Barbadian nationality law
|Barbadian Citizenship Act|
|Parliament of Barbados|
|An Act relating to Barbadian citizenship|
|Enacted by||Government of Barbados|
|Status: Current legislation|
|Commonwealth of Nations (History)|
|Issues, rights, and visas|
Section 4 of the Constitution of Barbados defines citizens of Barbados as "Every person born in Barbados after the 29th November 1966."
The only exceptions are persons born on Barbadian soil whose parents possess diplomatic immunity and are not Barbadian citizens as well as children of enemy occupiers of Barbadian soil, or if neither parent is a citizen of Barbados (except in certain situations of statelessness for the child if the mother is a Barbadian citizen, or a UK/Colonies citizen if the birth was prior to 30 November 1966, or if the mother cannot be determined), or persons born aboard foreign-registered vessels located in Barbados.
The constitution also allows for acquisition of citizenship by descent, registration, naturalization, and acts of parliament.
Section 5 of the constitution states that children born outside of Barbados to most men who are citizens of Barbados are Barbadian citizens. It has additionally come to include children born to Barbadians serving as diplomats abroad, and those born overseas as children of fathers who were or would have been citizens of Barbados but for their death.
Section 6 of the Constitution allows for the wife of a Barbadian man to be registered as a Barbadian citizen. According to the constitution, any requirements (such as residency or duration of marriage) are to be "prescribed," and the woman must take an oath of allegiance if she is not a citizen of Ireland or a Commonwealth nation. The Constitution as written did not foresee Barbadian women marrying non-citizen men.
Other current Commonwealth or Irish citizens who fulfill certain requirements such as having ordinary and lawful residence for seven years, which must have been completed before 30 November 1966, per the constitution's Chapter II, section 3.2.), may also apply for registration and be registered as Barbadian citizens, as determined at the Government Minister's discretion.
Non-Commonwealth citizens may apply to the Minister for naturalization if they fulfill certain requirements, such as residing in Barbados for 5 of the 7 years prior to the application and all 12 .onths prior to the application (or any 12 continuous months within 6 months of the application, contingent upon the Minister's approval) and intends to reside in Barbados thereafter and swears allegiance to the Queen of Barbados.
Section 9 of the constitution allows parliament to make "provision" for the acquisition of citizenship.
Citizens of Barbados enjoy the following rights:
- Citizens at least 18 years of age have the right to vote and the right to contest in elections. Voting is optional.
- Citizens have the right to join any trade union or political party.
- The constitution states that persons may not be persecuted for their religion. All religions are free to practise as part of freedom of worship.
- Citizens have the right to hold a Barbadian passport anddy to receive assistance by Barbadian consulates, embassies, and high commissions all around the world.
- Citizens may move about the island freely without seeking permission from any authority.
Barbadians enjoy certain privileges as citizens of a member state of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). As with many of the other countries of CARICOM, the Barbadian passport bears the emblem of CARICOM.
Barbados and British nationality
Prior to 1966, persons connected with Barbados held British nationality. Barbadians were mainly classified as Citizens of the UK and Colonies (CUKCs). When Barbados achieving independence from the United Kingdom, it became a member of the Commonwealth, with HM Queen Elizabeth II remaining the head of state, in her new capacity as Queen of Barbados. The constitution's Savings Clause]] also allowed all existing law of the United Kingdom to remain in force in Barbados until it was changed by the Barbados Parliament. As such, Barbados would have thereby inherited the Statute of Westminster as part of its local law from the United Kingdom.
Persons connected with Barbados at independence may have retained citizenship of the UK and Colonies if:
- they did not acquire Barbados citizenship; or
- they had specified ties to the UK itself or a place that remained a colony.
Acts by the British Government, which previously governed nationality laws, in Barbados include the following:
- History of British nationality law
- Barbados Citizenship - CAP186 (1982 version), UNHCR
- Government of Barbados (30 November 1966). "Barbados Citizenship - CAP186". Immigration Department. Retrieved 3 July 2010.
- Parliament of Barbados (30 November 1966). "Constitution of Barbados (1966)". World Intellectual Property Office. Retrieved 3 July 2010.
- The Constitution of Barbados
- "Queen in Barbados". The Monarchy Today: Queen and State. The Barbadian Monarchy. Retrieved 3 July 2010.
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Barbados: Dual citizenship