CASTRIES, St Lucia – Britain has raised the possibility of following Canada and imposing visa restrictions on St Lucians travelling to the United Kingdom.
Currently, St Lucians can travel to the United Kingdom for up to six months at a time without a visa, but London is raising concerns similar to those voiced by Canada relating to the integrity of the St Lucian passport.
“If Canada has the same concerns and that is the reason why they have imposed the visa regime then of course the next time the review process comes around those issues will be flagged-up again,” said outgoing resident British High Commissioner Karl Burrows.
“The fact that we went through an 18 month process before, it is possible that there would not be that elected process again and the visa regime might be implemented,” he noted.
But he said while it is possible that London may follow the position adopted by Ottawa he expects the Canadian concerns to feed into Britain’s own analysis.
Last month, Canada announced that it was imposing visa restrictions on nationals from St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines as it clamps down on people making false claims for resident status.
The government also introduced machine readable passports making it much more difficult for nationals of third countries to fraudulently obtain St Lucian travel documents.