Immigrant Chief wants harmonised skills certificate for Caricom

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The Chief Immigration Officer, Annette Mark, is calling for the implementation of a standardised Caricom skills certificate, complete with special security features, after her department discovered a Jamaican man with a fake certificate.
The official said although the country is only aware of the one case here, there are reports of several others across the region.
“I would love to see some sort of security feature, maybe even a card given to persons who are skilled, because that is the only way we can guarantee it. When you look at the skills certificate throughout the region, they are all different and it really is just a document that can be easily replicated; there are no security features,” Mark told OBSERVER media yesterday.
She said the issue has been discussed at home, but her recommendation has to be made when Caricom immigration heads meet.
Mark said that in the absence of a standard, secure card, the countries have to continue to carry out their own checks and balances.
“In Antigua, the checks and balances are still there and anybody who comes with a skills certificate should [have it] verified by the free movement desk. At the airport now, we have to be more vigilant when someone who came to be a skilled person, especially certain categories of persons,” she said.
Just this week, a Jamaican man who claimed to be a security expert, presented a fake Caricom skills certificate in Antigua & Barbuda. He has since been jailed.
This was the first reported case in the twin island state but Mark said authorities expected it.
“We expect to see more of this happening, because we have been warned that there are a number of people throughout the region operating with fake skills certificates,” she explained.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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