The Nevis Island Administration (NIA) has revealed several initiatives it intends to pursue in the new parliamentary term that will assist nationals from other Caribbean countries living on Nevis.
The initiatives were announced via the Throne Speech delivered by Hyleeta Liburd, Deputy Governor-General for Nevis, during the opening session of the Nevis Island Assembly on January 19.
“Caribbean nationals who are legally resident in Nevis will be able to buy real estate without having to pay the ten percent Alien Landholding License Fee; we will lobby the Federal Parliament to pass legislation to reduce the time limit required for a non-national to be eligible for citizenship; reduce the Work Permit and Annual Residency Fee paid by non-nationals who are not members of the legal, medical, accounting, engineering, land surveying, management or actuarial professions.”
The government will also move to make it easier for non-nationals legally migrating to Nevis from the Dominican Republic to assimilate into the local economy by provide tutoring in English for 12 months. This will especially benefit children entering the island’s school system, while ensuring that there are bilingual personnel in the public service so as to better aid the delivery of government services to its non-English-speaking residents.
Additionally, the NIA committed to implementing programs whereby children of non-nationals who are legally residing on Nevis will pay the same rates for school and other educational opportunities as Nevisian students.
The Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM)-led administration has consistently demonstrated its inclusive approach with respect to the development of Nevis and improvement of the lives of citizens and residents alike. Under the leadership of Premier Hon. Mark Brantley, the Nevis Island Administration has on several occasions implemented amnesty on arrears of payment for Work Permits, Annual Residency and Visa Extensions for non-nationals, the most recent coming in July-September 2022. In addition, the regular fee of $2,500 for Work Permits was reduced to $1,000 and the regular fee for Annual Residence was reduced to $750.
“My government recognizes the contributions that our sisters and brothers from our Caribbean neighbours have made to the development of Nevis. We continue to welcome non-nationals to aid in our development as we are a government of inclusion. We will continue to advocate for a managed migration approach in which non-nationals can join our labour force as our development needs dictate. We are fully aware that many of our own citizens reside in Caribbean countries and elsewhere and we expect them to be able to live comfortably and have their rights respected,” according to the 2023 Throne Speech.
The NIA continues to urge all non-nationals living in Nevis illegally to legalize their status.
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