Free Movement Of Persons In Caricom

Submitted by the Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy

caricomHeads of Government re-affirmed the goal of free movement of persons as expressed in Article 45 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas and that free movement is an essential element of the CSME, but given the current global economic and financial crisis, its full implementation at this point in time will be challenging for some Member States;

They recognised that, notwithstanding challenges from time to time, the free movement of graduates, artistes, media workers, musicians, sportspersons, teachers, nurses, holders of associate degrees and artisans with a Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) has generally been implemented satisfactorily.

Heads of Government also re-affirmed that migration is a human right though circumscribed by national law.

Heads of Government further recognised that in the spirit of the Revised Treaty and the requisites of international law, all migrants should be accorded humane treatment.

Heads of Government agreed that the schedule of free movement of persons within the Single Market would be reviewed at the CSME Convocation to be convened in October with a view to advising on the timetable for full free movement.

They also agreed that household domestics who have obtained a Caribbean Vocational Qualification or equivalent qualification will be allowed to move with effect from 1 January 2010.

Heads of Government further agreed on the importance of training and sensitising Immigration Officers on the implementation of the Region’s approach to free movement and hassle free travel.

0 responses to “Free Movement Of Persons In Caricom

  1. Babsie's attorney


    The land surveyor told me that Town Planning has approved the subdivision of the land and as soon as you can get your cousin Myrtle off the land we can complete the sale to Mrs Sunita Mahabir and Mr Munesh Beharrysingh. In fact, Mr Beharrysingh has deposited the money for the portion of the land in St.Lucy that he is interested in. We will hopefully close the deal by August. Please provide a forwarding address so that our office can contact you.

  2. mash up & buy back


    You may be interested in this perspective from Antigua.

    national interest
    Opinion – Letter
    Written by Walter Samuels
    Sunday, 05 July 2009 22:51
    Dear Editor:

    I write in response to the article entitled ALP accuses UPP of being political with immigration issue and aver the following:

    It is breathtaking that the deputy leader from the opposition party takes the view that the current administration seeks revenge on foreign nationals who voted Antigua Labour Party (ALP). Government worldwide has taken tough measures to control immigration. I am wondering why the deputy leader from ALP party would think that Antigua should operate differently.

    The former administration (ALP) committed Antigua and Barbuda to CSME without a referendum and as a consequence, we have seen a huge influx of Guyanese and Jamaicans flooding our shores. I am of the opinion that while ALP was in government, they deliberately took a soft, soft approach with immigrants namely Jamaicans and Guyanese; because they knew that the time was coming where they could no longer rely on the votes of Antiguans.

    The people of Antigua and Barbuda have demonstrated through the electorate boxes our lack of distrust and confidence with the hierarchy of the ALP with handling our national security, which includes immigration. Clearly, Antigua would be exposed to be a destabilising country if ALP was returned to government.

    The Guyanese are happy to accept employment as low wage migrant workers and commit crime in Antigua; while the Jamaicans are peddling drugs, passport fraudsters, and committing heinous crime – crime that we, Antiguans, are not accustomed to. I draw reference to one example, (but not limited to this case as an isolated incident), of a Jamaican who entered Antigua, managed to secure an Antiguan passport and travelled to the UK. This flagrant breach of security only came to light pursuant to a vigilant immigration officer in the UK. If the Jamaican fraudster was successful in his attempt to enter the UK, it is highly probable that at best he would have become an illegal immigrant and at worst he would have committed crime in the UK at the expense Antigua and Barbuda.

    On every occasion that an aircraft landed in Antigua from Jamaica, there is at least one drug mule on board. There is a danger that if Antigua does not take care and implement stricter immigration control, our means of economical survival will be greatly compromised more so than it has of recent years.

    United Progressive Party, like any reliable credible government, has a duty to protect and maintain the interests of the country. A practice that is clearly foreign to the opposition regime.

    The immigration services of Antigua and Barbuda do not do enough to protect our national interests as it is. I would like to see the immigration services being more thorough before granting immigration clearance to individuals who do not have a genuine interest for visiting Antigua and Barbuda.

    I would also like to see immigration officers apply the letter of the law with deporting illegal immigrants from our shores. The government (UPP) should consider imposing fines on employers and landlords who take on illegal immigrants.

  3. mash up & buy back

    Jay you may be interested in this light of Barbados being included on the list for the schingen visa.

    Now this tells us why we cannot allow free movement of persons,or persons seeking to acquire barbados passports.

    Jamaicans have been moving to barbados in large numbers in recent times to work as cleaners,shop assistants,strip club workers etc.

    They are also turning up in large numbers with drugs.

    Barbados needs to look carefully at how the developed countries are looking at jamaicans,and ensure that our passports do not get into their hands.

    Blacklisted again! New travel law for Jamaicans
    Published: Sunday | July 12, 2009

    Janet Silvera, Senior Gleaner Writer

    The luxury of spending 24 hours in a British airport en route to a third country visa free came to an abrupt end a few months ago, the British High Commission here has confirmed.

