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Posted: Wednesday 19 July, 2023 at 9:20 PM

Dominicans no longer can enter UK visa free

By: Staff Reporter,

    BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - ONE week after the conclusion of a major Citizenship By Investment Summit in Castries, St. Lucia, passport holders of Dominica have been slapped with a visa requirement for entry into the United Kingdom.


    The announcement was made today (Jul. 19) by the British High Commission in Barbados, accredited to that island and the OECS territories, based on official announcement from London.


    “The UK government has announced today (Wednesday 19 July) that, with immediate effect, all Dominican nationals will require a visa before travelling to the UK, including to visit,” the statement from the Barbados High Commission said.


    Acting British High Commissioner Charley Williams explained that the changes would come into effect immediately,  but there would be a four-week grace period for the transition until 15:00 BST or 10:00 a.m. Eastern Caribbean time on  August 16. 


    During that time, those who would have booked to enter the UK before 10:00 a.m. today would be allowed to enter without a visa.


    The reason given for the imposition of visa requirement “is in response to concerns relating to its Citizenship By Investment (CBI) scheme”. 


    The European Union and other international jurisdictions have been pressuring the territories and states with CBI programmes to be rid of the schemes all together or face visa imposition.
    Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts-Nevis, among other territories, have been pushing back against the call from the EU and the United States, but as explained by the UK Government through the announcement today: “Visit visas are an important tool in reducing illegal migration, tackling organised crime and protecting national security, and this decision has been made to ensure that the visa system continues to operate as effectively as possible.”


    Dominica is not the only territory that saw the imposition, according to news out of the United Kingdom, Honduras, Namibia, Timor-Leste and Vanuatu are also included on the list.


    But the issue of the visa imposition may have been done on national security grounds, as The Times UK reported that it was done out of concerns raised that “criminals” and “Chinese spies” were using third party passports to enter the United Kingdom. 


    According to Home Secretary Suella Braverman, the operation of the CBI programme in Dominica and Vanuatu has “shown clear and evident abuse”. 


    She noted that the programe has provided citizenship to individuals who pose a risk to the country.


    No official word has yet been forthcoming from Dominica on the issue.


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