National security minister finalising revised Immigration Act

ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Minister of Labour Dr Errol Cort said within two weeks, he hopes to have finalised the revised Immigration Act which would bring in new categories of residence, among other changes.

“We are still seeking to fine-tune the draft of the bill,” he said. “That has been a vexing issue. It’s something that has been long outstanding.”

The Bill had its first reading in Parliament in 2013 but is yet to be debated.

“I am hoping over the next two weeks at most, we should be able to finalise the draft,” Dr Cort said.

The minister said there has been a lengthy drafting process that has included at least four draftspersons.

“My hope and expectation is that it will make it to the Parliament of Antigua & Barbuda some time early in 2014.”

The Bill will introduce a number of new categories for residents, including for those married to an Antiguan, those who have vacation homes here, among others.

“The Immigration Bill will make some substantial changes and certainly go a long way in levelling the playing field and making it easier for persons who are currently dealing with both the Immigration Department and the Work Permit Department,” Dr Cort explained.