Girls running on the beach in Barbados

Do you want to know how to get Barbados citizenship and a passport? We’ll cover everything you need to know about citizenship by descent, marriage, birth, and naturalization. New changes are coming soon that will make it easier than ever to secure Bajan nationality, including an update to the citizenship by investment program.

Barbados Passport and Citizenship Benefits

Barbados citizenship has many benefits, not least a Barbados passport. It was ranked 24th most powerful in the world, with visa-free access to 160 countries globally. This ranking makes the Bajan passport one of the strongest of the Caribbean island nations.

The Barbados passport application is available online, with all necessary application forms. It outlines the documents required for the application. You can also schedule an appointment from the same link.

If you are Bajan and return home after living abroad, there are tax and duty benefits. The government grants these concessions on things like motor vehicles and personal household effects. Think of it as a welcome home from the government!

You can make a declaration of renunciation and give up your Barbados citizenship.

Barbados dual citizenship

Barbadian nationality law allows you to have dual citizenship. This law means you can take on Barbados’ nationality without giving up your old citizenship. You will need to ensure that your old nationalities allow dual and multiple citizenship. This law means you can have a Barbados passport in addition to your old nationality.

Barbadian nationality law changes

The Barbadian government announced in 2019 that they would be expanding the pathways to citizenship. Although it has been delayed, the legislation is due to go before Parliament as soon as possible.

News ways to get Bajan Citizenship

  1. Citizenship will be available to the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Barbadian citizens.
  2. Permanent residents are eligible for citizenship after three years of ordinary residence in the country.
  3. Permanent residents who have lived in the country for more than seven years will be “grandfathered” into citizenship.
  4. The amount of time for citizenship by marriage will be lowered.
  5. The Barbados Residency by Investment program and Citizenship by Investment programs will be expanded.
  6. People with highly desired skills will have a new pathway to permanent residency and citizenship.

Parliament is also considering accelerated citizenship for Liberians. Descendants of those who traveled to Liberia may be instantly eligible. We expect to hear more information in the coming months.

A boat on a beach in Barbados.  An activity that those with Barbados citizenship enjoy.

How to get Barbados Citizenship

Citizenship by Birth

If you were born in the country, then you are most likely a citizen. This right is through the principle of Jus Soli (or “right of soil.”)

Those born after 29th November 1966 (when the country became independent) have automatic citizenship at birth.

Barbados Citizenship by Descent

There are three options for Barbados citizenship by descent. In all of these situations, your citizenship status is regardless of when or where you were born.

  1. Your father was a Barbados citizen, and your parents are married.
  2. Your mother is a Barbados citizen.
  3. Children born abroad to diplomat parents.

Your birth must be registered with the nearest Barbadian diplomatic representative.

Citizenship Through Marriage

If your spouse is a citizen or permanent resident, you are eligible for residency. If your spouse is a citizen, you can apply for citizenship after being a resident for seven years.

Gay marriage is not legal here, and so the government does not register gay marriages from other jurisdictions.

Citizenship by Naturalization (Residency)

After seven years of being a legal resident, you are eligible for Barbados citizenship through naturalization. This option is open to nationals of all foreign states.

You must show that you have spent at least five years living in the country during those seven years of residency.

Barbados Citizenship by Investment (CBI)

Barbados does not have a direct Citizenship by Investment program. However, the Residency by Investment program is a pathway to citizenship by naturalization. This can be a simple path to Barbados dual citizenship for many.

Reasons for citizenship to be refused

The government requires criminal, character, and reputational checks for each person. If a statutory body has declared you bankrupt, you must provide a discharge declaration for those bankruptcies.

Your next steps for Barbados citizenship and passport

When you are ready to apply for Barbados citizenship, you’ll lodge all supporting documentation with the Barbados Immigration Service.

The process can be complicated, and the requirements are different for each pathway. An excellent Barbados immigration lawyer will ensure that your application has the best chance of success.

The Where Can I Live Barbados Immigration partner has 18 years of experience in successful citizenship applications. They offer outstanding value and service. You can see how we chose them as our partners and how we continually assess their service here.

