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New bill in US proposes visa waiver for CARICOM visitors to Virgin Islands

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Posted: Thursday, January 31, 2019. 8:52 am CST.

By BBN Staff: A new bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives is proposing a visa waiver for residents of CARICOM countries to visit the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The bill was introduced by Stacy Plaskett, the non-voting representative from the U.S. Virgin Islands. As it stands currently, CARICOM residents are unable to enter the U.S. Virgin Islands without a tourist or business visa. The bill proposes to introduce a special Visa Waiver Program for CRICOM.

The bill would allow CARICOM citizens to enter the U.S. Virgin Islands for tourism or business for up to 30 days without a visa. Under the proposed legislation, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security would have the discretion to suspend or terminate the new program for specific countries for security reasons or if the privilege was being abused.

There are 15 full members of CARICOM: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. And there are five associate members: Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos.

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