    Locals travelling through the United Kingdom (UK) to Germany, France or other European countries must now acquire an in-transit permit ahead of their trip.

    This new arrangement is in addition to the existing UK visa regime which began in 2003 in Jamaica. This regime had provided a visa-free concession for Jamaican nationals in transit within 24 hours through the UK.

    Having failed Britain’s new Visa Waiver Test earlier this year, Jamaicans are now the only people in the Caribbean who must obtain a direct airside transit visa (DATV) in order to connect to flights through the UK to onward destinations.

    A number of Jamaican travellers who are unaware of the change are being turned back at the Heathrow airport in London, airlines sources have told The Sunday Gleaner.

    Checks made with the British High Commission revealed that Jamaicans are considered a potential risk to England, in terms of illegal immigration, crime and security, falling in line with nations such as the war-torn Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Eastern Europe’s Albania, Latin-America’s Colombia and Ecuador and West Africa’s Ghana and Nigeria.

    Asia’s India and China are also on the list of Britain’s high-risk countries.

    More money

    As a result, if Jamaicans are travelling to Germany via England, they are now required to fork out $7,400 and follow the same requirements for every other type of visa at the Worldbridge Visa Application Centre in Kingston.

    The UK’s visa check now requires everyone to be fingerprinted, locking them to one identity, and checked against government watchlists. They are then screened and counted in and out of the UK using the UK Border Agency’s (UKAB) £1.2 billion electronic border system.

    In the meantime, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it is currently investigating the issue.

    “The ministry has not received any reports of Jamaicans without the requisite visa being returned, or of any airlines refusing to board in-transit visitors without such visas. However, we will be fully investigating the matter,” Communications Director Wilton Dyer told The Sunday Gleaner yesterday.

    Finding the development disquieting and very concerning, Opposition Spokesman on Foreign Affairs Anthony Hylton said it was disappointing to hear that the overwhelming majority of Jamaicans who are law-abiding citizens will now be subjected to further restrictions of the privilege to travel and access transit countries in this period of globalisation.

    He said a number of these people have to travel to work or vacation, yet the travel privileges are going in the wrong direction. He is urging the British to cooperate more with the Jamaican Government in isolating the wrongdoers rather than punishing law-abiding Jamaicans.

    “It’s contrary to what the country needs at this point of its development. We have to be even more concerned when we realise that our transport network passes either through the US or the UK to access the rest of the world. When you start to have a narrowing of access, the implications are quite far-reaching.”

    Sydian Brissett, communications manager at the British High Commission, said the UKBA found that 11 countries fell short of the required standard and, along with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, has worked closely to improve the passport and border control systems.

    “With the mitigation period over, it was decided visas checks would now be needed to stop fraudulent attempts to enter Britain from six of these countries,” said Brissett.

  4. Adrian Hinds

    Jamaicans have been moving to barbados in large numbers in recent times to work as cleaners,shop assistants,strip club workers etc.

    has LIB ever told us what he is doing for a living in Barbados? lol!

    disclaimer if not disclosure: I do cleaning and security in Boston.

  5. Mash up & buy back said:

    Jay you may be interested in this light of Barbados being included on the list for the schingen visa.

    Now this tells us why we cannot allow free movement of persons,or persons seeking to acquire barbados passports.

    Jamaicans have been moving to barbados in large numbers in recent times to work as cleaners,shop assistants,strip club workers etc.

    They are also turning up in large numbers with drugs.

    Barbados needs to look carefully at how the developed countries are looking at jamaicans,and ensure that our passports do not get into their hands.

    The Antiguans have been realizing the same thing as some Jamaicans have been acquiring false Antiguan passports over there to travel to the UK,but it appears the UK Border Agency has noticed the trend & native Antiguans are furious about it internally hence why their Government is doing a “review” of their immigration rules.

    You’re right though we should look closely at not only Jamaicans but all nationals of the CSME project who do not have equal visa freedoms such us,The Antiguans & Kittians would be fine but the rest would have to be closely watched should they ever try to acquire a Bajan passport.I’m also not sure if a CSME approved national can even get Barbados citizenship eventually.

    The Schengen exempt status coupled with a US pre-clearance facility at Grantley Adams International would be extremely tempting for any migrant.The latter would basically allow US visa free access for Barbados citizens as long as they have a police certificate of character just like Bahamians & Bermudians.It is one of the many reasons why so many Haitian nationals try to reach the Bahamas.If the Thompson administration is serious about the immigration issue & want the pre-clearance facility he’ll have to seriously convince the US Government that the necessary security at Grantley adams is in place which I last heard they were upgrading.

  6. David,
    Please see my article in today’s (19th July) edition of the Barbados Advocate responding to Peter Wickham’s Nation Newspaper article of 8th July.

  7. Thanks, if you like email us a word file and we can post on BU for discussion. In the meantime BU has posted link within your comment.

  8. David,
    Will e-mail the article as a pdf file.

    Also, note that an article, ‘Barbados – A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Immigration’, I submitted to the Barbados Advocate will be appearing in the business section of tomorrow’s edition.

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