A FEE-PAYMENT structure for the provision of CARICOM Qualifying Certificates has been introduced by Labour and Social Security Minister Derrick Kellier.
The minister, while piloting a debate in the House of Representatives on a bill seeking to amend the Caribbean Community (Free Movement of Skilled Persons) Act, said Jamaica has been issuing the certificates at great administrative cost to the ministry.
He said that unlike in other member states, applicants in Jamaica do not pay for the certificates. He said Guyana charges US$8, Barbados US$51, and Grenada $US94, for the certificate.
Under Regulation Two of the Caribbean Community (Free Movement of Skilled Persons) Act, persons will now be required to pay a non-refundable application fee of $2,000 for the issuance of a certificate.
The law is also being amended to require applicants to pay a processing fee of $8,000, and a further $2,000 for each dependent.
In the event that a certificate has been lost or stolen, persons will have to fork out $3,000 to secure a replacement.
The bill also proposes that applicants pay $2,000 to have certificates amended.
The minister said that since 2004, Jamaica has issued 2,054 Caricom Qualifying Certificates.
Jamaica enacted the CARICOM Act in 2004, and observes the free-movement regime, which is enshrined in the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas. The free-movement regime grants the right of entry to Caribbean nationals to travel to CARICOM sates to engage in work.