Citizens of SVG and those of other countries in the OECS will be required to travel in person to Trinidad from December this year if they want to obtain a Canadian visa.
According to a report in the on-line news service, Caribbean News Now, this new requirement applies to persons from anywhere in the world wanting to travel to Canada.
It is linked to a decision by Canada to increase its security processes where bio-metric data- including finger prints and photograph information- must be provided by persons seeking to obtain a visa.
The Foreign Affairs Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Mark Brantley is said to have pointed out that the new requirements would put the cost of obtaining a Canadian visa out of the reach of most nationals of his country.
And Antigua/Barbuda’s High Commissioner to Canada, Sir Ronald Sanders, said he has raised the matter of the additional costs with Canadian authorities and will have further discussions with them about creative ways of obtaining the bio-metric data, when he visits Canada in July.
While the changes with respect to OECS nationals take effect from December, the nationals of many non-Caribbean countries will be required to present themselves in person from July 1st this year when applying for a Canadian visa.
Currently, applications can be made on-line.