Submitted by islandgal246
The embassy of the United States of America here in Barbados is responsible for issuing visas to citizens of several of the Caribbean islands and this includes nationals of Haiti. Many of these Haitian nationals reside in the French Territories of Martinique and Guadeloupe must come here to apply for a US visa. They are required to obtain Barbados visas at the cost of $50.00 USD which was paid on arrival at the airport. They then have to stay in Barbados overnight depending on the appointment time at the US Embassy. I went to the Barbados Foreign Service website to get information on visas requirements. Recently I learned they were told that they could not travel to Barbados as usual because they must now obtain their Barbados visas at the British Consulate in their respective countries of residence.
There is nothing on the website stating this sudden change of venue. I am asking why? Why is the Barbados Government penalizing Haitians whom we so want to help? Why can’t Haitians be given a visa waiver when they come to get their US visas? Aren’t they not part of our Caribbean brothers and sisters? Don’t they observers status in Caricom? They have to pay the departure tax when they leave so they are contributing for the use of the airport. They use taxis and hotels when they come here so they are contributing to Barbados’ economy. Why are we doing this to them? Citizens from neighbouring countries can come freely without restrictions.
I am disappointed at the Government’s policy towards Haiti and its citizens.
Could it be that due to the recent outbreak in cholera in Haiti these changes were brought about . I really don’t know the real reason but it couldn’t be because our government has a sinister reason for the change in policy.
Dear island gal:
Maybe the Barbados government is making it EASIER for Haitians resident in the Eastern Caribbean to get Barbados visas as they can apply and receive the visa while at home in Martinique etc. and come to Barbados knowing that they are unlikely to be refuses entry since the have the Barbados visa safe in hand.
In the nation today an explanation isgiven on this issue. It also affect other carribbean countries not only Haitians!
Perhaps the question can be asked if Haitians should be treated as part of the pack.
Can they be refused entry into Barbados when they have a legitimate reason to be here? They cannot obtain a US visa in their country of residence and they must come here to apply. Will the British consulate in Martinique or Guadeloupe refuse them visas? Hardly, they are not coming to stay. So why are we paying the British to collect monies that we can collect at our airport ourselves. Are we too lazy to do this?
AC thanks, how come the nation has this new information all of a sudden? Have they been trolling this site? How come the Ministry’s web site doesn’t have it in their press release when I last checked. We talk about being first world with a third world approach to doing things.
Did we read in the news the USA plans to deport several hundred Haitians?
It’s easy to blame the Gov’t for many issues but from reading the article I get the impression that the Gov’t made the Air Carriers aware that new guidelines were to be implemented regarding entry for some travelers.
It is standard practice that Airlines ensure that their passengers have authorization to enter the country to which the flight is headed. The Airline personnel should know the rules rather having the passengers travel and be refused entry.
There seems to be a lackadaisical approach to everything, everybody wants to do their own “ting” and rules be damned.
Ignorance of the law is no excuse.
Its about time Barbados start stepping up to the plate & stop letting every tom, dick & harry come in the country. When all nationals come in the island take away the jobs, bajan sit down & talk all over them face about, but as soon as the government trying to do something that other countries are doing u get mad. You cannot please a bajan no matter what u do.
I welcome this Well Done Barbados. Most countries required visas to come to their countries so why cant we do the same. We have been letting people in our country for God know how long.
Time for a change and I more than welcome this
The point remains, do we want to treat Haiti like others considering their circumstance?
No we do not! But they are not seeking political asylum. Or are they.Also remember no country is immune to Earthquakes and excluding Haitians would also have to exclude others who might be affected similarly in the future. Nothing is wrong with a country trying to protect its Borders,
Yes Barbados has a right to protect its borders…therefore we should require everyone visiting to obtain visas. The USA, UK and Europe. What I am saying is that Barbados should give a visa waiver to persons coming here to the US embassy who will only be here for 48 hours. If they are staying longer they must obtain a visa. It is all about how high up on the ladder rungs you are. The ones at the bottom will always be kicked and penalized. The Barbados Foreign Ministry website must give correct information and direct visa applicants on where they must go. Placing it in our local paper here will not help those living in the islands that are affected.
