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$10,000 price tag for skills certificate

Monday, February 03, 2014    

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BEGINNING April 1, persons applying for Caribbean Community (Caricom) Qualifying Skills Certificates will be required to pay fees for the processing and preparation of the documents.

Director of the Work Permit Department in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security Lisa-Ann Grant made the announcement Thursday, as she addressed a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Think Tank.

Under Regulation 2 of the Caribbean Community (Free Movement of Skilled Persons) Act, persons will now be charged a non-refundable application fee of $2,000 for the issuance of a certificate.

In addition, there will be a processing fee of $8,000, and a further $2,000 for each dependent.

To have certificates amended, persons will have to pay $2,000, and in the event that a certificate has been lost, stolen or destroyed, applicants will be required to pay $3,000 to replace the document.

Grant told JIS News that additional security features will be placed on the certificates to reduce the incidence of fraud and improve the general quality of the documents.

Outlining the documents required to apply for a skills certificate, Grant listed a letter of verification from the relevant institution certifying that an applicant has completed the programme of study as represented on the qualifications, a police report from the country in which the applicant has been domiciled for the last three years; a birth certificate; and three passport-sized photographs.

"You will also need to provide for us a document showing a change of name if applicable, the bio-data page of your passport, or a copy of your naturalisation document, which will prove your nationality to a Caricom country," she said.

"If your qualifications are not from a university as stated in the Act, then you are required to take these qualifications to the University Council of Jamaica, located at 6B Oxford Road, Kingston," Grant added.

The institutions recognised in the Act are the University of the West Indies; the University of Technology; Northern Caribbean University; Mico University College; the University of Guyana; and the University of Suriname.

All photocopied documents submitted, the work permit director said, must be signed by a justice of the peace.

Currently, application forms are emailed to applicants once they provide the department with the relevant information. Grant said that over time, they will be made available on the websites of the ministries of labour and social security and foreign affairs and foreign trade.

Last year, 442 skills certificates were issued to Caricom nationals, with Jamaicans accounting for 411 of that number.

The Caribbean Community (Free Movement of Skilled Persons) Act establishes the legislative arrangements for free movement as required under the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas establishing the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME).

The CSME is intended to benefit the people of the region by providing more and better opportunities to produce and sell goods and services and to attract investment. The aim is to create one large market among the participating member states.

— JIS

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