Trinidad & Tobago
Resources
City Guides
JoinSign In
Cigna International Health Insurance

Trinidad & Tobago Expat Forum

Moving to Trinidad...Red Alert!!!

Post New Topic
raean1993
12/25/2016 18:32 EST

Hello,

I am a Registered Nurse that wanted to post this for anyone contemplating moving to Trinidad. I wanted to move for a new experience and I had friends in Trinidad encouraging me to try Trinidad because I would have a better chance of gaining work with my nursing license.

My journey has been unsuccessful in my opinion. Although my friends had good intentions, many nationals do not realize the segregation between the nationals and the non-nationals. I would say about 70% of the nationals are not very welcoming and that unwelcome feeling only increased over time, especially once I spoke and they realized I was not a national. There is also a serious segregation between the races here that from my experience is way worse than anything I've experienced in the US.

Trinidad jobs DO NOT HIRE without a work permit and you have to have a job lined up that will apply for your work permit. Most jobs will not because they have to prove that a national is not adequate enough to fill the position. Conducting business is a long and tedious process that will make you want to pull your hair out because you may spend your whole day and accomplish nothing.

I have been here for a 2.5 months and I have made the decision for my family to get out of here so I don't have to waste money flying out every 3 months which is mandatory for non-nationals. Even with flying out there is no guarantee that they will permit you reentry.

In closing I am posting this to help those that may be wanting to move to Trinidad but don't have help. I am open to questions and I strongly suggest getting advice from non-nationals because so far every national I've spoken to has not provided me with facts but opinions on how to get established here.

Post a Reply

00abuse

stephylynn
12/27/2016 01:28 EST

I think a quick Google search would've provided you with the answers you needed for a work permit. I knew that upon arrival. I've been here 2 months and was well aware about the work permit process prior to coming. Sounds like improper planning to me. What racism have you been feeling? Have you been feeling obligated to certain privileges because of your US citizen status? Trinis don't seem to show any bias, so I hope this isn't the case....

Post a Reply

31abuse

allianz international health insurance

For expats in Trinidad & Tobago, choosing an expat health insurance provider is an important decision. Get a quote from our partner, Allianz Care. Their plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Allianz Care's flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget.

Get a Quote

lenhoj
12/28/2016 16:56 EST

Hi. It's great to know you are adventuresome and chose Trinidad and Tobago. I am a retired RN, Trinidad by birth, and have lived and worked in the US for 40+ years. I visit T'dad every winter- and hear you clearly. Do you have children? Are your friends introducing you to others? Have you joined the expat US women's club? Contacted the Embassy? T'dad has a class separation moreso than racial (which does exist as well). Get to know the culture and see the beauty of the island. People will respond positively when they see how much you appreciate their culture and foods. If your positive vibe still makes you feel unhappy, maybe it's not the place for you, but put forth an honest, heartfelt effort. All the best to you.

Post a Reply

20abuse

raean1993
12/28/2016 22:48 EST

I went through the proper channels and I absolutely took the time to research the country before moving. Google does this country's way of conducting business no justice. Not only do I have friends here but my parents retired and travelled here. My position still stands. I am a Black American and I have received an education so it's not like I don't know how to use Google. My mother is a Psychologist and my Father is a retired Firefighter so it not a matter of just a Google search. I have received worse treatment for my nationality than I have ever received in the US for the color of my skin.

Post a Reply

00abuse

raean1993
12/28/2016 23:14 EST

Thank you for your reply... I have made some new friends and enjoyed seeing the tourist side of things like the ocean, savanna, and zoo. I have a 4 year old son and a husband with me as well so it's been interesting. We actually befriended a woman with a daughter that is an RN but she also had to go back to the US because of the inability to get a permit and find work. Ive met a few Nationals that lost their citizenship that are in a similar position or worse. Ive had some days where we get cursed out walking down the street for being "spoiled Blacks from America" then there's other days when things are great and we meet new interesting people and learn things about the island. I was going through different forums trying to find groups but have been unsuccessful and we sought out an immigration attorney but so far we haven't found one we fully trusted. After hearing from a lot of people in my situation both online and in person I figured I would post to see what others had to say regarding my experience as well as their own.

