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new member - I want to move to st lucia for a while

new member - I want to move to st lucia for a while

Old Jan 20th 2011, 10:57 pm
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Default new member - I want to move to st lucia for a while

HI!
i'm 20 years old, and i'v just recently visited St Luica, castiries and im dying to move there! i'm not a great lover of england, and when i saw the island i fell instantly in love. i would like to live there for a year or maybe more depending on how it went.
problem is, i have no clue to go about it! i no i have to sort out a work permit and i think i would need a citizenship, i also no if i was to work there i would have to pay $2000 a year. I can't seem to find the correct website to get the forms and i have no clue as to look for a job? and how to apply? do i apply for the job once i have been permitted a work permit? help?!
iv read on here that it can be quite expenisve to live over there as i am only 20 what jobs would be avaliable to me and would i have a hard time in finding one that would support my bills and living expenses? help?!

please help if you can.
Angie
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Old Jan 21st 2011, 9:48 am
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Default Re: new member - I want to move to st lucia for a while

Originally Posted by angie3437 View Post
HI!
i'm 20 years old, and i'v just recently visited St Luica, castiries and im dying to move there! i'm not a great lover of england, and when i saw the island i fell instantly in love. i would like to live there for a year or maybe more depending on how it went.
problem is, i have no clue to go about it! i no i have to sort out a work permit and i think i would need a citizenship, i also no if i was to work there i would have to pay $2000 a year. I can't seem to find the correct website to get the forms and i have no clue as to look for a job? and how to apply? do i apply for the job once i have been permitted a work permit? help?!
iv read on here that it can be quite expenisve to live over there as i am only 20 what jobs would be avaliable to me and would i have a hard time in finding one that would support my bills and living expenses? help?!

please help if you can.
Angie
Hi Angie, If I had a pound for every time I heard "I visited the island, fell in love with it, and now want to live there" I would be a millionaire.
Its not surprising because St lucia is scenically one of the most beautiful islands on the earth.
However holidaying and living there are two totally separate issues.
Are any of your parents St Lucia by birth ? If they are you will be able to apply for citizenship which will make things much easier for you.
Have you family or friends you can stay with in St Lucia ?
How long can you afford to support yourself without working there ?
If you are entightled to citizenship you will be automatically allowed to work, if not it is more tricky. There is a lot of competion with the youths for jobs and a relatively high unemployment rate. The jobs in the supermarkets and hotels do not tend to pay much, so unless you are highly skilled and qualified with lots of experience what type of work do you think will be available ?
Until I know a bit more about your situation thats all I will say for now.
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Old Jan 21st 2011, 12:07 pm
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Default Re: new member - I want to move to st lucia for a while

HEY, thank for replying!
No my mother is irish! and i also have an irishpassport. i have friends over there who i am going back to see in july. i don't have alot of savings just the money that i have left in my account after flights and renting an appartment while im there in july. i would prefer to work with the kids over there but i dont have much experience in that area except for my large family youths.
i don't actually have a life in england as it is. so a new style of living is something im looking for.
Thanks Again
Angie x
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Old Jan 27th 2011, 11:35 am
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Default Re: new member - I want to move to st lucia for a while

St Lucia is not like other major business centres where there is a significant expat community on work permits. In fact there are very few work permits issued and those tend to be to Head Chefs and Senior Managers who are "indispensible". St Lucia gets its transient labour from within Caricom so there are a large number of Guyanese here who simply need a skills "permit".

As has been said, there is significant unemployment here already and many workers in the hospitality industry are laid off for long periods during the slow season from May (after Jazz Festival) to October. Youth unemployment is terrible.

Going back to work permits, it is my experience as an expat that the work permit system here doesn't really function properly and one can end up working "illegally" here while it can take up to a year for the work permit to come through.

Remember, as always, there is a huge difference between coming here on vacation and making St Lucia your residence. The level of serious crime and corruption here would take your breathe away and there is no end in sight BUT if you live in the north this is less likely to impact your daily life as the police clearly have instructions to protect major tourist areas.

My own experience suggests that St Lucia is indeed a place to come to as a tourist and experience it only from that slant.
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Old Jan 27th 2011, 7:48 pm
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Default Re: new member - I want to move to st lucia for a while

Originally Posted by Pistolpete2 View Post
St Lucia is not like other major business centres where there is a significant expat community on work permits. In fact there are very few work permits issued and those tend to be to Head Chefs and Senior Managers who are "indispensible". St Lucia gets its transient labour from within Caricom so there are a large number of Guyanese here who simply need a skills "permit".

