Gov’t statement on visa restrictions to Canada

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The Government of Antigua and Barbuda regrets that it has to inform that the Government of Canada has decided to end visa-free travel for citizens of Antigua and Barbuda. This decision relates to concerns over persons who obtain passports under Citizenship by Investment Programmes in the Caribbean.

The Canadian High Commissioner to Antigua and Barbuda, stationed in Trinidad, advised Prime Minister Gaston Browne of this development late on Friday prior to an official announcement today. At the time, the Canadian official said that a concern is that Antigua and Barbuda’s Citizenship by Investment Programme is not a residency programme. In response, Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne pointed to the intense vetting of its CIP system, the revenues to the people of Antigua and Barbuda when the terms of trade and aid have declined and the banking system is threatened.

Despite the end of visa-free travel, the official Canadian Government statement said, “Canada continues to welcome visitors from Antigua and Barbuda.” It stated clearly that: “Most approved visa applicants will receive a multiple-entry visa, which allows travellers to visit Canada as many times as they want, for up to 10 years. For each visit, travellers can stay for up to six months”.

Antigua and Barbuda is the last of the countries of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States from whom the Canadian government has withdrawn visa-free travel, at a time of heightened security over terrorism and refugees. Of all 14 independent CARICOM countries, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas and Barbados were the only ones that had continued to enjoy visa-free travel to Canada.

The Canadian Government was keen to point out in its official statement that: “Canada remains firmly committed to its partnership with Antigua and Barbuda and values working together on mutual challenges and opportunities”. The statement recalled that “Canada and Antigua and Barbuda share longstanding ties that are rooted in history.”

Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister, Gaston Browne stated that, at a time of intensified concerns about terrorism and refugees in North America and Europe, including evidence of ISIS recruits in the Caribbean, he recognized the concerns that Canada and other countries might have. He pledged that, as part of the international effort to combat terrorist activity, Antigua and Barbuda would continue to be vigilant with its passports and border security.

The Prime Minister said that the Governments of Antigua and Barbuda and Canada have already started working to make the system of visa applications and approvals for Antigua and Barbuda citizens as efficient and affordable as possible. (Ends)

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11 COMMENTS

    • And you need to shut your blasted mouth..Is Gaston responsible for the Restrictions? As soon as the White Man open their mouth,you,ll quiver under them like some little picky headed black Boy/Girl. SHUT UP.

      • If you,ll had one tiny bit of commonsense you,ll would be aware that every country on planet earth that has Visa Free access to Canada had a restriction imposed on them for the past year called ETA( Electronic Travel Authorization) Antigua was no exemption.. All and sundry ,except the US,Antigua& Barbuda included.. My point,there really is not a great difference between an ETA and a Visa,the ETA requires you to qualify to enter so will the Visa,the difference- one was electronically done and free(ETA) the Visa may take a bit longer and will incur a fee.. Gone are the days when anyone could just buy a ticket and jump on Air Canada,again Antigua was apart of that ETA for over a year now just in case you and confused Tasheka were not aware,so whats the alarm? You,ll are so ignorant and political its amazing.

  1. Antigua has always been a free for all
    Except Antiguans
    We almost always get the shitty end of the stick while no. Citizens enjoy all of our hard work

  2. If we were contributing to the economy as we should we wouldn’t be having this issue but because we think money is what’s important as a people we don’t think about the long-term once we get that short-term fix…

    If we are being honest the ALP inherited a sinking ship that needed a major plug quickly.

    The Citizenship​ by Investment Program although started by UPP could perhaps be adjusted to include a clause stating that ” a person must reside in the country for a period which would be less time than that of a person who had not invested in the country before applying for full Citizenship perhaps half the time of the usual requirements before extending to the full Citizenship.”

    Simply put, if they Truly have Good intentions and are looking for a change of scenery and lifestyle they would have no problem investing in a country and seeing it turn over before leaving to venture to other places that our countries international relations allow…

    I see that giving the benefit of increased security to the countries who we have relationships with and need to maintain their national security at this time added assurance that the threat level of anyone​ coming out of Antigua and Barbuda is at a minimum.

    Just throwing something out there rather than more blame the party rhetoric that helps absolutely​ no one.

  3. Why can’t we as a people get together to build our Caribbean countries to create a better economy. That way we can relie on our selves. We can also have America and Canada citizens pay for our Visa. CARIBBEAN UNION VISAS. we want to go there, they want to come here. Now that the world has swink so we can widen out scope, we are still afraid of those two.
    We​can trade with other countries too but!

    • How would that work, with tourism being our ONLY industry. Sure make it more difficult for ppl to come. That’ll work.

  4. Since we need two hands to clap, if we are to pay for a visa to go Canada now which I understand the concern, what do we require from them or any country that demands a visa before entry from Antiguan and Barbudan?

  5. It is so unfair for the people that buy them tickets before this problem. Them should at least give the people who bought them tickets before get a pass or a free visa but also have a back ground check on them before it’s not fair and plus that’s a lot for money for people to lost like that and the airlines are not refunding the ticket. Don’t make people go thought that.

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