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F.A.Q.


How do I register for Trinidad and Tobago citizenship?

A child born outside of Trinidad and Tobago after 1st August, 1976 becomes a Trinidad and Tobago citizen if at birth, either parent is a Trinidad and Tobago citizen otherwise than by descent.

A person born (out of wedlock) outside of Trinidad and Tobago after 30th August, 1962 whose mother was a Trinidad and Tobago citizen otherwise than by descent shall become a Trinidad and Tobago citizen.

A person being a former citizen of Trinidad and Tobago by birth/descent, having voluntarily acquired the citizenship of another country after 29 July, 1988 does not lose his Trinidad and Tobago citizenship. If he became a citizen of another country before 29 July, 1988 voluntarily, he has to apply to have his Trinidad and Tobago citizenship restored.

How can I restore my Trinidad and Tobago citizenship?

A former citizen of Trinidad and Tobago by birth or by descent having renounced citizenship of Trinidad and Tobago in order to acquire citizenship of another country may make an application to have citizenship restored to him/her.

The Minister of National Security shall by the issuance of a Certificate of Restoration of citizenship restore citizenship to the former citizen.

A citizen of Trinidad and Tobago by birth or by descent who acquires citizenship of another country after July 29 1988, shall not lose his/her citizenship of Trinidad and Tobago.

The Child of a former citizen, whose citizenship is restored, automatically acquires citizenship by descent. No separate application or action is required in respect of the child.

Citizenship is restored retroactively to the date of renouncement.

Procedures for applying

1. The applicant must provide:

i. Three (3) completed copies of Form 16

ii. Four (4) identical passport size photographs

iii. A Police Certificate of Character

iv. Completed Medical Forms 40 and 40 (a)

v. Original Trinidad and Tobago birth certificate (when birth certificates are used Affidavits will be required for clarification if needed for the names of the birth certificates). A marriage certificate will be required for the verification of the change of name from one’s maiden name to the married surname.

vi. Evidence of the date of acquisition of citizenship of the country of present nationality (Original must be seen).

2. The application forms and one photograph must be NOTARIZED.

3. Nigerian passport (if available)

4. The sum of $15.00 (2000 fee schedule) must be paid on submission of the application form.

5. The balance of $153.00 (2000 fee schedule) must be paid on the collection of the Certificate of Restoration of Citizenship.

All restoration of citizenship applications should be forwarded to the High Commission for processing. Application forms maybe obtained from the Trinidad and Tobago mission/office in Nigeria.

Are there any incentives for persons returning to live permanently in Trinidad and Tobago?

In 1994, Government, in an attempt to encourage nationals to return home, took a decision to grant tax concessions on a motor vehicles and household effects imported by such persons.

The following is a summary of benefits to which a returning national is entitled.

MOTOR VEHICLES

(A) Requirements

In order to qualify for any relief of taxes, the person must satisfy all the following conditions:

  1. The person must be eighteen years old and over, and
    • is a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago, or
    • was formerly a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago, or
    • has citizenship of two (2) countries, one of which is Trinidad and Tobago, or
    • is the spouse of a person referred to in sub-paragraphs (a), (b) or (c) above;
  2. The person is the registered owner of the vehicle for at least six (6) months prior to his return to Trinidad and Tobago;
  3. Must have resided abroad for a continuous period of at least five (5) years immediately prior to his return to Trinidad and Tobago;
    • intends to reside in Trinidad and Tobago permanently;
    • require the vehicle for his personal use;
    • must import the vehicle within six (6) months prior to or after his return;
    • must not sell or transfer the vehicle within two (2) years of its importation.
    • Once all the above conditions have been satisfied then in the case of a left hand drive vehicle, the importer is not required to obtain an Import Licence.

(B) Relief from Customs Duty

Customs duty is normally payable at the following rates:

  • Vehicles with an engine size not exceeding 1599 cubic capacity (cc)- 20%
  • Vehicles with an engine size exceeding 1599 cc but not exceeding 2000 cc - 25%
  • Vehicles with an engine size exceeding 2000 cc - 30%

Customs duty is based on the Cost, Insurance and Freight (C.I.F.) Value of the Vehicle.

