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Hotel Leasing/Ownership? Do I need work permit?

Hotel Leasing/Ownership? Do I need work permit?

Old Apr 12th 2013, 1:20 pm
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Default Hotel Leasing/Ownership? Do I need work permit?

Hi Everyone,

My friends situation is the following she is married to a St Lucian, lives here permanently up in Gros Islat, owns property here and has children by him that are St Lucian. She has not yet got her citizenship, just laziness really as she has not really worked here before.
Now she has an opportunity to lease a hotel for 5 years, so basically she will be the boss and she will be employing local people. I wonder can anyone answer the following questions?

Does she need a work permit?
Or is it best for her get her citizenship - although this worries me how long this will take! I think time is of the essence here.
She also has a couple of friends from the UK that are going to put in the money so they will be on property sometimes and obviously will want to help out around the place - will they need work permits?
I also remember, unless I am going senile in my old age that guest houses/ hotels was a reserved occupation - like they tried to do with real estate - is this correct? I know that there are a lot of ex-pats working and running hotels here so not sure what the rules are. Anything you can help with much appreciated.
Thanks in advance - Sarah x
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Old Apr 12th 2013, 3:40 pm
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Default Re: Hotel Leasing/Ownership? Do I need work permit?

Originally Posted by Sarah1234 View Post
Hi Everyone,

My friends situation is the following she is married to a St Lucian, lives here permanently up in Gros Islat, owns property here and has children by him that are St Lucian. She has not yet got her citizenship, just laziness really as she has not really worked here before.
Now she has an opportunity to lease a hotel for 5 years, so basically she will be the boss and she will be employing local people. I wonder can anyone answer the following questions?

Does she need a work permit?
Or is it best for her get her citizenship - although this worries me how long this will take! I think time is of the essence here.
She also has a couple of friends from the UK that are going to put in the money so they will be on property sometimes and obviously will want to help out around the place - will they need work permits?
I also remember, unless I am going senile in my old age that guest houses/ hotels was a reserved occupation - like they tried to do with real estate - is this correct? I know that there are a lot of ex-pats working and running hotels here so not sure what the rules are. Anything you can help with much appreciated.
Thanks in advance - Sarah x
It's a funny old world that interested parties have to post on BE to attempt to get answers to pertinent questions regarding "investing" or participating in the St Lucia economy when it claims to be one of the best in the region to do business in but looking to Government websites for guidance there is nothing that properly explains how an operator of a St Lucia business is to go about that business legitimately immigration/home affairs-wise.

That said, I would say that ALL parties you have mentioned are supposed to have work permits, even if they are putting their money in.

In the case of the St Lucian spouse, they are not really supposed to be the front-line operator of the lease on the hotel unless they have a work permit and the simplest way to accomplish this is to set up a management company owned by the St Lucian and the spouse is an employee.

The golden rule is:

"authorization to work in St. Lucia is only granted if there are no qualified St. Lucians* to fill the advertised position"

There are exemptions from work permits and these are typically granted to persons working in education/teaching and for government and government-related work.

*or Caricom citizens

Here is a guide to doing business in St Lucia and clicking on Investment Guide you will be able to establish the full requirements from the get-go, including work permits:

http://investstlucia.com/general_pag...doing-business

There is also other useful information regarding residency and visas

Last edited by Pistolpete2; Apr 12th 2013 at 4:02 pm. Reason: Here is a guide to doing business.......
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Old Apr 12th 2013, 6:21 pm
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Default Re: Hotel Leasing/Ownership? Do I need work permit?

Thank you Pistol Pete, I will check that out, I agree whole heartedly with your comments - Thank you.
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Old Apr 12th 2013, 6:52 pm
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Default Re: Hotel Leasing/Ownership? Do I need work permit?

Originally Posted by Sarah1234 View Post
Thank you Pistol Pete, I will check that out, I agree whole heartedly with your comments - Thank you.
I just happened to be interested in finding out more about incentives in the tourism sector and in areas of special development in St Lucia today, so contacted the National Development Corporation by phone (452.3614) and they were helpful, ran through things with me and pointed me towards some rules and regulations in the aforementioned investstlucia website.

http://www.slhta.org/national-development-corporation/

Trying to make contact with the incentives area in Govt - Tourism, it is, as always, hard to find somebody who will actually pick up the phone before it goes to voicemail.
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