6th April, 2017
For Immediate Release
Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Immigration Responds to Social Media Mischief re. Naturalisation and voting
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Immigration is aware of the circulation on social media of an individual’s new Certificate of Naturalisation and a Voter’s Card of the same date, with the obvious and unfortunate mischievous political inference, attempting to conflate what is normal Ministry business on naturalisation with current politics.
The Ministry has, for some time, committed to the public to try to process applications for work permits, naturalisations and citizenships in the most timely manner possible. That has not changed.
The work of Government in general and the work of this Ministry in particular is serious, sober business and is conducted according to strict rules and regulations that have been in place for many years and are followed to the letter by this Ministry. That will continue to be the case. We encourage the public not to become distracted by attempts at mischief emanating from social and other media.
While the release of specific information is not normal policy, in the circumstance, the Ministry notes for general information that the individual in question applied on 17 March 2008 and applied for citizenship past the constitutional deadline of her 18th birthday. The individual had to rely therefore on the provisions of the Bahamas Nationality Act, which requires a minimum of 7 years residence in The Bahamas and pursuant to our international obligations on citizenship matters, she was granted citizenship on 28 February 2017, some nine years after she applied.
There is nothing unusual about the application or its approval. The Ministry notes that there has been no unusual activity with regard to citizenship at the Immigration Board despite the social media and other attempts at mischief and gross exaggeration.