The CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) is not only about goods and capital. Indeed it is mainly about people. In fact within the Revised Treaty Establishing the Caribbean Community, which includes the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), there are several provisions dealing with persons. None, however, are more important in a genuine Single Market and Economy than the provisions relating to the free movement of persons.
Article 45 of the Revised Treaty declares that Member States commit themselves to the goal of free movement of their national within the community.
The agreements which CARICOM Governments have made concerning free movement of persons are written in the Revised Treaty.
Decisions such as new classes of persons who are eligible to move and transfer of social security benefits were made by the Ministerial Organs and Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community.
The agreements in the Revised Treaty can be divided into two main parts, namely;
1. Free Movement for the purposes of engagement in gainful economic activity and
2. Hassle-Free Travel / Facilitation of Travel
Free movement for gainful economic activity within the CSME is available to wage earners, self-employed persons and to persons establishing companies and other types of business organizations.
The main changes brought about by the CSME are;
• the abolition of the work permit,
• the introduction of the CARICOM Certificate of Recognition of Skills Qualification, (CARICOM Skills Certificate)
• definite entry for 6 months,
• indefinite stay in a Member State and
• the right to transfer one’s social security benefits from one CARICOM State to another.
Hassle free travel is a necessary condition for persons to fully enjoy the rights connected to movement for the purposes of
engagement in gainful economic activity. It includes;
• the Common ED Card
• the CARICOM Line at immigration points
• abolition of the need for a visa and
• the CARICOM Passport
FREE MOVEMENT FOR GAINFUL ECONOMIC ACTIVITY
FREE MOVEMENT OF SKILLS/LABOUR
One important category of persons who use the CSME for the purposes of engagement in gainful economic activity is skilled
workers who work for a company or another person for a wage or salary or, who choose to work for themselves. The term free
movement of skills/labour is used to describe this category.
Free movement of skills/labour includes the right of a CARICOM National, under Article 46 of the Revised Treaty; The
Caribbean Community Skilled National’s Act and the Immigration Laws of CARICOM Member States, to seek work and/or to engage
in gainful employment in all CARCOM Member States, without the need to obtain a work permit in the Member State in which
he/she desires to work.
Who is a CARICOM National?
A CARICOM National is, according to Article 32.5 (A) of the Revised Treaty, a person who is regarded as a National of a
Member State. This is the case if such person:
• is a citizen of that State;
• has a connection with that State of a kind entitles him/her to be regarded as belonging to, or if it be so
expressed, as being a native or resident of the State for the purpose of the laws thereof relating to immigration.
Free Movement of Skills is not a Right to Permanent Residency or Citizenship
There are currently no rights regarding free movement solely for purposes of residency or permanent naturalization or
citizenship. If a person wishes to migrate from one CARICOM State to live in another, he/she must still apply for residency
or citizenship, in accordance with the laws of the host country.
The persons who are eligible for free movement of skills/labour must be engaged in some kind of legitimate economic activity
in the CARICOM Single Market and Economy as either a wage-earner or non-wage earner.
1. WAGE EARNERS
The following categories of wage earners are entitled to move and work freely in the Community:
CARICOM Nationals who are:
1. Graduates of all recognized universities in the world
5. Media Workers
8. Artisans with a Caribbean Vocational Qualification
9. Holders of Associate Degrees or comparable qualification
If a CARICOM National does not fall in any of the above-mentioned wage earning categories, then he/she must apply for a work
permit if he/she wishes to work in another Member State.
Approved Definitions of skills/labour
Graduates, for the purpose of free movement of skills, are persons who have obtained at least a bachelor’s degree from a
recognized university or a professional qualification which is equivalent to at least a bachelor’s degree.
Media persons are persons whose primary source of income is drawn from media and media-related work, or persons who are
qualified to enter this field.
Such persons perform the functions of:
• media managers and administrators
• editors and sub-editors
• reporters, producers, announcers and broadcasters
• camera operators, sound engineering and video technicians
• production workers in the print and electronic media, etc.
• graphic artists, cartoonists and photographers
• editorial staff, programming staff and newsroom staff and
• other related personnel whose functions are not here classified
Artists, for the purposes of the free movement of skills are persons, who are active in or qualified to enter a particular
field of art with the specific purpose to earn a living.
