A&B passport holders react to Canada revoking visa-free entry

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The eight faces captured represent a section of the populace that is highly concerned over the news that Antiguan and Barbudan passport holders will no longer have visa-free access to Canada.
OBSERVER media canvassed the Woods Mall area and the VC Bird International Airport yesterday and asked residents their opinion of the Commonwealth nation’s announcement that the twin-island no longer meets its criteria for a visa exemption.
Those interviewed have explained that losing the visa exemption may not affect every born-Antiguan due to the fact that many nationals maintain dual citizenship and are citizens of visa-exempt countries to include France, UK and the USA.
However, the respondents are cautioning others to understand the severity of the situation. The majority have recognised that the Canadian government would have monitored the integrity of the Antiguan and Barbudan travel document as they have a “top-notch vetting system” and have been monitoring the twin island for some time before making the decision.


“I was a bit shocked at first but I kind of expected it. Antigua is a hotspot so everybody is coming here and we ourselves need better protection against everybody who is just coming in. I really, really think we should protect ourselves, if Canada has threats, who are were little Antigua to not protect ourselves.”

“I had to get my glasses because I can’t believe this. We are already struggling you know, so this is more struggle. At first, I was like Oh man, this means I can’t go to Canada but you know I’ll try to work it through because I don’t wanna go to the States, I am not about that life.”

“I was a little upset because my father, sister and myself are citizens but my mother isn’t. Any plans to go to Canada this year have been squashed, this visa is gonna be expensive if you have to go to Trinidad to get it. I understand the vetting problem for them but it’s also unfair to us because everybody is not like that. They don’t think we’re suitable to be in Canada, they think we are going to cause trouble. Their vetting system is top-notch.”

“If it’s an additional expense so I may not go to Canada. Right now, they want people in their country, so them asking people to get visas?  They need us.”

“They needed to take the necessary precautions especially with how times are now. They made the right choice doing this to protect their citizens. We don’t know who comes into the country, normally they just let anybody into the country as far as I know so to keep our citizens safe that would be a good idea for us as well.”

“This was going to happen, we are pawns in the game and unfortunately we are coming up short. We go from each industry that fails and we just get more desperate; CIP was a sign of desperation. I believe the CIP was a threat to their national security, I can guarantee that no born Antiguan was a threat to any country in the world. We are a peace-loving people but the sort of nearga dem ah bring in ya and go tell them they how are Antiguans and there is no difference between anybody that has a passport and we are all one citizen? That can’t happen so; that is a betrayal.”

“Dem right, dem right! We need to support one another and whatever they did and the penalty they have to pay they well deserve it. We are a small Caribbean island, you understand, and when people come in, we don’t know where they are coming from. All of a sudden they have a passport that says Antigua and Barbuda passport, they going to commit whatever crime and at the end of the day, they are Antiguans, right?”

“I just assumed they did it because of the CIP programme that Antigua has going on and not knowing exactly who is getting our passports and the different Ponzi schemes that are coming to surface. I’ve never been to Canada and my cousin is up there and he’s been inviting me to come but now that we need visas to come, I don’t think that would ever happen.”

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