Kralendijk- The implementation of a ‘temporary’ visa requirement for Venezualan passport holders wishing to visit the Dutch Caribbean islands seems near. This much can be concluded from a letter by State Secretary Raymond Knops to the Second Chamber.
“The situation in Venezuela has deteriorated further in the recent period and regular migration has increased further in the wider region. Countries close to Venezuela such as Peru, Ecuador, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Panama and Chile have already taken measures, including the introduction of a visa requirement”, according to Knops in his letter.
The situation in Venezuela has deteriorated further in the recent period and regular migration has increased further in the wider region
Knops also writes that the preparation for the visa requirement follows after intensive consultation with the Caribbean Kingdom countries. “It is important that the introduction of the visa requirement is not a separate measure, but that a broader overall package of measures is also being worked out. The purpose of this package is to ensure that passenger movements from Venezuela take place in a responsible and regulated manner”.
According to Knops the package includes measures that are further explored at country level, such as the introduction of an ‘ESTA’ (travel authorization system) and the Advance Passenger Information system.
When it comes to the term on which these measures can be implemented, the State Secretary indicated that the visa requirement could be introduced in approximately six months, or in the second quarter of 2020.
For reasons of enforce-ability, the number of Venezuelan visa applications to be taken for the Caribbean Kingdom parts will be capped at 8,000 on an annual basis.
According to Knops, contact is maintained with the French authorities about effective implementation and enforcement of the visa requirement on Sint Maarten, because Venezuela is not subject to a visa requirement for the French part of the island.