British high commissioner says GG needs no visa to enter UK
Britain’s top diplomat here on Monday said that Jamaica’s head of State will not require a visa to enter the United Kingdom, as London sought to answer a question that had been posted on social media by the Minister of Legal and Constitutional Affairs Marlene Malahoo Forte.
In a statement posted on X, formerly Twitter, on Sunday, Malahoo Forte, who is also co-chair of the Government’s Constitutional Reform Committee tasked with driving the process to Jamaica’s move towards republican status questioned why the governor general should be “required to apply for and obtain a visa to travel to UK on official business”.
She noted also that the Independence Constitution of Jamaica 1962 gives deepest protection to the British Monarch in the Government of Jamaica and that the governor general, Sir Patrick Allen, is the representative of King Charles III.
The minister tagged the British High Commissioner to Jamaica Judith Slater and the UK Home Office in her question.
But, in a response on X, Slater said that the head of State does not require a visa to visit the United Kingdom.
“The governor general and Lady Allen are not required to obtain a visa, but rather a vignette, or stamp is put in their passports which states that they are exempt from requiring visas. This is renewed every two years,” Slater said.
Jamaicans must obtain a visa to visit the UK, including taking cases to the Privy Council, the country’s final court of appeal.
Britain imposed a visa restriction on Jamaica in 2003, arguing that it was an immigration measure.
Earlier this month, Malahoo Forte said Prime Minister Andrew Holness will, in “short order”, disclose the Administration’s position on whether Jamaica should accede to the appellate jurisdiction of the Caribbean Court of Justice established in February 2001 by Caribbean Community governments to replace the Privy Council.