Starting Jan. 3, 2017, the Trinidad & Tobago Consulate in New York, which serves about 250,000 nationals in the Tri-State area, will open to the public from 8 am to 2 pm for immigration and administrative services from Monday to Friday, and from 8 am to 4 pm for telephone inquiries, to accommodate the many needs of the diaspora.
In addition, the consulate will be opened to the public from 8 am to noon the first and third Thursday of every month.
Outgoing, Trinidad & Tobago Consul General (Ag.) to New York, Urvashi Ramnarine told Caribbean Life during a recent interview at the CARICOM Consular Corps Christmas celebration, at the Barbados Consulate, in Manhattan, that the new hours of operation of the consulate, will better serve nationals with passport applications and renewals, birth certificates, forms, and in the many other issues that nationals seek assistance with.
The diplomat, who is being recalled to Port of Spain on completion of her assignment in January 2017, added that the office would be better ready to serve everyone during the new hours, and would cater to the growing needs of services at its 125 Maiden Lane, 4th Floor, in Manhattan location.
CG Ramnarine, a 16-year Foreign Service officer who served five years in New York with the last year as acting consul general in New York, said she has been very fortunate to serve in two very importing postings. She did a four-and-a-half-year stint in India, and five and a half years in New York, where she gained insightful experience to better equip her for any other assignment in the Trinidad & Tobago Foreign Service.
“It is routine that the ministry rotates officers ever so often, and being outside of Trinidad for 10 years, I have gained a lot of experience in consular and bilateral relations, while working on behalf of Trinidad at the High Commission in India, rendering services to Indonesia, Singapore, Japan, Bangladesh and Shri Lanka and now in at the consulate in New York,” said Ramnarine.
Although working in these various capacities dealing foreign policy was challenging, Ramnarine feels that her work has helped to deepen relations between countries, and forged deeper relationships with the diaspora with whom she has partnered with to showcase Trinidad’s rich diverse, multi-cultural heritage.
“We are a creative people with lots to offer, and we celebrate all facets of culture and religion, and it has been rewarding to see the culture thrive in the diaspora in New York,” she said, adding that even though many Trinidad and Tobago natives have lived in the United States for more than 30 years – doing well for themselves- they still have very strong ties to their homeland, where they contribute economically, and seize opportunities where available back home.
“It is wonderful to see the Trinidad & Tobago culture alive in New York City, and the surrounding states,” said Ramnarine, who will return to the Ministry of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs. However, she does not know what her next assignment would be, whether at home, or abroad.
“I am looking forward to returning home after 10 years. A lot of changes have taken place. Visiting on vacation over the last 10 years did not allow me enough time to really get the pulse of the country, so I will settle back there, and certainly enjoy the weather, chuckled the diplomat.
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