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Caribbean fixing visa woes for Cricket World Cup

Caricom admitted on Thursday hitting "a snag" in issuing common visas in Sydney for Australian and New Zealand cricket fans.

india Updated: Dec 22, 2006 11:49 IST

The Caribbean Community (Caricom) admitted on Thursday  hitting "a snag" in issuing common visas in Sydney for Australian and New Zealand cricket fans who want to travel to the region for the 2007 Cricket World Cup but denied fans were being exploited by the cost of the visa.

Caricom's website listing the visa-issuing locations on Thursday stated: "We apologise for the delay in setting up the issuing site in Sydney. Further information will be posted here shortly."

Caribbean nationals who want to travel to Australia have to send their passports to Canada to get visas and the region has spent huge sums to issue special visas in Australia for the World Cup.

Deputy Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley assured that the temporary consul would be set up shortly but did not give a date.

"Yes we have hit a snag with the issuing of the CARICOM Special Visa in Australia but we are seeking to resolve the issue as soon as possible. I wish to assure our friends in Australia that this will be ironed out", said Mottley, who chairs Caricom's sub-committee on security.

"We took the decision to establish a temporary physical consular presence in Australia to reduce the inconvenience to Australians and New Zealanders."

Confusion over the availability of the visas in Sydney forced Trinidad and Tobago's Honorary Consul in Australia, Mike Agostini, to resign after he was not repaid for a six-month lease for office space he had secured for Caricom to set up the issuing site in Sydney.