Rayburn Blackmore
Rayburn Blackmore

ROSEAU, Dominica , 19 January, 2015 - National Security and Immigration Minister Rayburn Blackmore has announced that government has placed a hold on visas for Haitian nationals entering Dominica as it seeks to tighten its immigration policy, the CMC has reported.

Blackmore said the move which came into effect this month, was not a ban and that there were challenges within the immigration system that had to be addressed.

"This is a country that welcomes everybody, but our relation with other friendly countries is critical to our national security, it is critical to our development as a country.

"What I have been able to do as of January is to put a stay so to speak on the issuing of visas for Haitian nationals, not a ban. There are challenges to the system that have to be dealt with and to make sure we have a system in place where the security of the state is not compromised, secondly that persons, because of their circumstances are not abuse," he said.

"That is to say persons coming legally and live illegally. We have to look at this thing from the core. We have a programme in place…where people coming to see their family, you have a sponsor, you have to be held accountable for the person you sponsor.

"We need to have a system in place where we cut off the middle man and as what obtains on other countries where persons can stay from their country and apply for the visa directly...and to bring a level of sanity to this programme," he said, noting that the public would soon be made aware of the new system going forward".