|Publisher||National Legislative Bodies|
|Author||Republic of Trinidad and Tobago|
|Publication Date||July 1976|
|Cite as||Immigration Act [Trinidad and Tobago], July 1976, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6b5b23.html [accessed 9 December 2013]|
|Comments||This is the official text as published and printed by the Government, L.R.O. 1/1980. This document includes only selected provisions.|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
2 - InterpretationIn this Act -
"admission" means the coming into Trinidad and Tobago from a port outside Trinidad and Tobago of citizens and residents of Trinidad and Tobago and includes entry of permitted entrants and other persons under this Act;
"Chief Immigration Officer" means the person so appointed for the purposes of this Act and includes a person to whom the Chief Immigration Officer delegates any of his powers, duties or functions;
"citizen of Trinidad and Tobago" means a person who is a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago by virtue of the Constitution or the Citizenship of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago Act;
"deportation" means the removal under this Act of a person from any place in Trinidad and Tobago to the place whence he came or to the country of his nationality or citizenship or to the country of his birth or to such other country as may be approved by the Minister under this Act, as the case may be;
"deportation order" means an order requiring the person in respect of whom it is made to leave and remain outside of Trinidad and Tobago;
"entry" means the lawful coming into Trinidad and Tobago from a port outside Trinidad and Tobago of permitted entrants and other persons under this Act;
"former Constitution" means the Trinidad and Tobago Constitution set out in the Second Schedule to the Trinidad and Tobago (Constitution) Order-in-Council, 1962;
"former Ordinance" means the Immigration (Restriction) Ordinance (repealed by this Act);
"immigrant" means a person who seeks admission into Trinidad and Tobago for permanent residence or who is within Trinidad and Tobago as such;
"immigration station" means any place designated by the Minister for the examination, treatment or detention of persons for any purpose under this Act, and includes immigration quarters at ports of entry;
"master" means the person in immediate charge or control of a vessel;
"medical officer" means a person authorised or recognised by the Minister as a medical officer for the purposes of this Act;
"member of a crew" means any person, including a master, who is employed on board or belongs to the staff or crew of a vessel;
"Minister" means the Minister responsible for immigration;
"owner" includes the agent of the owner of a vessel or the charterer or consignee of a vessel;
"permit" means a permit authorising any person to enter Trinidad and Tobago issued by the Minister under section 10;
"permitted entrant" means any person permitted to enter under the provisions of section 9;
"place of detention" means a Prison, a Police Station or any place approved by the Minister;
"port of entry" means any place in Trinidad and Tobago prescribed for the examination of persons under this Act;
"prohibited class" means any of the classes of persons designated in section 8;
"resident" means a person referred to in section 5(1);
"ship" includes every boat and craft of any kind for travel or transport other than by air;
"Special Inquiry Officer" means a person described in section 13(1);
"transportation company" includes the agents of any such company carrying on business in Trinidad and Tobago;
"vessel" means any ship, aircraft or other means of travel by sea or air.
Part I - ADMISSION OF PERSONS INTO TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
3 - ImmigrantsExcept as permitted under this Act, no person may be admitted into Trinidad and Tobago as an immigrant or being within Trinidad and Tobago remain therein as an immigrant.
ENTITLEMENT OF CITIZENS AND RESIDENTS TO COME INTO TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
4 - Entitlement to admission to Trinidad and Tobago(1)A citizen of Trinidad and Tobago has the right to be admitted into Trinidad and Tobago.
(2)A resident who is not a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago, so long as he continues to be a resident, has the right to be admitted into Trinidad and Tobago.
5 - Persons who are residents of Trinidad and Tobago(1)The following persons not being citizens of Trinidad and Tobago are residents of Trinidad and Tobago:
(a)a person who was entitled under the former Constitution to be registered as a citizen;
(b)a person to whom permission has been granted by the Minister under section 6 to become a resident;
(c)a person other than a person described in paragraph (a) or (b) who immediately before the commencement of this Act (that is, 1st July 1976) was deemed to be a person belonging to Trinidad and Tobago by virtue of section 2(2) of the former Ordinance;
(d)a person who applies for and is granted permission to become a resident under section 50(1);
(e)the child of a person who is a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago who by virtue of this section is a resident provided that such child is a minor or is dependent on and living with his parents;
(f)such other persons on whom the Minister may confer the status of a resident.
