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UWI student leader wants CARICOM to discontinue student visa requirement

Published:Thursday | December 5, 2013 | 1:46 PM

Head of student government at the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Terron Dewar, is renewing calls for Jamaica and other CARICOM countries to discontinue the requirement of nationals having to obtain student visas to study at the university.



The UWI has four campuses – in Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and an Open campus.



Dewar believes the requirement for a student visa breaches the spirit of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy and the CARICOM integration movement in general.



Several regional countries require students to obtain a student visa before embarking on their studies.



Upon arriving in Jamaica to study, regional students are initially granted a six-month visa, after which they have to pay $10,000 to clear subsequent immigration requirements.



Students are granted the visa for the duration of their studies, after providing a letter verifying their status as students.



However, if the passport expires before the time is up, a further $5,000 is attracted to have the visa placed in a new travel document.



The same fee applies if students are transferring passports.



Dewar, who is president of the UWI Mona Guild of Students, says CARICOM governments need to change this, especially since the university is a regional institution.



Dewar says representation has been made to the Government for the matter to be addressed, however, nothing has changed so far.



The student leader’s call comes amid renewed discussion about free movement in the region highlighted by Trinidad and Tobago’s November deportation of 13  Jamaicans. 



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