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Potential opportunity in St Lucia

Potential opportunity in St Lucia

Old Sep 2nd 2012, 12:16 pm
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Default Potential opportunity in St Lucia

Hi

Got a potential role in St Lucia, just trying to do as much homework as I can at the moment.

The job is advertised as "tax free", but i seem to think NI is payable, can anyone confirm. It is a hotel management role. I have also read there is an annual $7500 fee for a visa which seems quite a lot, is this right?

I understand there will be a contribution towards rent if we go as a couple. I know this is a broad question, but if anyone has any examples of what that contribution might be in the hotel industry I would be appreciated.

Can anyone provide any good links for living on the island. Also any websites where there might be potential jobs for my partner?

also, is there any information on which police check is required?

Any help would be appreciated as I am in information gathering mode..!
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Old Sep 4th 2012, 5:32 pm
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Default Re: Potential opportunity in St Lucia

Originally Posted by Wandering Hotelier View Post
Hi

Got a potential role in St Lucia, just trying to do as much homework as I can at the moment.

The job is advertised as "tax free", but i seem to think NI is payable, can anyone confirm. It is a hotel management role. I have also read there is an annual $7500 fee for a visa which seems quite a lot, is this right?

I understand there will be a contribution towards rent if we go as a couple. I know this is a broad question, but if anyone has any examples of what that contribution might be in the hotel industry I would be appreciated.

Can anyone provide any good links for living on the island. Also any websites where there might be potential jobs for my partner?

also, is there any information on which police check is required?

Any help would be appreciated as I am in information gathering mode..!
Hi, I am sure the other more experienced people on here can give you advice but here is my two penny worth!
I dont know how the job can be tax free unless there is a way of getting round it by still being registered for tax in the UK, I am sure someone else can advise but my experience is that you do have to pay tax and NI if you work here.
The $7500 EC is the fee for a work permit and has to be paid on a yearly basis, there is no guarantee that a work permit will be granted as you have to prove that you have more skills qualifications than a St Lucian to do the job. I know people that have had work permits turned down in the past for similar positions so you need to look into this side of things. Again this would apply to your partner as well as they would have to prove they had more skills/were better qualified to do the job than a local, the government here seem to me to actively discourage foreigners from working as jobs are hard to get here, especially in the current economic climate.

It is a great life here but you have to appreciate that it is totally different from the UK, lots of things are very expensive as they have to be imported and on October 1st everything is going up as they are going to implement VAT. On saying that though beer and cigarettes are cheaper than the UK :-).

There are three main areas that have hotels, Soufriere in the south of the island, here it is very rural and there is only the local village for supplies etc, Marigot Bay which is small but has the benefit of a small ex-pat community and the fact that it is only a few miles from Castries. The other hotel area, which I am guessing is where there is probably a vacancy is Rodney Bay here there is a fair concentration of hotels and this is the resort area of the island where most of the tourists go. It has a lot more resources ie good supermarkets, restaurants banks etc Not sure what else you need to know but I would advise doing a lot of research I also think you really need to come over here and check it out before making any firm commitments.

Hope this helps,
Sarah

Oh in regards to the police check I have alway just used the subject access, national form, that seems to do over here.
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Old Sep 5th 2012, 4:57 pm
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Default Re: Potential opportunity in St Lucia

Thanks for all the info, it is becoming more real by the day...

I am not sure what they mean by the tax thing then, have not discussed it in depth, but the British agent who advertised the post have advertised it as net..

It is in the north of the Island, unfortunately we will not be able to get over before we make a decision, so it needs to be a leap of faith and hope it is the right one, we can afford to rent somewhere etc. I also need to understand healthcare/medical if you can help? OH is taking a lot of tablets right now..nothing is ever simple..
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Old Sep 6th 2012, 3:28 pm
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Default Re: Potential opportunity in St Lucia

Originally Posted by Wandering Hotelier View Post
Thanks for all the info, it is becoming more real by the day...