(2)For the purposes of subsection (1)(b) and (d), no period shall be counted towards the acquisition of resident status during which a person
(a)is confined in or is an inmate of any prison or hospital for mental diseases;
(b)remains in Trinidad and Tobago after the making of a deportation order against him and prior to the execution of such order or his voluntarily leaving Trinidad and Tobago, unless an appeal against such order is allowed; or
(c)is in Trinidad and Tobago under a permit.
(3)For the purposes of subsection (1)(f) the Minister may, in his discretion, confer the status of a resident on any person he considers fit.
6 - Persons who may be permitted to become residents(1)Subject to this Act and the regulations, persons who come within the following classes may on application in the prescribed form, be granted permission by the Minister if he thinks fit, to become residents, that is to say -
(a)a permitted entrant who:
(i)by reason of his education, occupational qualifications, personal history, employment record, training, skills or other special qualifications has established or is likely to be able to establish himself successfully in Trinidad and Tobago in a profession, trade, self-operating business or agricultural enterprise and who has sufficient means of support to maintain himself and his immediate family in Trinidad and Tobago; and
(ii)has been continuously resident in Trinidad and Tobago for five years or such shorter period (not being less than twelve months) as the Minister may in the special circumstances of any particular case accept;
(b)a person who is the parent or grandparent of either a citizen or resident of Trinidad and Tobago, residing in Trinidad and Tobago, if such citizen or resident is willing and able to provide care and maintenance for that person;
(c)the spouse of a citizen or resident of Trinidad and Tobago; and
(d)a person who has ceased to be a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago by reason of his voluntary acquisition of citizenship of another country.
(2)In determining the suitability of an applicant for the grant of resident status under this section, the Minister shall be satisfied, inter alia, that the applicant -
(a)has entered the country legally;
(b)is not in a prohibited class; and
(c)is of good character as evidenced by a police certificate of good character.
7 - Loss of resident status(1)Subject to subsection (6), resident status is lost by a person -
(a)who voluntarily resides outside Trinidad and Tobago for a continuous period of one year, unless he obtains from the Minister a certificate in the prescribed form exempting him from the provisions of this paragraph; or
(b)who was entitled under the former Constitution to be registered as a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago, if he has resided outside Trinidad and Tobago for a continous period of two years immediately preceding the commencement of this Act, unless within a period of six months from that date he obtains from the Minister a certificate in the prescribed form exempting him from the provisions of this paragraph.
(2)Where the Minister is satisfied that a person has been -
(a)engaged in activities detrimental to the security of Trinidad and Tobago; or
(b)an habitual criminal,
that person shall be deemed to have lost the status of resident at the commencement of his engagement in such activities or at the time of his becoming an habitual criminal.
(3)For the purposes of subsection (2)(b) an habitual criminal is a person who -
(a)is not less than thirty years of age;
(b)has been convicted of an indictable offence punishable with imprisonment for two years or more and has been convicted on at least three previous occasions since the age of seventeen years of offences similarly punishable; and
(c)was on at least two of these occasions sentenced to imprisonment, or has at least on one occasion been sentenced to be detained at the Youth Training Centre or any other similar Institution.
(4)The Minister, where he has reasonable grounds for suspecting that a resident -
(a)has given false or misleading information in his application for residence; or
(b)is a person referred to in section 8(1)(e), (f), (k), (l), (m), (o) or (q),
may issue a written declaration under his hand stating that the resident has lost his resident status from the date specified in the declaration, and the Minister may make a deportation order against that person.
(5)Any period during which a permitted entrant is in Trinidad and Tobago that is less than the period required for the acquisition of resident status under section 6(1)(a)(ii) that might otherwise be counted by a person towards the acquisition of such status in accordance with regulations made under this Act is lost upon the making of a deportation order against him, unless an appeal against such order is allowed.