A returning national can benefit from the relief of Customs duty at the following rates:-

  • where s/he is the registered owner of the vehicle for more than six months but not more than one (1) year, 25% of the duty payable. In other words the importer pays 75% of the duty payable.
  • where s/he is the registered owner of the vehicle for more than one (1) year but not more than two (2) years, 50% relief of the duty payable
  • where s/he is the registered owner of the vehicle for more than two (2) years, 90% relief of the duty payable. In other words, the importer pays 10% of the duty payable.

(C) Relief from Value Added Tax (VAT)

Value Added Tax is payable at a rate of 15%. It is calculated in the following manner:

15% of the C.I.F. Value + Customs Duty = VAT Payable

There is no relief from the payment of VAT in respect of a motor vehicle imported by a returning national.

(D) Relief from Motor Vehicle Tax

Motor Vehicle Tax is normally payable at the following rates:

  • engine size not exceeding 1599 cc Free
  • engine size exceeding 1599 cc but not exceeding 1799 cc – $ 4.00 per cc
  • engine size exceeding 1799 cc but not exceeding 1999 cc – $ 8.00 per cc
  • engine size exceeding 1999 cc but not exceeding 2499 cc – $21.00 per cc
  • engine size exceeding 2499 cc but not exceeding 2999 cc – $25.00 per cc
  • engine size exceeding 2999 cc but not exceeding 3499 cc – $30.00 per cc
  • engine size exceeding 3499 cc – $45.00 per cc

However, a returning national may be granted relief from the payment of Motor Vehicle Tax at identical rates in the case of Customs duty as specified in (b), (aa), (bb) and (cc) above.

HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS

Household Effects – Categories

There are two categories of household effects:-

  1. Those which are in the use and possession of the passenger for at least one (1) year - no duties and taxes are payable. Any person can benefit from this measure;
  2. In the case of household effects which are in the use and possession for less than one (1) year, a returning national may be granted tax concessions but must satisfy all the following conditions:-
    • the national must have resided abroad continuously for at least five (5) years and is returning home to reside permanently;
    • the household effects must be imported within two (2) months before or after the arrival of the returning of the national or such further period as the Comptroller of Customs and Excise may allow in any special circumstances;
    • the household effects must be owned by the importer and must not be for sale or exchange;
      the goods must be allowed by the Comptroller of Customs and Excise;
    • the total value of the goods must not exceed a C.I.F. value of TT$100,000.00 .


Relief from duties and taxes

Once the returning national meets the requirements in respect of household effects which have been in his use and possession for less than one (1) year, no Customs duty or VAT is payable on the first TT$100,000.00. The returning national only pays a Special Tax of 10% of the C.I.F. Value. No other taxes are payable. In amounts exceeding the TT$100,000.00, each item would attract the respective rate of Customs Duty and VAT.

Definition

The item "household effects" shall include such items as air conditioning units, bedding, carpets, clocks, crockery, glassware, cutlery, electrical fans, furniture, record players, household electrical appliances, irons, kitchen and other domestic utensils, lamps, lanterns, household linen, perambulators, pianos, pictures, sewing machines, silver and plated ware, stoves and electrical cooking and heating apparatus, tape recorders, computers and computer hardware, diskettes and other like items.

However, it excludes motor vehicles, building materials, power tools and foodstuffs.

Computer Hardware and Software

Computer hardware (i.e. hard drives, monitors, printers and other peripherals) and software (i.e. diskettes and software on diskettes and Cd Roms) may enter Trinidad and Tobago without the payment of duty.

Procedure

In order to benefit from the tax concessions the returning national must:-

  • provide proof of residence abroad, e.g. passport, employment records
  • provide proof of ownership of vehicle, e.g. registration certificate
  • provide an affidavit sworn before a local Commissioner
  • present two (2) passport-size pictures
  • present a Customs declaration form (Customs entry) in person and attest that a licensed Customs broker prepare the Customs entry

After the Customs official accepts the Customs entry, Customs duty, VAT and Special Tax (Household effects) are payable to the Customs and Excise Division. Motor Vehicle Tax is payable to the Board of Inland Revenue (Miscellaneous Taxes Section).

***WARNING: Heavy penalties are imposed for false declarations***

Summary

The above generally describes the tax concessions from which a returning national may benefit, and are provided for general information. However, discussion in this article must not be substituted for law.

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Witnessing of Legal Documents

Can I get a representative of the High Commission to witness a legal document?

Diplomatic Staff at the High Commission are able to witness Affidavits, Affirmations, Statutory Declarations and other documents for use under Trinidad and Tobago law. There are varying fees for this service.

