Minister of Citizenship does not usurp the function of Police Commissioner
Minister of Citizenship, Winston Felix and Foreign Affairs Minister, Carl Greenidge clarified before the Parliamentary Sectoral Committee on Foreign Services that there is no conflict of interest regarding the chain of command when investigations have to be made.
Chairperson of the Committee, Gail Teixeira sought clarifications from Minister of Citizenship, Winston Felix regarding who the Police Commissioner, who is also the Chief of Immigration answers to regarding investigations that stem from immigration matters.
The Chair pointed to the fact that there is now a relationship among the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Citizenship and Public Security and conflicts may arise regarding law enforcement matters.
Felix maintained that he does not get involved in matters that do not concern him directly, but he may point out certain issues to the Chief of Immigration (Police Commissioner) who then takes the necessary action from a law enforcement perspective.
In response to the Visa application process Foreign Affairs Minister, Carl Greenidge said the process has not changed, noting that “the applicant goes into let us say the Consul General’s office in New York fills in the form, makes the application they look at it. I think simultaneously they send it to Georgetown if there is a query or a cause for concern or advice, as per the guideline Immigration provides to them, then they would send a note to Georgetown.”
Meantime Felix said the cost for a visitor’s visa remains at 25 US dollars and all others 140 US dollars.
Employment visas are issued for three years, business five years and student visas three years.
Regarding claims that Nigerian students are given a hassle when they apply for extensions to their student visas, Minister Felix said he is unaware of this since according to him this process is expedited.
It was also agreed that the Immigration Act must be reviewed and consideration may be given to those persons who have acquired student visas to seek part-time jobs as well.