|Amendment to visa regulations foreshadowed|
|Thursday, 26 July 2012 08:39|
NASSAU, The Bahamas -- The Government is to amend the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Act with respect to the terms and conditions of visas for non-Bahamians, Parliament was told.
Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister the Hon. Fred Mitchell said the amendment relates to section 6(c) of the Act.
It will allow for establishing, codifying and regulating the issuance and terms and conditions of visas for the entry of persons who are not citizens or permanent residents of The Bahamas, he said.
“I expect that the regulations will be laid for the issuance of visas by the Fall of 2012,” he said. “This is to put the issuance of visas on a transparent and more public and objective basis.
“At the moment, the issuance of visas is governed by an agglomeration of conventions, written and unwritten rules and the inherent power of the Government to regulate who enters The Bahamas. This is designed to put the issuance of visas on a more formal basis.”
Mr Mitchell also foreshadowed the first reading of another amendment to the Foreign Affairs Act.The proposed Bill, he said, is a clarifying and enabling amendment.
It seeks to amend Section 6 of the existing Act. The Act creates the Minister of Foreign Affairs as a corporation sole.
The Governor General under Section 6 of the Act is empowered to make regulations under the Act. The amendments seek to do two things, Mr Mitchell said.
The first amendment is to Section 6(a) which deletes the present section and seeks by the new section to make it clear that Foreign Service Orders can be implemented and what those Foreign Service Orders will do, he explained.
“When the new regulations or Foreign Service Orders come into force,” said Mr Mitchell, “it is our expectation that a proper foreign service will be implemented with its own discrete career path for employees of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at home and abroad.”
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