Immigration services amended to limit crowding at offices
Minister of National Security Stuart Young has announced several measures to curb the gathering of people at the country’s immigration offices.
Speaking at a press conference today, Minister Young noted that there are people “rushing to the immigration office” to renew passports and conduct other business.
In an effort to quell the congregation of people at the immigration offices, Young announced a number of measures:
- Permanent Residence and Citizenship - all interviews will be suspended until further notice. Applicants will be contacted with new dates of appointment.
- Extension of Stay Applications - people who were unable to leave Trinidad and Tobago by March 22 and whose landing certificates may have expired during the period, or whose certificates will expire by April 30, will be granted an extension until June 22, 2020. Applicable individuals are asked to check official communication channels for email addresses to reach out to in order to provide the biodata page of their passport.
- Student Permits – Young assured that no student will be affected by this. Three-month extension granted in the first instance.
- Temporary Visitor Visas - Visas will not be issued to foreign nationals until the borders have been reopened.
- Passport Renewals - Government will be looking into implementing a ‘drop off’ system. They will be rescheduling passport appointments. Young said the details of the rescheduling will be finalised and shared with the public, but asked again that people who do not absolutely need to go to the immigration office, to not flock to the immigration office.
Additional information and measures are being finalised and will be shared with the public soon.
The Minister also addressed the media regarding the Trinidad and Tobago nationals who are in Margarita, currently unable to return home due to border restrictions both at home and in Venezuela.
He reiterated that Trinidad and Tobago’s borders are closed and that government has not made any request for repatriation at this time. Young did confirm that the Ministry of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs and officers at the T&T Embassy in Caracas have been in touch with the Trinidad and Tobago nationals and are working with Venezuelan authorities to ensure their safety.
Stuart said an officer from the embassy has confirmed that they have made contact with the hotels where the T&T nationals are staying and assured the embassy would do what they can within protocols to assist them.