Citizenship in Trinidad and Tobago is based upon the Citizenship Act of August 30th, 1962 and the revised Constitution of 1976. All persons who were granted citizenship under the former Constitution remained citizens. Every person born in Trinidad and Tobago after the commencement of the new Constitution is a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago by birth, subject to certain exemptions stated by law. As granted in Chap 1:50 Section 5 of the Citizenship Act, persons born outside of the country are entitled to citizenship by descent, as long as either of their parents is a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago by means other than that of descent themselves. If the child is born to a citizen of descent, additional requirements need to be met for the granting of citizenship. Citizenship by adoption is also an option for children.
According to the Citizenship Act of Trinidad and Tobago Chap 1:50 Section 12(1), the Minister may grant a certificate of naturalisation to any alien of full age and capacity who makes the prescribed application. During the seven years immediately preceding a period of twelve months of residency before submission of the application, the applicant must have resided in Trinidad and Tobago or have been in service under the Government, or have had partly such residence and partly such service, for periods amounting to not less than five years.
In Trinidad and Tobago dual citizenship is recognised for citizens by birth or by descent, following amendments in the Citizenship Act in 1988. Therefore, a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago by birth or by descent, who acquires a foreign citizenship shall not lose his citizenship on the justification of such an acquisition. Dual citizenship, however, is not allowed in the case of naturalised or registered citizens.
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