Dilemma!

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Patricia
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Dilemma!

Post by Patricia » Mon Jul 14, 2014 5:04 pm

Hi all,

Ayn advice you can offer will be greatly appreciated. My fiance is a born CARICOM national who weeks before our intended travel to TT just realized his passport is expired :( . He attempted to visit the Consulate of his birth country to apply for a renewal and was told it will be 2 months before he receives his new one, which means it won't get here in time for travel :cry: :cry: :cry: .

Is there any way he can enter Trinidad and Tobago as a CARICOM national with an expired passport? He holds a valid U.S. green card, just not a valid passport. His passport is 6 months expired. I am completely distraught here and would appreciate any advice you may have on how he can enter Trinidad and Tobago as a CARICOM national :cry: .

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Re: Dilemma!

Post by Glyn Kirpalani » Mon Jul 14, 2014 9:02 pm

Sadly the often stated goals of freedom of movement for Caricom nationals within the islands of the member states is still largely a dream, and every year T&T deports hundreds of Caricom illegal workers, prostitutes etc - as well as occasional USA nationals. Even if freedom of movement for Caricom nationals had already been fully launched, your chap would most likely require a valid Caricom passport to enter for the purposes of employment, or even just your vacation. Call the T&T consulate in New York to check that I am not speaking from my butt! Perhaps someone else has more up to date info, good luck

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Patricia
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Re: Dilemma!

Post by Patricia » Mon Jul 14, 2014 9:08 pm

Glyn Kirpalani wrote:Sadly the often stated goals of freedom of movement for Caricom nationals within the islands of the member states is still largely a dream, and every year T&T deports hundreds of Caricom illegal workers, prostitutes etc - as well as occasional USA nationals. Even if freedom of movement for Caricom nationals had already been fully launched, your chap would most likely require a valid Caricom passport to enter for the purposes of employment, or even just your vacation. Call the T&T consulate in New York to check that I am not speaking from my butt! Perhaps someone else has more up to date info, good luck
Thaanks for your response, Glyn.

Apparently it MAY be possible for him to enter TT if the Guyanese consulate issued a temporary travel passport/emergency passport for his travel. Not clear if it only limits travel to Guyana though and/or if they can issue approval of roundtrip passage. We will know for certain by tomorrow when we visit the Guyanese consulate here in NY which has indicated some flexibility in granting approval. *Crosses fingers* We just have to provide proof that he has no intention of overstaying his stay in TT.

Will update tomorrow.

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Re: Dilemma!

Post by Glyn Kirpalani » Mon Jul 14, 2014 9:18 pm

Anything is worth a try, but in my prior long experience of immigration stuff, emergency passports are really issued by states for the purposes of single journey repatriation only (with possible transit points en route - which may not permit exit from the transit airport eg Piarco).

So be aware that the Guyanese may issue him an emergency document with, say, 30 days validity - but it may not be accepted for boarding by the airline to T&T. Or if it is, he may be refused leave to enter at Piarco - and the Trinidad immigration detention centre will not offer the kind of comfort or vacation pleasure he is looking for :)

All that said, this is the developing world and I am 10 years out of working in the field, plus it is possible that Guyana and T&T have some kind of reciprocal arrangement so it is definitely worth going to see both the Guyanese and T&T consulates. I will be interested to hear the result.

NB: his final option will be to ask how long the Guyanese passport department takes to issue new passports in Georgetown itself - if it can be done very quickly back at the home country main office, Plan B would be for him to get an emergency 1 way ETD to get him there where he can get a new full passport then zip over to T&T for the vacation

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Re: Dilemma!

Post by Patricia » Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:28 pm

Glyn Kirpalani wrote:Anything is worth a try, but in my prior long experience of immigration stuff, emergency passports are really issued by states for the purposes of single journey repatriation only (with possible transit points en route - which may not permit exit from the transit airport eg Piarco).

So be aware that the Guyanese may issue him an emergency document with, say, 30 days validity - but it may not be accepted for boarding by the airline to T&T. Or if it is, he may be refused leave to enter at Piarco - and the Trinidad immigration detention centre will not offer the kind of comfort or vacation pleasure he is looking for :)

All that said, this is the developing world and I am 10 years out of working in the field, plus it is possible that Guyana and T&T have some kind of reciprocal arrangement so it is definitely worth going to see both the Guyanese and T&T consulates. I will be interested to hear the result.

NB: his final option will be to ask how long the Guyanese passport department takes to issue new passports in Georgetown itself - if it can be done very quickly back at the home country main office, Plan B would be for him to get an emergency 1 way ETD to get him there where he can get a new full passport then zip over to T&T for the vacation
So update: My fiance was able to receive a 5 month extension on his expired passport and a return travel document from TT and back to the US from the Guyanese consulate. The travel document is valid for 6 months from the date of entrance into TT. We confirmed with the TT consulate what they wanted and they stated the return travel document would be acceptable and/or an extension on the expired passport. The Guyanese consulate stated they had issued similar travel documents to previous Guyanese nationals traveling to TT without a valid passport and they didn't hear of there being an issue. My only concern is what is the period of validity on a passport from the time we enter Trinidad. 3 months? 6 months? We figure if the 5 month extension on his passport doesn't work, we have the travel document as back up. I can only hope its smooth sailing from here.

Either way, its back to planning for our trip!! Thanks for responding, Glyn! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

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Re: Dilemma!

Post by Robert T » Tue Jul 15, 2014 5:48 pm

3/6 months rule is long gone. Passports gotta be valid for the duration of your stay.

Rob

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Re: Dilemma!

Post by Glyn Kirpalani » Tue Jul 15, 2014 6:41 pm

Patricia that is good news, you've done brilliantly to resurrect a long expired old passport for some extra time!

Yes Robert is right, when I worked in tourism on the island I never heard of anyone with a short-life passport being refused entry if they were just staying a short while, despite what the government websites say, but in any event at this late stage you are going to have to chance it anyway - just don't raise it with the immigration officer when you arrive, and if all else fails burst into tears and start wailing, nobody likes to see a woman cry :)

Enjoy your vacation

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