Jamaica/St. Vincent: Whether a Jamaican citizen born in Jamaica who lived for five years in St. Vincent and obtained St. Vincent citizenship can have dual citizenship (Jamaica and St. Vincent)
|Publisher||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada|
|Publication Date||29 October 2001|
|Citation / Document Symbol||ZZZ38058.E|
|Cite as||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Jamaica/St. Vincent: Whether a Jamaican citizen born in Jamaica who lived for five years in St. Vincent and obtained St. Vincent citizenship can have dual citizenship (Jamaica and St. Vincent), 29 October 2001, ZZZ38058.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3df4bed720.html [accessed 10 March 2014]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
Section 8 (1) of Chapter II of the Jamaican Constitution of 1962 states that if a citizen of Jamaica has "acquired by registration, naturalization or other voluntary and formal act (other than marriage) the citizenship of any country other than Jamaica, the Governor-General may by order deprive that person of his citizenship" (Flanz April 1983, 18), however, the Deputy High Commissioner for Jamaica in Ottawa said during a telephone interview that Jamaica does allow dual citizenship, provided that this is allowed by the citizenship laws of the other country (25 October 2001). She explained that the word "may" is intentionally included in this clause of the constitution as a precautionary measure designed to protect Jamaica's national security and interests in the event that a citizen of Jamaica applied for the citizenship of an "enemy state," although at this time there are no states that Jamaica considers as enemies, and she cannot recall an instance where this clause was enforced (ibid.).
Although Jamaicans born in Jamaica can lose their citizenship only by voluntarily renouncing it, those who have acquired Jamaican citizenship by other means may have their citizenship revoked, however, the Deputy High Commissioner was not able to elaborate on the circumstances under which this might occur (ibid.).
According to information provided by a representative of the High Commission of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in Ottawa, St. Vincent also allows dual citizenship: those wishing to obtain St. Vincent citizenship may retain their original citizenship, and those citizens of St. Vincent wishing to obtain citizenship of another country may do so, while retaining that of St. Vincent.
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.
Flanz, Gisbert H. April 1983. "Jamaica." Constitutions of the Countries of the World. Edited by Albert P. Blaustein and Gisbert H. Flanz. Dobbs Ferry, NY: Oceana Publications.
High Commission of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Ottawa. 26 October 2001. Telephone interview with representative of Consular Section.
High Commissioner for Jamaica, Ottawa. 25 October 2001. Telephone interview with Deputy High Commissioner.
Additional Sources Consulted
Consulate General of Jamaica, New York
Ministry of National Security and Justice