Can Barbadians hold dual citizenship is a question I have recently started to ask myself in light of the fact that our late prime minster David Thompson was born in Britain to Barbadian parentage.

Lately also, we in this region have heard the news of the challenge of the legality of the appointment of Roosevelt Skerrit as Prime Minister of Dominica, following the December 2009 general elections in that country.

We also know of the case in Jamaica featuring Danville Walker. Mr. Walker's eligibility for the post of Director of Elections was challenged due to the Electoral Commission (Interim) Act of 2006. The Act states that no person shall be qualified to be nominated Commissioner or the Director of Elections if he by virtue of his own act, swears allegiance to a foreign power or state.

As the rest of the region is debating this issue a search of the internet on whether
Barbados supports dual citizenship a landing at basically says, yes. A
landing at Wikipedia states that, Barbadian law allows their citizens to hold dual
citizenship and encourages Barbadians living abroad to remain open to the benefits of
holding such status.

This being said on the internet, one wonders if it fits squarely with what is stated in the
country's Constitution.

The Barbados Constitution, however, states under chapter 2, entitled Citizenship, which
encompasses a subsection called Renunciation of Citizenship states as follows:

Renunciation of citizenship

    7. Any citizen of Barbados who has attained the age of twenty-one years and who -
  • a. is also a citizen or national of any other country; or
  • b. intends to become a citizen or national of any other country, shall be entitled to renounce his citizenship of Barbados by a declaration made and registered in such manner as may be prescribed:

Provided that -

a. in the case of a person who is not a citizen or national of any other country at the date of registration of his declaration of renunciation, if he does not become such a citizen or national within six months from the date of registration he shall be, and shall be deemed to have remained, a citizen of Barbados notwithstanding the making and registration of his declaration of renunciation; and

b. the right of any person to renounce his citizenship of Barbados during any period when Barbados is engaged in any war shall be subject to such exceptions or qualifications as any be prescribed in the interests of national security or public policy.

The Constitution's say on Dual Citizenship

This section appears quite clear in what it is saying. If you are a Barbadian citizen, and intend on becoming a citizen or national of any other country, then one SHALL be made to renounce citizenship of Barbados.

This would also speak to those who want to enter the island of Barbados. It appears once these persons have attained the age of twenty-one, and citizenship of Barbados, they too would have to renounce their citizenship of origin, or renounce the Barbadian citizenship.

Does Barbados support Dual Citizenship? From the standpoint of the Constitution of the island, the answer appears to be no.