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A Brief Introduction & My Situation

A Brief Introduction & My Situation

Old Mar 22nd 2011, 1:36 pm
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Red face A Brief Introduction & My Situation

Hello all

This is my first post here so I thought I'd briefly explain who I am and my current situation. My partner has been offered a teaching position in Barbados so we are looking to move over there for a couple of years in August of this year.

I am a Marine Biologist by trade but have worked in the glamorous field of administration at an international school in Germany for the past 3 years. I am itching to pursue my passion and become involved with conservation projects within the Caribbean (Preferably Barbados of course). I've read through the past postings here (along with countless other links on the web) and it looks like gaining either long-term residency or a work-permit is going to be a monster of a task. So I am open to the fact that I may not get to stay - at least initially.

I have some savings that will enable me to afford to volunteer for a year or so, and I've been looking at the Sea Turtle Project, the Centre for Resource Management & Environmental Studies and the Hope Sanctuary. If any of you know of other conservation organisations or research projects within Barbados, I would greatly appreciate suggestions or any feedback you could give me.

Cheers all
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Old Mar 22nd 2011, 4:10 pm
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Default Re: A Brief Introduction & My Situation

HI Natalienoo, Welcome to the Boards

ok.. I don't want to burst any bubbles.

firstly - does you partner have a work permit to be able to work in Barbados. is his teaching position such that he will get one??

there used to be issues about volunteering here as well, meaning you couldn't even do volunteer work with organizations unless you are a resident or citizen. I'm not sure how much that is policed these days (I just recall when I moved here 18 years ago there was the wife of a guy my husband worked with who could do nothing because she didn't any type of work permit etc, not even volunteer).

The other interesting thing about your situation is that you are not married (I'm guess, as you have said "your partner". Not that the government looks down on this, but, you basically will be viewed as coming here on your own, even if your partner gets a work permit. You may want to try to contact an immigration lawyer to see what you can do, or plan to come here as a visitor and go from there.
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Old Mar 22nd 2011, 4:38 pm
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Default Re: A Brief Introduction & My Situation

Officially Volunteering is still classed as work - i think the gov looks at it that if they use free labour its another job they is taken away from a Bajan. Therefore you could not tell immigration that you were volunteering and needed 6 months or a year etc

I am not sure if Marine Biology includes shore erosion etc but i know there is a huge focus on the dwindling shore lines so you might be better exploring work in that arena - I have a friend who works in shore line conservation he is online now and then and sure would be able to advise as he qualified in UK.
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Old Mar 22nd 2011, 5:23 pm
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Default Re: A Brief Introduction & My Situation

Natalienoo - we don't mean to scare you off, but unfortunately this is the way it is in Barbados. Also, contact http://www.divebarbadosblue.com/about/the-crew/ Andre' Miller.. he is a marine biologist and might be able to steer you in the right direction. The turtle group is good but again, volunteering is just one of those things..
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Old Mar 22nd 2011, 6:14 pm
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Default Re: A Brief Introduction & My Situation

Firstly thank you for your wonderful responses - you have already been a great help!

Sunniebgi: You are correct in assuming that we are not married. I figured that would mean coming to Barbados on single status. His work will sort his work visa out for him, he just needs to get the appropriate documents sent to them accordingly. They were also very specific about him coming purely on a single status, and very honest to say there was only a small hope that I would be able to find work out there.
I'll look into immigration lawyers this week to see what the deal is, and will contact Andre' Miller tomorrow. Thanks very much for your advice.

Serendipidy: It's a shame that volunteer work is still classed as taking work away from local residents - thank you for pointing this out. I hadn't realised that was the case. And thank you very much for the heads up about shore erosion in the area - this is also related to my field and I would love to possibly get involved in that. If you wouldn't mind (and your friend wouldn't mind) me Pm-ing him I would love to contact him.

This has been a tremendous help already, and although there is a hint of bubble bursting it's important not to be deluded! Thank you both
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Old Mar 22nd 2011, 7:28 pm
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Default Re: A Brief Introduction & My Situation

Natalie if you want to message me your hotmail or yahoo chat ID I will ask him to add you the next time i speak to him.
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Old May 27th 2011, 9:02 am
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Default Re: A Brief Introduction & My Situation

Hello again

It's been a month so I thought I'd give a quick update (and humbly ask for a little more advice).
Things are getting sold, packed up, etc. and we've booked our tickets for the 1st of August. I've got a return ticket booked for the following 6 months, so we'll see how things pan out and whether I can find a job within my tourist time. If not, I'm not too concerned - It'll be a chance to experience other places (perhaps do a series of volunteer programmes within the Americas).

My question is this - how long does one have to be out of Barbados once their tourist visa runs out before they can return? I've heard differing answers from 6 months in, 6 months out.. to a week on another island refreshing the clock.
Can anyone put this frustrating question to rest for me? I've called British immigration & and Barbados immigration but they are unable (unwilling?) to answer.

