Pursuant to article 46 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, member states of CARICOM are obligated to implement legislation which allows their nationals and residents to work and live in another CARICOM country without a work permit or a residency permit. Suriname has for such purposes implemented the Skilled Nationals Act (Wet Bekwame Burgers) which enables the free movement of persons within CARICOM. The Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas stipulates however that the exemption with respect to acquiring a work- or a residency permit is limited to the following categories:
- University graduates;
- media workers;
- artists; and
Persons who fall under one of the categories listed above under paragraph (a) up to (e) (the so called ‘skilled persons’), can thus freely work and live in another CARICOM country for an indefinite period of time. A CARICOM national or resident who wants to live and work in another CARICOM country must obtain a Skilled National Certificate in order to be recognized as a ‘Skilled Person’and to be exempted from the requirements of obtaining a work- and residency permit. The Certificate can be obtained in every CARICOM country. At present time, the following – independent – countries are a member of CARICOM: Suriname, Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago.
A draft act approving the protocol to amend article 83 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas is currently being drafted and will be presented to the President of Suriname, a timeframe is not yet known.