EU says visa at stake, gov’t says no concern

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An official from the European Union (EU) is warning that countries of the Schengen zone continue to have misgivings about the Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP) and the visa free access it grants to Europe.
This was the comment of the EU’s Head of Division for Central America, Mexico & the Caribbean Aldo Dell’Ariccia who spoke to OBSERVER media in Brussels this week.
“Our concern is that the countries that have these programmes must carry out due diligence in order to make sure that all citizens who are bearing your passport have no risk of being arrested or people who are in search lists for wanted people,” Dell’Ariccia said.
His comments come on the heels of Canada’s revocation of visa free privileges for Antigua & Barbuda’s citizens which according to the Canadian government was done due to concerns about “the integrity” of the nation’s passport.
Dell’Ariccia added though, that there was no current review being conducted of Antigua and Barbuda’s qualification for visa free access. A Schengen visa grants access to all 26 of the European states in the Schengen Area – where border controls and the need for passports have officially been abolished at mutual borders.
However, while the EU official warns that the CIP is under scrutiny in the EU, the government of Antigua and Barbuda appears to lack a consistent narrative on whether the possibility of revocation of visa free access to the Schengen Area is a concern on its radar.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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