Research Countries Before Travelling

Research Countries Before Travelling

Jamaicans are being encouraged to research the countries that they are planning to visit before leaving the island.

Speaking at a recent JIS Think Tank, Director of the Consular Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Ariel Bowen, said that such due diligence is necessary to avoid being caught in conflict or war.

“Understand the culture of where you are going, especially beyond the normal vacation. Take the time to do a bit of reading. Find out about the location and what may be happening there at the location.

“There may be things going on, political upheavals, and you may get caught in it and it becomes difficult for you. So, by all means, make sure that you prepare before you go, even if you are going there long term,” she urged.

Mrs. Bowen is also advising persons travelling overseas to register their names and contact information at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade via the Ministry’s website, http://www.mfaft.gov.jm

She said that persons can also email their details to [email protected] To ensure that the information is not retained beyond the period of the visit, persons should indicate their departure from the foreign country via the same email.

The Ministry evacuated more than 25 Jamaicans from Ukraine recently, following Russia’s military invasion of the country.

Nationals in Russia are communicating with the Consular Affairs Department to prepare to leave the country for their safety.

Undersecretary of the Diaspora, Protocol and Consular Affairs Division, Frantz Hall, who also spoke at the Think Tank, is advising citizens to have the contact details of the Jamaican honorary consuls or embassies in the countries that they are visiting.

“The information is available online. It is important to add those numbers and email addresses to your list of contacts when travelling,” he said.

He is also encouraging persons to pay attention to the information in their passport.

“There is information… indicating the importance of maintaining contact with the representative officer of the Government of Jamaica in the particular location [of travel],” he pointed out.

Mr. Hall said that the Department is guided not only by domestic legislation but by the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations in providing assistance to Jamaican and foreign nationals.

The Consular Department is supported by a network of 19 Jamaican Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates General, as well as 95 Honorary Consuls.

WRITTEN BY: E. HARTMAN RECKORD
SOURCE: JIS news

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