Antigua announces amnesty for illegal workers

Antigua and Barbuda has announced a two-month amnesty for non-nationals working illegally in the country.

The amnesty will begin on April 1.

Authorities expect the measure to make a significant dent in a serious problem of foreigners working illegally in Antigua and Barbuda.

Labour Commissioner Eltonia Rojas, revealed that she put the suggestion to the labour minister about two weeks ago.

Rojas expressed the view that to prosecute every person who was out of line right now would result in a very big net and require a doubling of staff at the Department of Labour, according to Antigua Observer.

Between April and May, those who do not have work permits can submit an application for amnesty with the assurance that they will not be sanctioned and their status will be regularised once they are in good standing with the Immigration Department, it has been reported.

According to information, Antigua and Barbuda issued 2,106 work permits  to Caricom nationals in 2016.

The figure was not available for non-Caricom nationals.

On Tuesday, Saint Lucia’s Ministry of Labour announced that it was embarking on a drive to clamp down foreign nationals working here illegally.

Saint Lucia’s Labour Legislation mandates that overseas nationals desirous of employment in the country, must first obtain a work permit or exemption where applicable.

“The laws of Saint Lucia are clear when it comes to employment, we want people to adhere to the laws or face the penalties” said Labour Minister Stephenson King.

Saint Lucian authorities have announced that employers and or employees who are currently in contravention of the law should visit the Labour Department at Barnard Hill to regularize their employment status urgently.

Failure to comply will result in the case being passed on to the Immigration Department for full enforcement of the law, they warned.



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