As has been said, there is significant unemployment here already and many workers in the hospitality industry are laid off for long periods during the slow season from May (after Jazz Festival) to October. Youth unemployment is terrible.

Going back to work permits, it is my experience as an expat that the work permit system here doesn't really function properly and one can end up working "illegally" here while it can take up to a year for the work permit to come through.

Remember, as always, there is a huge difference between coming here on vacation and making St Lucia your residence. The level of serious crime and corruption here would take your breathe away and there is no end in sight BUT if you live in the north this is less likely to impact your daily life as the police clearly have instructions to protect major tourist areas.

My own experience suggests that St Lucia is indeed a place to come to as a tourist and experience it only from that slant.
Pistolpete are you living in St Lucia, if so which part ? How long have you been living there and do you work ?
Most of the people I know there are retired, semi retired, entrepreneurs etc, who tend to live a good life. The young and work situation is a different matter and personally I would not advise a young person to go to St Lucia expecting to gain employment unless they have a lot to bring to bring table.
If you ain't got no money then St Lucia is no party !!!
The residents of Cap Estate and Rodney Bay tend to live a very good lifestyle.
However the contrast between Rodney Bay and the capital Castries about 8 miles away can be quite breathtaking !! I mean 1st world meets 3rd world.
St Lucia is a beautiful island, but with youth unemployment and no welfare state to fall back on, there has been a negative fall out.
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Old Jan 27th 2011, 8:41 pm
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Default Re: new member - I want to move to st lucia for a while

I have lived in the Marigot Bay "area" for four 1/2 years and though I had, as a professional with many years of senior management experience as a chief financial officer, hoped to work in St Lucia, I feel the climate is simply not there for anything other than maybe something tourism-related. The strange thing is that many hotels are on their knees financially and the story invariably put out is that their accounts/finance department was clueless. As I was told very early, if you have contacts then maybe you can do something. It's strange that those who have NO St Lucian connections can get work permits in some fields, such as real estate and security and yet those who are connected are told there is no point in trying.

I've thought it pointless to gain citizenship as this now brings nothing to the table at my age (now late-fifties) AND SO mores-the-pity I'm retired.

I want very much to move on in some shape or form and ideally swap our house here from time to time.

I would advise prospectives to ALWAYS check the place out well BEFORE they buy here. It's not as it seems from the tourist brochures and channels by a long shot. The absence of proper plans for the island's sustainable development is the clincher. As I know from being an expat elsewhere for many many years it can be really trying when one spouse is not working, in the boonies. As you say, one spouse needs to work or things can get tough unless you are already loaded, as many are up north. We chose to live down here because this is the real St Lucia but somewhat cheaper and the country is lovely, though rainy. It's also much easier to get into Castries as there is so much congestion in the north due to the development.

Most folks down here only really speak patois but life is much more community-oriented. There is much that needs to be done in these communities though.
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Old Jan 27th 2011, 8:52 pm
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Default Re: new member - I want to move to st lucia for a while

Originally Posted by pgtips View Post
Pistolpete are you living in St Lucia, if so which part ? How long have you been living there and do you work ?
Most of the people I know there are retired, semi retired, entrepreneurs etc, who tend to live a good life. The young and work situation is a different matter and personally I would not advise a young person to go to St Lucia expecting to gain employment unless they have a lot to bring to bring table.
If you ain't got no money then St Lucia is no party !!!
The residents of Cap Estate and Rodney Bay tend to live a very good lifestyle.
However the contrast between Rodney Bay and the capital Castries about 8 miles away can be quite breathtaking !! I mean 1st world meets 3rd world.
St Lucia is a beautiful island, but with youth unemployment and no welfare state to fall back on, there has been a negative fall out.
I'm sorry, being a new kid I didn't quote you. See my fresh post.
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Old Jan 28th 2011, 3:22 pm
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Default Re: new member - I want to move to st lucia for a while

