People applying to work in Jamaica after April 1st will face a 15 per cent increase in the cost for work permits.
The announcement was made in the Jamaica Parliament on Tuesday as the Standing Finance Committee reviewed the budgetary allocations of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins next month.
Labour Minister Shanine Robinson also said that there will be a standardization of work permit fees across all sectors.
“That is the differential fees currently charged by sectors will be eliminated,” Robinson explained.
Robinson said work permit application fees will move from JA $15,000 (US$117.88) to JA $17,250 (US$135.56). The actual work permit fees will move from JA $27,000 (US$212.18) per quarter to JA $48,875 (US$384.09) and from JA $108,000 (US$848.79) to approximately JA $295,500 (US$2,322.30) per annum.
Individuals seeking to obtain a work permit are required to submit an application to the Work Permit Department of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MLSS) through their prospective employer, contractor or legal representative.
The application must be accompanied by a cover letter that must outline the reasons for the application, the duration of the work being undertaken and what effortsif any were made, to recruit local people to carry out the work stipulated.
There are separate criteria for self-employed applicants.
Applications are generally processed between four and six weeks after submission.