Dominica will be lifting visa restrictions for Haitians effective October 1, 2018.

Minister of Justice, Immigration and National Security, Rayburn Blackmoore, said that Haiti is a full member of CARICOM and the Common Market and “the vision of CARICOM depends heavily on our integrated and unified Caribbean and that vision cannot be realized by the imposition of barriers to travel among member states.”

He stated that CARICOM Heads had decided to allow CARICOM national automatic entry into member states.

“The Heads of Governments in 2007 decided that all CARICOM nationals should be allowed automatic entry in a push to enhance the sense of belonging and community, entry would be denied if citizens were deemed undesirable, a security threat and if they were likely to cause a burden on the public purse,” he stated.

Blackmoore said Haitians living in Dominica have successfully integrated themselves into the Dominican society.

“Many Haitian citizens have obtained citizenship of the Commonwealth of Dominica and have integrated and become a vital part of the agricultural, the construction industry, the private security and the sewing industry,” he stated. “That can be seen as proof of their ability to assimilate into the Dominican culture, maintain homes and families and a decent standard of living.”

He said many Haitian nationals remained after the devastation by Hurricane Maria last September.

“During and after the devastation of Hurricane Maria many Haitians stayed back to contribute to the reconstruction of Dominica,” Blackmoore said.