Free Movement of People

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






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.



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

2. Artistes

3. Musicians

4. Sportspersons

5. Media Workers

6. Nurses

7. Teachers

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

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 Stylists

o Interior designer

o Textile designer

o Architects

o Landscape artist

o Graphic artist

o Print artist


Performance artistes

o Dancer

o Actor

o Choreographer

o Director

o Performance poet

o Story teller

o Folk-performer

o Puppeteer


Literary artistes

o Creative writer

o Novelist

o Poet

o Essayist

o Short-story writer

o Playwright


o Lyricist


Cultural workers/managers/technicians

o Producer

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.



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.






























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