New Immigration regulations affecting students

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Posted: Thursday, January 26, 2017. 11:29 a.m. CST.

By BBN Staff: On Monday morning, hundreds of students from Melchor de Mencos, Guatemala that travel daily to study in Belize were lined up at the Belize- Guatemalan border since Belize Immigration officials began checking for student visas.

Previously, students had been allowed to cross the border without permits.

This new regulation has parents of the students annoyed and concerned.

It has been on-going since October 2015 when commuting students were given student border crossing cards.

However, they Belize Immigration has upgraded the process to requesting student permits from all students so as to adequately record each student that enters and leaves. The permits are obtained at a cost of  $50 and cards at $20.

This security control measure is to prevent persons from crossing the border without proper documentation.

Reports are that the parents met with the Guatemalan consulate on Monday night who managed to speed up the process of the children’s passing to go to school.

The delay caused students to report late for classes in Benque Viejo town. Parents are especially upset since students only have 45 minutes for their lunch break.

The visa check is being done in the morning, for lunch and in the evening when the students leave to go back home.

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