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I want to move to St Lucia help anyone!!!

I want to move to St Lucia help anyone!!!

Old Sep 13th 2018, 11:32 pm
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Default I want to move to St Lucia help anyone!!!

Hi people I currently live in the U.K. and I really want to move to Saint Lucia to the area of Rodney bay or Gros Islet. I have 2 children one 7 and one 8 month old. I have been doing my research on the island but I need some help. So I want to go down there for 6 months before the big move to get a better feel of the island, and whilst there I would need to work and have my boys in school. So I wanted to know isit hard to find employment in St Lucia? Is the work visa the same and the visa to get a stay or is it two different documents? Will it be easy to get my son into school? Are the schools good (any recommendations)? Where would be the best place to rent property (Real estate recommendation)? And last but not least does anyone know any good Saint Lucian job sites?

I anyone can answer any of my questions it would be much appreciated thank you x
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Old Sep 14th 2018, 9:28 am
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Default Re: I want to move to St Lucia help anyone!!!

Originally Posted by Deanna26 View Post
Hi people I currently live in the U.K. and I really want to move to Saint Lucia to the area of Rodney bay or Gros Islet. I have 2 children one 7 and one 8 month old. I have been doing my research on the island but I need some help. So I want to go down there for 6 months before the big move to get a better feel of the island, and whilst there I would need to work and have my boys in school. So I wanted to know isit hard to find employment in St Lucia? Is the work visa the same and the visa to get a stay or is it two different documents? Will it be easy to get my son into school? Are the schools good (any recommendations)? Where would be the best place to rent property (Real estate recommendation)? And last but not least does anyone know any good Saint Lucian job sites?

I anyone can answer any of my questions it would be much appreciated thank you x
In St Lucia, as in most Caribbean countries, you need a work PERMIT in order to be gainfully employed, in fact you even need a work permit to do charity work as you are perceived as taking work away from a local. Visas are for nationals of certain countries which do not have an arrangemment where they are entitled to automatic admission, on vacation or to work.

Work permits are few and far between as well as expensive and are typically granted to entrepreneurs who wish to set up a business which is a definite asset to the local economy. Alternatively, you need to bring skills which are not ordinarily available on-island such as Senior Specialist Managers, Professional Chefs with CERTAIN skills or experts in certain technical fields. It is possible that one can get a work permit as a school teacher but it's fairly rare. Highly skilled Beauticians with work permits are found in several hotels. That's pretty much IT.

It has been known for realtors to be working in St Lucia, presumably on the 'payroll' of agencies actually situated elsewhere. Now whether they actually had work permits to do their work in St Lucia is unclear.

The underlining rule is that LOCALS get preference AT ALL TIMES if the skills are available locally and there is significant local unemployment so getting a work permit is tough unless you have very good 'contacts'.

If you have online skills where you work in St Lucia for somebody who pays you elsewhere for services you are effectively offering elsewhere, that on the face of it is legal so far as St Lucia Immigration is concerned. However, your entry arrangements will be as below because you will not have a work permit which allows you entry in itself.

When you arrive at the airport in St Lucia you will receive a stamp in your passport allowing a stay of 42 days. Anything beyond that has to be approved at an interview at Immigration when the 42 days is gone and costs a fee. So you would not be guaranteed a stay of 6 months. I am married to a St Lucian and had to get my passport stamped every six weeks until I found a better way, through our property ownership there.

It's easy to get kids into school in St Lucia and standards are variable. I would think it best to look at the schools in the Rodney Bay area as long-distance commutes for kids can be tough. Our kid went to Tapion until 12 then he went on to St Mary's College. Both are good schools, the former private co-ed and the latter a 'state assisted' Grammar School for boys, but the location of Tapion west of Castries is tough for kids who live in the north but the Tapion area, near the private (Tapion) hospital is a good residencial area to live.

There are a couple of very good State primary schools in Sans Souci which is just north of the harbour in Castries and close by Vigie Airport (GFL Charles) and one could consider living close by but I'm not an expert on living in that area.