I am not sure what they mean by the tax thing then, have not discussed it in depth, but the British agent who advertised the post have advertised it as net..

It is in the north of the Island, unfortunately we will not be able to get over before we make a decision, so it needs to be a leap of faith and hope it is the right one, we can afford to rent somewhere etc. I also need to understand healthcare/medical if you can help? OH is taking a lot of tablets right now..nothing is ever simple..
Rent for a reasonable apartment will be about 2-3K EC$ in the north of the island. Try looking on a few websites to get an idea St Lucian homes and My summer property are good ones. They are also on Facebook.

Healthcare, well make sure you get your E111 or new equivalent as this can help if you need healthcare ( emergency in Martinique).

Healthcare here is OK, but its not free, you have to pay for everything and being a non-national they will charge you more. Victoria Hospital is situated in Castries and offers accident and emergency, maternity and general care, I, in my dealings with them have in some areas found them better than the NHS hospital I used to go to in the UK, but in some areas the care is poor. It really is because they have no resources/no money.

There is a private ( I believe US run) hospital, Tapion which is more expensive, I have used them to but in my experience they are at the same level as Victoria Hospital and use mostly the same doctors/surgeons so it is pointless in wasting money.

As in all hospitals prepare to wait a long time to be seen.

There is a Medical Centre that has opened in the area where you will be staying, this is in Rodney Bay, I have not attended this facility but I have heard good reviews.

Castries is full of doctors offices and they all seem to be pretty good, mostly having qualified in either the UK, USA or Canada. A lot of medicines that you have to have a prescription for in the UK are available over the counter here.
In regards to your partner, tell her to bring a few months of tablets with her then you can source what she needs/research a good doctor once you are here.

Sorry to ramble, writing as I think, just hope it helps.

Regards,

Sarah
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Old Sep 6th 2012, 3:53 pm
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Default Re: Potential opportunity in St Lucia

Originally Posted by Sarah1234 View Post

Healthcare, well make sure you get your E111 or new equivalent as this can help if you need healthcare ( emergency in Martinique).
Don't you have to be ordinarily RESIDENT (have a residence in which you actually live) (in other words PAY TAXES) in the EU in order to qualify for this card.

I know there are plenty of health and benefit scroungers in St Lucia who are quite happy to perjure themselves in order to get such benefits but do we really have to encourage others? I guess for those folks St Lucia is an even more attractive place to live.

Last edited by Pistolpete2; Sep 6th 2012 at 4:02 pm.
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Old Sep 6th 2012, 5:11 pm
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Default Re: Potential opportunity in St Lucia

Originally Posted by Pistolpete2 View Post
Don't you have to be ordinarily RESIDENT (have a residence in which you actually live) (in other words PAY TAXES) in the EU in order to qualify for this card.

I know there are plenty of health and benefit scroungers in St Lucia who are quite happy to perjure themselves in order to get such benefits but do we really have to encourage others? I guess for those folks St Lucia is an even more attractive place to live.
I am sorry I did not realise that you had to be a resident, I thought you just had to be a citizen, my mistake, I did not want to encourage anyone to do anything wrong. I guess the authorities would soon check up on you if you used it anyway, once again my apologies to everyone. I can also confirm that I am not a benefit scrounger I have worked all my life and have never claimed any benefits at all.

Sarah
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Old Sep 6th 2012, 5:47 pm
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Default Re: Potential opportunity in St Lucia

Originally Posted by Sarah1234 View Post
I am sorry I did not realise that you had to be a resident, I thought you just had to be a citizen, my mistake, I did not want to encourage anyone to do anything wrong. I guess the authorities would soon check up on you if you used it anyway, once again my apologies to everyone. I can also confirm that I am not a benefit scrounger I have worked all my life and have never claimed any benefits at all.

Sarah
Not you Sarah!