Post a Reply

00abuse

TechRep
12/29/2016 19:01 EST

Trinidad is a unique little nation. My impression is they only foreigner they like, is the tourist they are charging 3 times what a Trini would pay.

I spent several years there working, if I didn't have a Trini company behind the work permit process, I would have never gotten one.

The problem you are having is that you are trying to do things legitimately. Getting anything done within their system requires knowing someone, and that person will need to "pay" additional expenses that you won't get a receipt for. Takes about a week after you find that someone, then there is the visa process which is about as frustrating.

I haven't heard any mention of a visa in your posts. Once/if you get a work permit, then you have to get a visa.

Post a Reply

10abuse

allianz international health insurance

For expats in Trinidad & Tobago, choosing an expat health insurance provider is an important decision. Get a quote from our partner, Allianz Care. Their plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Allianz Care's flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget.

Get a Quote

raean1993
12/30/2016 11:27 EST

Thank you for your reply... I definitely agree. We have had plenty of illegal job offers but working legally is the problem. I have noticed that things are much more expensive in some areas when you actually look at the currency conversion.

Thanks for bringing the Visa up and yes we have researched the Visa process as well but we still haven't made it past the work permit stage.

I would say the most confusing thing is that many 0f the businesses have the exact same name and are all located near Independence Sq. We went to 3 different buildings before finding the correct building for the work permit and that's after asking at least 4 different employees.

Post a Reply

00abuse

TechRep
12/30/2016 19:27 EST

Navigating their government agencies is fairly difficult.

I remember getting a traffic ticket and spending 2 days trying to pay it, never ended up paying the fine. Went to 4 different places, each telling me to go somewhere else. The locals kept telling me not worry about it, they would never do anything if I didn't pay it.

Post a Reply

00abuse

giovannijoe
1/11/2017 09:38 EST

this thread has been helpful. I posted in a separate thread that my gfriend is a medical doctor and was unable to secure a US residency. I've been looking for info on how to move and believe me Google isn't all that helpful.

the mere fact that it's difficult to obtain a legit work permit is a nuance that only those who have tried can comment on. my gfriend seems to think with my IT skills and my soon to be MBA degree, I shouldn't have a problem. but who knows. A skilled practitioner like a RN having issues? In my visits to the island for most of my life, most non nationals I've come across where older Europeans with money in hand already. Or folks working off the books or standing up a business. With the unemployment situation, it does only make sense there would be protectionist policies in place.

I met a Norwegian fellow who owns property out West down "de islands" and he did tell me once immigration did not allow him back in! But he found that that 3 month rule becomes 6 months if you arrive by ship..hmmm lol. He's looking to just bite the bullet and become a resident. His national benefits won't be lost, but I'm not sure about a US citizen and doubly unsure about any tax treatments.



I was contemplating doing a phased move. contract work in the US, spend extended periods in Trini. The idea is you do need to get into that right circle. it not race as much, as someone said, it's class ranks.

Culturally, I think what you experience isn't unique. there are places you'd move to within the US and feel the same way, resented. Nothing you can do about that. The beurocracy does kill me though. I was visiting and had an issue with my Digicel Sim card and had to go in POS to get customer service. After 3 hours I was sorted out and issued a credit. But this same issue I could have handled over the phone in the US and done in 10 min....this is the island life tradeoff. You take the good with the bad or you'll be miserable.

Post a Reply

00abuse

kenwyn
1/18/2017 00:57 EST

Good Night,

Trinidad Law does not permit non residents to work for more than 30 days without a pre approved work permit.

Typically if you have a skill which is in high demand, or a unique skill which no other national can provide your sponsor (employer) will receive the work permit on the condition that during the duration of the work period, a national is trained to carry on the duties when the permit expires.

Work permits are seldom renewed. Yes it is a pain in the azz to do business with Government Offices and yes a rule of thumb is that if you expect something to be done in three months multiply that by a factor of 6.

Public servants don't care about the needs of the public and are practically inured from being fired under existing law, and they have a job security for life.

