Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship Act

Link to law: http://laws.gov.ag/acts/chapters/cap-22.pdf
Published: 1982

Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship (CAP. 22 1

CHAPTER 22

T H E ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA CITIZENSHIP ACT

Arrangement of Sections
Section

1. Short title.

Preliminary

2. Interpretation

Acquisition of cititenshz$

3. Additional grounds of citizenship, and registration of
certain persons as citizens.

4. Effect of adoption order on non-citizen minors.
5. Effect of registration as a citizen.
6. Naturalisation of aliens and British protected persons.

Loss of citizenship

7. Renunciation of citizenship.
8. Deprivation of citizenship where citizenship was by

registration.
9. Deprivation of citizenship in cases of naturalisation.

10. Procedure upon orders for deprivation of citizenship.
11. Deprivation of citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda where

persons deprived of citizenship elsewhere.

Miscellaneous

12. Certificate of citizenship in cases of doubt.

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2 CAP. 22) Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship

13. Minister's discretion not to be questioned and decisions
to be final.

14. Evidence.
15. Regulations.
16. Offences.
17. Alteration of First Schedule.

FIRST SCHEDULE.
SECOND SCHEDULE.
THIRD SCHEDULE.

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Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship (CAP. 22 3

ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA CITIZENSHIP

(19th August, 1982.)

1. This Act may be cited as the Antigua and Barbuda short title.
Citizenship Act.

PART I

Preliminary

2. ( 1 ) For the purposes of this Act, the expression- Interpretation.
< 6 alien" means a person who is not a Commonwealth

citizen or a British protected person;

"British protected person" means a person who is a
British protected person for the purposes of the
British Nationality Act, 1948 of the United
Kingdom or any Act of the United Kingdom Parlia-
ment amending or replacing that Act;

"the Commonwealth" means Antigua and Barbuda, First Schedule.
any country mentioned in the First Schedule and
any dependency of any such country;

"the Constitution" means the Constitution of Antigua s.1. 198111106.
and Barbuda set out in Schedule 1 to the Antigua Cap. 43.
and Barbuda Constitution Order, 1981;

"Consulate of Antigua and Barbuda" means the office
of a consular officer of the Government or, where
there is no such office, such office as may be
prescribed;

"father", in relation to a child born out of wedlock and
not legitimated, includes a person who
acknowledges and can show that he is the father
of the child or has been found by a court of com-
petent jurisdiction to be the father of the child;

"foreign country" means a country that is not part of
the Commonwealth;

"minor" means a person who has not attained the age
of eighteen years;

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4 CAP. 2 2 ) Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship

6 ' parent" includes the mother of a child born out of
wedlock;

"service of the Government" includes service as an
employee of any statutory board which is in receipt
of moneys provided from the Consolidated Fund
or voted by Parliament.

(2) For the purposes of this Act, a person born aboard
a registered ship or aircraft of the government of any coun-
try shall be deemed to have been born in the place in which
the ship or aircraft was registered or, as the case may be,
in that country.

(3) A person shall for the purposes of this Act be of
full age if he has attained the age of eighteen years and of
full capacity if he is not of unsound mind.

( 4 ) For the purposes of this Act, a person shall be deem-
ed not to have attained a given age until the commence-
ment of the relevant anniversary of the day of his birth.

(5) A person born out of wedlock and legitimated by
the subsequent marriage of his parents shall as from the date
of the marriage or of the commencement of this Act,
whichever is later, be treated for the purposes of this Act
as if he had been born legitimate.

(6) A person shall be deemed for the purposes of this
Act to have been legitimated by the subsequent marriage
of his parents if, by the law of the place where his father
was domiciled at the time of the marriage, the marriage
operated immediately or subsequently to legitimate him, and
not otherwise.