Pistolpete2

If you get your citizenship will you not get access to all the free medical facilities. I am more thinking of when and if they ever get around to building that new hospital. I used to stay right in the heart of Castries but we have a family home up North in the Rodney bay area so when I am on island that is where I am. To be honest I do not go into Castries much, because all the shops and facilities are pretty much on our doorstep, literally just a few streets away. I can take a leisurly walk to Reduit beach in about 15 min, or drive in 2-3 min. I love Rodney bay, because of the variety of poeple I meet from all over the world and just the convenience, for example Wi-fi, variety of restaurants, 3 supermarkets and and 2 shopping malls, the beautiful Marina, plus family and friends I have made . For me some other parts of St lucia are just too slow. Until the rest of St Lucia catches up a bit that is where I will spend most of my time. You have been on island for 4 1/2 years so you are well established now.
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Old Jan 28th 2011, 4:00 pm
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Default Re: new member - I want to move to st lucia for a while

Originally Posted by pgtips View Post
Pistolpete2

If you get your citizenship will you not get access to all the free medical facilities. I am more thinking of when and if they ever get around to building that new hospital. I used to stay right in the heart of Castries but we have a family home up North in the Rodney bay area so when I am on island that is where I am. To be honest I do not go into Castries much, because all the shops and facilities are pretty much on our doorstep, literally just a few streets away. I can take a leisurly walk to Reduit beach in about 15 min, or drive in 2-3 min. I love Rodney bay, because of the variety of poeple I meet from all over the world and just the convenience, for example Wi-fi, variety of restaurants, 3 supermarkets and and 2 shopping malls, the beautiful Marina, plus family and friends I have made . For me some other parts of St lucia are just too slow. Until the rest of St Lucia catches up a bit that is where I will spend most of my time. You have been on island for 4 1/2 years so you are well established now.
Hi pgtips

I think one qualifies for free medical if one is RESIDENT but be that as it may the medical services available under this programme are pretty dickensian. I've been inside Victoria Hospital and seen. The new hospital is a way off yet.

I've had melanoma (yes I'm white) and needed a dermatologist and surgeon both here and in London. I'm glad I had insurance. The cost under the coverage for a family of three is 2,700Ec (600 family deductible) and insurance pays 80% of most charges, capped on orthodontic and visual. If you are referred, the company will only pay the country closest to St Lucia rate where those medical services are provided which is usually Barbados rates plus airfare but no accommodation there. Not Bad!

Let's get down to the nitty-gritty then. We are a mixed race family. My wife is St Lucian, born here.

We wanted our kid to go to private school here, certainly initially, as he would have had smaller classes and a better chance at assimilating into the "scene". So we chose Tapion. It's Ok but they had turnover turmoil with principals and with certain parents not paying their fees and it's nowhere near as good as it was supposedly ten years ago.

With son going to Tapion we ultimately chose to live south because we thought that access would be easier, and it was, and that Marigot Bay would be our place for entertainment which it sometimes is. We looked up in Cap and in Becune Point, Coubaril, Vigie and Trouya and found one place that greatly appealed up there but the properties are close to each other and there is no telling what a future neighbour could be like. Dogs bark all night as it is. Down here we have land (that has turned out to be a bit of a serious burden) and a quiet night's sleep but we had to turn the house into a fortress.

I absolutely agree with you that Rodney Bay is very attractive but I think that it might suit you as a part-timer better than me stuck here alone for most of the day on a fixed income which makes things fairly tight.

We now tend to "vacation" (mini-vacation more like) up there from time to time as our son sails and it more sense to stop over when the price is right and he has a couple of days of sailing.

Again, I agree with you that it's Rodney Bay and "the rest". I'll tell you that if there is one thing that really ticks me off it is the neglect for the rest that seems unending and so easily remedied if the powers that be could put there mind to it. I was required to have an entrepreneurial spirit when I worked before, further up the gulf stream, and can come up with a number of business plans to get folks to work in the south but I don't want to OWN any of this and want somebody to share the vision and run with it. I think one's brain can rot here pretty fast without the stimulus. When you asked before what folks should look for in St Lucia I think that they should be aware that there is none of the cultural stuff that one wants when getting older, such as art galleries, museums, theatre (don't get Sir Derek Walcott started), places to walk easily etc.etc.. and Castries is a hell-hole!

A lot could be done to instill a sense of pride in St Lucians to take better care of their country, in spite of their poorness. Communities are full of litter, dumping and fly-tipping* at a time that there is a huge opportunity for community tourism. If you try to tackle it from the government or quango end you get completely frustrated because you get no support. Nobody seems to care.

*This was one of the major issues post Tomas as illegal dumping clogged waterways leading to serious flooding.