In addition to High Commission Diplomatic Staff the following persons may take statutory declarations in Nigeria for use in Trinidad and Tobago:

  • Judges
  • Commissioner of Oaths
  • Notaries Public
  • Justices of the Peace
  • Persons authorised by Nigerian law to administer oaths for the purpose of judicial proceedings


In cases where there is any doubt over the form or stature of the witnessing required, this should be checked with the High Commission.

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Registration of Trinidad and Tobago nationals in Nigeria.

Trinidad and Tobago citizens in Nigeria can fill out the High Commission's registration form online.

Can I work in Trinidad and Tobago?

A non - national may enter Trinidad & Tobago without a work permit to engage in a legitimate profession, trade or occupation for a single period not exceeding thirty (30) days in every twelve consecutive months. Entry is on the basis of a "certificate" stamped in the passport allowing entry for a specified period.

If a person wishes to stay in Trinidad for a period exceeding thirty (30) days to engage in a legitimate profession, then s/he must obtain a work permit, which must be sought by the prospective employer on the non-nationals behalf, which is issued for a fixed period.

Generally, work permits will not be granted to non-residents unless there are no locals who are capable of filling the specified post. Work permits are issued for a specific time frame during which it is expected that a local resident will be trained to assume the post held by a foreign employee.

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How does the Trinidad and Tobago tax system work?

All persons resident or domiciled in Trinidad and Tobago are required to pay tax on their world -wide income. With respect to income not earned or received in Trinidad and Tobago no tax is payable. However, persons whose employment or office is located in Trinidad and Tobago, must pay tax on any profits or gains earned from such office or employment whether the income is earned in Trinidad and Tobago or not.

Individual taxpayers income and emoluments are taxed on a 'Pay As You Earn' (P.A.Y.E.) basis at the rate of 28 percent on the first TT$50,000 and at the rate of 35 percent thereafter (2000/1 budget figures). The taxpayer is entitled to an allowance of TT$20,000.(2000/1 budget figures)

All Pension plans, individual retirement plans, savings plans and profit sharing plans must be pre-approved by the Board of Inland Revenue, to secure tax benefits under the law for the employee.

For tax purposes individuals are considered to be Trinidad and Tobago residents if they spend more than 183 days in Trinidad and Tobago over any 12-month period .The tax year-ends on 31st March.

Nigeria and Trinidad and Tobago have concluded a Double Taxation Treaty. Under this agreement, the salary of non-residents arising in Trinidad and Tobago while attracting P.A.Y.E. tax may be exempt under restricted provisions in the Treaty.

For further information contact:

In Trinidad and Tobago

Inland Revenue Department
St Vincent St.
Port of Spain
Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

(868)-623-1211/4

In Nigeria
7, Casablanca Street,
off Nairobi Street, Off Aminu Kano Crescent,
Wuse II, Abuja

Tel: (234) 09-4611118, 09-8702438
Fax: (234)-9-523-7684
Email:info@ttmissionsnigeria.com
Website: www.ttmissionsnigeria.com

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What do the colours of the national flag of Trinidad and Tobago represent?

The national flag of the Republic of Trinidad and TobagoThe national flag of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is predominantly red with a black strip with a white-edged black diagonal band from the upper hoist side to the lower fly side.

The national flag was designed by the Independence Committee and selected to be used as the National Flag in 1962.

Red is the colour most expressive of our country, it represents the vitality of the land and its people, it is the warmth and energy of the sun, the courage and friendliness of the people.

White is the sea by which these lands are bound; the cradle of our heritage; the purity of our aspirations and the equality of all men under the sun.

The Black represents for us the dedication of the people joined together by one strong bond. It is the colour of strength, of unity, of purpose and of the wealth of the land.

The colours chosen represent the elements Earth, Water and Fire which encompass our past, present and future and inspire us as one united, vital, free and dedicated people.

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What do the emblems on the Trinidad and Tobago coat of arms represent?

The Coat of Arms incorporates important historical and indigenous elements of Trinidad and Tobago in a design approved by the College of Arms.

The elements of this emblem are: the Shield, the Helm of special design, the Mantle, which covers the Helm, the Wreath to hold the Mantle in place, the Crest, the Supporters and the Motto.

 

At the top is the Crest – a ship’s wheel in gold in front of a fruited coconut palm. This palm had always been the central figure on the Great Seals of British Colonial Tobago. Beneath the wheel is the wreath, which holds the mantle in place.

