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Restrictions on length of stay?

Halifax, Canada
10 posts
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Restrictions on length of stay?

Hello,

I am a Canadian Citizen planning on purchasing a one-way ticket to St Kitts at the end of the year. I am just wondering if there is a limit on the length of time I can spend there before having to leave? I have been researching but haven't been able to find a solid answer.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks

Nevis
Destination Expert
for Nevis
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6,751 posts
8 reviews
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1. Re: Restrictions on length of stay?

There are a couple of issues here:

1) Non-citizens can legally stay for a maximum of up to 6 consecutive months and no more than 6 months in any calendar year. That aside, generally speaking, the immigration officials will only grant you a 30 day visitor's visa upon your arrival. If you want to extend your stay beyond that 30 days you'll have go back to the immigration office a few days prior to the expiration and request an extension. While you might be granted up to five "30 day" extensions (for a total of 6 months) there is no guarantee the extensions will be granted. If the extension is granted, you'll be charged a small "fee" (around $50EC) for each extension. If the extension is not granted you'll be required to leave the country.

2) Non-citizens are also required to have an on-going" ticket before they will be allowed entry to the country. While most visitors who come for a week or two vacation are not asked to show their on-going ticket there's a good chance chance you'll be asked to show the ticket since you'll be requesting a longer stay. You may also be asked to prove you have the financial means to support yourself without working during your extended stagy. Whether or not you'll be asked to show your on-going ticket and/or proof of financial stability is subject to the whim of the immigration office who is on duty the day you arrive or request an extension of your visitor's visa.

Now, I'm not sure exactly what additional information is in the "immigration" data base but I can tell you that the last time I was leaving the island after the immigration officer scanned my passport my complete flight itinerary for that day was in his data base and appeared on his display screen so they obviously have access to more data than just your entry and exit.

Let me add one other comment, you may hear some anecdotal stories of how to get around the 6 month stay restriction by suggesting that all you have to do is leave the island for a day or two at the end of your initial 6 month stay and when you return the 6 months starts again. This may have been true years ago when immigration officials rarely checked the "stamps" in your passport but this tact is no longer feasible since the immigration records are now fully computerized. Your passport will be scanned when you enter the country and your entry (and exit) dates will be permanently entered into the data base. Your "immigration record" will show up every time you enter and leave the country. The immigration officials WILL NOT let you exceed the 6 month stay/calendar year rules.

St. Kitts
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407 posts
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2. Re: Restrictions on length of stay?

Every thing that Caribsurfer said is true except that the extension fee has gone up. The last I knew it was $150EC and that was several years ago. You may want to check with your airlines before you purchase the ticket, because if you are not a citizen or permanent resident, you may not be allowed to buy a one way ticket. If you do get one, immigration may not allow you to enter the country and then you would be in trouble. Everything that was said about the extension is also true, but you will need to go to immigration several days before your 30 days are up, apply for the extension, and you must leave your passport with your application. I was never comfortable leaving my passport there. I have since become a permanent resident so I have no issues with that.any longer. Good Luck

Windsor, Canada
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308 posts
6 reviews
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3. Re: Restrictions on length of stay?

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Edited: 02 November 2013, 22:05
Halifax, Canada
10 posts
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4. Re: Restrictions on length of stay?

Thanks very much for the info! Your responses have been very helpful!

Sidney, Canada
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267 posts
24 reviews
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5. Re: Restrictions on length of stay?

For what its worth, I checked our status on Nevis, knowing that we will be staying an additional 28 days longer than our itinial 30 days and was told by the Tourism Office on Nevis: (Paraphrased) "Before 30 days up, go to the government offices at the Bath Hotel site. They will examine your paperwork and if okay, send you to visit the local police station to finalize the extension process." We will do this but have been told that the officials (which ones?) will take our passports to be returned later (?). Further, if we can't make it to the above offices, there is a 10 day "grace" period. Nope...we'll be down there before the 30 days are up. I'll let the forum know of how this process works as we deal with the paperwork. Cheers, R.

6. Re: Restrictions on length of stay?

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