Cabinet extends amnesty programme by two months, citing long queue of applicants still to be processed

The Government’s Amnesty programme has been extended by an additional two months.

The initiative commenced on March 1 and was expected to conclude this Saturday, April 30.  However, on Wednesday, April 27, the Cabinet reportedly agreed to extend the amnesty period for a further 60 days, until June 30.

According to this week’s Cabinet Notes, “there is a large number of undocumented immigrants who are still queuing to be processed at the Immigration Department before April 30 – the original deadline.”

A source tells REAL News that a large number of people apparently waited until the last minute, hoping to avoid the large crowds expected at the beginning of the initiative, and this has created another bottleneck situation.

The source also says that money could have played a role in the large number of persons going in this late.

Cabinet agreed that this additional time will enable all immigrants to comfortably receive the benefits of its amnesty.

Persons who have resided in the country for a continuous period of four years, but who have not yet completed seven years, will be granted residency under the amnesty. Additionally, persons with seven years or more in residency will be cleared for citizenship.

The initiative is being administered by the Department of Immigration.

Many locals are still of the opinion that the programme is a scheme by the Browne Administration to ensure the non-nationals vote for them during the upcoming general elections.