The Coat of Arms of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

The Helm is a gold helmet, facing front, which represents the Queen. The devices on the Shield are the humming birds. The three gold ships represent the Trinity; the discovery of the islands, the three ships of Columbus; the sea that brought our people together; the commerce and wealth of the country. The National Flag’s colours can also be found repeated on the Shield.

The Supporters are a Scarlet Ibis for Trinidad on the left and a Cocrico for Tobago on the right. Both are shown in their natural colours. The Three Peaks may have been chosen to commemorate Columbus’s decision to name Trinidad after the Blessed Trinity or the same three peaks called the "Three Sisters" which a sailor on Columbus’s ship saw rising from the south of the island.

Inscribed on the motto scroll are the words: "Together we aspire; together we achieve".

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Am I entitled to a Trinidad & Tobago/Nigeria pension?

An Agreement on Social Security between Trinidad and Tobago and Nigerian was signed on 9 April 1997 and came into force on 1 July 1999.

This Agreement co-ordinates the operation of the Nigerian and Trinidad and Tobago programmes which protect individuals in the event of old age, retirement, disability or death. It has two basic objectives:

  1. to ease or eliminate restrictions on the payment of social security benefits abroad;
  2. to assist migrants in qualifying for benefits based on the period they have lived or worked in each country.

The Nigerian benefits included in the Agreement are those paid under the Old Age Security program and the Nigeria Pension Plan.

The Trinidad and Tobago benefits included in the Agreement are the super-annulations, invalids, widows and orphans, and domestic purposes benefits paid to widowers and orphans benefits payable under the Trinidad & Tobago National Insurance scheme.

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Do I need to take out medical insurance when I go to Trinidad and Tobago?

Visitors to Trinidad and Tobago must pay their own medical and associated costs, unless they are the victim of an accident.

Trinidad and Tobago’s universal health coverage system provides 24-hour, basic and emergency health coverage to all nationals and visitors to Trinidad and Tobago who are injured as the result of an accident, medical misadventure or certain types of behaviour for which criminal charges could be laid. The public health system is buttressed by a number of smaller private health institutions, which provide a variety of basic and advanced health care services on a “pay as you go basis” for private medical insurance subscribers.

As such, visitors to Trinidad and Tobago may wish to consider taking out, travel and medical insurance to ensure that all costs associated with injury, medical treatment or other losses associated with an unforeseen injury (For example, loss of money if you have to cut your visit short, or income replacement if you are unable to return to paid employment as a result of your accident) can be adequately met.

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Can I bring my cat or dog to Trinidad and Tobago?

Dogs and cats may be imported from the following countries without recourse to Quarantine:

Anguilla, Antigua, Australia, Barbados, Great Britain, Jamaica, Northern Ireland, St. Kitts-Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Republic of Ireland.

Animals from countries not listed above must undergo a period of six (6) months quarantine in the Government owned dog and Cat Quarantine Station prior to their release.

Application for quarantine space must be made in advance and the relevant import permit will only be issued when space becomes available. A fee of TT$5.00 (2000 rates) per day (exclusive of food) will be charged for each dog/cat on admission to the quarantine station.

Applications for Quarantine space must be submitted in writing to:

The Chief Veterinary Officer
Animal Health Sub-Division
Ministry of Agriculture Land and Marine Resources
St. Clair Port of Spain
Trinidad W.I.

Tel: 1 868 622 1221 to 1225 Ext.256 or 226

On arrival the animal must:

  1. Be confined in an escape-proof cage;
  2. In the case of a dog, be provided with collar and leash; and
  3. Be accompanied by its entry permit.

The application letter should contain the following essential information:

  1. Name of importer
  2. Address in Trinidad and Tobago
  3. Telephone number in Trinidad and Tobago
  4. Number of animals
  5. Expected date of arrival

Permits can be mailed to the importer in a foreign country.

The dog(s)/cat(s) must be accompanied by a Health Certificate attesting to the fact that the conditions as elaborated in the Import Permit (good health and free from symptoms of infectious and contagious diseases) have been fully satisfied. The certificate shall be completed by a Veterinarian who is a full time salaried employee of the National Government of the country.

Originals of the Health Certificate and Import Permit must be presented to the Inspector at the time of arrival of the animals at the Port of Entry.

