JG - CARICOM visa ready
CARICOM visa ready
published: Monday December 4, 2006
PORT-OF-SPAIN (Trinidad Express):
With just under 100 days to go before the first match of the Cricket World Cup, Barbados' Deputy Prime Minister announced on Friday that the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) visa, one of the planks of the regional security plan, was now available.
The visas, which will assist organisers in streamlining security arrangements, particularly to guard against terror threats, would have to be obtained by non-nationals or non-residents of all but 10 Caribbean states if they hope to attend the matches.
The application fee for the visa would cost US$100 and the application process should begin on December 15.
"I am satisfied that the working groups that we have established will be able to meet the (security) threats that we may face," Mia Mottley told the media at a press conference called at the Ministry of National Security, Port-of-Spain.
Mottley chairs the CARICOM ministerial sub-committee overseeing security arrangements for the 2007 World Cup.
Mottley said international venues would be set up by that date in London, Toronto, New York, Miami, New Delhi and Sydney to accept the applications. In addition, those who need visas and are already in CARICOM states may apply directly to the special visa sites there.
About 100,000 people are expected to visit the region for the Cricket World Cup, which ranks third in prominence behind the FIFA World Cup and the Olympic Games.
Asked whether any bottlenecks in processing the visas were expected, Mottley said most visas should be issued between two to three weeks after application. She said applicants would first have to satisfy security requirements and other local immigration criteria before being granted the visa, which would only be valid from January 15 to May 15 next year.
Mottley emphasised that CARICOM citizens and other individuals "who have legal status" will not be required to get the special visa. Such individuals, she said, live in any of the countries which will host World Cup matches - Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Barbados, Guyana, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and Dominica.