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If I am married to a St Lucian can I stay in St Lucia indefinately

If I am married to a St Lucian can I stay in St Lucia indefinately

Old Feb 10th 2011, 5:44 pm
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Default If I am married to a St Lucian can I stay in St Lucia indefinately

Hi I have a house in St Lucia and have been travelling to and from the UK ( I am a British citizen) and St Lucia now for a few years, I always buy a return ticket to St Lucia, as that is where I am mainly based. However everytime I go to check in at Gatwick they question me and I have to show my house deeds - they then go away and come back and say all is OK and let me on the flight.
Anyone know why they do this? as in my experience BA dont.

Also I have just married my St Lucian fiance does this mean that I can stay on the Island indefinately? What status does this give me?
Can I show this at Gatwick instead of the house information.

I would appreciate any help on this subject as I am puzzled.

Thanks
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Old Feb 11th 2011, 4:57 pm
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Default Re: If I am married to a St Lucian can I stay in St Lucia indefinately

Originally Posted by Sarah1234 View Post
Hi I have a house in St Lucia and have been travelling to and from the UK ( I am a British citizen) and St Lucia now for a few years, I always buy a return ticket to St Lucia, as that is where I am mainly based. However everytime I go to check in at Gatwick they question me and I have to show my house deeds - they then go away and come back and say all is OK and let me on the flight.
Anyone know why they do this? as in my experience BA don't.

Also I have just married my St Lucian fiance does this mean that I can stay on the Island indefinately? What status does this give me?
Can I show this at Gatwick instead of the house information.

I would appreciate any help on this subject as I am puzzled.

Thanks
Hi Sarah

BA are correct to check your ticket, particularly if you buy a return out of St Lucia. If your papers are incorrect the burden is on BA to repatriate you and so they double-check. Invariably I am asked twice but say I live in St Lucia and point to the immigration stamps if need be. Note that ordinarily it is cheaper to buy your return tickets IN THE UK (do back to backs) unless the pound/US exchange rate is strong. So us poor folks usually have to pay more. Note also that most of the check-in people at Gatwick (Virgin and BA) are outsourced contractors and they can be sticky.

Being married to a St Lucian in itself doesn't count for anything!

However, when in St Lucia you should make a visit to the Ministry of Home Affairs on Compton, speak to a supervisor or make an appointment to see one, and get the "party-line" on where you would stand regarding citizenship which is where you get the STATUS from being married to a citizen. You should in normal circumstances be able to apply right away BUT the process can take one to two years.

Since you own property you need to visit the Department of Immigration where there is a sign saying Lamar Enterprises on Bridge Street in Castries and show them your title deeds and THAT allows you to stay in St Lucia six months at a time..... I always used to laugh at the thought that I need to get permission to live in St Lucia with my St Lucian wife and St Lucian child. The suspicion is that the general rule is that marriages are "arranged" but the UK actually doesn't do much better for foreign spouses of UK citizens. When you return to St Lucia after a trip you (Mr Average visitor) normally get 42 days stay. When you have the six month permit in your passport you can sometimes get lucky and the immigration officer gives you six months from date of arrival but usually he leaves things as they are and gives you nothing you must religiously go to Bridge Street to get it done when the six months is up. Immigration like you to show up at renewal time right when it is due for renewal and not a couple of weeks ahead UNLESS you are going away.

There is no charge for getting the six month permit and there usually is not a long queue for this procedure.

Once you are eligible for citizenship and have applied you should be able to get a work permit within a couple of months without the usual work permit rigours particularly IF you can show that you are skilled and not displacing a St Lucian but they will explain it all to you and their views on migration were refreshing compared with other places I have lived in this region. Before that you need a work permit like any other non-St Lucian and this is expensive for non-Caricom members at EC$7,500 and can take a while to get IF you are eligible.

Again, however, if you choose to go into business with your spouse it is an easier process to get a work permit and the cost would be tax deductible if you set up a company or sole trader/partnership.

It is commendable that you didn't know what status your fiance would give you BEFORE you got married. We all love our St Lucian partners so much that hardly matters.

Last edited by Pistolpete2; Feb 11th 2011 at 5:38 pm.
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Old Feb 12th 2011, 2:46 pm
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Default Re: If I am married to a St Lucian can I stay in St Lucia indefinately

If you are now married to a St lucian I would not have thouhgt you would have to pay for a work permit. Once you apply and are granted your citizenship through marriage you have the same benefits as other St lucians.
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Old Feb 12th 2011, 2:55 pm
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Default Re: If I am married to a St Lucian can I stay in St Lucia indefinately

Originally Posted by pgtips View Post
If you are now married to a St lucian I would not have thouhgt you would have to pay for a work permit. Once you apply and are granted your citizenship through marriage you have the same benefits as other St lucians.
Indeed once you are granted citizenship you obviously do not need a work permit.

