‘No underhand way’ to acquire a Guyanese passport – Home Affairs Minister assures

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With the lifted visa requirement for Guyanese visiting the United Kingdom (UK), Minister of Home Affairs Robeson Benn has dismissed new concerns about the illegal issuance of Guyanese passports.

British High Commissioner to Guyana Jane Miller on Tuesday announced that the UK intends to lift the visa requirement for Guyanese seeking to visit the country.

As part of the announcement, it was explained that under the new agreement a valid Guyanese passport is the only requirement for entry into the UK.

The Home Affairs Minister was subsequently asked, while appearing as a guest on an online webinar on Thursday, about the integrity of the Guyanese passport and systems to prevent exploitation as a means to benefit.

To this end, Benn said acquiring a valid and legal Guyana passport would require that the applicant is Guyanese whether by birth or naturalisation.

“You have to be a Guyanese to obtain a Guyanese passport. If you’re a Commonwealth citizen there are ways after five or seven years to be naturalised as a Guyanese or if you have resided in Guyana for a particular period of time. I would say it is not easy to get a Guyana passport,” the minister assured.

In addition, the minister said that there is a higher demand for the issuance of passports among Guyanese. He observed that there is a notable sloth with issuing the passports but this is an issue that is being addressed.

As it relates to the legality of acquiring the passport, he said “There are really no underhand ways of getting a Guyana passport. We have checks and balances on ways to determine who should get a Guyana passport.”

Security concerns are among the reasons countries require visas before allowing travelers to enter. As such, President Dr Irfaan Ali has lamented that abusing this visa-free arrangement could harm the government’s efforts at securing visa-free travel to other countries.

This visa lift is only applicable to Guyanese travelers seeking to visit the UK for up to six months. It takes effect from November 9, 2022.

1 Comment
  1. Me says

    So Tell me how Joelen Jones got a replacement passport and his passport was seized in South Africa Many years ago, plus he re-entered Guyana illegally.

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