The International Observatory on Statelessness


There are no reliable estimates on the number of stateless persons currently residing in the Bahamas, but children born in the Bahamas to foreign parents, or a Bahamian mother and non-Bahamian father are ineligible for citizenship until their 18th birthday, at which time they can apply for citizenship. However, many applicants 18 years old or over remain stateless due to slow governmental response, short window times for application, and complicated documentary requirements.

Haitians residing in the Bahamas face widespread social and economic deprivation and are constantly in fear of being detained or deported. Because citizenship in Haiti is acquired by birth within the territory, children of Haitian migrants born in the Bahamas are stateless, at least until the age of 18. Although stateless children are legally entitled to free public education, children of Haitian immigrants were reportedly forced to pay the tuition rates of foreign students or in some cases were denied access to school altogether.