The number of Caribbean Community States satisfying
the legal requirement for the Free Movement of Skilled Persons has increased by two with
the governments of Jamaica and St Vincent and the Grenadines having recently enacted
legislation to this effect.
The Free Movement of Skilled Persons is among the
key elements for the achievement of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy.
In the case of both Member States, the legislation
is based on reciprocity, and for Jamaica is extended to include sports persons, artists,
media professionals and musicians so certified by their national competent authority. On
the other hand the occupations recognised by St. Vincent and the Grenadines are itemised
but can be extended as prescribed by the appropriate Minister. The occupations are
Accountancy, Dentistry, Engineering, Journalism, Law, Medicine and Teaching.
The Jamaica legislation, Caribbean Community (Free
Movement of Skilled Persons) Act 1997 formalises a previously existing administrative
arrangement with regards to the free movement of skilled CARICOM nationals. In making the
provision open to musicians, artists, sports persons and media workers, the Jamaica
legislation makes this arrangement available to a large number of CARICOM nationals.
This legislation recognises under graduate and post
graduate degrees from the University of the West Indies, the University of Guyana and the
University of Suriname. It also recognises qualifications or a combination compiled from
time to time by the University Council of Jamaica and also qualifications or combination
of qualifications certified by the University Council of Jamaica as satisfying conditions
for recognition by the Caribbean Community.
In the case of sports persons, musicians, artists
and media workers they must be certified as such by the competent authority in the CARICOM
State where they are nationals.
The St. Vincent and the Grenadines legislation is
titled Immigration (Caribbean Community Skilled Nationals) Act 1997. In addition to
degrees from the University of the West Indies, University of Guyana and the University of
Suriname, the Act also recognises degrees from the University of Technology in Jamaica and
degrees that are comparable to those offered by the universities in Member States.
In passing their respective legislation, Jamaica and
St. Vincent and the Grenadines, join other r Member States in putting the legal framework
in place to facilitate the free movement of skilled nationals. The other Member States are
Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Saint Lucia and Trinidad and