Recently, several countries in the Caribbean have opened their visa programs to accept American citizens for up to a year. The governments in Barbados and Bermuda are allowing people who can work remotely to take up residence in their country. With the way things are going in the US, this has many citizens looking to escape temporarily and permanently.
According to the Bambridge Accountants, "5,816 Americans gave up their citizenship in the first six months of 2020 which is a 1,210% increase on the prior six months to December 2019, where only 444 cases were recorded." Currently, the only two countries participating are Barbados and Bermuda, but there could be other countries that follow suit soon. Each country is introducing a program that outlines specific requirements for anyone who wants to participate with the Barbados program which opened on July 12 and Bermuda's program which opened on August 1.
So, why is this happening?
In a press release statement by Prime Minister Mottley of Barbados, he expressed a desire to create an environment that faciliated work and play for extended periods of time amid the global pandemic. "Why?" he asked rhetorically before elaborating, "Because we know that this is one of the best places on earth to be and to remain because of the care we will take to protect the people of this nation and those who are here on the island with us."
The aim of this is to offer business owners some relief during these trying times. These countries are also looking to boost their technology communities and economies. Glenn Jones, Interim CEO of the Bermuda Tourism Authority also stated:
"This initiative paves the way for an infusion of economic activity for local businesses (and gives us) an opportunity to share our uncrowded open spaces and coveted island lifestyle with travelers from across the globe looking to work or study remotely."
As a remote worker, why should you consider this?
Over the last few months of 2020, the pandemic has caused many aspects of daily living to shift by the second. Add to that, the fact that COVID-19 is one of two pandemics Black people are currently in the midst of, with the other being racism. Living in this constantly volatile terrain is taking a toll on the mental health of Black people in this country, creating many negative impacts. For many, spending a few months in a more stable environment can possibly provide a sense of normalcy and bring about some much-needed balance.
After the death of George Floyd and the increase in messaging around #BLM, companies went on a crusade to prove they have always been about diversity and inclusion. Many times this has resulted in said companies turning to the few people of color on their teams to answer for what has been painfully obvious for years: the lack of diversity in their work environment. All of the posturing and marketing has led many Black professionals to feel unnecessary exhaustion at work. In a recent article in Fortune;
"Working abroad, these executives say they left behind the fatigue that many described as routine for Black people in corporate America: the exhaustion brought about by being asked to solve your company's diversity issues; living by the unwritten rules that dictate how you present yourself at work; having to prove every day that you deserve to be in your role. Once abroad, with the weight of their companies behind them, many Black expatriates said they felt instantly valued and treated with a level of respect and deference from their colleagues they had not known in the U.S."
As companies shift to an online model to accommodate a safe work space for their employees, this may be an ideal time to consider an extended vacation. For parents, this presents a unique opportunity with schools also shifting over to online digital learning, opening up the possibilities to study, or work, from anywhere. Both Bermuda and Barbados offer great internet service that can support any remote work situation and online school accessibility. A quick Google search shows that the cost of living is 12.48% higher in Barbados than the US but 48.83% cheaper in rent according to Numbeo.
There are many options for housing that are near or on the beach through Airbnb, with local shops and markets in close proximity. If you are not interested in the year option to stay abroad, you can also look at the 90- or 180-day option. In Barbados and Bermuda, you can stay up to 90 days with no visa if you are looking for a shorter getaway. With these options you can take as long and as short as you need. You can also commute back and forth as you like while following reentry policies. Now is a prime opportunity to take that vacation that has been sitting on your bucket list.
If you want to apply, here’s what to expect:
12-Month Barbados "Welcome Stamp"
- Individuals seeking to take advantage of the new visa initiative must be earning a minimum of $50,000 USD.
- Applicants must pass a character background check.
- Make sure all standard pre-requisite requirements for documentation are up to date when application is submitted. If you are planning on staying for up to 12 months you will be required to have the necessary insurance.
- You can take a spouse as well as family members.
- Individual: Fee of $2,000 USD
- Family Bundle: Fee $3,000 USD (Allows more than one member of the family to work remotely)
- If you are approved for the 12 Month Barbados Welcome Stamp, you will be able to re-apply at least two more times to extend your visa.
12-Month Bermuda "Work From Bermuda Certificate"
- Complete the application with the application fee of $263 USD.
- Complete the Bermuda Travel Authorization process online. A $75 USD fee is required and this will include the cost of the PCR COVID-19 testing in Bermuda.
- Children that are 9 years old and younger do not have to be tested at any point and will be charged a reduced fee of $30 for Travel Authorization.
- Children 10-17 must receive parental consent to be tested. If consent is denied, the young traveler must quarantine for 14 days on arrival.
- Visitors must take a certified PCR COVID-19 test, 72 hours of departure, but no more than seven days, and obtain a negative result. This applies to adults and children aged 10 and up. Children who are 9 years old and younger are exempt but they are also subject to their adult travel companion's quarantine.
- Visitors must wear face masks when traveling to the departure airport.
- Visitors must wear face masks and practice physical social distancing at the departure airport.