(7) Subject to subsection (8) of this section, in calculating
for the purposes of this Act any period of residence in Antigua
and Barbuda-

( a ) a period of absence from Antigua and Barbuda
of less than six months;

(b) a period of absence from Antigua and Barbuda
for the purpose of education of such kind, in such coun-

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Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship (CAP. 22 5

try and for such time, as may be either generally or
specially approved by the Minister; and

( 6 ) a period of absence from Antigua and Barbuda
for reasons of health or any other cause prescribed
generally or specially by the Minister,

shall be treated as residence in Antigua and Barbuda, and
a person shall be deemed to be resident in Antigua and
Barbuda on a particular day if he had been resident in
Antigua and Barbuda before that day and that day is
included in any period of absence referred to in this sub-
section.

(8) In calculating for the purposes of this Act any period
of residence in Antigua and Barbuda, account shall not be
taken-

(a ) of any period during which a person was not
lawfully resident in Antigua and Barbuda; or

(b ) of any period spent as an inmate of any prison
or as a person detained in lawful custody in any place
other than a mental hospital under the provisions of any
enactment in force in Antigua and Barbuda; or

(c) except with the consent of the Minister, of any
period during which a person is allowed to remain
temporarily in Antigua and Barbuda under the authority
of any enactment in force in Antigua and Barbuda
relating to immigration.

(9) In this Act, any reference to Antigua and Barbuda
being at or engaged in any war shall be construed as a
reference to a time when Antigua and Barbuda is engaged
in hostilities with another country.

PART I1

Acquisition of Citizenship

3. (1) For the purposes of section 113 (a) of the Con-
stitution, where after the 31st October 1981, a newborn infant ,;tiZenship, and
is found abandoned in Antigua and Barbuda, that infant : :~+~na~~:s;~s
shall, unless the contrary is shown, be deemed to have been ., ,;ti,e,,.
born in Antigua and Barbuda and thereby to have become
a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda at the date of his birth.

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6 CAP. 22) Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship

( 2 ) Subject to subsections (4 ) , ( 7 ) and ( 8 ) of this sec-
tion, a person who would, but for the fact that he was not
on the 3 1 st October, 198 1 , a citizen of the United Kingdom
and Colonies, have become a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda
in accordance with paragraph (a) of section 112 of the Con-
stitution may, upon making application to the Minister in
the prescribed manner be registered at the discretion of the
Minister as a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda.

( 3 ) Subject to subsections (4 ) , (7) and ( 8 ) of this section,
First Schedule- a citizen of any country mentioned in the First Schedule to

this Act, being a person of full age and capacity may, on
making application therefor to the Minister in the prescrib-
ed manner, be registered at the discretion of the Minister
as a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda if he satisfies the Minister
that he-

(a) has been ordinarily resident in Antigua and
Barbuda; or

( b ) has been in the service of the Government; or

(c) has had partly such residence and partly such
service,

for a period of not less than seven years ending with the
date of his application, of which not less than five years in
the aggregate must have been spent in Antigua and Barbuda,
or for such shorter period so ending as the Minister may
in the special circumstances of any particular case accept.

( 4 ) Subsections ( 2 ) and (3) of this section do not apply
to any person who under section 112 (e) of the Constitution
becomes or under section 114 ( 1 ) (a), 114 ( 1 ) (6) or 114 ( 1 )
(c) of the Constitution is entitled to be registered as a citizen
of Antigua and Barbuda.

(5) Subject to subsections ( 7 ) and ( 8 ) of this section,
a person is entitled, upon making application under this
subsection to the Minister in the prescribed manner, to be
registered as a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda if he satisfies
the Minister that-

(a) he is and has always been stateless; and

(b) that he was born in Antigua and Barbuda.

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A n t i p a and Barbuda Citizaship (CAP. 22 7

(6) An application for registration under subsections ( 2 )
and ( 5 ) of this section of a minor shall be made on his behalf
by his parent or guardian or, if the minor is or has been
married, by the minor himself.

( 7 ) The Minister may, if he is satisfied that there are
reasonable grounds in the interests of defence, public safe-
ty, public morality or public order for so doing, refuse to
register as a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda any person
who-

( a ) under section 114 (1) (c ) of the Constitution or
subsection ( 5 ) of this section, is entitled to be registered
as a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda and applies to be
so registered; or

( b ) pursuant to subsection ( 2 ) or (3) of this section
applies to be registered as a citizen of Antigua and
Barbuda.

