Port of Spain Trinidad May28: Guyanese and Grenadians topped the list of 1,471
foreigners whose applications for citizenship were processed and approved by the Ministry of National Security between January
1, 2002, and March 31 of this year according to the Trinidad Guardian newspaper.
The newspaper report indicated that in the 51-month period, 490 Guyanese nationals
were granted citizenship, while 233 Grenadians can now call themselves Trinis.
Running a distant third in terms of number of foreigners granted citizenship were
87 Chinese nationals.
Also granted citizenship in the period were: 34 Nigerians; 32 Jamaicans; 31 Indians;
17 Canadians; and 13 Irish nationals.
This was revealed in written answers provided by National Security Minister Martin
Joseph to two questions filed in the Senate by Senator Wade Mark.
The Opposition senator had also requested a breakdown of foreigners granted resident
status in T&T in the period. Joseph responded on Tuesday, informing Mark that of 3,516 applications received, 1,912 had
The breakdown shows that Guyanese again headed the list, with 917 successful applications.
They were followed by: 398 Chinese; 211 Grenadians; 113 Canadians; 71 Germans; 53 Barbadians; 33 Czechs; 20 Dominicans; 15
Ghanians; and 14 Dutch citizens.
After two years’ residential status, a foreign national is entitled to vote
in local elections.
Joseph said the Immigration Act, conferred on the Minister of National Security
the authority to grant residence status to non-nationals. He said he had the power to exercise discretion if the candidate
did not meet all the criteria identified in the legislation.
Chapter 1:50 of the Laws of T&T, the Citizenship of the Republic of
T&T Act, gives the minister authority to grant citizenship through registration of non-nationals originally from Commonwealth
countries, and naturalisation of non-nationals from non-Commonwealth countries, once they met set criteria, according to the
response tabled in the Senate.