Saint Lucians are being urged to make the most out of the opportunity provided through the European Union (EU) and CARICOM agreement, which allows for free travel to EU countries.
Foreign Affairs Minister Alva Baptiste told a media conference today (June 19) that he does not wish to see a repeat of what occurred with Canada, which led to them stopping visa-free travel for locals.
Baptiste asserted that this move made by Canada was influenced largely by the behaviour of Saint Lucians, and it had nothing to do with government.
“So I am just encouraging everyone to be conscious of that fact, that our behaviour would really influence other countries in removing their visa facilities,” he said.
The ambitious minister said he would hope that one day, the Americas region will no longer require visas to travel to Canada and the United States of America.
He continued, “This new visa waiver facility is of tremendous opportunity. Let us not squander the opportunity. Let us use it as a platform for us to widen access to this world.”
He said the Schenegen Visa Waiver Agreement, as it is commonly referred to, will allow Saint Lucians to travel to any Schenegen Area for up to 90 days in a 180-day period. That means that one can travel and enter Europe twice a year and remain there for up to 90 days.
The exemption also applies to Caribbean nationals from Dominica, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago.