Visa list to be expanded

POSTED: 03/11/11 4:48 PM

St. Maarten – Justice Minister Roland Duncan has announced that the government has sent a request to the Kingdom Council of Ministers to expand the list of countries whose citizens need a visa. No details of what countries will be added were given as the process has not yet been finalized.
“Our Kingdom partners have to be informed and as soon as that process is finished we will make an announcement,” Duncan said.

The matter of expanding the list was first raised by Democratic Party (D.P) faction leader Roy Marlin during a Central Committee meeting. He wants the Minister to base the request partially on crime statistics that show where the perpetrators are originally from. The query was linked to whether the government was also considering sustained immigration controls here now that the Brooks Tower Accord procedure “is finished.”
“The BTA is not actually finished. The files are starting to come back and the Council of Ministers has decided to install a committee that will vet the files. The investigation is nearly complete and I believe once it’s done, then we should be able to look at decision making and then truly finalizing the process,” Duncan said.

There were also queries by National Alliance MP George Pantophlet and D.P MP Petrus Leroy de Weever about border control after they had taken note of the joint control by officers from the Immigration Department, the Royal Dutch Marachausees and the Service Police Aux Frontiers (SPAF) at the Princess Juliana International Airport last Wednesday.

Duncan called the exercise a first test and announced that the government of Anguilla has requested to also be part of joint immigration controls at the airport.
“I support this type of cooperation because we are a tourist destination that acts as a hub and we believe that this can improve service. As it stands you have to clear immigration here and in Anguilla, so by placing a team here, we’ll be able to get things done faster,” Duncan said.

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  1. […] The countries added will be based on the number of crimes committed and the citizenship of these criminals. See report here […]