An American applies for Barbados citizenship… How long will it take?

American Jane Shattuck married Bajan Greg Hoyos and now Jane has applied for Bajan citizenship… a process that is neither easy nor quick NOR SHOULD IT BE EASY OR QUICK!

But… (and here’s the catch) applying for Barbados citizenship should have a predictable path and time line and known standard requirements. Good luck to Jane as she begins her journey. We hope she blogs the details throughout the process so we can have a window on the current situation and the performance level of our immigration people.

“Despite being married to a Barbadian citizen, I am not allowed to spend more time in Barbados than a tourist: 30 days. The immigration officials at the Barbados airport check their computer screen each time I enter. They can see how often I visit Barbados (their term; I call it living here) and whether I’ve applied for residency or citizenship.

So far my to-ing and fro-ing hasn’t been a problem because I travel frequently. And of course, if I wish to stay longer than 30 days, I could zip down to the immigration office, stand in line, leave my passport, pay a fee, probably beg a bit … But after procrastinating a year and five months since Greg and I got married, I figured, Why not just make myself legal?”

… Jane of Planet Barbados writes Getting Barbados Citizenship: Neither easy nor quick


Filed under Barbados, Immigration

18 responses to “An American applies for Barbados citizenship… How long will it take?

  1. Greg

    Actually, when we realised what a tough job the Immigration folks do all day, we were truly impressed. And as far as Jane becoming a citizen, well there goes the neighborhood…

  2. twwifos

    Truly impressed? You’ve got to be kidding. It just took them four months to stamp my wife’s passport -even though all our paperwork was together and they had everything they needed. Everyone down there walks around like they are in slow motion. Not much of a hurry to do anything.

    I’m predicting a VERY long wait.

  3. yatinkiteasy

    So what is the problem/ do we as a nation not have clear rules as to how one can be a citizen?
    If a Bajan man marries a “ferriner”, what does the law say about her possibility to be accepted as a citizen to this perfect place called Barbados?
    As they say on 96.9//bullcrap!

  4. jokes

    Be prepared for a long wait unless you pull some strings… I had a friend who was here 20 odd years legally, paid taxes etc and it took them 4 yrs to give her citizenship. We often laugh at her seeing as it took a shorter time for her husband to become a Canadian.

  5. Goldenbead

    It’s not all bad news. It took just over a year to get citizenship by descent for my overseas born twins. I did a fair bit of waiting in the immigration department and was called back to supply more documents but we got there in the end. Good luck to you Jane.

  6. Really?

    You do know that under the last Gov’t there was a rule which require these applications to go thru a 5 yes five year waiting period, this has now been changed by this gov’t and her application will be much speedier processed.

    Bringing it to BFP, Facebook or BU does not change the fact that there will be a wait but it will be issued as processed.

  7. Bumf

    @Really? – Would that explain why it took me 5 years to get my son citizenship by descent?

  8. Ruby Murray

    For spouses of individuals with work visas in Barbados it too is a difficult life. While it is understandable that a spouse is not granted automatically permission to work they are only recognized as ‘Visitors – Not Permitted to Work’ for the duration of the the work visa. This is the stamp in the passport.

    This means that the spouse is not permitted to apply for a local drivers licence nor national ID card. Neither is the spouse permitted a licence from their home country as they are not resident in their home country.

    This matter was brought to the attention of the Cheif Licensing Officer more than two years ago and remains an issue and has been raised with the Immigration Office.

    Imagine the issues caused for families with Children. This does not make sense and such passports should be stamped ‘Resident – Not Permitted to Work’.

    Are we living in ancient times here?

  9. victor

    It might sound hard of me to say this but I think it is good that Barbadian citizenship is difficult to obtain. It’s a small island, everyone wants a bit of it. I’m not excusing civil servants who take their time in processing proper documents and enjoy being truculent and rude to applicants, but there is a process and those entitled to citizenship should be given it, if they fulfil the criteria.
    On the subject, in the UK a foreigner is granted a British passport every 3 minutes! Fact.

    I went to a British citizenship ceremony with a relative last year. A moteley crew had gathered in the small room. You had to repeat “I, so and so, agree to be loyal to the Queen” etc. As the official went from one person to another it was obvious hardly anyone spoke English. In one case, the person said “I” then the officer said “say your name” whereupon the applicant replied “sayyourname”. Got the passport, though.

    At the end everyone had to sing God Save the Queen. The lyrics had been passed out, printed large. That was a laugh! A few souls sang it the rest just gazed around in bewilderment. It turns out that there are agencies, paid for by local councils for heavens sake, (ie taxpayers) who submit written forms by applicants for money to answer the questionnaire on paper and teach them to reply to live questions phonetically. “Sayyourname” an obvious failure yet still got the passport.

    Not so easy in Barbados, and long may it remain so.

  10. VioLenT_ShaFF

    I can say this,if her hubby is a rastaman,she now has to wait!

  11. gliron

    Wake up and read this. After you’ve digested it then tell your readers what justification you have for criticising Barbados Immigration Policy!

  12. jokes

    what policy?????????????… you mean time wasting.. if there was a clear policy I could understand. But i have seen too many cases of people hands getting grease for citizenship.. if people supply the right documentation and meet the criteria there should be a standard as to when, not when you feel like

  13. Syn

    The laws that govern Barbados’ immigration are archaic as are the systems used to process petitions and applications by all and sundry – my daughter looks exactly like me – she has a birth certificate and social security card that prove her identity in the US – a passport that can only be issued to a parent and a birth certificate that lists my full name, date of birth and place of birth along with identifying information taken from MY Barbados birth certificate – I had to submit numeorus documents to the immigration authority – pay money and then resubmit the same documents to get a certificate of citizenship for my daughter – I applied Oct. 20 2008 and finally got the certificate July 13th 2010 – I then went to apply for her Barbados passport – I cannot use her birth certificate I must use her Minor’s ID card but I cannot get her minor’s ID card because I do not know where my Bajan ID is – I have my ID number (from my minor’s card) I have a Barbados Passport and Driver’s License but none of that is sufficient to prove that I am who I say I am – stupse

    Point being – we need to update the laws, we need to create standard policies and procedures to be followed and we need to update the systems (and perhaps the people) being used to carry out these day to day functions

    The government is so gung ho about empowering the youth – let them empower us to fix the problems we see on a daiily basis instead of sitting back waiting on them to fix it – we not looking to be instant millionaire’s just to be able to afford a piece o’ de rock

  14. m

    I am Canadian and am married to a Bajan. I have also applied for citizenship. Immigration told me blankly that there is no point in my applying for extensions because they will not be granted. I do not understand how they can make me leave my husband for months at a time.

  15. Eaton

    Well from reading all of this i’m shaking my head. Last time I was in Barbados I went to Christ Church to get my Dads Birth certificate from 1934. I got that. I am applying for citizenship by lineage. He was killed in the US in 2001. I am a US Citizen and he held citizenship in Barbados,TT, and the US up to his demise. I hope I don’t get the BS from them but I’m sure I probably will. We will really see.

  16. rastaman

    My father migrated to New Zealand in 1978 Anyone think that if I applied for citizenship in NZ that I would get through?

  17. pete

    the beurocratical establishment exists ( and quite well at that ) from these ‘maneuvers’ / procedures . the real hurdle is ; finding the right person who is empowered to make the decision and then ‘deal’ in a civilized manner ( maybe involving a generous ‘gift’ ) . ” if you can’t beat em , join em “

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