By Linda Straker
Employers seeking to hire non-nationals will have to pay more, because as of mid-February there will be a 10x increase in the fee for a work permit application.
The Ministry of Labour via an advisory submitted through the Government Information Service said that effective 16 February 2015, there will be a non-refundable fee of EC$100 for a work permit application.
All non-nationals working in Grenada require a work permit to be gainfully employed in the State of Grenada. The advisory said that these are: Caricom nationals excluding nationals from the OECS Economic Union; All nationals from other Commonwealth countries; and nationals from countries other than the Commonwealth and Caricom countries.
An official from the Ministry said that between 900 and 1,000 applications are submitted annually, and there is almost 100% approval after the necessary research is conducted in accordance with the regulations of approving an application.
Once an approval is granted, the fee for the permit for a Caricom national is EC$1,000; while for other Commonwealth, USA, Canadian and European Union nationals, it is EC$3,000. All other nationals are required to pay EC$5,000. The application fee was last changed in 2009 when it moved from EC$4 to EC$10.
Though everyone is required to apply for a work permit, a person who holds a Certificate of Recognition of Caricom Skills Qualification is not required to pay the work permit fee.
“The Ministry of Labour reminds the public that persons seeking employment in Grenada must obtain Work Permits prior to entering the State of Grenada. All Work Permits are valid for a period of one year or part thereof,” said the release.
Labour officials said that senior positions, especially technicians and other specialised areas, are in the top five areas for which persons apply for work permits. Entertainment is also within the top five. The enforcing of the new fee will see government’s revenue increasing significantly through the Labour Ministry.