Sunday 15 September, 2019

From Monday: visas required for Venezuelans to enter T&T

From Monday, Venezuelans will be required to apply for a visa to enter Trinidad and Tobago legally.

The order was signed on Thursday by National Security Minister Stuart Young. 

Young said the visas will be issued out of Port-of-Spain with applications made at the Trinidad and Tobago Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela. 

"As the next step now that the registration process has ended, we are implementing immediately a visa policy and the only Venezuelans who will be allowed to enter our ports of entry, our legal ports of entry, legally, are those to whom we issue visas.Venezuelans who have not registered in this process will not we subject to the laws as we said throughout this process. "

15000 Venezuelans register but borders not porous 

Over 15,000 people have registered during the amnesty period in Trinidad and Tobago in what National Security Minister Stuart Young touts as a success. 

The Minister made the revelation during a conference marking the end of the amnesty period at 5 pm on June 14th.

He, however, addressed claims that Trinidad and Tobago's borders were open for all. The Minister said this is far from the truth.

"I would also like to denounce all of those criticisms and the misinformation and the attempts to mislead the public of Trinidad and Tobago and in fact, the world at large, about our border situation and whether we were able to secure our borders or not."

"Even before announcing this registration process, in February of this year, we launched a special operation on our borders, on our land borders and that special operation was helping us to assist in picking up persons who were entering illegally. Shortly thereafter we utilised all of the available marine assets of the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard in protecting our borders so despite the suggestions being made and the most irresponsible suggestion of the Leader of the Opposition today, upon entering parliament and saying that our coastlines are being invaded, completely untrue and false."

Meanwhile, Young noted that registered Venezuelans will receive primary (emergency) health care, the rest they will be required to pay.

He also denied claims that the amnesty allows for criminal elements to enter T&T from Venezuela. The National Security Minister said while criminals breached Trinidad's borders, their numbers were minuscule. He further noted that the registration process gave the police service a means to monitor the situation. 

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