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Measures Approved to Regularize Issuance of Visas

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Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - The Cabinet of Ministers has approved recommendations for the imposition of tighter visa entry requirements for St. Lucia.

Speaking during his monthly Cabinet Press Briefing on Tuesday, August 24th, 2004, Cabinet Secretary, Dr .James Fletcher explained that with the exception of the major tourism markets, such as the United States of America, visa requirements will have to be met by visitors from countries where visa stipulations are imposed on St. Lucians.

“The government on the advice of the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Home Affairs have really sought to put in place a reciprocal arrangement or visa. For example those countries with one or two exceptions where St. Lucians are required to produce visas in order to enter those countries, there is a reciprocal arrangement that has been put in place where the government is requiring that persons from those countries will require visas to visit St. Lucia,” Dr. Fletcher said.

Dr. Fletcher further implied that the new measures would assist St. Lucia in regularizing the issuance of visas by St. Lucia Overseas Missions and Consul Offices: “One of the things found was that no two visa stamps issued by the Consul offices were the same, with the exception of the New York and Washington offices. So if somebody applied for a visa to enter St. Lucia, and that person applied from the St. Lucia High Commission in London, then the stamp they would receive for that visa would be entirely different from the stamp that they would receive from New York so it created a certain amount of confusion.”

The measures are also viewed as timely in light of the atmosphere of security concerns that governments within the region are trying to address.



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