Your international workforce will likely consist of talented recruits in your country of expansion. You might also consider sending some of your parent company’s employees abroad to support business development in your new location.
Types of Work Visas in Saint Lucia
The government policy for nonnational workers requires a non-immigrant visa for entry into the country and a work permit for legal employment. A non-immigrant visa can be single-entry or multiple-entry. Single-entry visas allow holders to enter the country one time within three months. Multiple-entry visas permit several entries over one year.
Work permits allow nonnationals to operate under an employment contract in the country. Permit holders must reapply for this status every year until they become a citizen of the country. People who hold residential status are not exempt from needing a work permit.
Requirements to Obtain Saint Lucia Work Visas
Nonnationals wishing to work in the country must have a list of materials for receiving an entry visa and obtaining a Saint Lucia work permit. For an entry visa, individuals must provide:
- A valid passport
- Two passport-sized photos
- A return ticket to their country of origin
- A copy of their itinerary
- Proof of accommodation
- A letter of invitation if relevant
The required materials for a work permit application include:
- Certified proof of qualifications
- A police record from the applicant’s last place of residence
- Copies of the job advertisement
- One passport-sized photo
- Proof that the income tax is paid
- A trade license if applicable
Nonnational employees should apply for an entry visa online or at their nearest consulate before entering the country. They should submit the materials listed above with a completed application. The Immigration Department will review and process the application within five days. Immigration recommends that nonnationals apply two weeks before they intend to enter the country’s borders.
Nonnationals should also apply for a work permit before they enter the country. Applicants must pay a nonrefundable fee of EC$100 to the Accountant General at the Government Treasury. They can then submit the above materials with a completed application to the Work Permit Officer, found at the Ministry of Legal Affairs, Home Affairs, and Labor.
The Minister of Labor will review the application and approve or deny the work permit. This approval process may take a few days or a few weeks. The Ministry of Legal Affairs, Home Affairs, and Labor recommends applying for this permit two months before beginning work to sidestep noncompliance.
Other Important Considerations
Work permit fees vary depending on the applicant’s place of origin. Fees are as follows:
- EC$2000 each year of employment for Caribbean Commonwealth Nationals
- EC$4000 each year of employment for other Commonwealth Nationals
- EC$5000 each year of employment for other nationals
Permit holders will receive a stamp on their passports when they enter the country. This stamp allows individuals to maintain legal residence throughout the duration of their work permits. An employee can apply for permanent residency after five years of living in the country, but this status still requires an annual work permit application.
If a permit holder plans to work in Saint Lucia for the long term, they might consider applying for citizenship.
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