National Assembly - Government does not give financial help to citizens stranded in foreign countries - Minister

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National Assembly - Government does not give financial help to citizens stranded in foreign countries - Minister Empty National Assembly - Government does not give financial help to citizens stranded in foreign countries - Minister

Post  Sirop14 on Thu Apr 10, 2014 7:59 am

National Assembly - Government does not give financial help to citizens stranded in foreign countries - Minister

10-April-2014

Seychellois citizens living abroad should ensure their documents are in order because the government is not responsible for the cost of bringing them back home in cases where they are deported, the National Assembly has learned.

Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Paul Adam informed the Assembly during Question Time on Tuesday that Seychelles’ policy is to offer consular help to all Seychellois citizens in distress abroad but not to provide financial help.

“This is only considered when a family is in difficulty to put together the sum required for the repatriation cost but on the condition that it will be refunded,” Minister Adam stressed.
Elected member for Port Glaud Sultane Jacqueline had asked the minister if the government had any plans to repatriate Seychellois citizens living abroad but who are facing difficulties because they do not have the necessary documents and want to return to Seychelles.

Minister Adam explained that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs advises all Seychellois citizens who decide to live abroad to ensure they have followed the necessary procedures which include having the required documents such as living, working and study permits in order to be able to stay in the country they have decided to settle in.

But Minister Adam said his ministry is aware that there are Seychellois living with no legal status, especially in countries with large Seychellois communities.

He said those people concerned could be detained or deported when authorities in these countries carry out identity checks.

Minister Adam said that through diplomatic mechanisms in place, the Foreign Affairs ministry is informed of such cases and it in turn informs family members and other concerned parties like the immigration department.

He noted that the consular service within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs helps Seychellois citizens in the process of being repatriated and this include helping them obtain temporary travel documents.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is not responsible for the travelling costs of any individual but can only provide financial help in a case where the person does not have the financial means. But there again it is only with the assurance that the money will be refunded by the individual or family members,” Minister Adam stressed.

He further pointed out that it is up to every Seychellois citizen to take their responsibility when travelling to avoid such unpleasant and embarrassing situations but added that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs tries as much as possible to help families where necessary with the repatriation process.

For citizens who are grown-up and can no longer feature on their parents’ travel documents they should not have any problem to regularise their status in that country. But Minister Adam said they should seek help and report to the consular service within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here if they are facing any difficulty in such process.

Minister Adam said there have been one or two cases in the recent past where the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has helped in repatriating Seychellois citizens.

He is calling on all Seychellois citizens in distress abroad to seek help at a Seychelles embassy, a honorary consul or the British high commission in cases where both previously mentioned services are absent in the country where they are.

People can also visit the Foreign Affairs ministry’s website where there are different contact numbers and email addresses which they could contact to seek help.

http://www.nation.sc/article.html?id=241313

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