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Port commanders are now able to address emergency requests for medical travel until borders open

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Posted: Tuesday, December 7, 2021. 6:10 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: The Immigration Department has made a change in its handling of emergency requests for travel across the borders on emergencies.

 

Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Immigration, Ramon Cervantes, Jr., explained that the office of the Director of Immigration and Nationality Services, Debra Baptist-Estrada, handled all such requests, but the volume began to grow.

 

“So, we delegated the reviews of those applications, especially when it’s for medical and education; then you could apply to the Port Commanders at the port of exit,” he said.

 

To apply, send an email to the relevant Port Commander – Shanika Norales in the North and Gordon Wade in the West, attaching relevant documents – your passport and pictures and any of those accompanying you; relevant medical documents or notice from school; and an explanation of why you need to travel.

 

We have received multiple complaints of people having to change or cancel dates for medical services needed abroad or still having to wait for the approval and this is costing them money. The Minister of State told us the delegation has accelerated and alleviated the problem somewhat, though not entirely.

 

It is hoped that things will significantly improve if the borders, as expected, are fully re-opened next year; Belizeans will be able to travel and need only subject themselves to COVID testing on their return, Cervantes said.

 

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