Guyanese welcome visa-free access to the UK

Guyanese social media was abuzz yesterday following news that the United Kingdom has removed the visa requirements for nationals, who have a valid passport, to stay in the country for up to six months.

In true Caribbean style, the news was with a flurry of jokes and memes that made light of the situation.

One commenter wrote on Facebook: “The day USA get vex and give we visa free access, by next morning Guyana empty.”

Another person commented: “Didn’t get to carry some pepper pot to Lizzy’s funeral (Queen Elizabeth II) but meh gon tek some to King Charles coronation.”

Social media personality Comedian Damian CoolBoyz wrote: “Soon London, USA and others will have to come Guyana to clean Guyanese #BT. Remember #Oilmoney.”

The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) welcomed the move, which took years of lobbying.

“The Chamber is confident now more than ever that Visa-Free travel will foster deepened economic relations and promote private-sector development for both countries. The GCCI continues to be a national partner in economic growth by way of private sector development,” GCCI stated.

On the other side of the social media reactions, are those questioning the motives behind the UK

“On a serious note, this visa free travel for Guyanese is a promotional venture to ensure that BA flights are filled to capacity. British citizens always came to Guyana visa free, usually a reciprocal arrangement, but we were denied that facility sometime in the late 80s,” one person commented.

 

Another person said: “Why the sudden change of heart? We begged the UK for years to give us visa free access similar to Trinidad, Barbados and many of our CARICOM neighbours. Guyanese need to be very careful about the motives behind this.”

Some have also called the government to remove visa free access to Guyana to travellers whose countries that impose visas on Guyanese.

“Visa-free travel into Guyana should only be afforded to countries which offer visa-free travel for Guyanese into their country. #reciprocity,” one person commented:

Another person wrote: “Visa-free travel to the US has to be next. It just isn’t fair to pay $30k for a visa, get denied and can’t get your money back. How is it fair when any American, rich or poor, from any stratum of American life can simply board a plane and come to Guyana. Yet Guyanese have to prove worthiness to get a visa after applying and standing in line. C’mon times are changing. If we are partners, then let’s be real partners.”



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