Longer duration of stay in member states for visiting CARICOM nationals coming

Longer duration of stay in member states for visiting CARICOM nationals coming

Citizens of CARICOM countries will be able to travel throughout the region for an extended period beyond the current six-month stay restriction, according to Barbadian Prime Minister, Mia Mottley.

The move is to push CARICOM’s Single Market and Economy, which was put on pause for three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

During the closing press conference following the CARICOM Heads of Government meeting yesterday, Prime Minister Mottley said that CARICOM is on track to make a single economy within the region a reality.

“As you know, people have the right to move now, for six months without question, what we are talking about is removing that six-months constraint but equally have to understand what are the minimum rights that are guaranteed to our citizens when they move from one country to another and those are being resolved and settled now,” PM Mottley stated.

CARICOM Leaders met in July last year to finalize the timeline for the free movement of citizens within the region. Despite a few policy issues, Ms. Mottley is confident that the timeline will be met.

“There were just two policy issues that were referred to Heads for us to settle and they will meet back on the seventh of March.  The legal Affairs Committee will sign off on the drafts on the eight of March, and the Heads of Government will meet on the 15th March with the hope that we can sign of in time, the deadline given in Trinidad for the 31st of March for the full freedom of movement of people,” Prime Minister Mottley stated.

The Move will also ease the burden of doing business in the region. The CARICOM leaders have agreed to work to get the mutual recognition of countries across the community settled by July and pave the way to allowing businesses to set up their companies in various CARICOM countries without having to pay to do so.

“To allow people the right to move and then tell them they have to pay separate sums to form the same company, doing the same business, in each other the country that they are going in is a burden too heavy for you carry in a single market and in a single economy,” The Barbadian Prime Minister noted. 

CARICOM countries have also agreed to set up a digital platform, where the services and other important information relating to CARICOM will be addressed.

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