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BVI: Work permit waiver discontinued for skilled workers

St. Lucia News Online

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(BVI NEWS) Roughly 20 months after the former NDP government implemented a work permit waiver policy under the Skilled Workers Programme, waivers have now been discontinued.

The discontinuation became effective on April 30.

However, to facilitate employers still in possession of a previously-issued work permit document that is valid, Cabinet decided on a three-month ‘grace period’.

The grace period will end on July 15.

The waiver

The waiver programme was implemented after the 2017 hurricanes to fast-track the territory’s recovery process.

The programme has facilitated hundreds of skilled workers, particularly those in the construction sector, to enter and work in the British Virgin Islands with greater ease.

The waiver document was issued once the relevant documents were presented to the Labour Department.

Last October, then Labour Minister Dr Kedrick Pickering called for the policy to be reviewed following reports that many skilled workers in the construction industry were abandoning their employers for better-paying jobs.

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