CARICOM nationals in Antigua still awaiting waiver of work permit promise


There is still no final word on when the removal of work permits for Caricom and Dominican Republic nationals will take effect.

The move was announced by the government on January 6 and was said to be effective from the beginning of the year.

However, it was subsequently delayed after apparent discussions with Chief Immigration Officer Katrina Yearwood that touched on concerns of national security and labour market implications.

Two months later there is still no definitive path forward.

Chief of Staff in the Prime Minister’s Office Lionel ‘Max’ Hurst sought to shed some light on the matter during yesterday’s post-Cabinet press briefing.

“It has to be brought to the Parliament because the law now stipulates who is required to pay work permit fees and who is not, so that has to be brought to the Parliament.

“I believe that the Minister of Labour Steadroy Benjamin would have given the first reading on the 2nd of March.

“I am not sure if there isn’t some other amendment that is required in order to ensure that everyone gets the message that no work permit fees are required of the Caricom nationals and those of the Dominican Republic, but that is the idea, to ensure that the law reflects the spirit in which the promise was made. The pledge was made to our neighbours from other Caribbean countries living in Antigua and Barbuda that the work permit fees will be waived,” Hurst said.

He did not give a timeline on when those amendments will be taken to the Lower House which means that the six-month entry allowance for visitors from Caricom states will continue in the meantime.

The main opposition, the United Progressive Party (UPP), speculated whether the January announcement – made a fortnight before the election and during the peak of campaigning – was politically motivated. The Gaston Browne-led administration has denied the accusation. (OBSERVER BY NEWSCO)

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  1. They would surely be waiting in Vain.You people sold your Votes for a spot of bother.In return you would be getting what the Duck got. Pissed upon.That is what could happen when you people like FREEBS.

  2. ALP are not known for paying bills or keeping promises, yet you foreign nationals continue to miss the fact that you were brought here to keep them in power, at all cost. You will wait a long time for a waiver because Gaston Browne is the dunce that controls our money. They need the work permit fee. They will probably raise it. Those who woke up, kudos. You who still sleep, tek wha you get and voted for. I feel no symathy for you, only for my country whose elections you continue to marginalize.

    • @Watching, I fully embrace your narrative, foreign nationals were brought here to keep ALP in power and they rightly should pay for that favour.

      ALP and the Nigerian employee at the Ministry of Argiculture brought planes of Africans into Antigua who will ultimately be give the right to remain and by the time of the next election they will have voter’s rights and thus marginalised the indigenous population further and keeping ALP in power.

      Antiguans should withholds acts of kindness to those fraudulent Africans, UPP landlords should avoid renting to them, it’s envisaged that their main focused for dwelling is in UPP stronghold, we saw over 150 was housed in NewWinthropes.

      Everything appears to have gone quiet with them, no news or feedback with the petition for an inquiry, no further update from the BBC freelance journalist, who presented a staged interview with one of the African “James” who told tissues of lies.

      He didn’t mentioned that he was seeking refuge when he entered Antigua, as they all were planning to smuggled into the USA.

  3. Good for them. For them it’s all about the money and freebs, it has never been and will never be about good governance. Antiguans and Barbudans must be the ones to rescue our nation from this wicked regime. Our children and unborn children are crying out for us to save this nation for their future. Let’s not disappoint them again.

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