Caricom, Dominican nationals await word of removal of work permits

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By Carlena Knight

[email protected]

Caricom and Dominican Republic nationals will have to wait a bit longer before they receive word that they will no longer need work permits in Antigua and Barbuda.

This is according to Information Minister Melford Nicholas who explained during last Thursday’s post-Cabinet press briefing that Cabinet has yet to receive the final word on the matter.

“I do believe we have to wait at least another week for the deliberations to be concluded between the two departments of the ministry and before the Cabinet is given final sight of their recommendations.

“I believe that should be on the order paper for next week’s deliberation at Cabinet,” Nicholas explained.

On January 6, the government made the unexpected decision to remove the need for work permits for certain Caribbean nationals, stating that it followed a previous decision to waive unpaid work permit fees up to December 31, 2022.

But less than a month later, it was announced by the Gaston Browne-led administration that those plans had to be delayed after discussions were held with the Chief Immigration Officer Katrina Yearwood that touched on concerns of national security and labour market implications.

The discussions between lawyers within the Ministry of Legal Affairs and Immigration and Labour officials will ensure that “all is done to make the process seamless”.

Until then, the six-month entry allowance for visitors from Caricom states will continue.

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