By NAN Staff Writers
News Americas, GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Fri. June 25, 2021: It’s official – Haitians must now apply for and receive a visa to travel to Guyana, a fellow CARICOM regional nation.
President Irfaan Ali, by executive order, revoked free visa access to Haitians as of June 22, 2021. To fly to Guyana, Haitians will now have to apply for and be interviewed for a visa.
The move by the President came as his attorney general announced that the government has decided to move in the direction of reinstituting visa requirements for Haitians and Cubans.
But the revocation order signed by the President only addresses Haitians. The People Progressive Party/Civic government has expressed concern that while thousands of Haitians travel to Guyana, there was no record of the majority of them leaving and they believe that points to them leaving illegally and falling victims to smuggling.
Haitians would usually fly into Guyana via Barbados and Panama and travel to neighboring Brazil or French Guiana where there are large Haitian populations.
Haiti is a full member of CARICOM and under the CARICOM Charter, citizens of member states are allowed an automatic six-month vacation stay in another member state once they meet all immigration requirements.
The opposition has accused the government of going against the principles of CARICOM by putting the visa requirement back in place.