The Inspector (veterinary Officer, St. George) c/o Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, Telephone number 1 868 662-5678/5986 must be given a clear 24-48 hours notice of the animal(s) time of arrival to make arrangements for the hand-over of the animal at the port of Entry.

The dog(s)/cat(s) must be presented for detention during the period specified as kennel accommodation can only be guaranteed during the period.

The owner agrees, by signature, at the commencement of the quarantine period, to the rules etc., of the Quarantine Station.

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What type of electoral system does Trinidad and Tobago have?

Under the Constitution of Trinidad and Tobago Act of 1976, Trinidad and Tobago is a democratic Republic within the Commonwealth with its own President as titular Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. Between 1962 when Trinidad and Tobago obtained its independence from the United Kingdom, and 1976 when the Republican constitution was enacted, the Queen was the Head of State and was represented by a governor – general.

The Parliament consists of a Bicameral Legislature composed of an Upper House - the Senate, and a Lower House - the House of Representatives organised according to the Westminister or first past the post system. The Senate consists of 31 appointed members, 16 being appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister, 6 on the advice of the Leader of the Opposition and 9 at the discretion of the President. The House of Representatives consists of 36 (34 for Trinidad and 2 for Tobago) members elected by the citizens at the General Elections held every 5 years or less and a Speaker who is elected from either within or outside the House of Representatives. An Electoral College comprising all members of the Senate and the House of Representatives voting by secret ballot elects the President.

Executive power is vested in the Prime Minister, the leader of the majority side in the House of Representatives, who is appointed by the President, and the Cabinet.

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What are the dates of Trinidad and Tobago Public Holidays?

Trinidad and Tobago observes fourteen (14) Public Holidays each year.
Carnival Monday and Tuesday are not public holidays.
Where the public holiday is a religious observance, the date is selected to suit that particular religious calendar. For example, the Christian observance of Good Friday, the Muslim festival of Eid-ul-Fitr and the Hindu Festival of Divali are changeable.

Public Holidays 2012 for Trinidad and Tobago

New Year’s Day                              -           January 1
*Carnival Monday                           -           February 20

*Carnival Tuesday                         -           February 21
Baptist Liberation Day                  -           30th March                 -           Friday
Good Friday                                     -           6th April                      -           Friday
Easter Monday                                -           9th April                      -           Monday
Workers’ Day (Nigeria)                  -           1st May                       -           Tuesday
Indian Arrival Day                           -           30th May                     -           Wednesday
Labour Day                                      -           19th June                   -           Tuesday
Emancipation Day                         -           1st August                 -           Wednesday
Independence Day                        -           31st August               -           Friday
Republic Day                                   -           24th September        -           Monday
Eid-ul-Fitr                                          -           to be announced    -
Eid-ul-Kabir (Nigeria)                    -           to be announced    -
Christmas Day                                -           25th December         -           Tuesday
Boxing Day                                      -           26th December         -           Wednesday

 

These are not public holidays.
The dates for the Muslim festival Eid-ul-Fitr and the Hindu festival Divali are determined and announced 1 -2 weeks prior to their observance each year.

NB: When a public holiday falls on a Sunday, the holiday will be observed on the Monday following immediately. When two public holidays fall on the same date the following date is also given as a public holiday.

LIST OF PUBLIC HOLIDAYS 2012
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO HIGH COMMISSION – ABUJA

Spiritual Baptist Liberation Day -           30th March                 -           Friday
Good Friday                                     -           6th April                      -           Friday
Easter Monday                                -           9th April                      -           Monday
Workers’ Day (Nigeria)                  -           1st May                       -           Tuesday
Indian Arrival Day                           -           30th May                     -           Wednesday
Labour Day                                      -           19th June                   -           Tuesday
Emancipation Day                         -           1st August                 -           Wednesday
Independence Day                        -           31st August               -           Friday
Republic Day                                   -           24th September        -           Monday
Independence Day (Nigeria)       -           1st October               -           Monday
Eid-ul-Fitr                                          -           to be announced    -
Eid-ul-Kabir (Nigeria)                    -           to be announced    -
Christmas Day                                -           25th December         -           Tuesday
Boxing Day                                      -           26th December         -           Wednesday

 

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Trinidad and Tobago High Commission, Nigeria.
Tel: (234) 09-4611118, 09-8702438
E-mail: info@ttmissionsnigeria.com
GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
© 2007. Trinidad and Tobago High Commission, Abuja. All rights reserved.

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