Getting work visas for international workers in Antigua and Barbuda can be challenging, and it’s important to know what to expect before you start the process. You’ll likely hire many local candidates to fill positions at your company, but you may also need to bring in nonnationals to handle some responsibilities.
Types of Work Visas in Antigua and Barbuda
Your employees’ requirements for work permits or visas will vary depending on their country of citizenship. Citizens of certain countries are exempt from visa requirements to enter Antigua and Barbuda, and they can stay to conduct business for up to six months. Some countries’ citizens may also be granted visas upon arrival.
In October 2020, the government temporarily suspended the issuance of work permits to first-time nonnational applicants. The goal of this measure was to provide more jobs for citizens facing economic strain related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ensure that you research local requirements and contact your embassy for current information on the situation.
Requirements to Obtain Antigua and Barbuda Work Visas
As the employer, it is your responsibility to handle work permit applications for your international employees. You must submit the requisite files on their behalf, providing documents including:
- A passport scan
- A letter of recommendation from you for your employee
- Proof of residence
- A police clearance record from your employee’s country of citizenship
- Bank statements or other proof of the employee’s ability to fund themselves
- Documentation proving your employee’s qualifications for the position
You are also required to advertise your company’s open positions for at least five consecutive days before applying for a work permit for a nonnational employee. The government has a long-term policy of prioritizing hiring nationals, so you’ll need to prove that there were no qualified candidates in the region.
Once you’ve researched current requirements and gotten updated information on work permits for citizens of your country, you can move forward with the application.
While the process may vary depending on your specific situation, you can follow a few general steps to obtain a work visa for your employee:
- Interview local candidates and provide proof as to why hiring a nonnational employee is necessary.
- Contact your embassy or consulate office to identify the specific requirements for your employee.
- Obtain and submit the necessary documentation.
- Pay the visa application fee, which will vary depending on the type of position your employee holds.
- Wait to receive approval for your application.
After authorization, your employee’s work visa will usually be valid for one year.
Other Important Considerations
Due to the high prioritization for hiring local candidates in Antigua and Barbuda, it may be advisable to focus on recruiting in-country. Ensure that you’ve conducted careful research regarding current requirements in the country before deciding to bring in a nonnational.
Depending on your requirements and legal limitations, you may want to consider the country’s citizenship path through investment. Residency and citizenship may offer valuable benefits for your operations if you’re planning to stay in the country long-term. Nonnational employees will still need work permits should you choose this option for yourself.
Partner With Globalization Partners
Navigating expansion to Antigua and Barbuda can be a challenge. At Globalization Partners, our expert team has an in-depth knowledge of the current requirements. We can help you identify your enterprise’s best options. Let us simplify your processes and help you expand your company into Antigua and Barbuda and many other locations risk-free.
If you’d like to learn more about the services we offer, we’re ready to assist you. Contact us today to get started.