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Saint Lucians still free to travel to UK visa free


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Contact:  Shannon Lebourne

 

Thursday 10 March 2011 –  The UK government has decided not to implement visa requirements at this time for Saint Lucian nationals travelling to the United Kingdom as tourist or family visitor  for less than six months.

 

However nationals wishing to live, work, marry or study in the United Kingdom will continue to require a visa to do so.

 

Prime Minister Hon. Stephenson King says the decision indicates confidence by the governments of Saint Lucia and the United Kingdom in each others abilities to address concerns amicably.

 

“We have received and accepted with much delight the decision of the British government. As a responsible government we have given further commitment to the authorities in he UK that we will continue our dialogue and consultation in ensuring that what we have achieved to date will be maintained without question, without any blemish or without any form of interference one way or they other.”

 

The decision which follows a six-month UK Visa Test, was handed down to the island`s Prime Minister Honourable Stephenson King and the Minister for Home Affairs and National Security Senator the Honourable Guy Mayers by the Britisth High Commissioner to Barbados and the OECS, His Excellency Paul Brummell during a meeting at the Prime Minister`s official residence on Friday March 4, 2011.

 

The British diplomat says the Government of Saint Lucia has worked closely with authorities in the United Kingdom to address the various areas of concern relating to migration.

 

“I really would like to thank Prime Minister King, Senator Mayers and all organs within the government of Saint Lucia that we had to work with for excellent cooperation over the six month period. We found that the  discussions were very positive and Saint Lucian authorities were very receptive to our ideas; the existing immigration arrangements continue.”

 

Home Affairs and National Security Minister Honourable Guy Mayers says both governments want to see continued progress in certain areas where mitigation actions were not completed.

 

Minister Mayers says these areas include the full recall of all handwritten passports by 2012, clearing backlog of issued birth certificates by March 2011, the ratification of the United Nations Convention against corruption and continued publicity to effectively promote legal migration to the UK and the consequences of no compliance.

 

“We would like to urge fellow Saint Lucians to regard the immigrations laws of the UK. I urge all citizens that we can go to the UK to enjoy the company of our family and friends or enjoy a vacation and come back to Saint Lucia.

“I  urge our nationals not to engage in any activity that will cause the UK government o have any concerns about Saint Lucians visiting the UK. We are very pleased with the outcome of the review and we look forward to continued collaboration with the United Kingdom government to our continued benefit.”

 

The British High Commission Office in Barbados will continue to monitor Saint Lucia`s progress regarding the immigrations issues.

 

Should the risks to the UK not reduce and in particular should they increase, authorities in the United Kingdom say they may have to reconsider the visa requirement.


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