As the United Kingdom announced new visa restrictions for Dominicans seeking to travel to the UK yesterday, there are fresh concerns over what implications the move could have for Antigua and Barbuda and other OECS countries.
The UK Home Office said Wednesday that, with immediate effect, all Dominican nationals will require a visa before travelling to the UK – including to visit – citing concerns over the nature isle’s citizenship by investment programme.
Other countries hit with the new restrictions include Honduras, Namibia, Timor-Leste and Vanuatu.
UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman told British MPs in a letter that the two Commonwealth countries, Dominica’s and Vanuatu’s “operation of a citizenship by investment scheme has shown clear and evident abuse”.
According to the UK government, concerns surrounding Dominica’s programme include:
Poor due diligence around applications, including those of dependents.
The provision for name changes upon receipt of citizenship.
The lack of a residency requirement for applicants.
The granting of citizenship to nationals of other countries who ordinarily require visas to enter the UK, consequently leading to increased levels of asylum applications.