Is Antigua and Barbuda's CIP continuing to impact its relationship with Canada?

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Security concerns over Antigua and Barbuda’s Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP) is possibly continuing to play a role in decisions out of Canada regarding the islands’ citizens obtaining visas to enter that country.
Political analyst, Peter Wickham, shared this opinion on Observer AM yesterday as Canada announced on Tuesday that Antiguans and Barbudans would now have to travel to Trinidad to apply for their visas to Canada, as opposed to posting their applications to the Canadian High Commission’s office in Trinidad for processing.
The new process, which takes effect in December, now calls for biometric data, including fingerprints and photographs, as Canada increases security.
“I don’t know if it is only economic [citizenship] but I believe that it has something to do with it,” Wickham said, using Grenada as an example of Canada previously expressing concern over the “ease of which people were able to get a Grenadian citizenship”.
He agreed, that there are other factors, including
an increase in security awareness, which could have played a role in the changed policy.
 “As countries develop greater security awareness and greater interest in security, the online facilities are convenient but it avoids what the Americans, for example do, which is to insist on personal interviews as that is the only way to verify that the individual really exists,” he said.
“These countries are naturally moving towards greater levels of security and if you are talking enhanced security then that is the way it will go.”
Wickham also said that although he wishes Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to Canada, Sir Ronald Sanders well in his attempt to talk to Canadian officials about the new visa restriction, Sir Ronald may not be able to get them to change their minds.
“I do not know if there is a whole lot he could do. The hope that he could delay the imposition, that may be best case scenario where they can delay it and discuss moving or maintaining aspects of it online. That is perhaps what they can do.”
Wickham said in order to be competitive, theCaribbean needs to come together to address the “roadblocks” that Europe, the United States and Canada have placed on the region.
 “It is unfortunate that almost every time we move in a direction these roadblocks are thrown in the way,” he said, adding that “it does not appear that the world has given us a
chance to find alternatives and to find facilities
to make ourselves viable and to keep our heads above water”.
The announcement of the pending change in application process for Antiguans and Barbudans seeking the Canadian visa, came this week, on June 26 – exactly one year to the date when Canada revoked visa free access to citizens of the twin-island.

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