If you were born in Barbados after November 29, 1966, you have automatic Barbadian citizenship. Otherwise, you can apply for citizenship in Barbados by registration or naturalization. It may seem like a daunting process, but it's really just a case of completing the correct application form and gathering the necessary paperwork to support your case.
Exceptions to Citizenship by Birth
Not everyone born in Barbados has automatic Barbadian citizenship. If you were born in Barbados before November 29 1966, born to enemy occupiers or diplomats who are not Barbadian citizens, born aboard a foreign-registered vessel in Barbados or you do not have at least one Barbadian parent, you need to apply for citizenship.
Citizenship by Descent
If you were born outside of Barbados to a Barbadian father or born to Barbadian diplomats abroad, you are entitled to citizenship by descent. To register for citizenship by descent, complete the application form Request for Certificate of Citizenship by Descent, enclose your birth certificate, your parents' birth certificates, your parents' marriage certificate or divorce documents, three passport-size photos signed by a justice of the peace or notary public, an application fee of about $300 and your marriage certificate, if you are married. Send photocopies with the original documents. The application form, supporting documents and application fee are submitted to the Barbados Immigration Department.
Read More: Difference Between Certificate of Citizenship & Naturalization
Citizenship by Marriage
The wife of a Barbadian man can be registered as a Barbadian citizen. To register for citizenship by marriage, complete the application form R1 – Application for Registration as a Citizen of Barbados by Marriage – and enclose your birth certificate; your spouse's birth certificate; a document showing citizenship; your marriage certificate; three passport-size photographs, one of which should be certified by a justice of the peace or notary public; the application fee; a death certificate or divorce document if any previous marriage was terminated by death or divorce; a certificate of character from the police of each country in which you have lived for a period of six months or more after the age of sixteen; and a copy of the biodata page of your valid passport. The justice of peace or notary public who certified your photograph must also certify your application form. All certificates and documents in a foreign language must be accompanied by an official English translation. If the application is approved, a final fee of about $1500 is required. You must send photocopies alongside the original documents. The application form, supporting documents and fee are submitted to the Barbados Immigration Department.
Citizenship by Naturalization
If you are a current Commonwealth or Irish citizen who fulfils certain requirements, you may apply for registration and be registered as a Barbadian citizen, subject to the government's discretion. These requirements include living in Barbados for five of the seven years immediately before applying; living in Barbados for the entire 12 months immediately before applying; the intention to live in Barbados thereafter; and swearing allegiance to the Queen of Barbados. Complete the application form R4 – Application for Registration as Citizen of Barbados. Enclose your birth certificate; marriage certificate if you are married; a completed medical form; a certificate of character from the police of each country in which you have lived for a period of six months or more after the age of sixteen; a statement giving full information from birth to the date of your application of all states and countries in which you have lived, including details of your education, qualifications, occupation and employers; three passport-size photographs, one of which should be certified by a justice of the peace or notary public; letters from all schools attended in Barbados; an application fee of about $300; an income tax clearance certificate; and a copy of the biodata page of your valid passport. You must send photocopies with the original documents. The application form, supporting documents and fee are submitted to the Barbados Immigration Department.
You can apply for Barbados citizenship on the grounds of descent, marriage or naturalization. It involves completing the appropriate application form and sending it to the Barbados Immigration Department together with all necessary supporting documents and the required fee.
- Barbados Immigration Department: Required Documents for Barbadian Citizenship
- The Constitution of Barbados
- DualCitizenship.com: Dual Citizenship Barbados
- Barbados Immigration Department: Request for Certificate of Citizenship by Descent
- Barbados Immigration Department: Form R1
- Barbados Citizenship Act, Cap. 186
- Barbados Immigration Department: Form R4
- Unless you are a citizen of the United Kingdom, where it is possible to have duel citizenship in Barbados, you will have to renounce your citizenship in your home country in order to gain citizenship in Barbados.
Claire is a qualified lawyer and specialized in family law before becoming a full-time writer. She has written for many digital publications, including The Washington Post, Forbes, Vice and HealthCentral.