SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — The Haitian Embassy began distributing passports and study visas that had been confiscated from dozens of Haitians, according to local media. The return of the documents follows months of protests and pleas by Haitian students.
The Dominican government initially began withholding the documents in May 2021, local news outlet Listin Diario reported. In November, the Dominican government indefinitely suspended the special program to grant visas to Haitian university students residing in the country after Dominican President Luis Abinader and then-Haitian Foreign Minister Claude Joseph traded barbs over Haiti’s crises. By then, migration from Haiti to the DR had also increased as Haiti faced numerous natural and socio-political crises.
The Dominican Government then stopped granting visas entirely for study purposes.
Groups of affected students then began protesting for the return of their travel and visa documents. In January, Haiti’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship, Jean Victor Généus, announced that the Dominican Republic has agreed to grant entry to Haitian students again.
Months went by before Dominican authorities finally delivered the passports and visas of about 50 students initially affected to the Haitian Embassy and consulates on Wednesday, according to local news EFE. The students then went to collect them Thursday.