PM finds US visa renewal policy “a little strange”

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Prime Minister Gaston Browne said over the weekend that it is “a little strange” that the United States excluded Antigua and two other OECS countries from its visa renewal waiver programme.

Under the policy, citizens who reside in the approved country will not have to travel to Barbados to renew their U.S visa.

However, so far, only St. Lucia, Grenada and St. Kitts and Nevis have been approved for the waiver in the OECS.

Barbados was the first country to benefit.

Prime Minister Gaston Browne questioned the decision to grant three OECS states the waiver and not the others.

“But I find it a little strange that you say you trying to increase efficiency in the processing of visa applications.

“So that individuals who had a visa, all they had to do was to courier their documents to you and they don’t have to come in person.

“We have an economic union comprising six independent islands and you’ve offered it to three of those countries and you left out three.”

Browne hastened to add that he does not know if the U.S will make any announcement about the remaining countries at another time.

The prime minister said Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines are the countries which have been left out.

“Now that’s their policy and I am not saying this out of any acrimony.

“I accept their policy but I want to know how does that type of behaviour help to foster stronger relations between the united states and this islands,” he said.

Prime Minister Browne did not comment on why the U.S took this position but Senior Counsel Anthony Astaphan says it’s because of how the three countries voted on Venezuela at the OAS.

Antigua, Dominica and St. Vincent have stood firmly on the side of Venezuela as the U.S seeks to expel Caracas from the OAS and take other measures against the Spanish speaking country.

“It is punitive because they did not follow the call or instructions of the United States,” Astaphan said.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. Because you guys keep giving away awe passports to jamaicans and guyanese and they not staying here the heading north so America see the trend and they are limiting these nationalities……but you guys keep wondering what is the problem

  2. That is what happened when these leaders make decisions for their own enrichment and don’t think about the people of these islands their are suppose to be governing. There are lot more to come for the native and citizens of these islands especially Antigua and Barbuda. That is why Barbuda need to separates itself away from Antigua before it’s too late and go back under the British like Monsterrat.

  3. It is not strange, you give away our passports Willy nilly to tom dick and Jane what you expect? The 3 countries that got the waiver don’t have a come as a tourist and leave as a citizen program
    When Jamaicans get turn down for visas in Jamaica they hop a plane to antigua Tek chance then get passport and gone England or USA
    Vote in OAS my ass you just not trustworthy
    England is next and then the rest of the EU

    We need to close the immigration doors Canada was a warning more to come

    • A now he sweet ! Cuss them non-nationals, right now Antigua and Barbuda passport is worst than Jamaica and Guyana passport. “The chickens have come home to roost.” Now we are in the same position as you all maybe we will see a mass migration out of Antigua. You all get into our politics with this wicked Labour party against the born Antiguans and Barbudans. “Wicked set a people” In your own countries it couldn’t happen.

  4. You people are strange. Why don’t you all take Jamaica’s name out of your mouth? For starters, you can ban flights from Jamaica. Problem solved.

  5. There’s no way this has anything to do with Jamaican and Guyanese getting Antigua passport. Y’all Antiguan need to stop blaming these ppl.. It stated clearly enough that the three countries who took a stance against USA and support Venezuela has been left out from the visa waiver programme.. So tell me where Jamaican and Guyanese comes in.. Am Antiguan and me tired with aru bullshit as soon as something don’t work out in our favor aru start a point finger pon Jamaican and Guyanese..

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