Apply for Skills Certificate at Labour Ministry Only

Photo: Adrian Walker Director of the Work Permit Department of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Lisa-Ann Grant.

Story Highlights

  • Jamaicans seeking skills certificates to work in another Caribbean territory are advised to submit applications to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.
  • Speaking in an interview with JIS News, Director of the Work Permit Department, Lisa-Ann Grant, said that legitimate, bonafide skills certificates can only be issued by a competent authority.
  • “We are having a serious problem of Jamaicans moving with fraudulent documents. Many persons do not realise that when somebody approaches you on the street that is not the process. All applications must be submitted at 1F North Street… not our offices around the island,” she pointed out.

Jamaicans seeking skills certificates to work in another Caribbean territory are advised to submit applications to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.

Speaking in an interview with JIS News, Director of the Work Permit Department, Lisa-Ann Grant, said that legitimate, bonafide skills certificates can only be issued by a competent authority.

For Jamaica, this is the Ministry’s 1F North Street location only.

“We are having a serious problem of Jamaicans moving with fraudulent documents. Many persons do not realise that when somebody approaches you on the street that is not the process. All applications must be submitted at 1F North Street… not our offices around the island,” she pointed out.

The CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) provides for the free movement of 10 categories of skilled workers.

These are university graduates, artistes, musicians, sportspersons, media workers, registered nurses with diplomas or degrees, teachers with diplomas, artisans with at least level 2 CARICOM Vocational Qualification (CVQ), holders of associate degrees, and household domestics with a CVQ level 2. The National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) is also accepted in Jamaica.

Explaining the process of obtaining the CARICOM skills certificate, Ms. Grant informed that interested nationals will first need to contact the Ministry’s 1F North Street location and indicate their intention to apply.

Once the Ministry determines that such a person is eligible, he or she will be sent an application form by email. The applicant is required to submit the completed form along with the following documents:

• A certified copy of the birth certificate.
• A copy of the biodata page on the applicant’s passport, which should be signed by a Justice of the Peace.
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• A police report from the country in which the applicant has resided for the last three years.
• Three certified passport-sized photographs.
• Documents indicating a name change (marriage certificate or deed poll documents), if applicable.
• A certified copy of university degree, associate degree, diploma, professional qualifications.
• For employed or self-employed persons, a cover letter detailing the purpose for application.

All applications must be submitted to the Work Permit Department of the Ministry, along with a processing fee of $2,000.

Processing is carried out within eight weeks, following which the applicant or a representative may collect the certificate after paying a fee of $8,000. A further $2,000 is charged for each dependent.

To have certificates amended, persons will have to pay $2,000, and in the event that a certificate has been lost, stolen or destroyed, applicants will be required to pay $3,000 to replace the document.

Once the certificate is issued, CARICOM nationals are granted a stay of six months in another country, and during that period, they are required to submit their skills certificate to the competent authority of the host country for acceptance.

“The competent authority may verify the validity of the certificate and the documentation on which it has been issued. During the period of consideration by the competent authority, the CARICOM national can work,” Ms Grant noted.

For Jamaica, she informed that the verification process involves persons taking in a certified copy of the skills certificate, a certified copy of the biodata page of their passport, three passport-sized pictures, and completing a simple information-gathering form at the Ministry.

“Once that is done, I will contact the member state. Once it is verified, then we will give you a letter to take to the immigration department where you will be given an unconditional stamp,” she explained.

For more information, please contact: Ministry of Labour and Social Security 1F North Street Kingston. Phone: (876) 922-9500-14; Email: prunit@mlss.gov.jm
Website: mlss.gov.jm.

JIS Social