U.S. citizenship are readily available.
WOMEN TRAVELER INFORMATION: If you are a women traveling abroad, please review our travel tips for Women Travelers
LGBT RIGHTS: Although rarely enforced, the law criminalizes consensual same-sex sexual activity between adults with penalties of up to life imprisonment. No laws prohibit discrimination against a person on the basis of real or perceived sexual orientation in employment, housing, education, or health care. Activists reported that stigma against LGBT persons persisted. While they maintained a low profile, one LGBT NGO noted no impediments to the organization’s activities. Activists reported few violent incidents but suggested that social stigma and fear of retribution or reprisal due to their sexual orientation rendered the problem underreported.
Anecdotal evidence suggested LGBT persons faced discrimination in employment, housing, and access to education and health care. Activists suggested that while many individuals lived open LGBT lifestyles, disapprobation by police officers and societal discrimination against LGBT persons occurred. For instance, in May a police officer made anti-LGBT remarks to individuals stopped for making too much noise during a late-night LGBT group’s “bus crawl” event. On August 5, unidentified individuals hurled stones and homophobic slurs at one of the flag bearers during the annual “Grand Kadooment” parade.
For more detailed information about LGBT rights in Barbados, travelers should review the 2013 Human Rights Report and the LGBT Travel Information page.
ACCESSIBILITY: While in Barbados, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from what you find in the United States. There are no laws that specifically prohibit discrimination against persons with disabilities in employment, education, or the provision of other state services, other than constitutional provisions asserting equality for all. While no legislation mandates provision of accessibility to public thoroughfares or public or private buildings, the Town and Country Planning Department set provisions for all public buildings to include accessibility to persons with disabilities. As a result, many new buildings have ramps, reserved parking, and special sanitary facilities for such persons.
However, in general, access to buildings, pedestrian paths and transportation is extremely difficult for persons with disabilities. Sidewalks (if they exist) are very uneven and will only occasionally have ramps at intersections. Pedestrian crossings are also very infrequent and can be poorly marked. Many restaurants, hotels and residential buildings have stairs at the entrance without wheelchair ramps, except perhaps major hotels and retail areas. Buses and taxis do not have special accommodations for disabled persons.
The main medical facility in Barbados is Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Medical care is good for the region, but medical transport can take hours to respond and ambulance attendants are prohibited from applying lifesaving techniques during transport. Minor problems requiring a visit to the emergency room can involve a wait of several hours; private clinics and physicians offer speedier service. Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United States can cost thousands of dollars. Doctors and hospitals expect immediate cash payment for health services, and U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the United States. U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical services outside the United States.
Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne illness that is becoming more frequent in tropical and equatorial climates around the world. Symptoms can include fever, rash, severe headache, joint pain, and muscle or bone pain. There are no specific treatments for Chikungunya and vaccines are still in the developmental phase. Preventing mosquito bites is the most important way to prevent this illness. Avoidance and prevention techniques include: reducing mosquito exposure by using repellents, covering exposed skin, treating clothing and tents with permethrin and sleeping in screened or air conditioned rooms. You can also reduce exposure through mosquito control measures, including emptying water from outdoor containers and spraying to reduce mosquito populations. The Aedes mosquitos that carry these illnesses are primarily day biting and often live in homes and hotel rooms especially under beds, in bathrooms and closets. Travelers should carry and use CDC recommended insect repellents containing either 20% DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535, which will help diminish bites from mosquitoes as well as ticks, fleas, chiggers, etc., some of which may also carry infectious diseases. For further information, please consult the CDC's Chikungunya Virus Website).
Zika Virus: Zika virus is a mosquito-borne illness that can be spread from a pregnant woman to her unborn baby. There have been reports of a serious birth defect of the brain called microcephaly and other poor pregnancy outcomes in babies of mothers who were infected with Zika virus while pregnant. For additional information about Zika, including travel advisories, visit the CDC website.
You can find detailed information on vaccinations and other health precautions on the CDC website. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the World Health Organization (WHO) website, which contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.
Travel & Transportation
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in Barbados, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. Driving in Barbados is on the left-hand side of the road. Registered taxis and large public buses are generally safe. Private vans and small buses are often crowded and tend to travel at excessive speeds. Travelers are cautioned against riding in private mini-buses, known as “Z buses,” as the owners frequently drive erratically. Night driving should be done with caution because of narrow roads with no shoulders and pedestrian/bicycle traffic. Visitors are warned to be extremely careful when driving, riding in a vehicle, or crossing roads on foot.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Barbados’ Civil Aviation Authority as not being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Barbados’ air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.