Barbados also grapples with immigration issues
Bermuda is not alone in seeking solutions to population and immigration issues, Barbados is grappling with similar concerns, and a proposed new immigration Bill is expected to be put before its leaders in January.
The news comes in the wake of a presentation by the BermudaFirst advisory group to business leaders in Hamilton last Monday, which highlighted Bermuda’s shrinking birth rate and ageing population and the need for additional workers in the economy.
Concerns around those same issues were expressed with regard to Barbados on Thursday.
Edmund Hinkson, Barbados’ Minister of Home Affairs, commented on the expected completion of a comprehensive review of the nation’s immigration policies during an induction service of 64 new Barbadian citizens, in Bridgetown, Barbados.
He is reported to have said a new immigration Bill expected to be presented to the Government’s cabinet in January aims to expand on all categories of citizenship and permanent residence, and rectify inconsistencies between the country’s legislation, Constitution, and its citizenship Act.
According to a report by The Barbados Advocate, it is proposed that Caricom skilled nationals, their spouses and dependents will be eligible to become permanent residents and then citizens, qualifying by way of time spent in Barbados. Those who are current residents of Barbados, and have been for more than seven years, will be eligible to be grandfathered in to citizen on their application, Mr Hinkson is reported to have said.
While another news outlet, Barbados Today, reported that Mr Hinkson said with retirement and death rates taking more workers out of the labour force than birth rates to replace them, the Government is to introduce managed migration to provide enough skilled workers to sustain growth and prosperity and guarantee pensions and benefits security to those who have contributed and retired.
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