Rodney Heights, Bonne Terre, Cas en Bas are decent residencial areas you could consider in Gros Islet area.

St Lucia is not big at websites for ANY purposes, more's the pity.

Present your skills on here so that others can try to help.

Last edited by Pistolpete2; Sep 14th 2018 at 9:58 am. Reason: If you have online skills where you work in St Lucia....
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Old Sep 15th 2018, 10:21 am
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Default Re: I want to move to St Lucia help anyone!!!

Thank you so much for all that information It has helps a lot. Especially knowing about the skills in which they would consider you for work and about local priorities . However, I have more skills then nursery/pre school teaching qualifications so I still feel hopeful. I will look at those areas of residency’s and schools and the challenges of staying over 42 days thanks again. And I do have a few connects in St Lucia working as waiters, but I wouldn’t want that to be my career there. Hmm I’m in thinking mode because I have to make it happen!

Few more question

• How much is the work permit in pounds?

• Would I have to go to St Lucia to apply for the work visa? Could I have someone in St Lucian post me the application?

• When I apply for the work permit, is that when i would have to say I would want to stay longer then 42 days if needed. Then would they then arrange a meeting for me then or not? (bit confused with that part)

• Would they need proof of work before accepted for a work Permit? (Is it advisable to have the work set up first)

Thank you

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Old Sep 15th 2018, 10:55 am
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Default Re: I want to move to St Lucia help anyone!!!

Originally Posted by Deanna26 View Post
Thank you so much for all that information It has helps a lot. Especially knowing about the skills in which they would consider you for work and about local priorities . However, I have more skills then nursery/pre school teaching qualifications so I still feel hopeful. I will look at those areas of residency’s and schools and the challenges of staying over 42 days thanks again. And I do have a few connects in St Lucia working as waiters, but I wouldn’t want that to be my career there. Hmm I’m in thinking mode because I have to make it happen!

Few more question

• How much is the work permit in pounds?

• Would I have to go to St Lucia to apply for the work visa? Could I have someone in St Lucian post me the application?

• When I apply for the work permit, is that when i would have to say I would want to stay longer then 42 days if needed. Then would they then arrange a meeting for me then or not? (bit confused with that part)

• Would they need proof of work before accepted for a work Permit? (Is it advisable to have the work set up first)

Thank you

Here is a link (sorry) for the basics of the St Lucia work permit process. Google - St Lucia A form - and you will see the government website where you can get the work permit application form, along with instructions.

Working in Saint Lucia - All About St Lucia

As you can see the annual work permit fee is approx 2,160 pounds.

The word is work PERMIT or you will confuse people. I don't think you have to be present to submit the application. I would THINK that normally your future employer would submit the application for you, once you've done your part in supplying the requisite documentation.

By contacts I meant people in high places who can use their special skills to get things done where they have an interest - sadly, it's often the island way.

You can't apply for a work permit until you have a specific job offered to you which the potential employer will know with a good degree of certainty is going to get a work permit as there is no local talent to fill the position.

IF you are going to be self-employed you will need local advice as to how to proceed with the entity which would employ you and who would apply for the work permit for you.

I will say that IF you are in a field of business where you have skills typically unavailable locally and you are going to create employment for locals alongside you then that is a good route to gaining a work permit. In addition, since in St Lucia tourism is the main thrust of the economy, if you are bringing something to the table to enhance the tourism product you could also in due course get tax incentives.

The problem with this is that IF you have a really good idea, likely to generate substantial profits, you might find somebody else miraculously came up with the same idea right when you were trying to set up shop. It's a tough world!
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Old Sep 15th 2018, 4:18 pm
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Default Re: I want to move to St Lucia help anyone!!!

Pete. The website doesn't specifically say it, but I get the impression that the Work Permit is actually indentured service - i.e. a foreigner is indentured to work for one identified employer. Is that right? And that one can't just flit from job to job. My understanding is that this is the case in most of the West Indies islands. This might be a big factor in Deanna's decision.
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Old Sep 15th 2018, 4:48 pm
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Default Re: I want to move to St Lucia help anyone!!!

