Uncertainty Looms for Non-Nationals Following Amnesty Declaration in Antigua and Barbuda
Non-nationals who participated in the amnesty program of 2022 in Antigua and Barbuda find themselves in a state of emergency as promised exemptions from work permits seem to be in jeopardy.
Despite assurances during the campaign leading up to the elections by Comrade leader The Most Honorable Gaston Browne, Caricom members, and Espanolan nationals were promised a seamless process without the need for work permits starting from May 2023. However, as the year comes to a close, this pledge appears unfulfilled, leaving non-nationals in a state of uncertainty and frustration.
Numerous Caricom members who participated in the amnesty program were informed that a visit to the Labor Department would clarify whether a work permit was necessary. The ambiguity surrounding this matter has prompted calls for action from the Attorney General, who also serves as the Minister of Immigration.
“I’m urging the Attorney General to provide a public statement addressing this matter and, ideally, presenting a structured solution to alleviate the growing concerns among non-nationals,” said one affected individual.
Adding to the diplomatic embarrassment and confusion, individuals who visited the Labor Department were shocked to learn that their previously issued amnesty cards were no longer considered valid. This unforeseen development has left non-nationals who have been residing in Antigua and Barbuda for four years and beyond feeling misled and disheartened.
As the year draws to a close, affected individuals anxiously await clarification on their legal status and hope for a resolution that aligns with the promises made during the electoral campaign. The uncertainty surrounding work permits and the validity of amnesty cards is now a pressing issue that demands urgent attention from the authorities.
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