My comments to Sarah1234 relate entirely to the lead-up to citizenship which in itself is a lengthy process bearing in mind the need to get police references etc. etc.

Note that I state "eligible" for citizenship. There are many issues relating to immigration, work permits and citizenship which are not "cut and dried" in St Lucia not only because money talks. When I arrived some folks told me you can apply for citizenship after five years, some said three and one nice lady (in the Ministry) said right away which is now the position. I spoke to the Ministry of Home Affairs for guidance yesterday and even they are not clear regarding the position of work permits for spouses at the time of accepted application for citizenship but my narrative to Sarah defines the areas of contention and tries to find ways around them.

It is for this reason of contention that you cannot find guidance on these issues from official government websites.

Last edited by Pistolpete2; Feb 12th 2011 at 3:10 pm.
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Old Feb 12th 2011, 3:12 pm
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Default Re: If I am married to a St Lucian can I stay in St Lucia indefinately

Thank you both for your replies.

I will be coming back to St Lucia in the next two weeks, I have with me the deeds to my house, my marriage certificate and an onward ticket to Martinique ( leaving a couple of weeks after my arrival in St Lucia, I am flying out there one way to visit a friend then will be coming back to st Lucia by boat)so do you think I will be OK at the check in desk? I think so but I am a person that naturally worries, much to my detriment. I simply cant afford to buy another ticket at the moment.

I will do as you say Pistolpete and visit the various establishments in Castries when I get back.

If you can help me with the above I would appreciate it, I checked with a couple of travel agents over here regarding the check in situation and they were both puzzled by it but said that I should be OK as I have the paperwork with me.

If you could let me know your thoughts I would appreciate it.

Thanks so much,
Sarah.
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Old Feb 12th 2011, 3:34 pm
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Default Re: If I am married to a St Lucian can I stay in St Lucia indefinately

Originally Posted by Sarah1234 View Post
Thank you both for your replies.

I will be coming back to St Lucia in the next two weeks, I have with me the deeds to my house, my marriage certificate and an onward ticket to Martinique ( leaving a couple of weeks after my arrival in St Lucia, I am flying out there one way to visit a friend then will be coming back to st Lucia by boat)so do you think I will be OK at the check in desk? I think so but I am a person that naturally worries, much to my detriment. I simply cant afford to buy another ticket at the moment.

I will do as you say Pistolpete and visit the various establishments in Castries when I get back.

If you can help me with the above I would appreciate it, I checked with a couple of travel agents over here regarding the check in situation and they were both puzzled by it but said that I should be OK as I have the paperwork with me.

If you could let me know your thoughts I would appreciate it.

Thanks so much,
Sarah.
Sarah, there should not be a problem getting back into St Lucia by that route. Anyway, you have time to get that six months stamp in the passport which makes things much easier. The stamp takes a week to get done max. You go to the door at the end of the passage (Extensions) at around 8:30am and they should see you fairly promptly. You pick your passport up a week later at the left-hand passport office window (two offices down).

Please note though that I have heard chat in recent weeks that if you are travelling on a St Lucian passport when entering Martinique (France) by ANY route you must be able to show that you have health insurance or you could be denied boarding (yep more boarding trickery). If you are on your own since you are on your UK passport you are fine.
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Old Feb 12th 2011, 3:46 pm
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Default Re: If I am married to a St Lucian can I stay in St Lucia indefinately

Originally Posted by Sarah1234 View Post
Thank you both for your replies.

I will be coming back to St Lucia in the next two weeks, I have with me the deeds to my house, my marriage certificate and an onward ticket to Martinique ( leaving a couple of weeks after my arrival in St Lucia, I am flying out there one way to visit a friend then will be coming back to st Lucia by boat)so do you think I will be OK at the check in desk? I think so but I am a person that naturally worries, much to my detriment. I simply cant afford to buy another ticket at the moment.

I will do as you say Pistolpete and visit the various establishments in Castries when I get back.

If you can help me with the above I would appreciate it, I checked with a couple of travel agents over here regarding the check in situation and they were both puzzled by it but said that I should be OK as I have the paperwork with me.

If you could let me know your thoughts I would appreciate it.

Thanks so much,
Sarah.
Can I say something else to you Sarah. As you should know by now St Lucians are friendly laid-back people. This characteristic extends itself into areas like Immigration and so even though the rules/laws might sound rigid and awkward the officials seem to take the whole process less seriously than we do.

