Acquiring Barbados citizenship comes with many benefits, one of them being the Barbados passport. Ranked 24th most powerful in the world, with visa-free access to 160 countries, the Bajan passport is one of the strongest of the Caribbean island nations. If you were born on the island, then you are likely to be a citizen through the principle of Jus Soli. However, if you are not, there are various options open to foreigners who want to live as native citizens.
This is a simple guide on how you can become a citizen, with ease.
What are the options?
The Citizenship Act of 1966 was amended and various British laws, govern Barbadian citizenship. The eligibility is stated in the Act. The types of nationality are based upon the rules of jus sanguinis, jus soli, Jure matrimonii, naturalization, and adoption.
Citizenship by jus soli (Birth)
Applies to a person born within the nation after 29 November 1966 to at least one parent, who is a native, often interpreted to include a mother only. A foreigner born legally or illegitimately to a Barbadian father after November 29, 1966.
Citizenship by jus sanguinis (Descent)
There are 3 grounds to obtain citizenship by descent. In these three instances, an applicant becomes a citizen, irrespective of when or where he/she is born.
- A child born to a native citizen father
- A child born to a mother who is a citizen
- A person who was born to diplomat parents and is registered with the nearest Barbadian diplomatic representative.
Citizenship by Jure matrimonii (Marriage)
If your spouse is a citizen, you may apply for citizenship after residing for a minimum of seven years. It should be noted that gay marriages are exempt from this rule.
Citizenship by Naturalization (Residency)
An ex-pat, who has lived for at least seven years as a legal resident, is eligible to become a citizen through naturalization. Fortunately, this option is open to all foreigners and only requires certain criteria to be met.
Citizenship by Registration
This includes people who have a familial or historical connection to Barbados. Such as persons who have always been stateless, adoptees at the issuance of an adoption, ex-pats from other Commonwealth countries, or the Republic of Ireland who has resided and/or worked in the service for at least five years, etc.
Citizenship is granted to adult persons who have resided within the nation for 12 months before applying. They must have a good reputation and a strong desire to stay in the country for the long term. Applicants must have lived in the nation for at least five years before applying. Applicants petition the Minister for Immigration, who evaluates if the general criteria are met before approval. They must next swear an oath of allegiance.
Some documents required for citizenship applications are:
- Birth Certificate
- Marriage Certificate (if married)
- Three passport-sized photos, one of which has been approved by a Justice of the Peace.
- Letters from schools attended in Barbados (if any)
- Passport Biometrics page, etc.
The application process involved filling out the application form and sending a petition to the Minister for Immigration, who evaluates an applicant meets the general requirements are met before approval. This may take a while as there are lots of applicants and a proper background check has to be carried out.
There is usually an application fee of $300. Those that have their applications approved must pay a fee of fifteen hundred dollars ($1500) All applicants must submit their forms, all required documents, and fees to the Barbados Immigration Department.