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Saint Lucia Commits To Liberalised Movement Of CARICOM Citizens By 2024

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Citizens of Saint Lucia and of other CARICOM Member States would be looking closely to the date of 31 March 2024 as a possible milestone for the Region.

The Conference of Heads of Government, meeting in Port of Spain, Trinidad over the period July 3-5, 2023, agreed to work towards the free movement of all CARICOM nationals within the Community by that date.

This decision brings to the fore one of the aspects of integration for which many CARICOM citizens have been clamouring.

Free movement of all nationals would mean that service providers, persons establishing businesses and wage earners along the full spectrum of employment could enjoy the right to move and work throughout the Community, barring the application of exceptions or safeguards permitted within the Revised Treaty of Chagauramas.

Up to this time, CARICOM Member States have approached the free movement of skilled citizens within the Community on an incremental basis.

They have selected categories of persons entitled to free movement, based first on the provisions of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, and then adding categories as they negotiated.

As a result, university graduates, media workers, sportspersons, artistes and musicians were the first to be permitted to move, followed by nurses, teachers, artisans with a Caribbean Vocational Qualification, holders of Associate Degrees or comparable qualification and domestic helpers.

Along with the enlargement of classes of persons entitled to move and work freely in the Community, Member States also ensured social security benefits could be transferred, and that approved skilled CARICOM nationals were no longer required to obtain work permits.

It is difficult to judge the extent of movement by CARICOM nationals under the movement of skilled nationals regime since it was first established and legislated in the late 1990s to early 2000s in the various Member States, given that arrangements do not provide for adequate monitoring of movement.

There is, however, the view that the educated and skilled nationals of many CARICOM countries prefer to seek their fortunes in the developed economies of the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Europe.

This most recent decision by the Heads of Government, if implemented, could perhaps give a much needed shot in the arm to the CARICOM Single Market and Economy.

SOURCE: Regional Integration Unit

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5 COMMENTS

  1. yea free moving in to st Lucia but the other countries will not open their doors like st Lucia will its always been this way

  2. The skilled movement thing is not even working. Caribbean nationals are instead fleeing to America and Canada for economic reasons. Met someone in a supermarket, mind u, this was no highly skilled person, did not even have a secondary education, given her age group. This lady said something rather profound to me while looking at the cost of peppers that can be grown anywhere in st Lucia at almost 20.00. she said: I will never come back to live in st Lucia with this rip off supermarket prices. Will never ever settle in this island. Smart woman . U don’t have to be “educated” to have sense.

  3. @ rishy, i do applaud you to share such experience, however such migrant who migrated do not usually return, in some cases they temp. settle due to have a settle peace of mind. Away from the customary hussle and bussle. All being said today is not like yesterday. Education is not just define to someone who enter a training institution as we commonly called it school. Road/Street sense are a level of education that no institution can teach. The person you referred to is well abreast with time economically. We have some down right stupid lucians who only choose to justify their superiority by wealth/money. Typical example you will buy a piton beer commonly around for 6.00 and that same piton you can end up paying 12.00+ in some places and what is more insulting is that those places that sells it for such exuberant cost gets 15 years of tax exemption. To stick to the tune I endorse the free movement of people. We have 13+ Caricom member of states each with its own diversities, talent, potential and commodities. We need to unite and call our self united Caribbean that’s where we would have power and retract our human resources back home to elevate ourselves.

  4. MY PLAN WAS TO RETIRE AND LIVE IN MY COUNTRY ST LUCIA, BUT THE PRICES OF JUST FOOD, WHEN YOU CONVERT THE DOLLAR THE PRICES ARE TRIPLE THE PRICES IN CANADA. TALK ABOUT HEALTH CARE. FORGET IT. I WILL RENT THE HOUSE U.S. DOLLARS PLEASE.

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