Draft policy to address ‘inequities’ under the Millennium Naturalisation Act of 2004

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A draft policy is expected to be tabled in Parliament shortly that will address specific rules that were implemented under the Millennium Naturalisation Act of 2004. Attorney General Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin has been mandated to table the draft at a date to be determined.
Benjamin said the move is necessary to address concerns that were put forward by CARICOM nationals who would have benefited from the programme that was introduced by the United Progressive Party (UPP).
“There are certain persons who have made application for their descendants to obtain Antigua citizenship. Regrettably, though, the policy of the former government was that only the applicant was entitled to citizenship, that could not be right,” the AG said.
Benjamin further stated that “We have a legal opinion, and we are of the view that once you have acquired Antiguan citizenship, be it by registration, by descent or naturalisation, you are entitled to all the rights benefits and privileges.”
The AG said a policy will be created to ensure that people who acquired citizenship under the act are able to make application or file for family members.
The 2004 Act allowed those living in Antigua and Barbuda lawfully for three years or more on the first day of January 2000, to apply for citizenship, in commemoration of the new millennium. Normally you have to reside in the country for seven years.
The Millennium Naturalization Act of 2004 was a sunset legislation, meaning that the law ceased to
have effect after a specific date.

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