Saint Lucia’s External Affairs Minister has highlighted the need for accurate information when Saint Lucians apply for Canadian visas to join the seasonal farm workers programme in Canada.
“I know that many times a lot of our applicants when they make these applications we are not always accurate in terms of the information we provide,” Sarah Flood-Beaubrun told reporters last week.
“Nowadays with everything going on in the world and the need for security measures, it is really important that when we come to fill these applications that we are very accurate in terms of the information we need to provide,” she explained.
According to the minister, at times this is difficult to do since most of them are on line.
“So perhaps the important thing is to get help before you complete the application – somebody who knows how to complete it to ensure you are providing the accurate and consistent information you need to provide, so you have the best chance of succeeding in your application,” she observed.
Flood-Beaubrun told reporters that she is aware that the Canadian authorities are looking to reassess the visa situation in terms of whether Saint Lucians will have to travel every time to get a visa.
“We are in touch with the Canadian authorities on this to see whether that can be a possible thing for Saint Lucia,” the External Affairs Minister stated.
Saint Lucians are among foreign workers affected by new Canadian security rules.
According to reports, with no one in Saint Lucia accredited to collect the official photographs and fingerprints now needed to go to Canada, the Saint Lucians each have to pay about $400 Cdn to fly to Trinidad to have biometric data collected there.
Sarah Flood-Beaubrun said the authorities here are aware of the difficulty in having to pay the air fares, visa applications and overnight stay in a hotel.
“We know what a burden this is placing on Saint Lucians and so we are continuing our discussion with the Canadian authorities to see if something can be done about this,” she explained.