Jun 03, 2016 Citizenship
Georgetown, GINA, June 3, 2016
Guyana could soon get assistance to modernize its visas regime and remittances scheme under the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) – European Union (EU) Migration Action plan.
The ACP-EU Migration Action Plan provides technical assistance to member states on visas, remittances, readmission, trafficking in human beings and smuggling of migrants. While the support does not cover salaries or equipment to government staff, it provides guidance, advice and services by highly qualified migration experts in the area requested.
The Ministry of Citizenship in 2015, sought technical support to modernize the existing visa regime and implement an e-visa system in order to facilitate the movement of people. This project has a component that will unify work visas and work permits for foreigners in the country so as to make the process more efficient, providing benefits both to Guyanese authorities and foreign citizens.
The development of an electronic visa system will facilitate communication and information sharing among stakeholders as well as improve the security of the current visa processing system to meet local and global demands for advanced security for the travelling public. Additionally, it will improve standards on protection of travelers’ data and curb irregular migration.
The Ministry of Citizenship under the stewardship of Minister Winston Felix commenced a project in 2015 to upgrade and computerise the records of the General Register Office. This project will see in excess of three million birth, death and marriage registration records for the period 1869 to 2015 being placed in to a component of the envisaged Civil Events Registration System, over the next three years. It is under this project that the development of the electronic visa regime falls.
The second technical assistance will see a study being conducted in the area of remittances with special focus on the transfer costs and the potential reduction options.
The request for this technical assistance was made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as government remains concerned about the high transfer cost of sending remittances, which ultimately can negatively affect the amount and frequency of remittances sent.
The recently concluded 8th Summit of Heads of Government/State of ACP countries saw leaders committing to work together in the areas of peace stability and migration; culture, gender equity, sustainable economic development, trade and climate change amongst others.
In the area of peace, stability and migration, ACP leaders condemned all acts of terrorism, piracy and transnational crime, including human trafficking and smuggling of migrants while pledging to cooperate against such threats and taking coercive measures against the perpetrators of such acts.
Leaders also highlighted the link between migration and development and underlined the vital contribution of the ACP-EU Dialogue on Migration and Development to the global discourse.
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