Visa For Montserrat, OECS Citizens to Enter Canada
Effective December 2018, Montserrat citizens as well as those from other OECS member states will no longer be able to submit Canadian visa applications online.
The process will then require applicants to present themselves physically at the visa issuing agency in Trinidad.
As part of its increased security processes, Canada now requires everyone from anywhere in the world who needs a visa to provide biometric data, including fingerprints and photographs information.
Therefore, visa applicants from Montserrat and the other OECS territories will have to travel to Trinidad physically to provide the data from December.
For many other non-Caribbean countries, the requirement comes into effect on July 1.
St Kitts and Nevis minister of foreign affairs, and premier of Nevis, Mark Brantley, speaking on behalf of the sub-region, highlighted the additional costs that will be involved factoring in travel to Trinidad which is extremely high.
Brantley said it would mean that many OECS citizens won’t be able to even afford to apply for the visa
According to Brantley, the Canadian government is sensitive to the issue and a number of options have been discussed, including having a mobile unit that will come to the various territories to collect the biometrics or, alternatively, setting up a biometric centre in some place closer than Trinidad
Antigua and Barbuda’s high commissioner to Canada, Sir Ronald Sanders, said he had also raised with the Canadian authorities the additional costs that citizens will face.