But just about everybody else I happen to know and see up in Rodney Bay, so it seems, which does annoy me when I know that those who actually live and work in the Uk are often struggling to keep their heads above water in large part due to their obligations to pay taxes and NI conts. I guess that's why I seem to be the only one who keeps complaining about how corrupt governments have been.

Actually I don't think that the authorities have got round to checking this type of abuse from overseas YET but it would be pretty easy to do so once they properly check folks IN and OUT of the UK. Give them time! They are stopping folks from entering the UK if they have outstanding bills from the NHS (from ineligible patients) that need paying.

Last edited by Pistolpete2; Sep 6th 2012 at 5:59 pm. Reason: ineligible patients, corruption
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Old Sep 6th 2012, 6:27 pm
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Default Re: Potential opportunity in St Lucia

Originally Posted by Sarah1234 View Post
Rent for a reasonable apartment will be about 2-3K EC$ in the north of the island. Try looking on a few websites to get an idea St Lucian homes and My summer property are good ones. They are also on Facebook.

Healthcare, well make sure you get your E111 or new equivalent as this can help if you need healthcare ( emergency in Martinique).

Healthcare here is OK, but its not free, you have to pay for everything and being a non-national they will charge you more. Victoria Hospital is situated in Castries and offers accident and emergency, maternity and general care, I, in my dealings with them have in some areas found them better than the NHS hospital I used to go to in the UK, but in some areas the care is poor. It really is because they have no resources/no money.

There is a private ( I believe US run) hospital, Tapion which is more expensive, I have used them to but in my experience they are at the same level as Victoria Hospital and use mostly the same doctors/surgeons so it is pointless in wasting money.

As in all hospitals prepare to wait a long time to be seen.

There is a Medical Centre that has opened in the area where you will be staying, this is in Rodney Bay, I have not attended this facility but I have heard good reviews.

Castries is full of doctors offices and they all seem to be pretty good, mostly having qualified in either the UK, USA or Canada. A lot of medicines that you have to have a prescription for in the UK are available over the counter here.
In regards to your partner, tell her to bring a few months of tablets with her then you can source what she needs/research a good doctor once you are here.

Sorry to ramble, writing as I think, just hope it helps.

Regards,

Sarah
I think that the big difference between Tapion (Private) Hospital and Victoria relates to speed or attendance and size of state of wards. You can go to emergency at Victoria and even with triage can expect to wait all day for attention. At Tapion you have to pay (a basic fee of EC$200 or so) but you get attention right away and this can be important but the fee is obviously a disincentive unless you have insurance.

If you are admitted at Victoria you could be placed on a crowded ward with terminal or dying patients and this can be hard/harsh and upsetting.

Admittedly the doctors at Tapion also in many cases serve Victoria but in my experience (while in St Lucia) the same is the case in the UK where for example my private surgeon was also consulting at the Royal Free in Hampstead.

Surgery that I have had here at Tapion has been fine in my opinion but the surgeons can be very busy with other calls and sometimes one's procedure can be subject to delay of several hours due to other surgeon priorities in spite of going private. All other specialists, such as Xray, ENT and dermatology have been just fine and dental has been excellent and available on demand.

I'm not sure that I understand the bit you are saying about non-nationals Sarah. In my experience, if you are resident, which in St Lucia means you spend more than six months a calendar year here, you are entitled to the same care as a St Lucian, so I understand, and this includes free visits to health centres for medical and dental. The Labs seem to charge the same no matter who you are but if you are a repeater you can get a discount on Lab bills.

GPs seem to be big on generic drugs here and so a Uk prescription for a particular drug might get filled much more cheaply with a generic here once your good imported supply has been exhausted.
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Old Sep 6th 2012, 6:43 pm
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Default Re: Potential opportunity in St Lucia

Originally Posted by Wandering Hotelier View Post
Hi

Got a potential role in St Lucia, just trying to do as much homework as I can at the moment.

