During his visit with President Alejandro Giammattei in Guatemala, Prime Minister John Briceno met with Belizean students who are currently studying in Guatemala. According to PM Briceno, one of the challenges he brought up with President Giammattei is in regards to student visas.
Hon. John Briceno, Prime Minister of Belize: “Presently we have hundreds of Guatemalan kids come across the border every day to go to school. Of course because of the pandemic that has not been happening but at the same time we have our adult, more mature students, Belizeans, that go to Guatemala go to university to become engineer or a doctor or architect, to specialize and so we recognize that so one of the things we’ve been asking is that the issue of the visas for students to be normalized so that it would not take them months to be able to get it. The whole idea is then to have the Guatemalan institutes, once an accredited institute accepts a Belizean student to go to that school then they would only need to present that to the people at immigration and then that would allow them to be able to move in and out of the country. When I met with them it was very exciting there’s only presently around twenty of them, most of them are working online from Belize but the ones that I met most of them are studying to be doctors and they have to be in country to be able to do their hands on part of the studies. I took the opportunity to be able to explain to them the financial situation why is it that we’re taking these tough decisions and they full appreciate it. Like all Beliezeans they’re very concerned, they’re very nationalistic they want to see that Belize improves and can do better so my message to them was simple – for Belize to get better you guys have to come back home once you finish and generally most of them agreed that they have every intention to come back home because there’s only one home and that is Belize.”
Prime Minister, John Briceno.