@island girl . Most likely the affected islands have used mass media and other related sources to get the message out. No! like I said a country must protect its borders and the laws should be written in an inclusive way not to offended any group or races of people. Whether it be 48 hrs or 24 hrs. a visa must be required for all :”intentional ” purpose for ALL.
We must have full control over who enters our ports. I hold a passport of one of the named US Visa Waver countries,and in spite of this I cannot set foot in the USA, unless I first registered with the US Customs and Border protection, some weeks before I intend to travel. Cost of registration US $14.00
Hiati has membership status with Caricom and not an observer status like the overseas terittories. Hiati and Bahamas are not signatories to the CSME agreement, therefore only professionals are granted a visa waiver. I would like to know if the Bahamians have to go through the same process as the Hiatians or they are given an exemption because they are ‘rich’ and not poor like the Hiatians.
Dave, what’s all dis ‘do we hate thee Haiti bout”? listen, doan wais yuh time pun dem man cos, in my experience, d moment any uh dem fine duh can speak a different language from u, which u caan onstan, duh does tink duh superior to us so, Dave, please, doan wais yuh time worrying bout dem man, earfquake or nuh earfquake. d chances r dat they hate US, anyway! Steupse. maybe u in live outside uh Bim, Dave!! d question shoudl be, “do they hate us, BAJEES”? not ****ing Haitians! who give a **** bout Haitians anyway. I concern bout my own people!!
There are two very distinctive arguments being made here,which I think has lead to one’s confusion in arguing whom is entitled to what and where.The reality is that once you have those two things down you’d understand why Government had to do what it must.If one can find out what are the requirements for visa free access as outlined by Government one would know then how the procedure would entail how does Haiti meet those requirements in full.
I would like to clearly state,just because a country maybe a signatory to Caricom & CSME doesn’t mean they are automatically given/entitled to visa free access or waiver privileges into Barbados or into any other Member state for that matter just because they may also be a member state within Caricom.Haiti has been deemed not to be CSME ready even though it is another Caricom member state,and that suspension has been in affect for the last ~5 years or so.The Dominican Republic is NOT a CSME country nor is it apart of Caricom.
Haitian nationals always required visas prior to come into Barbados,it appears the airline was just being laxed about the documentation requirements prior to flying……and you must ask yourself why was it doing that and if it was a visa on arrival scheme ? If the visa on arrival scheme was being overburdened at the airport then government must have thought this was the right action due to the statistics on the amount of nationals coming from a particular country(s).
Parliamentary Secretary responsible for immigration Harry Husbands was on radio last Friday trying to clarify this matter. His explanation was to given the position in law that individuals who originate from certain countries need a visa to enter Barbados. He admitted that they are those occasions where emergency processing wiould be accommodated. He was at pains to point out that the government had not made any recent change to immigration procedure but reading between the lines it is obvious visas were being issued when Haitians and perhaps others arrived in Barbados.
BU’s position remains, Haitians given their peculiar circumstance should be accommodated on an exception basis.
Red; “Haitians given their peculiar circumstance should be accomodated on eception basis.”
Qustion Based on what law> AS it is we are havin g a fight among our own trying to change a law to acccomodate our own people . No body is stopping the Haitians from entering the country as long as they do it legally. Getting proper certification is necessary. All that has changed is the country or countries from where they .obtained the document! Btw being peculiar does not give a person a special right to any thing . What next the Japanese coming under the Peculiar Banner!
@ David,don’t you think the chance for overstaying would be too great considering their plight ? I understand fully their situation and I am sure most Bajans have done and are still doing whatever they can at this time for Haiti…..but one should be realistic as Government is only asking those whom do not meet the visa waiver requirements to gain the proper documentation before arrival,and Haiti and the Dominican Republic are certainly countries that do not meet those requirements even with the exceptional circumstances noted.One must still meet the mandatory requirements for clearance to enter once inspected at the border.
The greatest example is the Dominican Republic whom share a common border and the Bahamas for whom it is well known the issue concerning entry especially illegally or overstaying is well known for nationals of Haiti.
BTW good to see you contributing.
Understand the regulatory argument. Understand the possibility of overflow in the way Bahamas and DR is experiencing. This is a country of tremendous historically significance for Barbados and other Black nation, it just seems offensive given all they have been through and what the country symbolizes for us to be treating it as one of the pack.
We have had more problems with the Guyanese than the Haitians, why not make visas mandatory for the Guyanese ?
