Dominicans can no longer enjoy free access to the UK after the British government announced today Wednesday that with immediate effect, these nationals will now require a visa before traveling there.
The latest decision according to the UK is in response to concerns relating to its Citizenship by Investment (CBI) scheme.
Dominica is among nearly a dozen countries globally that offer a CIP programme, with access to the EU’s coveted Schengen Area – 27 European countries.
However, the European Parliament warned that third parties should not have such easy access to its member states, especially from coming through “friendly” countries that currently benefit from visa-free travel.
The UK said the decision is a response to its long-standing concerns about Dominica’s Citizenship by Investment programme and the risk it poses to the UK.
The changes will bring Dominica in line with many other visa-national countries around the world with which the UK has strong and friendly relations.
“They do not change our commitment to the relationship between our countries or to Dominica’s future. Visas provide access to the UK while helping to secure the UK border. Visa applications are submitted and paid for online at VFS Global, after which applicants book an appointment to provide their biometrics and hand over their passports. The UK Government aims to process applications within 15 UK working days of receipt of the passport and biometrics. Applicants can apply up to three months in advance of travel” says Acting British High Commissioner to the OECS Meanwhile according to reports, following this, the UK plans to annul the visa-free agreement with St Lucia in August and subsequently with Grenada in September.
The report states that in a similar vein, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, and St Kitts and Nevis will face the same action in October, November, and December respectively.