If you’ve been following my posts, you already know why I decided to move to Barbados and if you haven’t, here’s a little recap. Because of my restricted Nigerian passport and after much research, I decided to legally immigrate to Barbados in a bid to acquire dual citizenship somewhere down the line (With a Barbadian passport, you can visit 158 countries in the world visa free or by attaining visa on arrival unlike my current passport that’s only 45 countries). However nothing in life ever happens as you planned and my experience is no different.
At the beginning of my second week in Barbados, I went to visit a Lawyer to have a better idea what my immigration options were and to see if the reform bill to amend the immigration act that I read about on the news, has been passed into law yet.
However, on getting to the lawyers office, here are a few things that turned out different than what I researched online….
What I expected: I read online that if you can prove you can sustain yourself and your dependents, and are either a retiree (above 60) or an entrepreneur looking to invest in Barbados and employ Barbadians, you’re eligible to be granted status of immigrant. After 5years of having immigrant status, you can then apply for permanent residency and only after 2 years of being a permanent resident, you qualify to apply for citizenship after a total of up to 7years in Barbados.
What the lawyer said: You cannot attain citizenship by becoming a permanent resident regardless of how long you’ve had the status, also citizenship can only be attained by marrying a Barbadian, by descent, by birth or by adoption.
What I expected: The reform that would give me a possible way to citizenship via ordinary residence, as announced by the Home Affairs Minister Edmund Hinkson was expected to go before ministers in January 2020 and subsequently passed into law and I was banking on this reform as my path to becoming a Barbadian.
What the lawyer said: No one knows when the reform will be passed into a law and it will not be the first time politicians make a promise and don’t deliver. (As of writing this post, the bill still had not been passed into law).
At this point I felt very discouraged and seeing as my passport was stamped for 1 month on entering Barbados, the next step for me was to apply for a visa extension in my 3rd week for another 2 months. Indeed, only after getting the visa extension can I then continue my quest to attaining dual-citizenship.
Life is always unpredictable and the only constant is change. I don’t know how this will turn out but however it does, I hope i’ll learn from it and move forward…
PS: The information provided on this post is based solely on my personal experiences and should not be considered as legal advice. Five foot nomad is not liable for any misrepresentation or misinterpretation of any and all posts on its website.