PARAMARIBO, Suriname – Suriname is moving to abolish entry visas to the Dutch-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country by May 1.
Foreign Affairs, International Business and International Cooperation Minister, Albert Ramdin said the government is formulating policy to make it easier for foreign travelers to come to Suriname and that the intention is to abolish visas for visitors from the Netherlands, Belgium, France, the United States and Canada.
“That means that people from those countries do not need to apply for a visa, "Ramdin told reporters.
“Of course they will have to stop at Zanderij (international airport) to make their contribution to our economy by paying an entrance fee, which is approximately equal to the costs of applying for a visa,” said Ramdin.
He said that in the coming weeks, the government will hold discussions with the various stakeholders including airlines and travel agencies about the new policy measure.
But travelers from the five countries will be subjected to a thorough security screening beforehand and those spotted on international search lists will not be allowed access to the country.
Ramdin acknowledged that the new move is unilateral and that Surinamese nationals do not as yet have the same facilities for entering the five countries.
“At the moment it is a unilateral action by Suriname, so on our part alone. The aim of the government is to facilitate the entry of foreign travelers in order to stimulate tourism,” Ramdin said, noting that discussions will be held with the five countries in the coming weeks.
Ramdin is also promising that other countries will be added to the list in but defended the decision to abolish the visa requirement for visitors from those five countries because data shows that most foreigners who visit Suriname come from these countries, particularly, the Netherlands and Belgium.