The Gaston Browne Government of Antigua and Barbuda has overlooked the residency gaps of over 300 persons from around the Caribbean and internationally, granting citizenship to these persons. Antigua and Barbuda citizenship is considered for persons who have resided in the twin island state for a minimum period of 7 years.
This act by the Browne Administration follows through on an election promise to grant such persons citizenship once they paid all the relevant fees.
A citizenship amnesty legislation - Immigration and passport (Amendment) Act 2015 - was introduced by the new government in order to assist with the granting of citizenship to these individuals. The legislation enshrined that non-nationals, who, for whatever reason, had obtained gaps in their time could pay outstanding fees, making them eligible for citizenship.
Accordingly, this election promise has now been fulfilled, where the then challengers, the ABLP stated that they would, if elected, “correct the injustice facilitated by the United Progressive Party administration which deemed those having gaps within their residency period of not being eligible to become citizens of Antigua and Barbuda, even after living and making meaningful contributions to Antigua and Barbuda for over seven years and beyond”.