Mar 28, 2017 Last Updated 8:40 AM, Mar 28, 2017

A self employed person from a CARICOM Member State has the right to engage in non-wage earning activities of a commercial, industrial agricultural or artisanal nature.

Such nationals may create and manage economic enterprises, including any type of organization which they own or control (e.g. sole proprietorship, company, etc) for the production of or trade in goods, or the provision of services. Nationals exercising this right may move to another Member State on a permanent basis.

Affiliated with the right of establishment is the right to move the Technical, Supervisory and Managerial staff of such entities, as well as their spouses and immediate dependent family members. Persons within any of these five (5) named classes are not allowed to move in their own right unless they fall under one of the afore-mentioned nine (9) approved categories (where the member state recognizes these categories).

Several procedures have been approved for treatment of persons wishing to establish business enterprises in other member states. These involve:


A CARICOM National entering another Member State with a Skills Certificate issued by another Member State must be granted a definite entry of six months and has the right to work immediately. A CARICOM National entering with a Skills Certificate issued by the receiving country must be granted an indefinite entry.

It is advisable that Immigration Departments use stamps to indicate the current stay and status in the passport of the CARICOM National. In the case of definite entry the stamp may read “FREE MOVEMENT DEFINITE ENTRY – RIGHT TO WORK – VERIFICATION REQUIRED” and in the case of the indefinite entry “FREE MOVEMENT INDEFINITE ENTRY – RIGHT TO WORK”.

Immigration should indicate to a person who is entering with a Skills Certificate issued by another Member State that verification is required within the definite period of six months. Immigration should, in addition, advise the recipient of definite entry status of relevant information to complete the process leading to indefinite entry status.


This includes the requirement for a migrant CARICOM National to apply to the Competent Authority (usually the Registrar of Companies) of the receiving state, for registration of a business enterprise.

Implementing Agency/Department

The Immigration Department or other department designated as such will be responsible for the implementation of the immigration procedures relating to Right of Establishment.

CARICOM Nationals who wish to move from one CARICOM Member State to another in order to establish a business will have to present the following at point of entry:

Valid passport

Return ticket

Proof of financial resources for personal maintenance, namely credit cards, travelers cheques, cash or combination thereof. 

Immigration will grant the CARICOM National a definite stay of 6 months. Each Member State shall designate a Competent Authority for Right of Establishment. After entry has been granted the CARICOM National must submit to the Competent Authority, relevant proof, such as Police Certificate, Financial Resources, Business Names Certificate / Certificate of Incorporation. The Competent Authority will determine if all requirements to establish the particular business have been satisfied. Once all requirements are satisfied, the Competent Authority will issue a letter of approval to the CARICOM national copied to the Immigration Department.

If the business is established within the 6 months period then the CARICOM National must report to the Immigration Department to further regularize his / her stay with the following document.



Immigration will grant the CARICOM National an indefinite stay. Member States will determine through the national mechanisms which have been established for that purpose, whether the business is operational. If the CARICOM National is no longer operating the business or another business the Competent Authority for Rights of Establishment will inform the Immigration Department, which has the right to rescind the indefinite stay or to indicate to the person that he / she needs to apply for a permit of stay and / or a work permit until such time that there is full free movement in the Community.


+ - EXTENSIONS Click to collapse

In the event that the business is not established within the 6-month period, the CARICOM National should present to the Immigration Department or other relevant department so designated by the Member State, evidence from the Competent Authority that concrete steps have been undertaken to establish the business. Where such evidence is provided, the CARICOM National will be granted an extension of 6 months.


+ - STAMPS Click to collapse

There shall be specific stamps for the definite entry of 6 months, the extension of 6 months and the indefinite stay with the following text –

Right of Establishment – Definite Entry of 6 Months

Right of Establishment – Extension; and

Right of Establishment – Indefinite Entry.

A CARICOM national whose passport is stamped with one of the above is automatically entitled to multiple entries into that Member States.

CARICOM Trade & Competitiveness Project

CARICOM Trade & Competitiveness Project

The Core purpose of the CTCP is to provide support and resources to 12 Member States as part of their ongoing efforts to further implement and operationalize the Single Market. The Project focuses on the following technical areas:

  1. the standardization and harmonization of administrative practices and procedures which will be implemented via administrative and legislative reform in all the participating Member States;
  2. Enhancing the effective functioning of the services and labour markets through standardised licensing and certification through the Implementation of National Work Plans for Member States to Award the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ);
  3. Widening the scope of participation by stakeholders and beneficiaries in the process of decision-making, implementation and operation of the Single Market. This will be done by Implementing new strategies for dissemination of specific information to all stakeholders about how to access and utilise the various opportunities which are available within the CSME;
  4. Gender and environment sensitive monitoring through the development of gender indicators and development of a Draft Regional Policy on the Environment.

Expected Impacts

  1. Increased compliance by Member States with commitments as enshrined in the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas or decisions taken by Community Organs;
  2. Reformed Administrative rules, systems and procedures for the five Single Market regimes;
  3. Individuals and entities which are entitled to benefits or rights under the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas processed and otherwise facilitated;
  4. Regional and Member States’ administrative and regulatory practices, and environmental and gender objectives integrated into the CSME operating arrangements where appropriate;
  5. Full and free access to labour and services markets within the Region by wage and non-wage earners in professions requiring licencing and certification (Caribbean Vocational Qualification infrastructure) facilitated;
  6. Increased understanding and greater participation in implementation and decision-making processes of the CSME by non-state actors in the Region.

Successful implementation of the CTCP will lead to a more efficient operation of the CSME. The CTCP provides targeted support to Member States to improve CSME Compliance (legislative, administrative and institutional). The Project and its deliverables also communicate to the CSME population that dedicated efforts are on-going in making the CSME more accessible and more user friendly.

The following will be in place at the end of the Project:

  • Improved compliance with obligations set out in the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas. The Project provides assistance to remedy incompliance occurrences in Member States at the legislative, administrative and institutional level;
  • The transformation of systems, procedures and practices by harmonising and standardising the administrative practices and procedures through the implementation of best practices in all the participating Member States.. These will be implemented through the implementation of 16 best practices in each member States;
  • Improved access to the rights under the Revised Treaty including contribution to solving the problem of business facilitation by addressing some of the efficiency and access related constrained faced by the private sector as they conduct their business cross border in the region;
  • Improved data capturing mechanism for the capturing of data on the Single Market Regimes through the establishment of a Document and Workflow Management System at the Regional level and assistance to Member States for data capturing;
  • The strengthening of capabilities of CARICOM Nationals to enter the services and labour Markets through the establishment of CVQ infrastructure in the Member States;
  • Improved channels for the dissemination of information to different stakeholders;
  • A Regional Draft Policy on the environment; and
  • Gender indicators for monitoring.

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