Foreign Minister bemoans UK visa troubles for Caribbean citizens
Minister Carolyn-Rodrigues Birkett pointed to the difficulties being experienced by Caribbean business persons and artistes in obtaining visas for countries of the European Union, including the United Kingdom. She said those being denied visas are those looking to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the Economic Partnership Agreement to undertake trade in goods and services.
The agreement was one of the measures adopted when the UK ended its preferential trading arrangement with sugar producing nations. Minister Rodrigues-Birkett, speaking at the Eight Caribbean-UK Forum, said the difficulties in obtaining visas has gotten worse since the signing of the EPA.
She said students in the United Kingdom are also experiencing difficulties in obtaining job-training placements because of immigration impediments. The Minister hoped that these difficulties could be sorted out during the exchange of views at the Forum under the theme of ‘Building stronger partnerships for prosperity’ with emphasis being placed on energy security, enhancing skills and education levels that redound to the benefit of youth employability and economic development, and on crime and security which are increasingly impinging on our economic and social development.