The British Government is considering placing visa restrictions on Dominicans and St. Lucians traveling into the United Kingdom.
While residents of other Caribbean countries will keep their visa free status, British authorities have not ruled out a change. The governments of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis and St Vincent and the Grenadines have been written to in that regard.
This is being deliberated upon as the UK is in the final stage of its first global review of visa regimes in relation to Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines.
According to UK Home Secretary Alan Johnson, the UK will always welcome genuine visitors and expects visitors to play by the rules.
Johnson said there were concerns with Dominica and St. Lucia following an evaluation of individual Eastern Caribbean states.
“We recognise that we have close historic, economic and political ties with Dominica and St. Lucia and are aware that the introduction of a visa regime would be a significant step. It is a decision we do not take lightly. As a result we will now enter a six-month period of detailed dialogue with the governments concerned to examine what actions will be taken to address our concerns and mitigate the need for a visa regime to be introduced,” he stated.
Johnson did not say what were the problems identified in Dominica and St. Lucia.
According to him, the two countries will need to demonstrate a genuine commitment to put into effect credible and realistic plans, with clear timetables, to reduce the risks to the UK, and begin implementing these plans by the end of the dialogue period.
– Staff reporter