Cox, Hinds to clamp down on grants to those with dual citizenship


Minister of Social Development and Family Services Donna Cox and Minister of National Security Fitzgerald Hinds. Photo courtesy Nicholas Bayley

The Ministry of Social Development and Family Services, in collaboration with the Ministry of National Security, is seeking to clamp down on people
 with dual citizenship applying for social grants.

Speaking to Newsday on Thursday, Social Development and Family Services Minister Donna Cox said, “Persons who have citizenship both here and in other countries, particularly the US, are receiving benefits from there and still applying for grants in TT. We want to put measures in place to prevent this.”

A press release said the two ministries intend to achieve this by sharing immigration data. This will allow the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services to access the travel information of social welfare grant recipients and determine whether they hold citizenship in another country.

The release said the meeting also dealt with the receipt of data, the ICT infrastructure needed for a secure data-exchange platform and other requirements for transmitting travel information.

It said clamping down on this issue was expected to shorten the waiting time for grant applications, as there would be quicker, real-time responses.

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