OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER
Greaham Louisy Administrative Building
Waterfront, Castries, Saint Lucia
Tel: (758) 468-2111
Fax: (758) 453-7352
For Immediate Release
May 29, 2015
A WELCOME DECISION
The Government of Saint Lucia welcomes the decision of the European Union to allow nationals of Saint Lucia as well as nationals of Dominica, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada and Trinidad and Tobago and two other ACP countries to enjoy visa –free travel to some twenty six countries of the European Union. This follows the signing of an Agreement between the European Union and the representatives of the seven ACP countries at a ceremony held in Brussels.
The Agreement was signed on behalf of the Government of Saint Lucia by Hon. Alva Baptiste, Minister of External Affairs, International Trade and Civil Aviation.
According to Prime Minister Anthony,
“This Agreement is wonderful testimony of the friendship between Europe and the Caribbean and will undoubtedly strengthen the bonds of co-operation between our states. The decision will deepen contact between the citizens of Europe and the Caribbean. It is a wonderful way to confirm the friendship that exists between Europe and the Caribbean. Europe is to be applauded for this decision. It will certainly help to build trust and confidence in our future relationship with Europe. The Agreement is particularly pleasing when it is considered that other countries have chosen to close their doors to our nationals. Our diplomatic representatives in Europe deserve our thanks and commendation for their efforts to secure this Agreement.”
Under the Agreement, nationals of Saint Lucia and other Caribbean nations can travel to the European Union for a period of stay of 90 days in any 180- day period without a visa. The identical rights are granted to citizens of the European Union who travel to Saint Lucia and other signatory states.
A release from the European Union states that “Visa-free travel applies to all categories of persons and for any kind of purpose of travel (for instance tourism, cultural visits, scientific activities, family visits, business etc.) except to persons travelling for the purpose of carrying out paid activity.”
However, it should be noted that the Agreement does not apply to Ireland and the United Kingdom. The existing rules governing travel to Ireland and the United Kingdom remain unchanged.
The Agreement took provisional effect from yesterday, May 28, 2015. However, the Agreement is to be sent to the European Parliament for final approval.