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Guyana to develop E-visa system & improve visa processing ; EU report presented to Citizenship Minister

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By Stacy Carmichael-James

 

A plan of action and report completed by the European Union-funded International Organization for Migration to improve Guyana’s visa processing system, the immigration services on visa issuance, quality of visa documents and the development of an electronic visa system was today handed over to the Ministry of Citizenship by the EU Ambassador to Guyana.

Migration has become one the biggest global challenges and causes such as war, poverty, climate change and more so the increasing mobility of people has exacerbated this.

In this regard, the European Union (EU) over the last decade has made major steps towards building a truly comprehensive migration policy based on common political principles and solidarity.

The mere fact that people are increasingly migrating warrants a political response. These sentiments were expressed by EU ambassador to Guyana Jerney Videtic following the handing over of a Report to Minister of Citizenship Winston Felix.

EU Ambassador to Guyana- Jerney Videtic

The project involved the review of the Guyana Visa system in close collaboration with the relevant Government agencies. The objective was to support Guyana in developing and implementing this visa policy and system.

 In the framework of this particular project, the EU supported the elaboration of recommendations and guidelines with regards to setting up an electronic visa system in Guyana and the integration in the Guyanese employment and work permit system.

According to the Ambassador, the Guyanese economy would benefit from a system which makes tourism more attractive, provides more transparency to foreign investments and genuine needs for foreign labour.

Videtic said it is now on the Government to closely analyze the recommendations and if agreed upon implement them, however, he acknowledged that this will not be an easy task and requires some important policy changes but will be worthwhile in the long term.

More clarity, efficiency, effectiveness, security, transparency and less bureaucracy, the Ambassador noted, would make Guyana more attractive to the outside world.

Meantime, Minister Felix said the recommendations in the report would be the source to correcting many issues associated with Guyana’s current visa system.

Minister of Citizenship- Winston Felix

The Minister highlighted the fact that the world is changing, but according to him, Guyana’s migration policy has only seen little changes since Independence.  And with the increase in human trafficking, transnational crime and irregular migration pattern, Felix said Guyana is now seeking to harden the soft parts of the immigration system.

The Minister pointed out that work is not yet over as implementation would require much input from all stakeholders, whether it is implemented in parts or otherwise.

Minister of Business Dominic Gaskin and Minister within the Public Health Ministry Dr. Karen Cummings were also in attendance.

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