Illegal immigrants in Barbados have been given a six months amnesty to become regularized.

"With effect from 1st June 2009, all undocumented CARICOM nationals who entered Barbados prior to 31st December 2005 and remained undocumented for a period of eight years or more, are required to come forward and have their status regularized", said Mr. David Thompson during a parliamentary sitting in the Lower House yesterday.

This move follow a series of recommendations by a subcommittee on immigration from June of 2008. The committee said that Barbados' level of immigration is unacceptably high, and difficult to control.

Mr. Thompson said this process will be totally transparent and that those who are eligible must also fit other criteria.

These criteria are as follows:

A. An application for immigration status together with all supporting documents must be submitted to the immigration department within the next six months, that is by 1st December, 2009.

B. Applicant must be able to substantiate his claim that he/she has been residing in Barbados for at least eight years.

C. Applicant must be currently employed, and provide evidence of employment

D. The Spouse or child of an applicant of an employed applicant can also apply.

Opposition leader of Barbados Miss Mia Mottley asked the question of the "Protocol on Contingency Rights" for non CARICOM national who are illegal in Barbados, as these rights allow for benefits to be given to CARICOM living in Barbados.

Mr. Norman Faria of the Guyana Honorary Consul in Barbados, said in a statement that he had received many calls from Guyanese since the statement by the Prime Minister.

This recent move by the Government is believed to gain control over any scourge of human trafficking on the island, as some reports were made of Guyanese living in deplorable conditions, and were being underpaid relative to their Barbadian counterparts. 

It is also believed that this move comes at a time when Barbados is preparing for census 2010, and has therefore given the illegal immigrants amnesty to become regularized so an accurate count can be made as to the amount of persons on the island in order to cater to such things as housing, medical and educational services.