Once, before I found out about the six months deal, I was due to fly over to Barbados as my 42 days was UP that day. Unfortunately the fire service at Vigie went on strike and Liat could not operate and I was too late to go to Immigration to get relief. When I did go there the next day and told them I was half expecting the cuffs they all had a good laugh.
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Old Feb 12th 2011, 5:18 pm
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Default Re: If I am married to a St Lucian can I stay in St Lucia indefinately

Hi PistolPete,

I think you may have misunderstood me a little, I am flying from Gatwick to St Lucia, staying at my home and then going on a trip to Martinique two weeks later then back to my home in St Lucia by boat.

I just wondered at the check in desk at Gatwick when they question me if they will accept the ticket and my deeds and marriage certificate so that I can fly to St Lucia as I have a one way ticket from the Uk to St Lucia ( as basically that is my home).

Sorry if there was some confusion but do you think I will be alright - have they ever told you that you cannot fly?

Thanks in advance,

Sarah
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Old Feb 12th 2011, 5:30 pm
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Default Re: If I am married to a St Lucian can I stay in St Lucia indefinately

Originally Posted by Sarah1234 View Post
Hi PistolPete,

I think you may have misunderstood me a little, I am flying from Gatwick to St Lucia, staying at my home and then going on a trip to Martinique two weeks later then back to my home in St Lucia by boat.

I just wondered at the check in desk at Gatwick when they question me if they will accept the ticket and my deeds and marriage certificate so that I can fly to St Lucia as I have a one way ticket from the Uk to St Lucia ( as basically that is my home).

Sorry if there was some confusion but do you think I will be alright - have they ever told you that you cannot fly?

Thanks in advance,

Sarah
Indeed I thought you meant the ferry check-in (also a one-way)

Just re-explain the fact that you are married (cert) and live here (deeds) as you have done and though it could go to the supervisor you should be just fine. All sorts of people can have problems with documentation of one sort or another (even their e-ticket and self-printed boarding pass) but they almost all get resolved pronto. I've even heard of people getting into St Lucia without a valid passport by explaining it away to all and sundry.

No, I've never been denied boarding. I used to have these sorts of problem all the time when travelling back to Bermuda without a US visa (pre-visa waiver programme) from Mexico and Japan and in the US but NEVER got denied.
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Old Feb 13th 2011, 4:22 pm
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Default Re: If I am married to a St Lucian can I stay in St Lucia indefinately

Dear PistolPete,

Thank you so much for putting my mind at rest - I really appreciate it.

I did ring Virgin's customer service as well and they told me that they just have to double check for security purposes but that if I had the deeds I would be fine.

Thanks once again, its just that I cant afford a ticket back out of St Lucia to the UK that I probably wont need to use - at a cost of over £500 its just too much.

Anyway I hope that I can return the favour to you someday with any advice you need.

Best Regards
Sarah
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Old Feb 13th 2011, 6:04 pm
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Default Re: If I am married to a St Lucian can I stay in St Lucia indefinately

Originally Posted by Sarah1234 View Post
Dear PistolPete,

cost of over £500 its just too much.

Anyway I hope that I can return the favour to you someday with any advice you need.

Best Regards
Sarah
Understandable!

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Old Jan 16th 2012, 1:05 am
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Default Re: If I am married to a St Lucian can I stay in St Lucia indefinately

You know as a St.Lucian living in the UK, I feel disgusted by this thread. Yes we St.Lucians are easy walk overs for you guys. You can stay there with ease and walk all over us and we are grateful for that but you treat us like crap when we come to the UK and you keep on reminding us that we don't belong here oh yes and you think immigration is such a bad thing when you are in the UK but when the shoe is on the other foot, it is a completely different story.

Such hypocracy , makes me ashamed to be St.Lucian
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Old Jan 17th 2012, 4:02 pm
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Default Re: If I am married to a St Lucian can I stay in St Lucia indefinately

Originally Posted by ajohn153 View Post
You know as a St.Lucian living in the UK, I feel disgusted by this thread. Yes we St.Lucians are easy walk overs for you guys. You can stay there with ease and walk all over us and we are grateful for that but you treat us like crap when we come to the UK and you keep on reminding us that we don't belong here oh yes and you think immigration is such a bad thing when you are in the UK but when the shoe is on the other foot, it is a completely different story.

Such hypocracy , makes me ashamed to be St.Lucian
Ajohn, there are a million people from the Caribbean living in the UK, some quite happily. There are only a few brits living in St Lucia so your point seems a bit off track here. As long as the country permits we are allowed to live where we like. If you do not like the country you are living in there is a big wide world out there. There is nothing in this thread which has disrespected or walked over St Lucians.
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