Monday 23 September, 2019

Gov't: Employers exploiting Venezuelan workers will be penalised

Government has warned employers that anyone who avoids the National Venezuelan Registration Exercise or exploits Venezuelan workers can be penalised according to law.

In a social media post, the National Security Ministry said employers who hire non-nationals without valid work permits, are guilty of an offence.

Venezuelan nationals are being urged to register with the National Venezuelan Registration Exercise in order to ensure they are treated and paid fairly while working in Trinidad and Tobago.

“The Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago wishes to advise employers that they will be penalized if they circumvent the National Venezuelan Registration Exercise.”

“A person who employs any non-national who is not in possession of a valid work permit or work permit exemption is guilty of an offence according to the Immigration Act,” the Ministry said.

The Ministry said the Registration card, which is open to Venezuelan nationals, will authorise the holder to legally engage in employment in Trinidad and Tobago for the period of validity of the Registration Card.

“Employers are to ensure that the Venezuelan holders of Registration Cards are fairly and humanely treated and properly remunerated, in compliance with the Labour laws of Trinidad and Tobago,” the Ministry said.

About the National Venezuelan Registration Process

The registration process, which allows all Venezuelans currently residing within Trinidad and Tobago (legally or illegally) to work for a specified period, takes place from May 31 to June 14, 2019.

There are three registration venues:

- Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain

- Achievor’s Banquet Hall, Duncan Village, San Fernando

- Caroline Building, Tobago.

There is also an online pre-registration process which applicants can fill out before going to the registration centres.

At the end of the registration process, applicants will be given a receipt - registration does not mean automatic issuance of registration cards. 

The card will allow Venezuelans over 16 years of age to work for up to one year. Cardholders will be assessed by immigration officials after the first six months.

Registration cards will only be given to those who are 16 years or over – for children under 16, their information would be stored in a database.

The Ministry indicated that after the end of the registration period, the enforcement of immigration laws will be reverted.

Access to medical services, no access to free public education

The Ministry said cardholders will be able to access public healthcare, however, the registration card does not entitle cardholders to free public education.

Criminals will be deported

The Ministry added that any Venezuelans found to be engaging in criminal activity would be deported. This rule also applies to anyone holding a UNHCR certificate.

The Ministry clarified that the registration exercise is separate to the UNHCR registration of refugees and asylum seekers.

Anyone who commits a crime while a registered cardholder will still be deported.

For more information visit https://www.facebook.com/Venezuelanregistration/ 

Pre-register online here: http://venezuelanmigrantregistration.gov.tt/

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