This story has been updated…
By Sue Wayow
FROM Monday January 25, there will be a new online application system fully developed by the State for those desiring to get exemptions to travel in and out of the country.
This was announced by National Security Minister Stuart Young.
During a press conference on Friday, Young said it was created with the hope that the exemption process will be fast- tracked and more equitable.
He said, “At Monday, we plan to introduce a new system. For persons applying to return and to exit Trinidad and Tobago. There is going to be a new online, IT driven application form system.
“Everyone who wishes to return to T&T is going to be asked to go and fill out this form from Monday similar to what we fill out when we are applying for visas.”
He said the form will have a number of essential questions one of which will be “When did you last leave T&T?” The answer to that question should provide information that will aid in bringing equity in the distribution of exemptions to citizens.
Young said, “The online system has unique features. You can only fill out the form once. If you are filling out the form for yourself and your family members, the information for yourself and your family members is in the same form. The form will produce a unique identification number. The form then goes into a database and send you email over time where your application has reached etcetera.”
He added, “We are making it a statutory declaration, very similar to when you are coming into Trinidad, and you have to fill out your immigration and customs form that you declare that all of the information on the form is truthful, otherwise, it could be a potential criminal offence.”
The national security minister said immigration officials will be verifying the information filled out online and policy remains that exemption will be granted based on a case by case basis.
He added that there was extra strain on the system when person were granted exemptions but for whatever reason, choose not to return at the time given by the ministry.
Young said as at January 21, there have been 19, 941 applications from persons wanting to enter the country with 11, 682 of those being granted.
As the Covid-19 pandemic evolves especially with new strains of the virus, government will continue to change its strategy so as not to overwhelm the healthcare system, he added.
And he asked persons to think carefully about their travel options at this time.
Below is the initial post:
AN online application form will be the new way to get an exemption to enter or leave Trinidad and Tobago.
This was announced by Minister of National Security Minister Stuart Young at a press conference on Friday.
He said people will only fill out the form once and the applicant will be given a unique indentification number.
Young said applicants will have to make a statutory declaration as part of the process and will also be asked when they left T&T.