Turks And Caicos Relaxes Immigration Rules
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
The Turks and Caicos Islands government has announced that it has relaxed
immigration rules on short-term visitors to the island.
The Ministry of Border Control announced that it is tripling from 30 days to
90 days the maximum period that businesspeople and tourists can visit the island
without seeking an extension to stay.
The change in rules was made in an amendment to the Immigration Ordinance,
which has been altered to allow immigration officers to allow entry to visitors
to "enter and remain for a period not exceeding 90 days." Effective
since May 1, 2010, the amendment will allow immigration officers to determine
the length of a visitor’s stay, but the use of a 90 day tenure will be at the
discretion of the government. Strict measures will still be in place to deal
with any abuse, the Ministry said.
On making the announcement, Clara Gardiner, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry
of Border Control and Labour, said: "As we look to bring on economic recovery,
it is key that we make it clear that the Turks and Caicos Islands welcome genuine
visitors and investors to the islands. Our new 90-day policy is intended to
She added: "For instance, a retired couple from abroad who own property in the islands,
who wish to visit for a long vacation, or an investor supervising the setting
up [of] a new business, should not be required to reduce their stay, nor apply for
multiple extensions. Such visitors are not competing in the local job market,
nor do they place a burden on public services, but they do contribute significantly
to the local economy and give generously to local charities and community events.
Gardiner concluded: "People like these should be welcomed to these shores. The islands should be
encouraging them to plan for an extended hassle-free stay."