Officers from the Canadian Commission.

Officers from the Canadian High Commission, Bridgetown, facilitated biometrics processing at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort for citizens and residents of the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis last week.

Though the Mobile Itinerant Collection was scheduled to begin on Aug. 29, twenty individuals were successfully processed Aug. 28, the day the officials arrived. By the time of closing Friday, Aug. 30 approximately 230 nationals and residents had their biometrics collected.

The Hon. Mark Brantley, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Aviation, highly commended the work of Her Excellency Sherry Tross, High Commissioner of St. Kitts and Nevis in Ottawa, and her team with relevant authorities in Canada, particularly after the requirement to travel to Trinidad or Barbados was added to the visa application process for fingerprinting purposes.

Foreign Minister Brantley, along with Prime Minister Harris, met and dialogued with high level Canadian officials in Ottawa and Barbados with the aim of reducing the challenges to nationals applying for visas to Canada.

“The success of the biometrics collection exercise in the Federation is a testament to the need that exists, and I am grateful to Canada for facilitating the process for this to occur right here in St Kitts and Nevis,” Brantley said. “This initiative offers a practical example of how cooperation between countries can trickle down to the benefit of our citizens.”

The Canadian Government had introduced the new visa requirements for nationals of St. Kitts and Nevis travelling to Canada five years ago for security reasons. Minister Brantley said he is confident, based on the on the obvious need, as well as the strong bilateral bonds between both countries, that this pilot programme will develop into a regular activity, at least in the short to medium term.