I think that would violate the revised treaty of chaguaramas islandgal as such we can’t enact it.
Isn’t it absurd that an Island of 166 sq.miles and an existing population of 280,000 people is expected to take in refugees but Guyana which is a resource rich under populated country is not even keeping its own people at home.
When the next natural disaster hit Barbados I hope Guyana will help.
@Islandgal246,I think the reason is simply political and also due to a matter of history considering Barbados has usually kept visa waiver privileges opened to all or most Commonwealth countries….which Guyana and Jamaica are ……but Haiti and the Dominican Republic are not apart of.If you also looked at the last debate regionally you’d see that it wouldn’t be feasible to introduce visa restrictions considering if Barbados is suppose to be responsible for the CSME integration,future Guyana leaders could make the case that such restrictions are not advancing what our future leaders will be tasked with.We also must not forget,Grantley Adams is basically a major regional hub for the Lesser Antilles so it might not be feasible introducing visa restrictions considering that is all due to one country’s hap-hazard way of being responsible.Haiti is also bigger problem for migration purposes than Guyana as well considering the standards are actually lower than that of Guyana with 12 times the population leaving more rationale for overstaying,I think considering a visa-on-arrival gives more opportunity.Visa restrictions for Guyana would not violate the treaty but it just seems politics are being used to cloud good judgement.
@David,that is just the way policy works if the “pack”,as you mentioned,meet that specific criteria.Haiti has had an uplifting ancient past and what looks to be a decrepit present & possible near future,but as you know time waits for no one and policy I don’t think can be crafted on a ‘feel good’ moment.I think doing so creates dis-function and increases possible exploitation within policy by those whom are sworn to carry out such duties.Imagine the possibilities,all someone would require to enter Barbados would be an appointment at the US embassy !
BTW,Thanks for the welcome and interesting blog entry !
It all boils down to when you are the poorest and black you have to stand back. It never fails to amaze me. We are all saying one thing and doing another. Haiti was welcomed aboard in Caricom. This would be great for us because labour is dirt cheap in Haiti if we want to do business with them. I guess it is up to Haiti to rise above us after such devastation and neglect. I wonder if we were the ones that were devastated by an earth quake how would we be looked upon by others?
Look at Japan, a terrible tragedy has befallen them. They have clout and power yet they have been thrown into an almost helpless situation that will have far reaching implications for its citizens. They survived Nuclear attack and they will survive this as well.
Haiti, well it seems that no one can help fix this country, it seems that the people are doomed because they are poor and black. What a world we live in.
I don’t think color can be made as an argument in the policy Barbados has set forth…..especially if the both countries are of the same race.The base idea is that Barbados has a set of common sense rules and policy that is within the interest of Barbados and its citizens as a country and requesting visas beforehand is not a bad idea.It ensures several things:
1.A person has permission to enter the country in question beforehand.
2.A person doesn’t fly all the way to Barbados in question expecting a visa-on-arrival only to be told that they have been denied entry and at Barbados’ expense is removed,or at the passenger’s expense,must buy a new ticket to then gain a visa abroad and to then seek permission to enter at a later date which is a waste of time and money.
3.No person other than a Barbados citizen has an absolute right to enter Barbados.
Barbados’ citizens asked for an immigration policy that was modern and enforced.Now,that is being done to some degree we’re asking Government to retract those procedures due to circumstances beyond our control.Barbados did not create the earthquake and as much as I feel sorry for the people of Haiti I see no reason why we as a country should retract policy based that was set forth before the earthquake and simply inconveniences one in getting a legitimate visa proving their legitimate desire to enter Barbados.
Prime Minister Stuart promised Barbadians last week that we will have a chance to discuss the White Paper on immigration shortly. We shall see.
Well Dave, let’s hope he doesn’t take as long to make it happen as the UN’s taking over intervening in Libya, or you’ll be flooded with them by the time you come to discuss it!
THEM NEW FREED BLACK ASS THINK THEY ARE WHITE OR THEY ARE TRYING TO IMMITATE POWERFUL ECONOMIC COUNTRIES LIKE USA FRANCE CANADA ECT.
DON T U GUYS WORRY WHEN THE SEE GET MAD IT LL EAT ALL OF U IN YR TINY ISLAND