(8) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection
( 7 ) of this section, the Minister may refuse to register as
a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda any person referred to in
that subsection if he is satisfied that the applicant-

(a) is not of good character; or

(b) has been convicted by a competent court in any
country of a criminal offence for which he was sentenced
to death or has been detained under a sentence of
imprisonment of twelve months or more imposed on
him on his conviction of a criminal offence by such a
court, and in either case, has not received a free par-
don in respect of the offence; or

(c) has engaged in activities, whether within or out-
side of Antigua and Barbuda, which, in the opinion of
the Minister, are prejudicial to the safety of Antigua
and Barbuda or to the maintenance of law and public
order in Antigua and Barbuda; or

(d) has been adjudged or otherwise declared
bankrupt under any law in force in any country and
has not been discharged; or

(e) not being the dependent of a citizen of Antigua
and Barbuda, has not sufficient means to maintain
himself and is likely to become a public charge.

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8 CAP. 22) Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship

Effect of
adoption order
on non-citizen
minors.

Effect of
registration as a
citizen.

Naturalisation of
aliens and
British protected
persons.
Second Schedule.

Third Schedule.

(9) Where a person who has acquired citizenship of
Antigua and Barbuda by registration either under the Con-
stitution or this Act desires to be issued with a certificate
of such registration, that person may, on making applica-
tion in writing therefor to the Minister, be issued by the
Minister with a certificate of such registration in the prescrib-
ed form.

4. Where under any enactment in force in Antigua
and Barbuda relating to the adoption of children an adop-
tion order is made in respect of a minor not a citizen of
Antigua and Barbuda, then if the adopter or in the case of
a joint adoption the male adopter is a citizen of Antigua and
Barbuda, the minor shall become a citizen of Antigua and
Barbuda as from the date of the order.

5 . A person registered under section 3 of this Act or
pursuant to section 114 of the Constitution shall be a citizen
of Antigua and Barbuda by registration as from the date
on which he is registered.

6. The Minister may at his discretion, if application
therefor is made to him in the prescribed manner by any
alien or British protected person of full age and capacity who
satisfies him that he is qualified under the Second Schedule
for naturalisation, grant to him a certificate of naturalisa-
tion, and the person to whom that certificate is granted shall,
on taking the oath or affirmation of allegiance in the form
specified in the Third Schedule, be a citizen of Antigua and
Barbuda by naturalisation as from the date on which that
certificate is granted.

Loss o f Citizenship

Renunciation of 7. (1) Any citizen of Antigua and Barbuda who has Citizenship.
attained the age of eighteen years and who-

(a) is also a citizen or national of any other coun-
try; or

(b) intends to become a citizen or national of any
other country,

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Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship (CAP. 22 9

shall be entitled to renounce his citizenship of Antigua and
Barbuda by a declaration made in such manner as may be
prescribed:

Provided that-

in the case of a person who is not a citizen or national
of any other country at the date of registration of his declara-
tion of renunciation, if he does not become such a citizen
or national within six months from the date of registration
he shall be, and shall be deemed to have remained, a citizen
of Antigua and Barbuda notwithstanding the making and
registration of his declaration of renunciation.

(2) Subject to subsection (3) of this section, where a
declaration is made under subsection ( 1 ) of this section the
Minister shall cause the declaration to be registered in such
manner as may be prescribed and, upon such registration,
the person who made the declaration shall cease to be a citizen
of Antigua and Barbuda.

(3) The Minister may, in his discretion, withhold
registration of any declaration made under subsection ( 1 )
of this section if the declaration is made at any time when
Antigua and Barbuda is at war where the declaration is made
by a person who is or who intends to become a national
or citizen-

(a) of any country with which Antigua and
Barbuda is at war, or

( 6 ) of any country as respects which, because
Antigua and Barbuda is at war, it would, in the interests
of national security or public policy, be undesirable or
inexpedient for that person to be or become a citizen
or national thereof.