Post a Reply

10abuse

kenwyn
1/18/2017 00:57 EST

Good Night,

Trinidad Law does not permit non residents to work for more than 30 days without a pre approved work permit.

Typically if you have a skill which is in high demand, or a unique skill which no other national can provide your sponsor (employer) will receive the work permit on the condition that during the duration of the work period, a national is trained to carry on the duties when the permit expires.

Work permits are seldom renewed. Yes it is a pain in the azz to do business with Government Offices and yes a rule of thumb is that if you expect something to be done in three months multiply that by a factor of 6.

Public servants don't care about the needs of the public and are practically inured from being fired under existing law, and they have a job security for life.

Post a Reply

00abuse

raean1993
1/18/2017 08:03 EST

Kenwyn: Great information! That pretty much some up my experience. That's a shame to here about the public servants though. Many of the people I spoke to you said the healthcare workers do little for the people in Trinidad. This post is isa great example of what should really be listed on the website. Thank you!

Post a Reply

00abuse

HeatherAls
4/3/2017 23:36 EST

After visiting the place of my deceased husband's childhood, I want to move there. I also am a registered nurse here in California. I have many questions I hope that we can email each other. I want to do this. This is my email address.

Post a Reply

00abuse

asalarsi
4/6/2017 14:22 EST

Thank you for your comment, I am thinking of moving and I did not know that I had to leave the country every 3 months, that's why our company offeres this as a gift into the contract...

Post a Reply

00abuse

wilkind
4/29/2017 15:40 EST

hello, kenwyn, it seems to be you're well informed. I am at the moment in Belize and try to start a new production Company. I am walking against walls of burocrazy. Do you know how difficult it is to start up a Company in TT? Do you have any real experience with it, or someone who do? My choice of Belize was because the English language is spoken there as well as in TT, I speak many languages but unfortunately no Spanish. I hope the TT government will be more open to let in entrepreneurs. If there are other ways to arrange my goal quickly and avoid unnecessary delay ; please inform me

Post a Reply

00abuse

Kai868
5/7/2017 07:40 EST

What type of production company? Film and video production company? If so, let me know and I can assist you through the process.

Answers to these questions will allow me to determine the best route for setting up your company and the amnesties/incentives you'll be able to access.

What is the purpose of the comapny (to film a one-off production, a series, adverts or otherwise)?

Who is the target audience of the finished product?

What's the capacity of the company and do you intend to hire local labour, use local services etc?

Post a Reply

00abuse

kenwyn
5/8/2017 02:13 EST

Hi Wilkind,

My apologies for this late reply......

Setting up the company may not be an issue per se, since there is a foreign investment act which spells out the requirements for non nationals who wish to invest in the country.

I suggest that you contact J.D. Sellier and Company or any of the better firms of attorneys who may be able to guide you through the process.

If you are afraid of red tape you are in for a long haul. Government workers are lethargic ignorant rude and tardy. Most of them do not know what their jobs are about, the rest don't care about anything further than what's for lunch.

One way of getting things done is via reputable attorneys. The benefits outweigh the costs and frankly most of the top 10 firms would be connected to past and existing governments in some material way.

Perhaps you should just visit first and have a chat with them.

Good luck.

Post a Reply

00abuse

Kai868
5/8/2017 06:13 EST

@Wilkind I don't suggest you limit yourself to the Foreign Investment Act (FIA). While it would be remiss of you to ignore the FIA and the Companies Act; neither addresses the special requirements, amnesties or incentives related to the establishment of film production companies.

Depending on the nature of your business, including the "country of consumption" of the final product, it may not be necessary to establish a company. A pertinent piece of legislation for your purpose is The Fiscal Incentives Act. I also suggest you consult the Trinidad and Tobago Film Company http://www.filmtt.co.tt/

Finally, if you do choose to go the direction of an attorney, contrary to Kenwyn, I would suggest Hamel-Smith, as they possess extensive experience in the creative industries.

Post a Reply

00abuse

kenwyn
5/9/2017 20:02 EST

Yup them too..........

Post a Reply

00abuse

kenwyn
5/9/2017 20:02 EST

Yup them too..........

