Government announces plans to regularize granting of work permits to Haitians in coming weeks

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has announced that his government plans to commence regularization of work permits to Haitian nationals in the coming weeks.

In recent times Haitian nationals living in Dominica have raised concerns over non extension of pay and renewal of work permits.

In October 2020, Attorney-at-Law, Joshua Francis, called on the state to exercise discretion in the manner in which the Haitian nationals in Dominica are being treated.

Dominica News Online (DNO) understands that in an effort to cure what French officials say are serious problems created by human-trafficking by Haitian nationals from Dominica, according to state officials the state responded by its refusal to provide extension of stay to Haitians and that includes persons with work permits.

“Our Haitian brothers and sisters who are here and who have been waiting for their work permits to be renewed, we are looking forward to commencing the regularization of these work permits in the coming weeks,” he revealed.

According to the PM the Minister of National Security and Home Affairs will indicate the conditions under which those work permits will be granted, “and we look forward to doing this.”

Skerrit mentioned previously in an edition of his weekly Anou Palay programme that there are many Haitians who have been exceptional persons in the community,  “they have done tremendous good in our country, but there are some who are bent on breaking the law.”

“We are not an island unto ourselves, we are part of the global security architecture and we have a duty to secure our country and we also have an obligation to assist in the securing of other countries,” he remarked.

He pointed out that during this Covid period he received calls from the Prime Minister of St Maarten, the Prime Minister of St Kitts & Nevis  and from the authorities in Guadeloupe and Martinique and the landing on these countries a significant number of Haitian nationals who came from Dominica.

Skerrit said Haitian nationals are welcomed to visit Dominica, but they must leave legally through the ports they came in, “not illegally and to place yourself and your children at risk.”

“So we had to try to bring some order to the situation and so we have put a new system in place to facilitate the granting of work permits and residencies,” he explained.

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