(4) Where a person who has renounced his citizenship
of Antigua and Barbuda under this section desires to be issued
with a certificate of such renunciation, that person may, on
making application in writing therefor to the Minister, be
issued by the Minister with a certificate of such renuncia-
tion in the prescribed form.

8. Subject to section 10 of this Act, the Minister may, E;$:?h$"
in his discretion, by Order deprive of his citizenship any where citizenship

was by
registration.

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10 CAP. 22) Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship

person who is a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda by virtue
of registration if the Minister is satisfied that such registra-
tion as a citizen was obtained by false representation or fraud
or wilful concealment of material facts or if that citizen is
convicted in Antigua and Barbuda of an act of treason or
sedition.

Deprivation of
citizenship in
cases of
naturalisation.

9. (1) Subject to section 10 of this Act, the Minister
may, in his discretion, by Order deprive of his citizenship
any citizen of Antigua and Barbuda who is such by naturalis-
tion if the Minister is satisfied that the certificate of naturalisa-
tion of that citizen was obtained by false representation or
fraud or wilful concealment of material facts or if that citizen
has-

(a) at any time after naturalisation-

(i) been convicted of treason or sedition by a com-
petent court in any part of the Commonwealth;
or

(ii) been convicted by a competent court in any
country of a criminal offence on conviction of
which the death penalty or a term of imprison-
ment of not less than seven years may be
imposed,

and in either case has not received a free pardon in respect
of the offence; or

(b) within five years after naturalisation been
convited by a competent court in any country of a
criminal offence and sentenced to imprisonment for a
term of not less than twelve months and has not
received a free pardon in respect of the offence; or

(6) shown himself by act or speech to be disloyal
or disaffected towards Antigua and Barbuda; or

(d) during any war in which Antigua and Barbuda
was engaged, unlawfully traded or communicated with
the enemy or been engaged in or associated with any
business that was to his knowledge carried on in such
a manner as to assist an enemy in that war; or

(e) engaged in activities, whether within or out-
side of Antigua and Barbuda, which, in the opinion of
the Minister, are prejudicial to the safety of Antigua

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Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship (CAP. 22 11

and Barbuda or to the maintenance of law and public
order in Antigua and Barbuda.

(2) The Minister shall not deprive any person of citizen-
ship under this section on the ground mentioned in paragraph
(6) of subsection ( 1 ) of this section if it appears to him that
that person would thereupon become stateless.

10. (1) The Minister shall not deprive a person of Procedure upon
orders for citizenship under section 8 or 9 of this Act unless he is satisfied deprivation of

that it is not conducive to the public good that such person citizenship.
should continue to be a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda.

(2) Before making an order under section 8 or 9 of this
Act, the Minister shall give the person against whom the
order is proposed to be made notice in writing informing
him of the ground on which it is proposed to be made and,
if the order is proposed to be made on any of the grounds
specified in section 8 of this Act, of his right to an enquiry
under this section and, at any such enquiry, to have legal
representation of his own choice.

(3) Where the order is proposed to be made on any
of the grounds specified in section 8 of this Act and the per-
son against whom the order is proposed to be made applies
in the prescribed manner for an enquiry, the Minister shall,
and in any other case the Minister may, at his discretion,
refer the case to a committee of enquiry consisting of a chair-
man, being a person who is or has held office as a judge
of a court having unlimited jurisdiction in civil and criminal
matters in some part of the Commonwealth or a court hav-
ing jurisdiction in appeals from any such court, and of not
less than two other members appointed by the Minister.

( 4 ) (a) The powers, rights and privileges of a commit-
tee of enquiry appointed under this section shall be the same
as those conferred on a commission appointed under the
Commissions of Inquiry Act and the provisions of that Act Cap.91.
shall, mutatis mutandis, apply in relation to any enquiry under
this section and to any person summoned to give evidence
at the enquiry.

