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Jamaica sets new measures for work permits

 \\\\\ KINGSTON


Jamaica says it will implement new measures for foreigners seeking to acquire work permits, in a move aimed at protecting the local labour market from a saturation of skills already available on the island.

The changes, which come into effect from Monday, June 23, will result in a four per cent increase in the application fee of Ja$14,400 to Ja$15,000 (One Jamaica dollar=US$0.004 cents) and follow modifications to the Foreign Nationals and Commonwealth Citizens (Employment) (Work Permit Fees) (Amendment) Regulations 2014.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MLSS) said the changes are in keeping with the country’s Labour Market Reform, which is intended to create a dynamic labour market which can foster productivity and growth, promote flexibility, provide an effective social safety net and increase real incomes.

Director of the Work Permit Unit Lisa-Ann Grant said the new struc-

­­ture is based on a cate­gorisation of econo­mic sectors, with different fees

applied to each group.

“The sectors that will

encourage investment,

economic growth and employment will attract lower fees. Con­versely, the sec­tors for which ade-

­­quate skill sets are available locally will attract higher fees,” she said.

Grant said “under the

new regulations, the existing general permit fee of Ja$180,000 per annum will be abolished to introduce several categories of employment under which respective fees are to be paid, in accor­dance with skill set demands”.

Grant noted foreign nationals in the wholesale and retail trade will pay Ja$170,000 annually

while those in the hotel and restaurant services and construction sectors will pay Ja$150,000 per annum.                    —CMC

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