Join our xoTribe, an exclusive community dedicated to YOU and your stories and all things xoNecole. Be a part of a growing community of women from all over the world who come together to uplift, inspire, and inform each other on all things related to the glow up. We drop xoNecole events and special opportunities into our Tribe first.
Featured image by Shutterstock
- Estonia, Barbados, Bermuda & Georgia Announce Digital Nomad ... ›
- 9 countries welcoming long-term visitors to live and work remotely ... ›
- How COVID-19 Could Usher in the Era of the “Digital Nomad Visa” ›
- Bermuda to allow non-residents to work remotely on island | CBR ›
- EU adds UAE, Bermuda to expanded tax haven blacklist ›
- EU adds UAE, Bermuda to expanded tax haven blacklist ›
- Want To Live And Work In Paradise? 7 Countries Inviting Americans ... ›
- Why Work From Home When You Can Work From Barbados ... ›
Black women are not a monolith. We all are deserving of healing and wholeness despite what we've been through, how much money we have in the bank, or what we look like. Most importantly, we are enough—even when we are not working, earning, or serving.
Welcome to Black Girl Whole, your space to find the wellness routine that aligns with you! This brand-new marketplace by xoNecole is a safe space for Black women to activate their healing, find the inspiration to rest, and receive reassurance that we are one small act away from finding our happiness.
Want to discover where you are on your wellness journey? You don't have to look far. In partnership with European Wax Center, we're bringing you a customized wellness quiz to help you up your wellness game. Answer our short series of questions to figure out which type of wellness lover you are, what you need to bring more balance into your life, and then go deeper by shopping products geared towards clearing your mind, healing your body, and soothing your spirit.
Ready to get whole? Take our quiz now!
For many, education is the key that unlocks the doors of opportunity, empowering individuals to reach their full potential in any field they choose to pursue.
Because of that advantage and the possibility of wanting to learn a different profession, a handful of celebrities have chosen to go back to school to earn a college degree after obtaining success within the entertainment industry.
With that information, xoNecole lists ten celebrities, ranging from actress Yara Shahidi to Oprah Winfrey, that have pursued higher education after fame.
Photo by Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images
Model and entrepreneur Sabrina Dhowre Elba is well known for her collaborative projects with her husband, Idris Elba, including the couple's humanitarian efforts, genderless skincare brand S'ABLE Labs, and their Coupledom podcast.
In addition to her professional achievements, Elba is also a college-educated woman. Elba attended Howard University and graduated with a bachelor's degree in philosophy. Although the timeline of when Elba graduated is unclear, the star revealed in a past interview that she was planning on going to law school when she met her husband in 2017 through a chance encounter.
However, in a recent interview with The Break podcast, the model shared that she was going back to school. “I think I wanna do my masters and then my phD, so I’m starting that in September,” she said.
Yara Shahidi got her start in the entertainment industry as a child star and landed a few modeling and acting opportunities in commercials, television shows, and films.
The actress ultimately landed her big break when she portrayed Zoey Johnson in ABC's hit show black-ish, a series about a Black father struggling with his cultural identity as he and his wife raise their children in a predominately white neighborhood. black-ish also stars Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laurence Fishburne, Jenifer Lewis, Marsai Martin, Miles Brown, and Marcus Scribner.
Over the years, while filming black-ish and the show's spinoff grown-ish, Shahidi, who was homeschooled, attended Dwight Global Online School and graduated in 2017.
That same year, The Sun is also a Star alum, announced that she was accepted into Harvard University and began attending the Ivy League in 2018 after taking a gap year. According to a past cover story in Vogue Magazine, as an undergrad, Shahidi studied at Harvard University's social studies and African American departments, focusing on "Black political thought under a neocolonial landscape."
Shahidi graduated from Harvard in May 2022. Since receiving her degree, Shahidi has kept busy with work and is starring in the sixth and final season of grown-ish.
Photo by David Livingston/ Getty Images
The next celebrity on the list is actress and singer Raven Symoné.
Symoné, who has been involved in the industry for over three decades, has starred in various hit shows and films over the years, including The Cosby Show, Hanging with Mr. Cooper, Doctor Dolittle and Doctor Dolittle 2, That's So Raven, College Road Trip, and Raven's Home to name a few.
In addition to having a successful acting career, Symoné pursued music, and by 2013, the star announced that she was briefly retiring from the industry to focus on other passions.
During that time, Symoné enrolled at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California, to major in fine arts. Three years later, The Cheetah Girls alum obtained her associate's degree and returned to the spotlight for her co-hosting gig on The View, which lasted until December 2016.
When asked in an interview with Oprah Winfrey why she decided to go back to school at what appeared to be the height of her career, Symoné shared that she wanted to break the common stereotypes about celebrities.
"I'm going to college. It's giving me a new lease on life," she told Winfrey on the Where Are They Now series. "[I'm taking] art. I want to take jewelry. I want to take sculpting. I want to take printmaking. I want to take finger drawing. I want to turn over that stereotype of what I can become, and to me, it's just an extension of when I was younger."