Last edited by Pistolpete2; Jan 28th 2011 at 4:03 pm. Reason: typo
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Old Jan 29th 2011, 5:58 am
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Default Re: new member - I want to move to st lucia for a while

Originally Posted by angie3437 View Post
please help if you can.
Angie
Angie,
In absence of any marketable skillset or advanced degree you are out of luck. Just to give you a sense, a position for a skilled technician in Telecommunications for a financial entity, few months ago, solicited a large number of former St. Lucians living Florida apart from couple of locals. This was a word to mouth situation of a possible opening.
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Old Jan 29th 2011, 12:55 pm
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Default Re: new member - I want to move to st lucia for a while

Originally Posted by anuny View Post
Angie,
In absence of any marketable skillset or advanced degree you are out of luck. Just to give you a sense, a position for a skilled technician in Telecommunications for a financial entity, few months ago, solicited a large number of former St. Lucians living Florida apart from couple of locals. This was a word to mouth situation of a possible opening.

I would add that the general rule for work permits in St Lucia is that they are only granted where there are no St Lucians to fill the position. Therefore for example, if an Irish person came to St Lucia and said that they had specialist knowledge in running an Irish Pub, they would most probably get a work permit.

Work permits are few and far between here, as well as being expensive to non-Caricom members. With CSME (Caribbean single market) there is free movement of skilled labour so there is little reason for St Lucia to go outside this labour pool and in any event there should be sufficient home-grown candidates to fill most positions other than say, health spa qualified beauticians, executive chefs, hotel managers and technical specialists in IT or engineering.
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Old Jan 30th 2011, 5:02 pm
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Default Re: new member - I want to move to st lucia for a while

Hey Guys!

you have all been really great. its nice to get peoples views as well as the information.
I'm thinking rodney bay would be a better location considering my age! also the people i no there live in and around castries.
pistolpete- you have alot of knowledge about the island, and i appriciate your input- irish pub sounds good, but wouldnt it be complicated to sort out? plus i wouldnt be up to date with all the priceing etc. i would need ALOT of help!
I also think it would be a good idea to maybe do some volunteer work, maybe that would help me get a work permit. but im not sure. seems pretty tough from what you all have said!

thankyou so much!
angie!
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Old Jan 30th 2011, 7:42 pm
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Default Re: new member - I want to move to st lucia for a while

Originally Posted by angie3437 View Post
Hey Guys!

irish pub sounds good, but wouldnt it be complicated to sort out? plus i wouldnt be up to date with all the priceing etc. i would need ALOT of help!
I also think it would be a good idea to maybe do some volunteer work, maybe that would help me get a work permit. but im not sure. seems pretty tough from what you all have said!

thankyou so much!
angie!
Too late for the Irish Pub I'm afraid, but I was only using it as an example. One opened in the last couple of weeks. Whether it is actually IRISH or not is another question and I'm wondering whether we can get a nice pint of draft Guinness there. Guinness is brewed in St Lucia by the way.

I'm not sure that attempting to ingratiate yourself to the local population by doing volunteer work is really going to work but it may give you contacts which could be more valuable. From what I have seen it really is a lottery as to whether you get a work permit or not. In a country like Bermuda there are 10,000 work permits for a total population of 60,000. Here there are fewer than 1,000 for a population of 170,000. Everything is about St Lucians first and then Caricom members, as it really should be (and as in the EU).
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Old Jan 30th 2011, 10:06 pm
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Default Re: new member - I want to move to st lucia for a while

Originally Posted by angie3437 View Post
HI!
i'm 20 years old, and i'v just recently visited St Luica, castiries and im dying to move there! i'm not a great lover of england, and when i saw the island i fell instantly in love. i would like to live there for a year or maybe more depending on how it went.
problem is, i have no clue to go about it! i no i have to sort out a work permit and i think i would need a citizenship, i also no if i was to work there i would have to pay $2000 a year. I can't seem to find the correct website to get the forms and i have no clue as to look for a job? and how to apply? do i apply for the job once i have been permitted a work permit? help?!
iv read on here that it can be quite expenisve to live over there as i am only 20 what jobs would be avaliable to me and would i have a hard time in finding one that would support my bills and living expenses? help?!

please help if you can.
Angie
Here is the website for work permit initial info.

http://www.gosl.gov.lc/PublicService/LR/LR_wkpermit.htm

see also: http://www.visitslu.com/doing_busine...rkpermits.html

The work permit fee is EC$7,500 annually plus there's the $100 initial fee
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