Immigration Department ready for CWC

Kaieteur News
February 9, 2007

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Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee says all systems are ready at Guyana 's ports of entry to accommodate visitors for Cricket World Cup.

Speaking to reporters yesterday, Minister Rohee said that the local immigration authorities are properly briefed on how to deal with the common visa required by visitors from outside the region.

Guyana , along with seven other territories, will be classified as one space to facilitate hassle-free travel throughout the region for the mega-event.

Visitors are required to pay US$100 to process a visa, which could be used to travel to any of the host venues.

Only non-Caribbean nationals who are residing outside the region will be subjected to the common visa requirement. “Those who live here are free to move around. All we have to show is our driver's licence, or whatever the case might be, in order to move from place to place,” Minister Rohee said.

However, according to the Minister, an arrangement has been reached to exempt persons from neighbouring Brazil from the visa requirement.

“Brazilian nationals are exempt from the common visa. They are also exempt from paying the one hundred US dollars to travel to Guyana . However, they must be subject to the normal immigration procedures. Their passports would be examined and so forth,” Rohee explained.

He told reporters that he is not aware of Guyana receiving any assistance from outside forces to patrol its borders during the period.

He was responding to a question on whether Guyana needs help to prevent illegal entry, given its porous borders. The Minister stated that the Joint Services is the agency that is mandated to cover the border locations.

“I am not aware of any foreign presence around our borders insofar as Cricket World Cup is concerned. That is being taken care of by the Guyana Defence Force and the Guyana Police Force and, of course, other local indigenous organisations that work with our army and our Police at our borders.”

Visitors from outside the region will be fitted with a wrist band, which will indicate to immigration officials throughout the region that a person has paid the US $100 fee for the special visa to enter the West Indies, and it will allow unhindered travel throughout the cricket hosting nations, even without a passport.