Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Filipino Workers needed in Turks and Caicos Island

Turks and Caicos Island (TCI), a British Overseas Territory, is one of the new and emerging labor destination for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). The country needs Filipino workers in their hotel and construction industries.

It was only in 2004 when this Caribbean country became part of the labor market and recruited 500 Filipino medical workers. The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) is expecting 3,000 job vacancies for both professional and skilled industry in TCI this year.

Working in TCI
Turks and Caicos Island has a favorable working condition, compensation are carried out directly between employers and employees. The country’s Employment Ordinance 2004 (Ordinance 21 of 2004) covers Unfair Dismissal, Minimum Wages, Contracts of Employment, and Discrimination. It was patterned with the current UK practice, consequently, it reflects much of European Union (EU) law. Employers are also responsible for the workers’ accommodation.

Working in Turks and Caicos Island requires work permit. Since the government ensures hiring of local workers, work permits are granted only if the applicants possess skills or qualifications that are highly needed. Although government is promoting localization program, qualified person wishing to obtain employment in the Island are still welcome.

Work Permits
Work permits issued to skilled workers who are hired by the local company must be obtained by the employer. The employer will have to post a “repatriation bond” and must prove that there are no resident workers who are able to perform the job.

While work permits for unskilled workers are naturally harder to obtain due to the country’s high level of unemployment. However, when they are available, the same terms as skilled workers can be applied.

Work permits in Turks and Caicos Island can be acquired by applying for:
  • an annual work permit under the Immigration Ordinance 1992.
  • permanent residence certificate under the Immigration Ordinance 1992.
  • naturalization under the British Nationality Act 1982.

Work permits are granted for up to 5 years at a time with an annual fee of $2,000 and are given to those applicants who:

  • can establish that they meet the Government's good health and good character requirements,
  • are capable of financially maintaining themselves and their dependants throughout the duration of their stay on the Islands and,
  • who have available house or apartment for their use.

Living in Turks and Caicos
The US dollar is the official currency of Turks and Caicos. It is augmented by the crown and quarter.

Cost of living in TCI is somewhat high since there’s a need to import all goods. Here’s a breakdown of how much a single person have to spend in a month.

  • US$100 for groceries and other supplies every week
  • $550 rent for a one-bedroom apartment or $1,300 for a self-contained house (Most landlords require the equivalent of three months' rent in advance, though this can sometimes be negotiated to two.)
  • $75 for charge for electricity (28¢ per kilowatt-hour) with an initial connection charge of US$350
  • US$45 cost of connection to the television system
  • Gasoline is approximately $2.80 per US gallon.
  • For telecommunications, the rates to the USA are $1.32 per minute, $1.10 off-peak, and 83¢ at weekends; to the UK, $1.65, $1.38 and 99¢; and to New Zealand, $2.20, $1.93 and $1.09.

For job openings in TCI please visit the POEA website at

This article was first published in on October 21, 2006

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