by Nerissa Golden
BRADES, Montserrat (GIU) -- The government of Montserrat has achieved one of its major reform milestones with the announcement that, from September 1, visa applications can be processed online.
The Department for Information Technology and eGovernment Services (DITES) spearheaded the project in collaboration with the Immigration Department to establish MOVA, the Montserrat Online Visa Application system. Travellers from countries that require a visa to travel to Montserrat will be able to go online and complete the process of applying for a visa. Once the visa is approved, an electronic visa will be issued to the applicant via email in PDF format. The online visa processing requires a US$50 transaction fee for each visa application.
Director of DITES Denzil West said, “Effective Saturday 1 September 2012, all applications for a visa to enter Montserrat should be made via MOVA on www.immigration.ms
He added that plans are already in progress to expand MOVA to include a number of other immigration and work permit related transactions via the Internet.
Premier Reuben Meade welcomed the announcement and the progress being made to fulfil his commitment to offering more of government’s services online to facilitate easier transactions for those living at home and abroad. “This opens the door for the payments of property taxes, income taxes online.”
The implementation of MOVA was managed by the Department of Information Technology and e-Government Services; with the design and coding outsourced to a Montserrat based IT start-up company LavaBits.
MOVA is the first government application to be able to accept online payments via credit cards. This application is expected to be the first of a number of eGovernment applications through which the public will be able to access and pay for services online.
ASYCUDA which was launched online last year is highly utilised and successful but does not have e-payment facilities as yet. The Montserrat Land Information System, being developed by the Physical Planning Unit in conjunction with LavaBits and supported by DITES will be available online within the next few months; this application will also have e-payment facilities.
The complete listing of the countries that require a visa to travel to Montserrat is available on the website.