Antigua Observer:- Non-immigrant students hoping to start school in September will have to satisfy a host of conditions before obtaining a student permit needed for admission.
This follows a change in the Education Ministry’s admission policy, after it was revealed that its previous rule contravened OECS and Caricom treaty obligations.
However, to acquire the permit, the chief immigration officer, to whom the application must be sent, under the general direction of the minister, must consider the student’s character, reputation and health, as well as the health of their sponsor.
The immigration boss must also scrutinise the financial resources of the parent or guardian of the child, while information concerning the departure of the student at the end of their time of study must also be presented.
The applicants’ living conditions must also be scrutinised under the Act, as well as their ability to use the English Language.
The regulations come under the Immigration and Passport Act of 2014, which defines a minor as being someone up to the age of 15.
An adult requiring the student permit will also be subject to the aforementioned rules, but the immigration office must also consider the standing of that adult’s dependents if there are any.
Additionally, the ability of the applicant to adequately maintain dependents without recourse to the Consolidated Fund will also be placed under the microscope of the immigration chief.
Meantime, the Ministry of Education is reminding schools they can be fined up to $50,000 for admitting a non-immigrant student without a required student permit.
Under the law, people with a Residence Permit will not have to apply for a student permit for their children, but those with a Work Permit will have to get a student permit if they want to bring or keep their children in the country for school.
OECS nationals are exempt from the permit, while those with Caricom skilled certificates must still apply, but are not required to meet the other criteria.