The job is advertised as "tax free", but i seem to think NI is payable, can anyone confirm. It is a hotel management role. I have also read there is an annual $7500 fee for a visa which seems quite a lot, is this right?

I understand there will be a contribution towards rent if we go as a couple. I know this is a broad question, but if anyone has any examples of what that contribution might be in the hotel industry I would be appreciated.

Can anyone provide any good links for living on the island. Also any websites where there might be potential jobs for my partner?

also, is there any information on which police check is required?

Any help would be appreciated as I am in information gathering mode..!
I think that this just means that they have priced the job so that you can compare it with salaries on offer for similar positions in other jurisdictions where salaries are paid tax-free (in this region such as (typically in) Bermuda and Cayman) and it is likely that NI is still payable as a deduction.

You need to appreciate that the hospitality industry is the main area where work permits are granted for specialists not available locally such as managers/head chefs/senior engineers (maybe). Secondary is real estate though I'm aware that local real estate buying/selling is almost dormant at this point and existing "agents" are finding it hard to feed themselves.

Work permits are actually somewhat of a rarity here. This implies that it is going to be hard for a couple to both find positions successfully having been granted work permits.

An exception is where the couple have formulated a new idea for a business enterprise which they intend to bring to St Lucia and as key persons they apply and succeed because the powers that be in St Lucia are satisfied that it brings something favourable to the island (it helps to have a good local lawyer) without necessarily saying first that a St Lucian could have perfectly easily brought that idea forward but didn't.
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Old Sep 6th 2012, 7:17 pm
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Default Re: Potential opportunity in St Lucia

Originally Posted by Pistolpete2 View Post
I think that this just means that they have priced the job so that you can compare it with salaries on offer for similar positions in other jurisdictions where salaries are paid tax-free (in this region such as (typically in) Bermuda and Cayman) and it is likely that NI is still payable as a deduction.

You need to appreciate that the hospitality industry is the main area where work permits are granted for specialists not available locally such as managers/head chefs/senior engineers (maybe). Secondary is real estate though I'm aware that local real estate buying/selling is almost dormant at this point and existing "agents" are finding it hard to feed themselves.

Work permits are actually somewhat of a rarity here. This implies that it is going to be hard for a couple to both find positions successfully having been granted work permits.

An exception is where the couple have formulated a new idea for a business enterprise which they intend to bring to St Lucia and as key persons they apply and succeed because the powers that be in St Lucia are satisfied that it brings something favourable to the island (it helps to have a good local lawyer) without necessarily saying first that a St Lucian could have perfectly easily brought that idea forward but didn't.
Thank you for the reply. I think it is that it was advertised NET, and not tax free as my original post, I was assuming the tax free, have progressed things a bit further now.

the role is most definitely a specialist role, although the company itself has very few ex pats in total maybe 1-2% of total.

Of course I am concerned if partner will not find it easy to get a job.
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Old Sep 7th 2012, 8:58 pm
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Default Re: Potential opportunity in St Lucia

Originally Posted by Wandering Hotelier View Post
Thank you for the reply. I think it is that it was advertised NET, and not tax free as my original post, I was assuming the tax free, have progressed things a bit further now.

the role is most definitely a specialist role, although the company itself has very few ex pats in total maybe 1-2% of total.

Of course I am concerned if partner will not find it easy to get a job.
Did you get in then? I am sure Mr WH will charm his way into a job and a work permit.
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Old Sep 8th 2012, 11:50 am
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Default Re: Potential opportunity in St Lucia

I hope so. More to follow on Tuesday. Mr WH will have to start going through the phone book I think. Or spend all day lounging around the resort..
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Old Feb 6th 2013, 3:20 pm
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Default Re: Potential opportunity in St Lucia

Did you accept the job? How are things going now? Are they recruiting for other ex-pats?

#WorthATry #DontAskDontGet

Hope it is all working out for you.
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