If you are ready to start your application process, then book a consultation with Maria and her team here.


  1. My sons grandmother came to the UK when she was 15 from Barbados, she has her birth certificate but now only has a British passport. Is my son able to get a passport for Barbados by descent?

    1. Hi Elizabeth. If your son’s grandmother was born in Barbados she’s likely still a Barbados citizen, regardless of which passport she currently uses (Barbados doesn’t restrict dual citizenship). Barbados citizenship by descent is only for a single generation, so it can only be passed from parent to child. Her child (your son’s parent) would need to be a citizen, and then pass on that citizenship to your son. All the best, Alastair

  2. My great grand parents were Barbados citizens and moved to New York. They passed before my grandfather became an adult. Could I, as a U.S citizen apply for dual citizenship?

    1. Please I’d like to confirm that a child born in Barbados automatically becomes a citizen even though none of the parents is a citizen of Barbados.

  3. Hi Alistair,

    Just to confirm, my paternal grand mother and grand father are both citizens of Barbados however my father was born in the UK. Am I eligible to apply for citizenship ? I understood the rules may be changing..

    Best wishes.

    1. Hi Cee – the rule changes to include grandparent qualification for citizenship by descent have not yet been passed by parliament. We’re hoping that the changes will be announced soon. All the best, Alastair

  4. Hello,
    Can I apply for barbados passeport as a Cameroonian living in Cameroon, or must I Travel to barbados ?

    Kind regards

  5. Hello,

    My mother was born in Barbados and I have no contact with her at all. How would I be able to claim my citizenship in these circumstances? It’s frustrating as my grandmother, great grandmother, great great grandmother are all Barbadian born, yet I feel like I’ve hit a brick wall with this. I know I’m 100% entitled, it feels difficult though.


  6. Hello, I am trying to obtain my mother’s birth certificate from Barbados as I am based in the UK. Certs cost $5 but they require a money order for payment, do they accept British postal orders? The birth certificate is what is setting me back from making an application. Any help pr advice would be most appreciated.

  7. Hi,

    My grandmother was Bajan, however I don’t have her death certificate and I can’t get access to it. Can I get a Bajan passport?

    1. Please I want to know the cost of Childbirth at Barbados for non citizens parents? I want to give birth there.

      Does the child have to stay there for some years before obtaining the citizenship or immediately after his birth he’s a citizen?

      Thank you

      1. Hi Emeilia. You’ll need to approach some facilities to find out the costs of childbirth for non-citizens in Barbados. However, as soon as your child is born in Barbados they are a citizen by birthright. All the best, Alastair

  8. Hi. Both my parents were born in Barbados. I was born in London. I have my birth certificate, both their birth certificates and their marriage certificate. I am on the island now. Do I need anything else and what should I do/where should I go?

  9. Both my parents were born in Barbados. I was born in England and lived in Barbados for six years am I considered a citizen of Barbados? My daughter is American, and would like to represent Barbados in the next Olympics, can my daughter become a citizen by descent?

  10. Both my parents were born in Barbados but I am a registered sex offender, does that automatically disqualify me for Barbados citizenship?

    1. Hi. I’d suggest discussing your case with a qualified Barbados immigration lawyer as a detailed understanding of your case is required to assess suitability. All the best, Alastair

  11. Hi, I was born in the Uk. I have Bajan citizenship and a Bajan passport as both my parents were born there. my daughter would now like to apply for a Bajan passport and citizenship. Am I correct in saying that she would not be eligible?

    1. Hi Sandra. As you have Bajan citizenship your daughter may well qualify. Our Barbados immigration law specialist partner would be the best placed to asses your requirements. All the best, Alastair

      1. Hi Alistair, Please could you share the details of your Barbados immigration specialist? I am the daughter of a Bajan Citizen who was born here and would like to apply for citizenship also. Many thanks

  12. I am born in Barbados and applying for my daughter citizenship by decent. I was told that I will need her father’s birth certificate because her name is doubled barrel. I cannot gain the dad’s birth certificate as we were not married and broke up since her birth 13 years ago.

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