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Vincentians can now travel visa free to Brazil – Foreign Minister

Vincentians can now travel visa free to Brazil – Foreign Minister

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Any Vincentian planning to travel to Brazil in the near future may do so without having to acquire a visa first.

Last Friday, while speaking in the House of Assembly, Minister of Foreign Affairs Camillo Gonsalves announced that as of November 15, 2014, Vincentians and Brazilians will benefit from visa free travel between their countries.{{more}}

“The Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines and the Government of Brazil have exchanged instruments to confer a visa free movement of Vincentians and Brazilians between our two countries, commencing on the 15th of November, coming. Vincentians and Brazilians will be able to visit our respective countries for a period not exceeding 90 days in the first instance and renewable for up to 180 days,” he said.

Gonsalves stressed that this waiver was particularly for tourism purposes and that there were still requirements to be fulfilled for persons going to work or study.

The Foreign Affairs Minister, who described the South American country as a footballing mecca and a carnival capital, pointed out that Brazil was the world’s fifth largest country and was of great interest to St Vincent and the Grenadines and the rest of the world.

“It is a top 10 economy. Brazil is ranked seventh in the world’s economy and has a GDP of 2.5 trillion US dollars and it is one of what they call the BRICS – the largest and most influential emerging economies, starting from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa,” he said.

“We all know Brazil has a very unique culture, a very rich history and a very bright future. In the immediate future, many of us know that Brazil in 2016, August of 2016, will be hosting the Olympic Games and Vincentians can now plan their trip to Brazil to cheer on our own athletes and regional athletes without having to worry about the impediments of getting a visa.”

According to Gonsalves, Brazil will be the 40th country outside of CARICOM with which this country has a formal, reciprocal visa free travel agreement for regular passport holders.

He added that this number is expected to increase in the near future, following some negotiations that are currently ongoing.

“If you add the members of CARICOM, to which we have agreements by treaty, then you have 54 countries that we don’t require visas to travel and there are a number of other countries that Vincentians don’t require visas to visit, but those agreements are not formalized in the way of a formal visa waiver or reciprocal agreement,” Gonsalves said.

“It is also important to note that in the short term, we anticipate rising from 54 countries to which we do not need a visa to 80 countries, because we are in the midst of negotiations with the European Union and the European Commission for…reciprocal waiver of visas to enter the European Schengen Zone and there are 26 countries in that zone and we’re hoping very soon to conclude negotiations in that regard, so that we won’t need visas to visit Europe.”(BK)

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