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Monday, January 09, 2006 

Thousands of Caricom nationals apply to move freely in Trinidad
Monday January 09 2006

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, (CMC) – Only seven nationals of St. Kitts/Nevis are among the some 2,000 Caribbean Community (Caricom) professionals who have so far applied to the Caricom Single Market & Economy (CSME) Unit in Port-of-Spain for certification to allow them to move freely for work and business purposes in the country.

According to unit head, Ambassador Jerry Narace, of this pool, just over 500 have been approved to work in the twin-island republic.

Statistics here show that more Jamaicans have been approved for free movement in Trinidad & Tobago than any other nationals.

The breakdown of approvals show 13 from Antigua & Barbuda; Barbados, 71; Belize, two; Dominica, 33; Grenada, 26; Guyana, 114; Jamaica, 191; St. Kitts/Nevis, seven; St. Lucia, six; St. Vincent & the Grenadines, 29 and Suriname 19.

The certificate allows for a six-month stay from the time of entry into a member state.
The single market component of the CSME came into operation on 1 Jan., 2006 with six member states. The other members of the 15-member regional grouping are expected to come on board sometime during the course of the year.

Meanwhile, Chief Immigration Officer Herman Browne said any migratory worker caught in criminal activities would be dealt with by the law in the respective country but his or her Caricom Certificate of Recognition would not be revoked.

In fact, a register of recognised service providers is to be decided upon at the upcoming Council of Trade and Economic Development (COTED) meeting in Guyana from 9-12 Jan.
Narace said the register would provide some guidance to member states when processing applications for the CSME skills certificate.

As it now stands, only six categories of workers have been cleared for free movement within the region. They are university graduates, artistes, musicians, sports people, media workers and managers/technical and supervisory staff attached to a company.

Trinidad & Tobago is also expected to bring on stream its Caricom machine-readable passports by March, after Grenada and Suriname.

St. Kitts/Nevis brought their passports on stream late last year.

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