Guyana May Impose Visa Restrictions On Haitians

haitians-in-guyana
Haitians trying to enter Guyana in the past. (File photo)

News Americas, GEORGETOWN, Guyana Weds. June 23, 2021: Haiti may be a part of Caribbean Community, but the Guyana government has signaled its intention to impose visa requirement for nationals trying to enter the South American CARICOM nation.

The signal comes after authorities last weekend announced that an investigation had been launched after 10 Haitian children were found in a hotel room in the Berbice region in Guyana.

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, said on a program, streamed live on his Facebook page on Tuesday night that it is important for Guyana to adopt a position that would prevent the country being used as an international smuggling transshipment point.

“Only three countries now in the Caribbean have visa-free immigration policy in relation to Haitians,” he said. “All the others had to put in place visa requirements because of same thing. Guyana is moving in that direction.”

The AG added: “They enter Guyana and they do not remain here. Very few leave through the channels they came. These people are being smuggled; Haitians, Venezuelans and Cubans but mainly Haitians.”

Guyana also indicated it may require visas from Cubans trying to enter the country, which has come into newfound oil wealth and is now grappling with an influx of undocumented migrants.  

Many CARICOM countries have imposed visa restrictions on Haitians even though the French-speaking country is a full member of the regional integration grouping and a signatory to the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) that allows for the free movement of goods, skills, labour and services across the region.

As a result, Haitians do not enjoy the automatic six months stay on entry to other CARICOM countries.