The new administration in the Turks and Caicos Islands is putting the brakes on issuing first-time work permits initially for the next three months.
Premier Charles Washington Missick advised that starting from May 1st no new work permits will be issued.
This moratorium will be in place for an initial two months following which it will be reviewed.
At the same time, the government has also introduced a new policy requiring that renewal work of existing permits would only be considered for persons who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
It said, “this measure, although temporary, is vital at this time, as it is necessary to take steps to ensure persons engaging in employment in the areas mentioned, are employed legally and not exploiting the current situation.”
According to a government statement, the moratorium marks the beginning of a consultation into the territory’s Skills Audit and Population Policy.
Areas affected under the moratorium are; construction sector and real estate management, water sports, the legal profession, entry-level office positions and human resource management, as well as tour boat captain and mate.
There are exceptions for certain skilled positions listed as airline and helicopter pilots and mechanics, certain roles in the agriculture industry such as cigar rollers, farmers and farm labourers.
Conditions have been attached to work permits for boutique receptionists, villa managers, front desk and concierge agents, and restaurant servers.