3 November 2020
The draft Immigration Policy 2020 is currently out for public consultation until Friday, 11 December 2020. The consultation is being led by the Immigration Working Group chaired by Councillor Derek Thomas.
The Strategic Aims of the draft Immigration Policy are to:
- Increase the overall population of St Helena to secure our social and economic future
- Attract persons with St Helenian status to return to St Helena with their families to live and work
- Attract investors and new residents from other places who can contribute positively to the future development of St Helena
- Address local labour market shortages
- Ensure the immigration process promotes fair, consistent, prompt and transparent decision making
- Ensure border security is robust and border control risks are well managed.
Members of the public are invited to provide their views and comments on the following key points for discussion in the draft Policy:
- It is proposed that persons in service of the Crown and their partners/dependents will become subject to the full range of entry controls. Currently, these individuals are exempt from specific entry controls
- It is proposed that individuals seeking to work on St Helena be required to acquire a Work Permit or sponsorship by an employer or approval to participate in a temporary employment scheme. This would replace the current arrangements where work for up to six months can be undertaken on a Short Term Entry Permit
- It is proposed that foreign nationals seeking work from any employer on St Helena, including SHG, hold a Work Permit or be sponsored by an employer. Future SHG employees would no longer be exempt from the requirement to obtain an Immigrant Employment Certificate
- It is proposed individuals who have lived on St Helena for four years be eligible to apply for Permanent Resident Status. This is consistent with the goals of the Labour Market Strategy
- It is proposed that a path to Fast Track Residency scheme be made available for high net worth individuals making contributions to the SHG treasury. This contribution will help SHG pay for public services. SHG is seeking feedback on the introduction and details of this scheme, including whether there should be an upper limit of participants approved each year
- It is proposed that partners of St Helenians be eligible to apply for St Helenian status after two years residency on-Island and all other applicants for grant of St Helenian status be eligible after six years of residence. Currently, partners of St Helenians are eligible to apply for St Helenian status after three years residency and all other applicants for grant of St Helenian status are eligible after five years
- It is proposed the Immigration Control Board is dissolved and professional Immigration Officers are responsible for immigration decisions. In the event a decision is challenged an appeal process would be undertaken by a judicial tribunal under the auspices of the Chief Magistrate
- It is proposed a small number of annual opportunities are provided through a further category of residency to encourage sustained investment in productive economic activities on St Helena.
Please check local media for dates and times of upcoming public meetings and drop-in sessions. Members of the public are encouraged to attend these meetings and drop-in sessions to discuss and provide feedback. Also listen out for radio interviews and view posters in key locations.
The draft Policy is available in hard copy at the Customer Service Centre, Public Library, from the Castle Reception in Jamestown and can also be obtained from Nicole Plato via the below email address or on tel: 22470. An electronic copy is available on the Public Consultation page of the SHG Website: https://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/government/public-consultation/
Anyone wishing to make any comment on the draft Policy may do so in writing to Nicole Plato, at the Castle, Jamestown, or via email: email@example.com by no later than Friday, 11 December 2020.
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3 November 2020