The recent arrival in Barbados of two persons who exercised their CARICOM rights to a prolonged stay on the island, obtained through a member state’s Citizenship by Investment programme has Prime Minister Freundel Stuart uneasy.
The Barbadian leader has reported that the persons, who are nationals of non-Caribbean countries took advantage of a Citizenship by Investment programme offered in a CARICOM member country to obtain passports of that territory and exercised their right to remain in Barbados for least six months without question as guaranteed under the CARICOM Freedom of Movement convention.
Stuart over the last weekend spoke of the powerless position that local immigration authority found itself in when the two opted to remain on the island after the United States Embassy in Barbados, that covers the entire Eastern Caribbean, refused their applications for visas to travel to the United States.
“The American Embassy turned down the applications for the visas, but the persons involved said ‘we are not going back to where we came from, we have a right to six months stay in Barbados and we want to stay here under our six months stay under the Freedom of Movement regime,’” Stuart said.
Stuart said that the distress brought upon Barbados because of the uncertainty of motive these two CARICOM ‘nationals’ who are not welcomed in the United States is precisely what he has been fighting against when in the past he objected to the citizenship based on investment programmes offered by sister territories.
“I have fought them [heads of governments] at CARICOM over those programmes … because I say to them, when you grant these people citizenship of your country and Barbados is not a part of the transaction, those people become CARICOM citizens and have, based on our Freedom of…