In Barbados, citizenship is disciplined by the Barbados Constitution together with the Barbados Citizenship Act, Chapter 186 of the Laws of Barbados. Individuals born in Barbados after 29th November 1966 will automatically be considered citizens of Barbados, with limited exceptions to this rule. Pursuant to the principle of ius soli, citizenship status occurs naturally, regardless of the nationality of the parents and with no need for an application.
Children born outside of Barbados may also acquire citizenship by descent if their father is a citizen of Barbados and the child is duly registered. A foreign woman who has married a citizen of Barbados may also apply for citizenship through application to the relevant regulatory authority.
A person residing in Barbados for an extended period of time may acquire citizenship through the process of naturalisation, as long as the relevant criteria are satisfied. Amongst other conditions, the applicant must have resided in Barbados for the last 12 months prior to applying and for the aggregate period of at least five out of the last seven years preceding the said period of 12 months; must be of good character; and finally, the applicant must provide certification proving that he/she intends to reside in Barbados.
Citizenship may also be granted by Acts of Parliament prescribing additional and/or alternative means of obtaining citizenship. The Minister responsible for citizenship has the power to refuse to register a person who would ordinarily have been entitled to citizenship if deemed in the interest of national security and public policy. Citizenship may also be refused on other grounds stated within the Citizenship Act.
Under Barbadian law, dual citizenship is recognised, therefore, one is not required to renounce existing citizenship. Benefits of citizenship include the eligibility to vote, join a trade union or political party and hold a Barbadian passport. Once having obtained citizenship, a person may voluntarily renounce their citizenship by making the relevant notification to the regulatory authority.