Transit Without Visa in Barbados – Lydian Shipp
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Transit Without Visa in Barbados – Lydian Shipp

The check-in area at the Barbados International Airport. Both times that we transited through Barbados, Naing Naing was brought to this area to finish checking in.

Barbados allows Myanmar citizens (and citizens of other countries) to transit without visa for 12 hours as long as they stay on the international side of the airport. In the Caribbean, Barbados is a major hub. We transited through Barbados on our way from Ecuador to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and also from St. Vincent and the Grenadines to Nicaragua.

The TWOV process in Barbados was confusing and a bit scary the first time we went through, but by the second time we knew what to expect and got through with no problems. The people in Barbados speak English and the vast majority of the airport staff that we interacted with were friendly and willing to help, which made the whole transit experience easier and less stressful.

When Naing Naing had transited through other countries, he didn’t even get close to immigration. There were usually signs or clear indicators that directed us to the next flight and away from immigration and baggage check. The process in most of the other countries we transited through was more or less the same as it is for the “average” traveler going on a connecting flight. In Barbados, our experience was different.

First, we had to go up to immigration. My parents and I would go all the way through immigration and go to pick up our checked bags to recheck them while Naing Naing would be taken to a room off to the side of immigration where some airport officials would ask him questions and then eventually give him his ticket and lead him to the departure gate.

The airport officials asked Naing Naing about what he was doing in Barbados (transiting without a visa), where he was going and where he was coming from, and about his onward tickets to Nicaragua. We’d printed the tickets to Nicaragua beforehand, but Naing Naing didn’t have those with him in the immigration office, so we had to send him photos (next time, we made sure he had all the tickets we had booked, but the second time the immigration officials didn’t ask him any questions).

After questioning, the border officials brought Naing Naing out to the check-in counter, checked him in to the next flight, gave him his ticket, and let him pass through. Because we were changing airplanes, he had to make sure he had the etickets for the next flight available and at hand so that he could show the airport officials the confirmation number.

Finally, he was taken to the security area where he waited for us before we went through security together to enter the international side of the airport again.

Both times that we transited through Barbados, Naing Naing was brought out to the check-in counter outside the international transit area. This deviated from the rules that other countries have, which might be concerning some travelers at first, but it appears that this is just the process that Barbados uses for transiting travelers because the same thing happened both times we transited through the country.

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