Migration in Trinidad and Tobago: current Trends and Policies

Migration in Trinidad and Tobago: current Trends and Policies

October 11, 2022

Migration to and from the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago has traditionally involved the movement of labour. Trends in net migration rates over the two decades 2000–2020 show that there has been excess of emigration over immigration in successive years. Emigration has been chiefly to the USA. Immigration from Caribbean countries has also been significant and with a long history. A dramatic change in the source and characteristics of immigrants has occurred since 2016 due to the arrival of large numbers of refugees from the neighbouring Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

The consequences for Trinidad and Tobago of various types of migration are identified. In the past, the implications were mainly for the size and capacity of the labour force, with work permits the chief means of selective immigration to fill specific sectoral labour demands. Policy responses to migration have been in relation to concerns about the immigration of CARICOM nationals entering under the free movement of labour agreements. Since 2016 policy has focused on addressing the humanitarian needs of large numbers of Venezuelan citizens of a wide range of demographic and socioeconomic characteristics seeking refugee status, as well as the regulatory frameworks relating to their legal status and access to jobs and essential services.

The challenges faced by Trinidad and Tobago in optimizing the benefits of migration over its negative impacts are identified. The policy document concludes with issues pertaining to the role of migration in contributing to the stated goals of sustainable national development envisioned for the national development strategy, Vision 2030.

Document Type
Regions and Countries
Sustainable Development Goals