An Economic Case for Visa Waivers for Liberians Naturalized in Diaspora

UHRI offers alternative to dual-citizenship stalemate

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“If you cannot get in through the front or back doors, try a window or a chimney,” the saying goes, suggesting that persistence in solutions-oriented engagement could yield to positive results.  Without jumping the gun, however, one wonders whether the Government of Liberia in the past decade of power ever considered an idea recently proffered recently by a United States-based rights group, that appears to make good business sense.

Universal Human Rights International (UHRI), the group is called, has appealed to the Liberian government to grant visa waivers to its citizens who have acquired citizenship in other countries.  The group said though many Liberians sought greener pastures and safety during the civil war and naturalized abroad, their economic contributions to Liberia and Liberians at home have and continue to greatly support the Liberian economy.

Therefore, Rev. Torli Krua, founder and executive director of UHRI, believes that if granted, a visa waiver will encourage Diaspora Liberians to contribute to the private sector and provide jobs for many people in the country.

“This does not necessarily mean they should be allowed to hold dual citizenship,” Rev. Krua added.

He argued that while the government of Liberia grants visa waivers to allow citizens of other West African countries to enter Liberia, “it requests payments from those whose navel strings are buried in Liberia.”

“During the war, I tried to start businesses in ECOWAS countries and it was impossible. Now, ECOWAS citizens come to Liberia without a visa to do business, bringing their relatives to work and taking their profits back home.

“It was the current ruling elite that sponsored or fought the war that drove Liberians into exile.

“The Diaspora Liberians still support their families in Liberia, while government officials and foreign business men are sending money out of Liberia.

“If the president truly desires lawmakers to pass a dual citizenship bill, why isn’t she taking the first step toward reconciliation, family integration and economic revitalization by issuing an Executive Order which only the president has the authority to sign?” he said.

Accordingly, Rev. Krua has called on President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to issue an Executive Order granting visa waivers to all Liberians forced into exile because of the military coup and brutal civil wars in the interest of national reconciliation, family reunion and economic recovery.

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9 COMMENTS

  1. Mr. Krua, yours is an idea whose time for implementation seems long over due…..one wonders if such an apparently practical move would increase travel to Liberia on the part of Liberians living abroad, which might also lead to an increase in the number of airlines servicing Liberia.

  2. It’s a very good idea. But I don’t think any ECOWAS country will denied you Business establishment in their country when you meet all the proper requirements. I knew a Liberian man who left for one of these ECOWAS country during the war in Liberia who is now a very successful businessman now.

  3. Mr. Krua, thanks for bringing out such a wonderful ideas! If what you said is taken into consideration, jobs and others investments will be coming to Liberia through our Liberian brothers and sisters that are residing aboard. Take a look at Nigeria and others African countries, their citizens brought back a lot of businesses that hired some of their fellows citizens and in turned drive down the unemployment rate. But for Liberia, citizens are charged $131 for a three months visa and than your passport only got stamped for one month at the airport even if you want to visit for few months. You have to pay money every month at the immigration office for another month stamps, so if you wants to be in Liberia for twelve months, you have to paid on twelve different occasions for immigration stamp and at the same time you will ended up getting twelve different visas or stamps in your passport! I hope the government take into consideration your ideas, cause it will helps bring investments, jobs, and developments into the country!

  4. Our constitutionalist or law makers only make laws that takes the country backwards. The president n our so-call law makers are not patriotic Liberian because this doesn’t require any extra wisdom. It’s a common sense idea for economic growth n development of the country. They make laws to suffer the people while they get richer.

  5. You want to be a Liberians keep your passport but so long you denial your nationality no visa waiver . As matter,of fact you want deprived the government of revenue generation machinism and is not fair to the little man on ground.I don’t agree for visa waiver for any foreigner period.

  6. Oh! really,we should keep our”s investments as a result of visa waiver for naturalized Liberian,do u really know the consequences of reprocusion it will have on the Liberian economy and it”s citizen?You have to accept that,Many countries that is developed today has some form of citizens and people that lived in the Diaspora.Especially,the positive economic impact it has provided to the Liberian economy.So we need to be greatfull to your”s fellow brothers and sisters for such investments in the Liberian economy.I hope the pro poor government will support and encourage diasporans to continue to invest in the economy that will help to create job opportunity for our’s people ‘ya!!As the common men say.God bless Liberia and the state.

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