Monday 12th August, 2019-Trade and Immigration Minister, the Hon. E.P Chet Greene today announced that the Government of Canada has decided to send a team of officials to Antigua and Barbuda and other member states of the OECS to collect biometrics from nationals of Antigua and Barbuda and the sub-region, seeking visas to enter Canada.
The team will collect data in the week of 26 August.
Minister Green welcomed this development which, he said, will be of “great convenience” to Antiguans and Barbudans, saving them both time and money since they will no longer have to travel to Trinidad or Barbados to provide their biometric details.
The Minister praised the work of Ambassador Sir Ronald Sanders who, shortly after the introduction of visa requirements, advocated in Ottawa for a mobile Canadian team to visit periodically to gather the biometric data. Minister Greene said that for over a year, Ambassador Sanders has been meeting officials of the Canada Office of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, including Mieke Bos, Director General for Admissibility Branch; Mr. Glen Linder, Director-General, International and Inter-governmental Relations; as well as Tarik Khan, the Head of the Western Hemisphere Department of the Canadian Foreign Affairs Ministry.
Minister Greene pointed out that applications for Canadian visas have to be made on-line on the website of Canada Immigration and once a letter of acceptance has been received, applicants can then provide their bio-metric data to the mobile Canada team.
The Minister added that much of the work of diplomacy is done quietly and outside of the public eye and therefore its successes are not usually seen. “This occasion is one example of the success of our diplomatic efforts which is evident.”