TRINIDAD: 3 female Jamaican security guards arrested

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arrested -photo-1.jpgTHE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade says its is aware of the arrests of the three women who were found working as security officers without the relevant work permits in the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago recently.

The ministry, in a release yesterday, said the Jamaican High Commission in that country last week ascertained the whereabouts of the Jamaicans and will visit the Immigration Detention Centre (IDC) where the women were being housed.

Such visits in which diplomatic representatives routinely check on the welfare of Jamaican nationals in detention, are part of the consular duties performed by the Jamaican Missions, the ministry said.

However, it said: "The ministry wishes to remind the public that there are currently 10 categories that can move freely under the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramus which set the rules of establishment and procedures for the Caribbean Community (Caricom). These, however, do not at the moment include the security profession for which work permits have to be sought."

The categories allowed free movement across the region are:

* University graduates

* Media Workers

* Sportspersons

* Artistes

* Musicians

* Registered nurses

* Trained teachers

* Artisans with a Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ)

* Holders of associate degrees or equivalent qualifications such as two CAPE/"A" Levels and National Technician Certificates

* Household domestics with a Caribbean Vocational Qualifications (CVQ) or equivalent qualification.

Said the ministry: "It is important to note, however, that a skills certificate, officially known as the Certificate of Recognition of Caricom Skills Qualification, which can be obtained from the Ministry of Labour in Jamaica or the designated ministry in your host country is a prerequisite for employment."

It added: The ministry wishes to remind Jamaicans that the freedom of movement provision under the Treaty does not by itself automatically confer permission to work. In order to take up employment of any nature, persons falling outside of the ten agreed categories will require work permits or work permit exemptions. It should also be noted that those who are not in any of the categories of skilled persons, are not temporary service providers or who are not exercising the right of establishment, will require work permit approvals in the respective Caricom territories, in advance of travel."

The ministry said, too, that Jamaicans travelling to Caricom countries for business, study, tourism, or personal affairs, must be in possession of the following:

* A valid passport with at least six (6) months validity;

* A return airline ticket as appropriate to the purpose of the visit;

* An adequate amount of money to meet living expenses during the visit;

* Information (name, complete address and contact details) for their accommodation, whether hotel or private residence;

* The name and full details of their host or sponsor;

* Where possible, documentation confirming the purpose of the visit; and

* The name and telephone number, preferably the mobile number, of anyone meeting them at the airport.

"The ministry wishes to also inform the public that the immigration authorities in that country routinely conduct spot checks and persons found to be working without a permit, or illegally are placed in the immigration detention centre pending removal or deportation."