(6)In no case shall residence out of Trinidad and Tobago for the purpose of serving in the public service or diplomatic or other service of Trinidad and Tobago, cause loss of resident status.
8 - Prohibited Classes.(1)Except as provided in subsection (2), entry into Trinidad and Tobago of the persons described in this subsection, other than citizens and, subject to section 7(2), residents, is prohibited, namely -
(h)persons who are likely to become charges on public funds;
(l)persons who are or have been at any time before or after the commencement of this Act advocates of the overthrow by force or violence of the established Government of Trinidad and Tobago or any other country, or of all forms of law, or who advocate the abolition of organised government, or who advocate the assassination of public officials or who advocate or teach the unlawful destruction of property or who are or have been members of or affiliated to any organisation which entertains and preaches any of the doctrines and practices specified in this paragraph;
(m)persons concerning whom there are reasonable grounds for believing they are likely to engage in espionage, sabotage or any other subversive activity of any kind directed against Trinidad and Tobago or detrimental to the security of Trinidad and Tobago;
(p)persons who cannot or do not fulfil or comply with any of the conditions or requirements of this Act or the regulations or any orders lawfully made or given under this Act or the regulations;
(q)any person who from information or advice which in the opinion of the Minister is reliable information or advice is likely to be an undesirable inhabitant of, or visitor to Trinidad and Tobago.
(2)The Minister may authorise in writing under his hand or under the hand of a person designated by him, entry into Trinidad and Tobago of persons passing through Trinidad and Tobago under guard to another country.
(3)In this section -
"drug" means any substance included in the Schedule to the Narcotics Control Ordinance, or anything that contains any substance included in that Schedule, and includes any hallucinogenic drug or any drug producing hallucinations if misused;
"infectious diseases" and "dangerous infectious diseases" have the meanings respectively assigned to them by section 2 of the Public Health Ordinance.
9 - Permitted Entrants.(1)An immigration officer may allow to enter Trinidad and Tobago on such conditions and for such periods as may be fit and proper in any particular case, the following persons or classes of persons, as the case may be:
(a)persons who are diplomatic or consular officers or representatives or officials duly accredited, of any country, or of the United Nations or any of its agencies or of any inter-governmental organisation in which Trinidad and Tobago participates, coming to Trinidad and Tobago to carry out their official duties or passing through intransit, or members of the suites of families of such persons;
(b)members of any naval, army or air forces who come to Trinidad and Tobago for training or otherwise in connection with the defence and security interests of Trinidad and Tobago, or under the provisions of any treaty or treatment between Trinidad and Tobago and another country and whose entry into Trinidad and Tobago is approved by the Minister, together with such members of their families or suites as may be approved;
(c)tourists or visitors;
(d)persons passing through Trinidad and Tobago to another country;
(e)clergymen, priests or members of a religious order entering Trinidad and Tobago or who, having entered, are in Trinidad and Tobago in connection with the carrying out of their religious duties in accordance with regulations made in that behalf;
(f)students entering Trinidad and Tobago for the purpose of attending, and who having entered Trinidad and Tobago are in actual attendance at, a university or college authorised by statute or charged to confer degrees;
(g)persons who have been accepted as students by an educational or training establishment recognised by the Permanent Secretary to the Minister, or the Chief Immigration Officer, and who, after entering Trinidad and Tobago are in actual attendance at such educational or training establishment;
(h)members of crews entering Trinidad and Tobago or who, having entered are in Trinidad and Tobago for shore leave or some other legitimate and temporary purpose; and
(i)persons entering Trinidad and Tobago for the purpose of engaging in a legitimate profession, trade or occupation.
(2)Subject to this Act, an immigration officer shall issue to a person who has been allowed to enter Trinidad and Tobago under subsection (1) (other than a person mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b) thereof), a certificate which shall be expressed to be in force for a specified period and subject to such terms and conditions as may be mentioned therein.
(3)Every person who has a certificate under subsection (2) to enter Trinidad and Tobago and who wishes to remain for a longer period than that previously granted or to have the conditions attaching to his entry varied, shall, notwithstanding that he is already in Trinidad and Tobago, submit to an examination under the provisions of this Act, and the immigration officer may extend or limit the period of his stay, vary the conditions attaching to his entry, or otherwise deal with him as if he were a person seeking entry into Trinidad and Tobago for the first time.
