Wednesday, September 12, 2012 – The Government of Saint Lucia has expressed disappointment and dismay at the decision by the Government of Canada to impose visas on Saint Lucians who wish to travel to Toronto or any other Canadian province.
The Government of Saint Lucia says it deeply regrets that the Canadian Government did not give it an opportunity to address the concerns regarding the claims of “unreliable travel documents” allegedly held by some Saint Lucians.
It is alleged that criminals from Saint Lucia can legally change their names and acquire new passports and in some instances, people who were removed from Canada as security risks later returned using different passports
Canada`s, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney is quoted as saying: “We continue to welcome genuine visitors to Canada, however, these visa requirements will give us a greater ability to manage the flow of people into Canada” unquote.
He says the new visa requirements will also better protect the safety of Canadians by preventing foreign criminals from coming to Canada in the first place.
This visa policy change means that nationals from Saint Lucia who want to travel to Canada will first need to apply for a visitor visa and meet the requirements to receive one.
It is up to applicants to satisfy visa officers that their visit to Canada is temporary and they will not overstay their authorized stay; have enough money to cover their stay; are in good health; do not have a criminal record; and are not a security risk to Canadians.
Applicants can now submit their applications by mail or in person to the Canadian visa office in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.
An online application services for call temporary Canadian visas is expected to come on stream in the months ahead.
Meantime the Government of Saint Lucia has vowed to issue a full statement on the matter subsequent to the receipt of a letter from the Canadian Government conveying its decision.