Health

TCI: Work Permit & Permanent Residency now mandatory for Covid Vaccine says TCIG

#TurksandCaicos, July 20, 2021 – Turks and Caicos Islands Government is doubling down on its mission to ensure all guest workers in the country are fully vaccinated for Covid-19, and expanding the scope on who will be subject to the same rule. 

Not only are Work Permit Holders and those on Government Stamps, employed by TCIG under a mandatory order to be vaccinated for employment in the Turks and Caicos, this rule is now extended individuals applying for PRCs or Permanent Residency Certificates. 

A media statement and an official internal memo from the Deputy Governor Anya Williams have been issued to inform of the change, which officially extends the deadline to August 31st

Just 42 days away; no work permit will be renewed, no PRC will be granted unless there is proof of full vaccination. 

It is also important to note, that now with a more firm understanding of how many are on work permits and when those permits expire, if someone whose work permit expires after the vaccine deadline day has not had the vaccine by the deadline day of August 31st, their work permit will be immediately flagged for non-renewal. 

As for who will police this tedious process, it’s the employer. 

From the statement, “The onus is on each employer to notify Employment Services Department and provide evidence of vaccinated staff. Employers should notify their work permit holder / Government Stamp holder staff of the vaccination requirement for employment as defined by this policy.” 

Over 3,500 people can become vaccinated using the fourth batch of Covid-19 vaccine which landed in Providenciales on July 7. 

The TCIG report: Policy to Promote Vaccination Among Migrant Population in the Turks and Caicos Islands informs that as of 25th May 2021, 8,081 individuals within the Islands are work permit holders with an additional 469 individuals who are dependents of the work permit holders. 

It also said, approximately eighty-five percent (84.6%) of these work permits will be expired within a year and a further 15.3% will expire within two years.  The majority of the work-permit holders are of Haitian nationality (49%), followed by nationals from the Dominican Republic (12%), Philippines (10%), and Jamaica (10%). British, Canadian, and Americans account for two percent (2%) of work permit holders within the country. 

These figures however, do not reflect the number of illegal migrants that are also residing in the Turks and Caicos Islands that may not be vaccinated.

While the policy speaks specifically to renewal of work permits, the policy also serves to encourage persons with Permanent Residence Certificates, Residence Permit Holders, Spousal Residency Permit holders, Government Stamp Holders and illegal migrants, residing in the TCI to be vaccinated if they want to be considered in the future for any permit applications. 

The information comes, verbatim from the report which is striving to get higher uptake of the Covid-19 vaccine among non-citizens.

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