Although past reports claimed that Symoné would be pursuing a bachelor's degree in arts, it is unclear if she completed that goal.
Actress and entrepreneur Tia Mowry is widely recognized for her various roles in Sister, Sister alongside her twin sister Tamera Mowry, The Game, and Netflix's Family Reunion.
But many may not know that following Sister, Sister's cancellation in 1999, Mowry attended Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. During undergrad, Mowry studied psychology and ultimately earned her bachelor's degree.
Since then, Mowry, who shares two children with ex-husband Cory Hardrict, has continued to expand her empire by showcasing her culinary skills on her cooking show Tia Mowry's Quick Fix, and releasing a cookbook, The Quick Fix Kitchen. In addition to her culinary endeavors, Mowry has created a hair care brand, 4 U by Tia.
Photo by Daniel Knighton/Getty Images
Tamera Mowry-Housley has been involved in the entertainment industry for over 30 years, just as long as her twin sister Tia Mowry. Mowry and her sister landed their big break in 1994 with the hit series Sister, Sister.
The show --which aired on numerous networks, including ABC and The WB, now known as The CW- lasted six seasons and was ultimately canceled in 1999. After Sister, Sister's cancelation, Mowry took a break from acting to focus on her studies at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. While attending the university, Mowry also majored in psychology, just like her sister, and earned her bachelor's degree.
In addition to earning her degree, Mowry also met her husband, former journalist Adam Housley after her college professor set the pair up. The couple has since welcomed two children. To date, Mowry has returned to acting and starred in various films and television shows, most recently Hallmark's Dreams Moms. Mowry is also the co-owner of Housley Napa Valley, a winery in Napa, California.
Actress Storm Reid, whose career spans over a decade, rose to fame in 2014 following her breakout role in Disney's A Wrinkle in Time. Reid's success only continued from there. In 2019, Reid portrayed Gia Bennett in HBO's hit Euphoria, and a few years later, she also starred in the show The Last of Us.
Over the years, throughout her career, Reid was homeschooled and after graduating high school, the model attended the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, California. The 20-year-old, who is currently a sophomore, is majoring in acting and African American studies.
Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for ESSENCE
Oprah Winfrey, the well-renown television host, actress, producer, and mogul, once attended college before making a name for herself in the entertainment industry.
Winfrey attended Tennessee State University in the 1970s and majored in Communications. Still, by 1975, the star, who was one credit shy of graduating, dropped out of college to pursue her career in broadcast journalism. A decade later, in 1986, Winfrey returned to Tennessee State University and earned her bachelor's degree in Communications and Performing Arts.
When Winfrey is not running her television network, OWN, and Oprah's Book Club site and newsletter, the star is working on films. Winfrey's most recent work is the highly anticipated musical adaptation of The Color Purple.
Megan Thee Stallion
The seventh individual on the list is rapper Megan Pete also known as Megan Thee Stallion. Pete burst into the rap scene in 2019 following the release of her mixtape Tina Show, which included the hit song "Big Ole Freak."
Since then, Pete's career has only skyrocketed from there, having released two studio albums, Good News and Traumazine, and earning various awards, including three Grammys.
But prior to Pete's fame, the Texas native attended public school and graduated from Pearland High School in 2013. That same year, the "Savage" emcee briefly attended Prairie View A&M University in Prairie View, Texas. Shortly after, Pete dropped out when her rapping videos went viral online and gradually built her fan base.
Despite obtaining the accolades years later, Pete decided to pursue her bachelor's degree in health administration, this time by studying at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas. Pete ultimately graduated in December 2021.
Keshia Knight Pulliam
Keshia Knight Pulliam
Photo by Marcus Ingram/Getty Images for BET
Actress Keshia Knight Pulliam became a household name in the early 1980s after starring as Rudy Huxtable in the hit sitcom The Cosby Show.
The Cosby Show aired on NBC for eight seasons and ended in 1992. Immediately after the series ended, Pulliam and her family moved to Virginia, where she attended Potomac School and Foxcroft School. In 1997, Pulliam graduated from high school and later attended Spelman College, where she studied sociology.
The star ultimately earned her bachelor's degree in 2001. Since then, Pulliam has continued to act in various films and television shows and is currently married to actor Brad James. The couple are also raising their blended family together.
Jamira "Cuban Link" Haines
The last person on the list is Jamira "Cuban Link" Haines. Haines, who is recognized for her work as a model and fitness trainer, is currently dating mogul Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson.
Aside from showcasing the pair's bond on Instagram and promoting her work, Haines is an aspiring attorney. Haines reportedly graduated from Rutgers University in 2020 and received a bachelor's degree in law.
Following her graduation, it was unclear when Haines would continue her education and attend law school, but that all changed in July 2023. In an Instagram post, Haines revealed she had started law school while sharing images from a photoshoot.
"The winner plots one step ahead of the opposition and plays her trump card just after they play theirs," she wrote. "It's about making sure you surprise them, and they don't surprise you. Let the journey begin #lawschool #lawgirls."
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Feature image by David Livingston/Getty Images