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Marriage fraud

Immigration monitoring worrying trend

Home Affairs Minister Adriel Brathwaite says authorities are keeping a close eye on the trend of people marrying in a bid to secure their immigration status in Barbados.

He said several cases have already been detected, but warned that this would not be tolerated.

To counter the problem, he told the House of Assembly this morning that a policy had been developed in which the people who apply for citizenship were interrogated, and granted a three-year work and reside permit to determine whether they were in a marriage of convenience.

Home Affairs Minister Adriel Brathwaite

Home Affairs Minister Adriel Brathwaite

“In Barbados, that is a challenge that we have where individuals have been deported from Barbados and have returned providing a certificate showing that they have been married to a Barbadian, obviously, out of Barbados,” he said.

“We have heard stories that it is in fact a business, that there are people who charge for facilitating these type of marriages.”

Data from the Immigration Department indicate there were 145 applications for reside and work permits as a result of marriage
in 2013.

However, Brathwaite said this was not the only challenge facing Immigration.

He pointed to reports of visitors remaining in Barbados illegally, preventing their children from attending school because they do not have immigrant visas.

Additionally, he said the country needed to take a stance on incidents in which pregnant women were entering the country with the intention of having their babies gain Barbados citizenship, and having them return 18 years later to benefit from social services.

During his tabling of the Immigration (Amendment) Bill that seeks to strengthen the penalties for those who break that law, the Home Affairs minister presented data on applications that had gone before the Immigration Department.

He said officers had processed some 1.38 million people at the Grantley Adams International Airport in 2013.

The department also processed 860 applications for citizenship, 52 for permanent residence, 164 for immigrant status, and 445 to reside and work.

There were also 2,711 work permit applications processed, 2,664 for student visas, and 4,090 for extension of stay.

Some 15,141 new passports were issued, while 133 applications for recognition of Caricom Skilled Nationals were processed.

Minister Brathwaite said there were challenges relating to the right of establishment, one of the regimes that have been signed on to under the regional arrangement.

“Some individuals come in, they claim that they are hairdressers for example but go on to do some other non-skilled job,’ he explained, while issuing a caution to his colleagues about a call for Barbados to increase its population.

“Any planned growth of our population must have the attendant checks and balances. If there is one criticism that I have about the free movement as was contemplated, is that I’m not sure if the Heads [of Government] looked individually and collectively at what we could afford to do at that point in time,” he said.

Using Barbados as an example, the Home Affairs Minister said the island was “two secondary schools short and probably four primary schools short. We have challenges in terms of housing for our people at this point in time, we have challenges in terms of the level of health care that we want for our own people at this pointin time.”

Meantime, he defended the work of the department, saying an analysis had shown that it was one of the most productive among all Government institutions.

The next move, he said, was for the department to move to a paperless system.

“It is my hope that within the next three to five years the Immigration Department will go paperless. I can’t imagine the sheer volume of paper that they have if they process in 2013, 1,381,577 individuals coming in and going out of the country,” he remarked.

The department is scheduled to move to new headquarters on Hincks Street, Bridgetown by the middle of next year, with funding provided through a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank.

33 Responses to Marriage fraud

  1. NAKED DEPARTURE - The Trilogy Series
    NAKED DEPARTURE - The Trilogy Series February 18, 2015 at 7:14 am

    You can’t stop it. Bajan men are even marrying the strip club/bi-sexual and all out prostitutes. Just as long as the woman is foreign, looks good and everything fits right, it’s on! Ghetto love — you cannot stop it.

  2. Elaine Crichlow
    Elaine Crichlow February 18, 2015 at 7:14 am

    What took so long, this in just now happening

  3. Cynthia Blackman
    Cynthia Blackman February 18, 2015 at 7:20 am

    I often wonder how people come here on work permit , transfers from their Companies and then they are all here with their families living ,working; going to school .. I guess they come on never ending WORK PERMITS Even some who came to attend UWI.. I also know of COUNTRIES after the SECOND renewal of your WORK PERMIT you are on MONTHLY /Three MONTh permits which can be terminated wise ones move on others stay and get lost in the system

    • Kathryn Serieux
      Kathryn Serieux February 18, 2015 at 8:37 am

      Just so you know, way back in the 90s, the UWI contributing countries signed agreements so UWI graduates in most faculties could work in those territories without work permits needed. And on top of that, journalists and some other professionals do not need work permits in Caricom countries.

