December 15, 2006

Deportees free to return for Cricket World Cup


BRIDGETOWN (Daily Nation) – Barbados and other CARICOM countries involved with Cricket World Cup should expect deportees and others who were asked to leave the country to return next year.

That’s because a decision taken by the Bureau of CARICOM Ministers states that those who were deported or allowed to leave any state within the last five years should be allowed re-entry.{{more}}

Chief Immigration Officer Gilbert Greaves revealed this Tuesday during a panel discussion at the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association’s fourth quarterly meeting at Sherbourne Conference Centre.

He explained that during the past year, 10 states were identified to comprise the Single Domestic Space. They were Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St Kitts/Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago.

However, he added that while they relied on the Advance Passenger Information List, and hoped to get a listing of passengers on any flight 15 minutes after its departure, it was not possible within CARICOM.

“It means that quite a number of persons who would normally be excluded from entering will find themselves back in the country. Our focus is not to keep out people. Our focus is to get people moving as quickly as possible,” he said.

Greaves added that there was a multiple entry visa form valid from January 15 to May 15, which would be issued at various sites.

For instance, Australia and Belize will be issued with their visas by Trinidad and Tobago, and England by Barbados. Already there were three officers in London, Greaves said. Jamaica will also be issuing the visas in Miami, New York and Toronto.

He added that sites were created in the ten states, but the only one in place was Barbados.

“The others are still being delivered. The idea of having the secure visa in place by December to get started is a challenge but I am being told that all is well.”

The chief said the visa would be placed at the back of the passport, and those carrying it would not need a stamp when travelling throughout the states.

In addition, he said, an immigration officer could not give a length of time for a stay, since the visas would be valid until May 15.