No work permits for CARICOM citizens in Antigua

Antigua and Barbuda's Prime Minister Gaston Alphonso Browne addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. headquarters Friday, Sept. 27, 2019.
Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister Gaston Alphonso Browne addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. headquarters Friday, Sept. 27, 2019.
Associated Press/Kevin Hagen

No longer is there any need for a government authorization to obtain a work permit from the Antigua and Barbuda administration for Caribbean citizens who are seeking employment in Antigua and Barbuda, effective Jan. 1, 2023. The decision has been made to eliminate the process for CARICOM residents by Prime Minister Gaston Browne who made this announcement recently.

The Browne administration has also announced that in keeping with Antigua and Barbuda’s commitment to economic integration for the Caribbean region, the elimination of work permits will be extended to citizens from the Dominican Republic who are gainfully employed in Antigua.

The decision to eliminate work permits for CARICOM nationals came after an earlier plan to waive all unpaid work permit fees, which were due on Dec. 31, 2022. Prime Minister Browne further added that the decision from the government is also consistent with its obligations under Articles 45 and 46, clauses 2 and 3 of the CARICOM Treaty. This means that all nationals of CARICOM countries and the Dominican Republic who are now in Antigua and Barbuda and are gainfully employed will not be required to pay for a work permit.

Prime Minister Browne further noted, “These decisions are an acknowledgement of the role that our Caribbean brothers and sisters have played, alongside native Antiguans and Barbudans, in the development of our country; and two the need for labor, as our economy to expands.”

The Opposition United Progressive Party (UPP) in its response said it is gratified to see the government adopting another of the party’s plan to remove the requirement for work permit for CARICOM nationals and the Dominican Republic, adding that the elimination of the work permit “will not bankrupt the country.”  The Opposition also said that the elimination of the work permit for CARICOM nationals validates the long stance on calling for laws to establish this plan.

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