    • Cynthia Blackman
      Cynthia Blackman February 18, 2015 at 8:45 am

      Sorry I thought that the Caricom Country “”working thing “”was a RECENT ruling and that you have to have some certification whatever.. that is why I used the word “”wonder”” as I DID NOT KNOW

    • Cynthia Blackman
      Cynthia Blackman February 18, 2015 at 8:51 am

      I see you live in Ottawa do you know that if you as a Canadian married to someone outside that your Wife/Husband could not come to visit you there and had to wait on the process which can take up to THREE years However it is amazing how some of us can BEAT the system

      • Joseph Harding February 18, 2015 at 12:07 pm

        Cynthia, what you are saying here, is not necessarily correct. It all depends on the citizenship of the person wanting to come to Canada.
        If your home country is visa exempt you can travel freely to Canada providing CBSA determines that you are suitable for entry.
        I can tell you this because I am married to a Canadian and I visited her twice in Canada before I got residential status.

  4. Sarah Pomeranz Layne
    Sarah Pomeranz Layne February 18, 2015 at 7:28 am

    The Reside and Work permit is actually a good thing for those people who marry Barbadians and choose to live here.. it’s very difficult for someone to be here for the 3 plus years it takes to establish residency or citizenship and not be able to live with their spouse or possibly work here. especially in these continuing “harsh economic times”.. and they all aren’t frauds.. some maybe.. but due diligence in the process should be done..(which I would like to think it is)..

  5. Narine Suckoo
    Narine Suckoo February 18, 2015 at 7:39 am

    He is such an idiot. Big shots like zachary coles who try to kidnap woman in front his nose while his buddy Bennett was really to fabricate the legal works, walks free cause money talks. Whats the difference if you offer them to pay 10 000.00 and generate some money in your economy. Well i guess that will go in government pockets. Are you going to take citizens rights now? Dum ass government allyuh have in Bim.

  6. Rawle Spooner
    Rawle Spooner February 18, 2015 at 7:43 am

    Man why is politicians in Barbados so late to see reality this is nothing new come on wake up fools.

  7. Petra Gooding
    Petra Gooding February 18, 2015 at 7:48 am

    This is nothing new and for the record, Barbadians have done the same in the past, and still do so now, to gain residential status in the USA, Canada, the UK and other European countries.

  8. Heather Cole
    Heather Cole February 18, 2015 at 7:49 am

    Just a distraction from the real issues at hand that he should be dealing with. He finds time for this when rampant corruption has been exposed in the House of Assembly.

  9. Doria Alleyne
    Doria Alleyne February 18, 2015 at 8:06 am

    (Y) (Y)

  10. Petra Gooding
    Petra Gooding February 18, 2015 at 8:17 am

    What we want is a full criminal investigation into Clico!

  11. Cheryl A Rollins
    Cheryl A Rollins February 18, 2015 at 8:23 am

    A day late and a dollar short.

  12. Alex Alleyne February 18, 2015 at 8:30 am

    A TREND WORLD WIDE . This is nothing new .

  13. Leeann Jordan
    Leeann Jordan February 18, 2015 at 8:36 am

    This is something that we shouldnt worry about here cause things so hard Barbadians running away from them own country left right and centre……Stupes..I never heard back nothing on my income tax ….talk to me do

  14. Pamalea Payne
    Pamalea Payne February 18, 2015 at 8:56 am

    I like how People does say bajans does it to, when u look at the teaspoon Barbados is compare to these other country POT SPOON

  15. Brimstone February 18, 2015 at 9:34 am

    Barbadians and most Caribbean people do this in the developed countries however, the AG has a very valid point, in that we cannot now support an upsurge in population, and if we do so, it must be to our benefit.
    We have an alternate solution to avoid the pregnant female scam. Just as is done in the UK, issue a partial citizenship document which exempt you from all social services, along with a certificate of citizenship commensurate with the citizenship of the mother.
    We have the USA now beginning to implement the same system, so we too can solve our own problems.

  16. Ken Debajee
    Ken Debajee February 18, 2015 at 9:57 am

    cant stop this one , nah waste time on this one, its as old as time it self, you need resident papers, i need money, happens all over the world, so mr B, look into hanging the young murders that killing bajans every week, and yes its not fraud its trade like gold for money, sheep for pig, corn for carrots

  17. David February 18, 2015 at 10:06 am

    Trinidad & Tobago former Minister Of National Security Gary Griffith introduced a policy that all illegal immigrants in Trinidad & Tobago once caught will be deported.He indicated that local authorities would go house to house,search vehicles including public transportation and if illegals are caught they will be deported.
    There was no outcry from other regional governments.
    Under late Prime Minister David Thompson,he tried to a similar act.He was castigated by all & sundry in the region.Hence,his government had to abandon the reforms he sought to implement.
    Maybe this government is now recognizing the horrors an unrestricted free movement of people can create.

