PM wants to accommodate BTA permit holders

POSTED: 11/9/12 12:24 PM

St. Maarten – The Census Office and the Ministry of Justice are currently collaborating to resolve the matter of Haitian and other Caribbean nationals who are not able to complete their Brooks Tower Accord (BTA) renewal process because they will not be able to provide original apostilled birth certificates before November 30.

“I am looking to see how we can accommodate these persons because they had their permits already and it is now a matter of renewing it. In some cases required that an original birth certificate be shown. We are trying to ensure that this does not obstruct the person who would have complied with all of the other requirements for obtaining the extension of their permits,” Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams said on Wednesday.

This may be welcome news for many immigrants who may have been in the BTA process on three consecutive occasions. But the prime minister said that she is treading cautiously before making a definitive decision.

“You don’t want to say if the permits are granted and they give individuals at least 3 months to get the birth certificate they may go and never return. How do you ensure that the person’s dossier is still complete with all of the required documents? You don’t want to open a Pandora’s Box either,” she added.

“It makes little sense to have persons who comply with all other requirements in the context of renewing their BTA permit but because of not being able to show that piece of paper within the allotted time, the person’s permit is not extended,” the prime minister said.

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