by Linda Straker
The Grenada Government has approved legislation that will provide for the hiring of a non-national to go through a process in which the employer must prove to the authority that nationals are not able to fill the position.
Members in both Houses of Parliament recently gave approval to the Foreign Nationals and Commonwealth Citizens (Employment) Act which makes it mandatory for employers to comply with the mandatory new rules to acquire a work permit for a non-national.
Simon Stiell, Leader of Government Business explained to members of the Upper House that the new rule is part of the revised work permit application which provides among other things, mandatory transferring of skills to Grenadians and advertising of the positions to locals.
“Mr President the revised work permit application solicits additional information which will enable the applicant to demonstrate 3 specific things,” said Stiell as he explained that one of the first requirements is that an applicant must show that every effort was made to identify here in Grenada to find the skill required, and it can take the form of publicising via newspaper, radio or other forms of advertising.
“Those efforts have to be documented; it’s just not for an applicant to be able to say they tried they best. They have to provide evidence that shows they have used every reasonable means available to them to identify a local Grenadian to fill that role,” Stiell said.
The new rules state that every employer making an application must also present to the Ministry of Labour the measures that will put in place to train nationals so there will be skills transfer, so that a Grenadian can fill that role in the future.
According to the approved regulation the following must be done in order for an application to be approved.
Requirements for New Applicants:
- Completed application forms in duplicate with company stamp affixed;
- Copy of Passport which includes the bio-data page and details of the last date of arrival/extension;
- 2 passport sized photos, with applicant’s name written in blocked letters at the back;
- Letter from employer addressed to the Permanent Secretary;
- Police Record/Clearance — must be ORIGINAL from the country of residence for the preceding 6 months;
- Notarised copies of certificates of qualification;
- 2 letters of professional references from previous employer or reputable citizen (if no previous employer);
- Copy of Proof of Finance/Bank Statement from reputable bank;
- Copy of Business Incorporation;
- Tax obligation status from the Inland Revenue Division;
- Certificate of Compliance/Registration from the NIS.
- Registration/Certificate for medical practitioners and allied health workers must be attached to submission to the Ministry of Labour;
- Letter of Exemption from payment of fees attached;
Work permits shall not be granted to persons who are illegal on the island.
Applications will not be processed for the following:
Persons who are illegal unless status is regularised, and holders of a Visitor Visa;
- Persons without a valid work permit will be subjected to Immigration Laws;
- All positions MUST be advertised for 3 consecutive weeks before making applications
- A fee of $100 will be applied for replacement of lost permits;
- A fee of $100 will be applied for late submissions of application for renewal.