  18. Cornelius Drogo
    Cornelius Drogo February 18, 2015 at 10:07 am

    What about political fraud?

  19. Derek Gale
    Derek Gale February 18, 2015 at 10:17 am

    Under the Iternational Human Rights Act a person in their country can marry who they wish to whether it is a foreigner or a person from their own country. Individuals who marry foreign spouses have the right to appeal their case for their foreign spouses to remain with them under this act. There are families who have marriages pre-arranged for their sons/daughters even if it includes a foreigner and which is part of the religious culture in these families. There also some foreign Governments who do not ilike it when a their nationals marry foreigners and go all out to prevent this.

  20. Nadia Pandor
    Nadia Pandor February 18, 2015 at 10:34 am

    Steupes wonder why he still attorney general. Steuuuuuppppseeeeee

  21. Tonia Husbands
    Tonia Husbands February 18, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    Barbados isn’t what it used to be so we should be lucky that non nationals still want to come here and live.

    Haven’t bajans gone to other countries and do the same thing?

  22. Greitcha Smith
    Greitcha Smith February 18, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    Wait, has the AG stolen the distractor/deflector title from the Minister of Agriculture?

  23. Michelle Gayle
    Michelle Gayle February 18, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    I can guarantee no one is gonna take him up on this. These type of marriage happen all over the world. He need to mind his own business.

  24. Maxine Hutchinson February 18, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    Tonia Husbands, why should Barbadians be “lucky that non-nationals still want to come here and live”? What benefit do we derive from them being here?

    What I have noticed from time immemorial is that: when Barbadian women feel that they are in love and they marry non-nationals, the first thing the non-nationals do is make sure that they become distant from their families and then further bewitch them until eventually they die, or they (husbands) leave them after receiving their immigration papers and hook up with their true love from back home.

    When Barbadian men play around with or marry non-national women, in “two-two”s they too are separated from their families, they then fall sick and die within 3-4 years.

    If per chance the partners of these non-nationals are not dead by the time their immigration papers are processed, as soon as they receive them, their partner then come to realise that the other non-national who used to visit the house was indeed the boyfriend / girlfriend of that person and not their “cousin as they had declared to him/her.

    Non-nationals love to cook for persons. Rumour has it that they grind up glass bottle like dust and put a few particles in the brown grave or in the tea or they keep a little brown bottle in the refrigerator with a liquid which they encourage the man to use for backache. Again, in “two-two’s” the partner enters the great beyond or if he is smart enough, he enters Dodds for an indictable offence.

    Some time in 2005 a married man who believed himself to be a “cock of the rock” got entangled with a non-national much to the fear of his wife. One day that wife called and stated that the non-national, in the presence of a person for law and order, promised the wife that she would put a spirit on her that not even the God she (wife) served would be able to get it off. She also reminded the wife that she was knowledgeable of the school that their four year old daughter (then) attended and promised that she would not see her again. She told the wife finally that her father was a business man who had a lot of money and that “when money talks, bs walks”.

    The Book fo Isaiah warns up not to mix with other nations because their gods were not our God. It is true. In addition, when persons set out to be married irrespective of cultural differences, disaster is in the making for the two of them and their families.

    Can anyone convince me otherwise? Ask God to open your eyes and you will come to greater awareness of many other cultural practices among non-nationals.

  25. Rob February 18, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    These days arrival by air in major airports always brings a baby about to be born for citizenship , even for free hospital care.
    UK has an enormous load of sham marriages that are a business which they try to get a handle on.
    Many Bajans who travel will meet and marry outside the country , love still exists and they have that right , surprise
    As to the 1.3 million pieces of paper, are these not the immigration cards we are given to fill in on a plane and then give a section back on leaving. If our passport was scanned on entry and scanned on leaving , should that not remove necessity but the information is for other parts of the government benefit

  26. Bernard and India walker February 18, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    USA is house cleaning now. We call it the 50 state gay marraige act. They will get the country to recognize the union like they do non – same sex people . April is when we vote. Lots of families are house cleaning now. Sorry if the dust flew all the way over there . Dump in the ocean when you feel like it .

  27. Bernard Walker
    Bernard Walker February 18, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    moving tips


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