REGION TO START WORLD CUP VISA PROCESS

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December 15 is the start-up date for the visa application process for those persons outside of the CARICOM Single Domestic Space who wish to attend next year’s ICC Cricket World Cup (CWC 2007).

This announcement was made today by Chairman of the CARICOM Ministerial Sub-Committee on matters pertaining to CWC 2007 security Barbados’ Deputy Prime Minister, Mia Mottley,   at the Sixth Meeting of the Bureau of Ministers of National Security and Law Enforcement, in Port –of-Spain, Trinidad.

Ms. Mottley said that visa issuing sites would be located in the nine host countries and Dominica, as well as in Toronto, Canada; New York and Miami in the USA; New Delhi, India; Sydney, Australia; and London, England.

Commenting on the process, Ms. Mottley explained that applications could be completed and downloaded online via the CARICOM Community Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACs) website at www.caricomimpacs.org.  The US$100 application fee could also be paid on line through credit card facilities. She explained that the anticipated turnaround time for persons receiving their visas would be a maximum of 21 days, while it was expected that teams, officials, media and sponsors (TOMS) would be facilitated within seven days.

The Minister disclosed that a recent mass e-mail, which was sent to over 30,000 persons outside of the region informing them of the necessary arrangements to obtain a visa, had resulted in over 90,000 hits from 42 countries on the IMPACs website.

During the period January 15 to May 15, next year, Caribbean nationals, along with those recipients of any form of legal status issued by those countries which constitute the Single Domestic Space (the nine host countries and Dominica) will be accorded free movement. Though their passports will not have to be presented nor stamped, persons will, however, have to complete the relevant Immigration/Customs form used to collect passenger data, Ms. Mottley said.

Pointing out that the issuance of the CARICOM Visa and the period of facilitated movement was only from the period January 15 to May 15, the Deputy Prime Minister stressed that any person seeking to stay in a country beyond that date would have to apply to the respective immigration authorities in order to remain within that country.

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