UK to remove visa-free travel from Saint Kitts and Nevis Grenada Antigua and Barbuda and Saint Lucia by the end of 2023

The United Kingdom government is preparing to take action to suspend the current visa-waiver agreement with Dominica in July, with similar suspensions to follow for other Caribbean nations. The countries affected include St Lucia, Grenada, Antigua and Barbuda, and St Kitts and Nevis, and these suspensions will be implemented in phases by the end of 2023.

Miami-based news outlet, Associates Times, reported on this targeted action against multiple Caribbean nations, particularly those with Citizenship by Investment Programmes. The decision is expected to be the first phase of the recently announced ETA (Electronic Travel Authorisation) System, aimed at enhancing national security and streamlining the immigration process.

The ETA System, introduced by the UK government on July 18, requires travelers without a visa to obtain an electronic document before traveling to the UK. To obtain an ETA, travelers must fill out an online application with personal information, such as their name, passport details, and travel purpose.

This policy shift by the UK government is reminiscent of Canada’s approach in 2017 when it strategically suspended visa-free waiver agreements with OECS nations (Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States) in two separate phases. Canada’s move aimed to improve immigration procedures and strengthen national security. However, Canada later reintroduced visa-free travel for eligible travelers from 13 new nations, including OECS countries.

Associates Times predicts that the UK government will extend its policy revamp beyond the initial group of nations, incorporating more countries into the ETA system to further modernize its immigration framework. The exact timeline and the list of nations to be impacted during the next phase are yet to be announced by the UK government. Nevertheless, the move shows the UK’s commitment to fortifying national security and enhancing immigration management, similar to Canada’s successful strategy.

Copyright ©2023 All rights reserved.