Originally Posted by Gordon Barlow View Post
Pete. The website doesn't specifically say it, but I get the impression that the Work Permit is actually indentured service - i.e. a foreigner is indentured to work for one identified employer. Is that right? And that one can't just flit from job to job. My understanding is that this is the case in most of the West Indies islands. This might be a big factor in Deanna's decision.
Indeed! I did say "a specific job offered to you....". I guess the drafters? were a bit careless.

I can't think of any situation where you could get a work permit as a waiter for Company X and then work for somebody else, other than the Company X who first gained a work permit for you. If you want to wait for somebody else it's a new work permit. I don't know for sure in St Lucia but I would think that work permit holders can't just up-sticks part way through a work permit period IF they don't like their work and then try to get a work permit somewhere else on-island without a proper release from that first employer. This needs to be checked out.

If Immigration want to be real sticklers, you can't even be promoted to a higher ranked employee without having a revised work permit approved though if Immigration strictly enforced that it would be a nightmare for employers and employees. An employer wouldn't get away with that (promoting a non-local without a proper permit for the new position) in a unionised environment though.

All of this stuff was shock horror when I first went to Bermuda in the 70s but this all (tight immigration procedures) is commonplace everywhere now.

The OP needs to check for employment agencies in St Lucia as their work permit arrangements might? be more flexible - check Facebook for listings.

Last edited by Pistolpete2; Sep 15th 2018 at 4:54 pm.
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Old Sep 15th 2018, 5:22 pm
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Default Re: I want to move to St Lucia help anyone!!!

Originally Posted by Pistolpete2 View Post
Indeed! I did say "a specific job offered to you....". I guess the drafters? were a bit careless.
The OP needs to check for employment agencies in St Lucia as their work permit arrangements might? be more flexible - check Facebook for listings.
Good advice, about the employment agencies. We still have the indentured-service system in Cayman, to my disgust. When I wrote my newspaper columns, back in the day, I ranted and raved against the system - and, in an attempt to shame the British into changing it, compared it unfavourably to the indentures system introduced in the British colonies immediately following the abolition of slavery. I called it "near slavery", which indeed it is for domestic workers employed by unscrupulous employers. Result: a big fat zero.

So. When even Cayman - a British colony to this day - sticks to near-slavery and its "plantation" rules, I don't suppose there's much incentive for independent ex-colonies to change...
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Old Sep 15th 2018, 5:37 pm
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Default Re: I want to move to St Lucia help anyone!!!

Originally Posted by Gordon Barlow View Post
Good advice, about the employment agencies. We still have the indentured-service system in Cayman, to my disgust. When I wrote my newspaper columns, back in the day, I ranted and raved against the system - and, in an attempt to shame the British into changing it, compared it unfavourably to the indentures system introduced in the British colonies immediately following the abolition of slavery. I called it "near slavery", which indeed it is for domestic workers employed by unscrupulous employers. Result: a big fat zero.

So. When even Cayman - a British colony to this day - sticks to near-slavery and its "plantation" rules, I don't suppose there's much incentive for independent ex-colonies to change...
Well I stopped complaining about the Islands when I saw what the 'mother country' was up to - the British Home Office is an utter disgrace and has been, but then if the Conservative Government in itself isn't out-and-out racist, it most certainly seems to play to a racist audience.

The joke is that the implemented immigration policy such as it is, quite aside from the dodgy practices it gets up to when I refer to utter disgrace, appears totally contrary to the interests of the country at large in so many ways.

When we first went to St Lucia to settle back in 2006, we sat down with one of the supervisors in the Ministry of Home Affairs on Compton and had a chat about what's what. The OP might consider an enquiry like that to find out what their chances are. They are a reasonable bunch, from my experience.

Last edited by Pistolpete2; Sep 15th 2018 at 5:42 pm.
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Old Sep 16th 2018, 1:11 pm
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Default Re: I want to move to St Lucia help anyone!!!

Thanks guys for all the information and advice such big help to me, and my understandings of what seems to be a big challenge ahead of me. I need to do some serious networking I fully just want to leave England.
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