The Ministry of Labour and Social Security has issued a statement to clarify an article that was carried in the December 17, 2012 edition of the Nation newspaper regarding the alleged detainment of Barbadian workers who travelled to Miami to pursue employment with the Norwegian Cruise Lines.

Four Barbadian workers departed Barbados on Saturday, December 15, to assume employment as crew members with the Norwegian Cruise Lines.?? Two workers arrived at the Miami International Airport on a morning flight, while the other two persons arrived in the evening.

New crew members assigned to cruise ships enter Miami on a transit visa and not on??a United States non-immigrant visa.?? As a consequence, the holders of the transit visa must be thoroughly processed before they are released from the Immigration area.?? This process has, in the past, lasted between three and four hours.?? Crew members from several cruise lines enter Miami at the same time and they are directed to a particular area where they are interviewed and requested to provide fingerprints, by Customs and Border Patrol??agents.

Officials from the Barbados Liaison Service in Miami who work with the External Employment Programme are not permitted entry into the Customs and Immigration areas in Miami.???? U.S. immigration officials will make contact with the prospective employer, in this case Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL). If any issues arise at the airport NCL has assured the Ministry of Labour and Social Security that there were no issues with our Barbadian workers.

The workers were accommodated in a hotel on Saturday night, and were picked up on Sunday morning by a shuttle provided by NCL.?? The employer has reported that all the crew members from Barbados are safely on board ships of the??Norwegian Cruise Lines.


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