Such persons perform functions, such as, but not limited to:
• Visual artistes
o Fine Artists
o Costume builder
o Costume designer
o Fashion designer
o Set fashion
o Make-up artist
o Interior designer
o Textile designer
o Landscape artist
o Graphic artist
o Print artist
• Performance artistes
o Performance poet
o Story teller
• Literary artistes
o Creative writer
o Short-story writer
• Cultural workers/managers/technicians
o Stage designer
o Lighting technician
o Sound designer
o Sound technician
o Arts administrator
o Production assistant
o Holders of traditional knowledge
Musicians, for the purposes of free movement of skills, are persons who are active in, or qualified to enter a particular
filed of music with specific purpose of earning a living.
Such persons perform functions such as, but not limited to:
• player of musical instrument
• band/orchestra leader
• events manager
Sportspersons, for the purposes of free movement of skills, are persons who are active in or qualified to enter a particular
field of sports with the specific purpose of earning a living as a professional or semi-professional..
Such persons perform functions such as, but not limited to:
• team leader
• sports manager
• sports promoter
• massage therapists
• events manager
These are persons who have successfully completed basic or higher level training for nurses; who are registered with the
General Nursing Council of a CARICOM Member State and are designated Registered Nurses.
Teachers are persons who have successfully completed an approved pre-service or in-service teacher preparation programme
from an accredited/recognised institution offering teacher education
ISCO-88 gives the following description of a manager:
Managers determine and formulate policies and plan, direct and coordinate the activities of enterprises and organizations,
or their internal departments or section.
ISCO-88 gives the following description of technicians and associate professionals:
Technicians and associate professionals perform mostly technical and related tasks connected with research and the
application of scientific or artistic concepts and operational methods and government or business regulations and teach at
certain educational levels.
Tasks performed by technicians and associate professionals usually include: undertaking and carrying out technical work
connected with research and the application of concepts and operational methods in the fields of physical sciences, including
engineering and technology; life sciences, including the medical profession; and the social sciences and humanities. Tasks
also include: teaching children at primary and pre-primary levels; teaching and educating handicapped persons; initiating and
carrying out various technical services related to trade, finance, administration, including administration of a number of
government laws and regulations, and to social work; providing artistic and sports entertainment; and executing some
religious tasks. Supervision of other workers may be included.
An artisan is a skilled workman or craftsman.
ISCO gives the following description:
Craft and related trades workers apply their specific knowledge and skills in the fields of mining and construction, form
metal, erect metal structures, set machine tools’ or make, fit, maintain and repair machinery, equipment or tools, carry out
printing work as well as produce or process foodstuffs, textiles, or wooden, metal and other article, including handicraft
The work is carried out by hand and by hand-powered and other tools which are used to reduce the amount of physical effort
and time required for specific tasks, as well as to improve the quality of the products. The tasks call for an understanding
of all stages of the production process, the materials and tools used, and the nature and purpose of the final product.
Tasks performed by craft and related trades workers usually include: extracting and working solid minerals; constructing,
maintaining and repairing buildings and other structures; casting, welding and shaping metal; installing and erecting heavy
metal structures, tackle and related equipment; making machinery, tools, equipment, and other metal articles; setting for
operators, or setting and operating various machine tools; fitting, maintaining and repairing industrial machinery, including
engines and vehicles, as well as electrical and electronic instruments and other precious-metal articles, pottery, glass and
related products; producing handicrafts; executing printing work; producing and processing foodstuff and various articles
made of wood, textiles, leather and related materials. Supervision of other workers may be included.
HOLDERS OF ASSOCIATE DEGREES OF COMPARABLE QUALIFICATION
CARICOM Nationals who are eligible must be holders of an Associate Degree of Equivalent Qualifications who have obtained an
Associate Degree from an accredited/recognised university or college or have obtained a professional, technical or
vocational qualification which is comparable to an Associate Degree.
At its Sixteenth Meeting held in Guyana on 10-12 October 2007, the Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD) agreed
that comparable qualifications will be:
• 2 CAPE / ‘A’ Levels;
• Certified Accounting Technician Qualification;
• National Technician Certificates requiring two years of study at the post-secondary level;
• Other comparable qualifications to be indentified and complied in a comprehensive list for the guidance of the
Competent Authority in Member States.