(6) Without prejudice to the generality of the
foregoing provisions of this subsection, any power

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Deprivation of
citizenship of
Antigua and
Barbuda where
persons deprived
of citizenship
ekewhere
First Schedule.

exercisable by the Governor-General under the Com-
missions of Inquiry Act shall, in the application of that
Act to an enquiry under this section, be exercisable by
the Minister.

(5) A person who is deprived of his citizenship of
Antigua and Barbuda by an order under section 8, 9 or 11
of this Act, shall, upon the making of the order, cease to
be a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda.

1 . (1) Where any citizen of Antigua and Barbuda,
who is such by naturalisation, was also a citizen of any
country mentioned in the First Schedule but has been depriv-
ed of his citizenship of that country on grounds which in
the opinion of the Minister are substantially similar to any
of the grounds specified under subsection (1) of section 9
of this Act, the Minister may at his discretion by order
deprive him of his citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda if
the Minister is satisfied that it is not conducive to the public
good that such person should continue to be a citizen of
Antigua and Barbuda.

(2) Before making an order under this section, the
Minister shall give the person against whom the order is pro-
posed to be made notice in writing informing him of the
ground on which it is proposed to be made and may refer
the case to a committee of enquiry constituted in the man-
ner, and having the powers, rights and privileges, provided
for in subsections (3) and (4) of section 10 of this Act.

Miscellaneous
Certificate of 12. (1) The Minister may, in such cases as he thinks
citizenship in
cases of doubt, fit, on application made by or on behalf of any person with

respect to whose citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda a doubt
exists, whether on a question of fact or law, certify that such
person is a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda.

(2) A certificate issued under this section shall, unless
it is proved that it was obtained by means of fraud, false
representation or wilful concealment of any material fact,
be conclusive evidence that such person was such a citizen

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Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship (CAP. 22

on the date thereof, but without prejudice to any evidence
that he was such a citizen at any earlier date.

13. The Minister shall not be required to assign any g:;:::;:; not to
reason for the grant or refusal of any application under this be ,,est;oned
Act, the decision on which is at his discretion; and the deci- zdf iz ts ions to
sion of the Minister on any such application shall not be
subject to any appeal or review in any court.

14. (1) Every document purporting to be a notice, Evidence.
certificate, order or declaration or an entry in a register or
a subscription of an oath or affirmation of allegiance, given,
granted or made under this Act or under Chapter VIII of
the Constitution shall be received in evidence and shall, unless
the contrary is proved, be deemed to have been given,
granted or made by or on behalf of the person by whom
or on whose behalf it purports to have been given, granted
or made.

( 2 ) Prima facie evidence of any such document as
aforesaid may be given by production of a document pur-
porting to be certified as a true copy thereof by such person
and in such manner as may be prescribed.

(3) Any entry in a register made under this Act or under
Chapter VIII of the Constitution shall be received as evidence
of the matters stated in the entry.

15. (1) The Minister may make regulations generally Repulations.
for giving effect to this Act and in particular may make
regulations-

(a) prescribing anything required by this Act or
by Chapter VIII of the Constitution to be prescribed;

(6) for the registration of anything required or
authorised under this Act or under Chapter VIII of the
Constitution to be registered;

(6) for the administration and taking of oaths of
allegiance under this Act, for the time within which oaths
of allegiance shall be taken and for the registration of
oaths of allegiance;

(d) fixing the fees to be paid in respect of-

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14 CAP. 22) Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship

(i) any application made to the Minister under
this Act; or

(ii) any registration or the making of any declara-
tion or the grant of any certificate or the tak-
ing of any oath of allegiance, required or
authorised to be made, granted or taken by
or under this Act or by or under Chapter VIII
of the Constitution; or

(iii) supplying a certified or other copy of any
notice, certificate, order, declaration or entry,
given, granted or made as aforesaid,

and providing for the application of any such
fees;

(e) for the giving of any notice required or author-
ised to be given to any person by or under this Act;

Q) for the cancellation of the registration of, and
the cancellation and amendment of certificates of
naturalisation relating to, persons deprived of citizen-
ship under this Act or under Chapter VIII of the Con-
stitution, and for requiring such certificates to be
delivered up for such purposes;

(g) for the registration by consular officers or other
officers in the service of the Government of the births
and deaths of persons of any class or description born
or dying outside Antigua and Barbuda;

(h) for enabling the births and deaths of citizens
of Antigua and Barbuda born or dying in any cmntry
in which the Government has for the time being no
diplomatic or consular representatives, to be registered;

(i) by persons serving in the diplomatic, consular
or other foreign service of any country which,
by arrangement with the Government, has
undertaken to represent the Government's in-
terest in that country; or

(ii) by a person authorised in that behalf by the
Minister.