As always, I appreciate the help.

Cheers!
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Old May 28th 2011, 12:27 am
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Default Re: A Brief Introduction & My Situation

When you arrive into Barbados, you don't automatically get 6mths.. usually a tourist stay is 28days (unless that has changed.). so while you have a 6mths ticket, you may have to change that. I actually don't think there is any time limit for this visa redo, so you could fly to St. Lucia for a Day and come back.. and you would get 28 days again.. (Serendipty help me out here .. I'm sure there is something on this page about it).

my concern is your still planning on working. Remember.. to work you must have a work permit.. and Volunteering is still considered Work.. you might get away with the Volunteering but I think it depends on what you do.

example. British Women's club women go to the QEH (Queen Elizabeth Hospital) once a week and plays/reads etc with the children's ward patience.. That is ok.. no worries there.

Volunteer in an office doing work for a company without pay, based on your qualifications etc.. This you can't do.. if the company needs someone to do that job they hire them, so a Work permit is needed..

Did you ever try Andre Miller based on your qualifications???
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Old May 28th 2011, 9:46 am
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Default Re: A Brief Introduction & My Situation

Hi Sunni, cheers for the reply.

I did email Andre Miller - the advice I got was to stay close and see what's happening. There are apparently continuous conservation projects occurring. This is where I am hoping to use my skills. I understand no work permit means no volunteering.. this is something that I am working on. I have had it drilled into my head that it's unlikely that I will be offered anything work-related but I need to get there to put my feelers out first.
I've also been in contact with the Sea Turtle Project who seem friendly and positive that my skills may be of use.

I also understand that they may not initially grant me with a 6 month visa, but I can prove that I am financially sound for the duration of my stay (how ever long that ends up being) so hopefully that should be resolved fairly smoothly.

If all goes pear-shaped I'm open-minded to the possibility that I'll have to look elsewhere. I have no ties other than a lovely boy who is also prepared to long-distance it for a while if I am unsuccessful in Barbados.

Thanks for your advice.
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Old May 29th 2011, 12:22 am
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Default Re: A Brief Introduction & My Situation

Natalie your approach is a good one and might get you through in barbados.

However Im sorry to have to say im in bim at moment and every day im hearing another inexplicable immigration situation with even people who own properties here not being granted 6 months and not getting extensions when requested just for visitng.

Its wierd tho that all these people seem to be English women - I heard recently that UK seems to have got hard on bajans and entry recently so perhaps its a reciprocal response - the Canadians i speak to seem to breeze through the system.

Natalie your only response when asked why you want 6 months should be that you want to explore here and other islands as this is a jump off point to other islands - anything else will probably not get you that extension
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Old May 30th 2011, 8:41 am
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Default Re: A Brief Introduction & My Situation

Hi Serendipidy

Thanks for your advice - I'll keep that approach in mind for sure. If it's mostly a reciprocal response to UK border control maybe coming in from Germany may be a teeny tiny help (or possibly make it worse. We'll see!) I'll go for the exploration card and see what happens. If it doesn't work out, it's not meant to work out and I'll take myself elsewhere.

If anyone knows of any conservation or awareness organisations in need of a small addition to their team, don't be shy! I'm highly employable, I promise. (..Very convincing).
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Old Jun 21st 2011, 4:56 pm
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Default Re: A Brief Introduction & My Situation

Hi I've just joined this forum as husband has got a job in Barbados and we are moving there in only a couple of months. I really need to get thinking about what I will do re job etc!
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Old Oct 9th 2011, 5:13 pm
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Default Re: A Brief Introduction & My Situation

Hi Natalie and Hobo,

Just new to the forum and new to Barbados (from the UK). Hope you are settling in well! I am volunteering here - and have got a letter from the Barbados Ministry of Education in support of this (currently with the Immigration Depatment). Could discus this further via private email, or by meeting up sometime. Let me know
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Old Oct 9th 2011, 10:04 pm
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Default Re: A Brief Introduction & My Situation

Hi all,

A little update on my situation. I've been granted a 6 month visa as my partner is working at the International School here and Immigration have lots of experience with the school. I've got no idea about the future, but I've heard rumblings that potentially those with work permits can now add 'dependents' (not just married couples) to their visa. Not granting a work permit, but it allows their other half to stay on the island for the duration of the work permit. Can anyone shed any light on this?

Life's grand at the moment. I'm keeping busy with a bunch of projects based around conservation and education (which is exactly where I wanted to be) and having lots of fun exploring the island and meeting the lovely locals.

We'll just have to see how things unfold early next year, but I've been developing a few back up plans in case things go (inevitably) pear-shaped

Cheers again for all your support. I'll keep you updated.
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Old Oct 15th 2011, 3:57 pm
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Default Re: A Brief Introduction & My Situation

sounds like you've settled in well!

have a 'pm' but need to post 3 times to get it! so this is post number 2
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