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JIS News

More that 15 immigration officers and members of the Caribbean diplomatic corps in North America recently completed a two-day training session in New York, in preparation for the implementation of the CARICOM Special Visa on December 15.
The visa, which is being put in place for the 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup, will recognize the nine host venues and Dominica, as a single domestic space for the period January 15 to May 15, 2007.
Under the regime, visitors will only need one visa to travel to the tournament territories.
CWC organizers are hoping that the ease of travel offered by the new visa regime, will help to boost attendance at all 51 matches from the group stages through to the finals, as well as impact positively on the region’s tourism industry.
Learie Rousseau of the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS), who was the chief instructor, said that he was satisfied with the outcome of the training session.
“The training session was very successful as it exposed the officers to a number of new features and areas that they would not normally be exposed to and we are very satisfied as part of the training group that we have at least done a good job,” he told JIS News.
Ann Marie Bonner, Consul General of Jamaica to Toronto, said that the session was useful as it allowed the participants a unique opportunity to better understand some of the security issues and concerns while affording them a fuller appreciation of the process and procedures involved in getting the visa to the applicant.
“I think we all came out feeling very satisfied that now we can do a very successful process and ensure that the necessary security checks are in place to facilitate all those (persons) going to the Caribbean for Cricket World Cup to have a good time,” Ms. Bonner stated.
Trained immigration officers will be placed at visa issuing sites in New York, Miami, Toronto, New Delhi, Sydney, and London, in addition to application/processing centres in the host countries, which will issue a CARICOM visa within 21 days of submitting an application form with a US$100 fee.
Persons can also apply online at: www.caricomimpacs.orgWith the exception of the United Kingdom, United States, Italy, Germany, France, Ireland, Spain, Netherlands, South Africa and Canada, in addition to all member states of the Caribbean Community, except Haiti, all other countries will require visa for travel throughout the region.
Sixteen nations from around the world will contest the international cricket tournament, said to be the third largest sporting event in the world with a television audience of some 1.5 billion.