Post a Reply

00abuse

BeautyNthetooth
6/11/2017 22:20 EST

Hi I am looking to move to trinidad next year (2018) I am a general dentist. open to any advice/ tips anyone can give me about obtaining a 'dental license' , visa, job etc ! thanks

Post a Reply

00abuse

Ramfire
2/19/2018 15:35 EST

Most of what you say is true about trinidad. Alot of things seem to be more difficult than they should be. I dont however agree with your comment about 70% of nationals being unwelcome. Now it is true that Trinis have a strong sense of pride and dont always appreciate input from foreigners. Also keep in mind Tourism is a small part of the economy so the experience will likely be different to other Caribbean islands

Post a Reply

00abuse

Ramfire
2/19/2018 15:38 EST

Unfortunately race was usedto control the masses during the colonial period and is still used today by the politicians

Post a Reply

00abuse

Manzana
5/26/2020 04:28 EST

Hello,

That is interesting that employers would be required to train someone to fill the post when the work permit expires.

Is it better to be self-employed then? Officially self-employed forming my own business? (not money on side kind of self-employed) ha ha! I have several ideas and some resources to make it work.

Thanks!

Post a Reply

00abuse

Expatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for expat health insurance in Trinidad & Tobago.

International Moving Quotes

Moving to Trinidad & Tobago? Get a moving quote.


Mail Forwarding to Trinidad & Tobago

Mail Forwarding to Trinidad & Tobago.


Expat Tax

Expat Tax Preparation, Expat Tax Professionals

Join Today (free)

Join Expat Exchange to meet expats in your area or get advice before your move. It's FREE and takes 1 minute!

Cigna Expat Health InsuranceExpatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for expat health insurance in Trinidad & Tobago from our partner, Cigna Global Health.
Get a Quote

12-Expats-Talk-About-Moving-to-Trinidad--Tobago12 Expats Talk About Moving to Trinidad & Tobago

Expats offer helpful insight into the day-to-day challenges of living in Trinidad & Tobago.
Expats offer helpful insight into the day-to-day challenges of living in Trinidad & Tobago....

Expats-in-Trinidad--TobagoInternational Schools in Trinidad & Tobago

Expats in Trinidad & Tobago have shared their experiences at several of the more popular schools in Trinidad & Tobago.

Expats in Trinidad & Tobago have shared their experiences at several of the more popular schools in Trinidad & Tobago. ...

Expats-in-Trinidad--Tobago10 Tips for Living in Trinidad & Tobago

Expats in Trinidad & Tobago love the family-focused Trinis, the laid-back island culture and the beautiful beaches. That being said, many expats find dealing with bureaucracy a challenge, the pace of life frustrating and the cost of housing, food and cars much higher than expected.

Expats in Trinidad & Tobago love the family-focused Trinis, the laid-back island culture and the beautiful beaches. That being said, many expats find dealing with bureaucracy a challenge, the pace of ...

Expat-Trinidad8 Best Suburbs for Expats outside of Port of Spain, Trinidad

If you are moving to the Port of Spain area, here are 8 suburbs and neighborhoods popular among expats in Trinidad. The article covers suburbs such as Westmoorings, Maraval, Cascade, St Anns and others.

If you are moving to the Port of Spain area, here are 8 suburbs and neighborhoods popular among expats in Trinidad. The article covers suburbs such as Westmoorings, Maraval, Cascade, St Anns and othe...

Moving-To-CarenageAn Expat Talks about Moving to Carenage, Trinidad & Tobago

An expat in Trinidad enjoys a lower rents in big house that's located a nice, gated community that doesn't cater to expats. He advises newcomers to look for houses on higher ground, because flooding is common.

An expat in Trinidad enjoys a lower rents in big house that's located a nice, gated community that doesn't cater to expats. He advises newcomers to look for houses on higher ground, because flooding ...

Trinidad & Tobago Guide
Other Links
Our Story Our Team Contact Us Submit an Article Advertising Travel Warnings

Copyright 1997-2020 Burlingame Interactive, Inc.

Privacy Policy Legal