(2) Regulations made under this section shall, as soon
as may be after they are made, be laid before each Chamber

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Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship (CAP. 22 15

of the Legislature, and if either Chamber, resolves that any
of those regulations shall be annulled, that regulation is void
as from the date of the resolution, but without prejudice to
the validity of anything done thereunder or to the making
of a new regulation.

16. (1) Any person who for the purpose of procur- offences.
ing anything to be done or not to be done under this Act
or under Chapter VIII of the Constitution makes any state-
ment which he knows to be false in a material particular
or recklessly makes a statement which is false in a material
particular shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable
on conviction thereof by a court of summary jurisdiction to
a fine of five hundred dollars or to imprisonment for three
months or to both such fine and imprisonment.

(2) Any person who fails to comply with any require-
ment imposed on him by regulations with respect to the
delivering up of certificates of naturalisation shall be guilty
of an offence and shall be liable on conviction thereof by
a court of summary jurisdiction to a fine of five hundred
dollars or to imprisonment for three months.

17. (a) The Minister may from time to time by Alteration First Schedule. of
Order-

(i) add any country to or delete any country from
the countries specified in the First Schedule; or

(ii) make such other variations to that Schedule
as he may consider to be appropriate; and

(6) no such Order shall be made unless the draft
thereof has been laid before the Legislature and approved
by Resolution of each Chamber.

FIRST SCHEDULE Ss. 2, 3 , 11, 17

Australia, the Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize,
Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Cyprus, Dominica, The
Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, India, Jamaica, Karibati,
Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Malaysia, the Maldives, Malta,
Mauritius, Nauru, New Zealand, Nigeria, Papua-New Guinea,

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Saint Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines,
Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Soloman Islands, Sri Lanka,
Swaziland, Tanzania, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu,
Uganda, United Kingdom and Colonies, Vanuatu, West Samoa,
Zambia, Zimbabwe.

SECOND SCHEDULE

Qualifications for Naturalisation

1. Subject to paragraph 2, the qualifications for naturalisa-
tion of an alien who applies therefor are-

(a) that he has resided in Antigua and Barbuda
throughout the period of twelve months immediately
preceding the date of the application; and

(b) that during the seven years immediately preceding
the said period of twelve months he has resided in Antigua
and Barbuda for periods amounting in the aggregate to not
less than five years; and

(c) that he is in the opinion of the Minister of good
character; and

(d) that he intends in the event of a certificate being
granted to him to reside in Antigua and Barbuda.

2. The Minister may, if in the special circumstances of any
particular case he thinks fit, allow a continuous period of twelve
months ending not more than six months before the date of the
application to be reckoned for the purposes of sub-paragraph (a)
of paragraph 1 , as if it had immediately preceded that date.

3. The qualifications for naturalisation of a British protected
person who applies therefor are-

(a) that he is ordinarily resident in Antigua and Barbuda
and has been so resident for a period of not less than seven
years, ending with the date of his application, of which not
less than five years in the aggregate must have been spent
in Antigua and Barbuda, or for such shorter period so ending
as the Minister may in the special circumstances of any par-
ticular case accept; and

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(6) the qualifications specified in subparagraph (c) and
(d) of paragraph 1.

THIRD SCHEDULE S. 6

Oath (or Affirmation) of Allegiance

1, , do swear (or solemnly affirm) that
I will faithfully bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth
the Second, Her Heirs and Successors, according to Law.

SO HELP ME GOD (To be omitted in
affirmation)
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