CaribWorldNews, BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Weds. May 6, 2009: Forget U.S. immigration reform. Barbados is offering immigration reform of its own to CARICOM nationals.
Prime Minister David Thompson on Tuesday announced that Caribbean nationals living in the country illegally are being invited to become legal residents.
Thompson said that with effect from June 1, 2009, all undocumented CARICOM nationals who entered Barbados prior to the 31st December, 2005 and remained undocumented for a period of eight years or more can have their status regularised.
To benefit from the amnesty, CARICOM nationals must submit an application to the Immigration Department before December 1, 2009 and satisfy a number of requirements.
`The applicant must be able to sustain his/her claim that he/she has been residing in Barbados for at least eight years immediately prior to 31 December, 2005, that is, before January 1, 1998,` the Prime Minister said, adding that applicants must be currently employed and must provide evidence of their employment status.
He also insisted that applicants will also have to pass through a security background check and advised that `applicants with three or more dependents will not automatically qualify for status` and that `each case will be considered on its individual merit.`
Thompson also warned that after the qualifying period expires, `those CARICOM nationals without lawful permission to remain in the island will be removed.`