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All Haitian Nationals Need Visa to Enter Belize

Apr 6, 2023

All Haitian Nationals Need Visa to Enter Belize

In a cabinet brief issued last Thursday, the Briceño administration informed that government will invoke Article 226 (a) of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas which will allow for the Minister of Immigration to immediately impose a visa requirement for Haitians wishing to visit Belize.  That decision was taken in light of the fact that over two thousand Haitian nationals entered Belize between March 2022 and April of this year.  Of that number, over one thousand, nine hundred have vanished without a trace, presumably crossing over into Mexico illegally, en route to the United States.  Chief Executive Officer, Doctor Gilroy Middleton told us more about the dilemma and what is being done to curb the influx of Haitian nationals using Belize as a transit point to North America.

On the phone: Dr. Gilroy Middleton, C.E.O., Ministry of Immigration

“When the new administration took over, we’d been working on our international obligations, specifically the foreign trade aspect.  My colleague working over in foreign trade, and we removed the visa restriction for Haiti and Suriname.  Since then, the numbers have indicated that we’ve had a large number of Haitians entering Belize to the tune of some two thousand, ninety-five.  So this would be the period January 2022 to March 2023, we’ve had some two thousand, ninety-five Haitians entering the country, primarily via PGIA.  Of that number, only some one hundred and twenty-one have left through PGIA, and in terms of checking our MIDAS border-crossing system, the haven’t left via the northern border, western border, southern border or any other of our entry and exit points.  So that shows that one thousand, nine hundred and seventy-four Haitians that came into Belize are unaccounted for.  Working with the police department, the BDF, they are unaccounted for.  The theory is that they went north.  So after we provided the visa-free access to Haitians as per our CARICOM obligations, this has been the result.  Therefore, looking at the numbers, it was recommended that that specific visa be reinstated.  So that was the result of the Haitian visas being reinstated.  The honorable Eamon Courtenay, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Immigration has informed CARICOM of what we have done, so that was formally done.”