(4)Where a permitted entrant is in the opinion of the Minister a person described in section 8(1), (k), (l), (m) or(n), or a person who -
(b)has been convicted of an offence and sentenced to a term of imprisonment for one or more years;
(c)has become an inmate of any prison or reformatory;
(d)was a member of a prohibited class at the time of his admission to Trinidad and Tobago;
(f)was admitted or deemed to have been admitted to Trinidad and Tobago under subsection (1) and remains therein after the expiration of the certificate issued to him under subsection (2) or under section 50 (2);
(g)has escaped from lawful custody or detention under this Act; (h)came into Trinidad and Tobago or remains therein with a false or improperly issued passport, visa or other document pertaining to his admission or by reason of any false or misleading information, force, stealth or fraudulent or improper means, whether exercised by himself or by any other person;
(i)returns to or remains in Trinidad and Tobago contrary to the provisions of this Act after a deportation order has been made against him or otherwise;
(k)has, since he came into Trinidad and Tobago broken any of the terms and conditions of the certificate issued to him under subsection (2);
the Minister may at any time declare that such person has ceased to be a permitted entrant and such person shall thereupon cease to be a permitted entrant.
(5)The Minister may make a deportation order against any person referred to in subsection (4) or section 50 (5), subject (as regards a person referred to in section 50 (5) to the provisions of section 31 (3), and such person shall have no right of appeal and shall be deported as soon as possible.
ENTRY UNDER PERMITS
10 - Issue of Permits(1)The Minister may issue a written permit authorising any person to enter Trinidad and Tobago or, being in Trinidad and Tobago, to remain therein.
(2)A permit has been expressed to be in force for a specified period not exceeding twelve months, and during the time that it is in force such permit stays the execution of any deportation order that may have been made against the person concerned.
(3)Subject to subsection (4) and without prejudice to the generality of his powers under this section, the Minister may issue a permit to the following persons to enter Trinidad and Tobago or being in Trinidad and Tobago to remain therein, that is to say:
(a)persons such as are described in section 8 (1)(a) or (b) if satisfied that such persons are -
(i)unlikely to become charges on public funds; or
(ii)members of a family in Trinidad and Tobago and the family of such persons have given satisfactory security against their becoming charges on public funds,
and that, except in the case of persons described in section 8(1)(a) in respect of whom as is mentioned in paragraph (ii) satisfactory security is given, the Minister responsible for Health has agreed to their treatment and care at any health resort, hospital, sanatorium, asylum or other place or institution in Trinidad and Tobago.
(b)persons such as are described in section 8(1)(l) if satisfied that such persons have ceased to be members of or associated with such organisations, groups or bodies and that the entry of such persons would not be detrimental to the security of Trinidad and Tobago.
(4)The Minister may attach to the entry or remaining in Trinidad and Tobago of such persons such terms and conditions as he may think fit, and if any person to whom a permit has been granted under subsection (3), contravenes any such term or condition, the Minister may cancel such permit.
(5)The Minister may, at any time in writing, extend, vary or cancel a permit.
(6)The Minister may, upon the cancellation or expiration of a permit, make a deportation order respecting the person concerned and such person shall have no right of appeal from the deportation order and shall be deported as soon as practicable.
11 - Unlawful entrants and prohibited immigrantsNothing in this Part shall be construed as conferring any right to be or to remain in Trinidad and Tobago on any person who -
(a)either before or after the commencement of this Act has come into Trinidad and Tobago otherwise than in accordance with the former Ordinance or this Act, as the case may be; or
(b)is at the commencement of this Act a prohibited immigrant within the meaning of the former Ordinance, and the Minister may make a deportation order against such person and such person shall have no right of appeal therefrom and shall be deported as soon as possible.
Part II - ADMINISTRATION - IMMIGRATION OFFICERS
15 - Arrest without warrant in certain casesEvery police officer and every immigration officer may, without the issue of a warrant, order or direction for arrest or detention, arrest and detain for an inquiry or for deportation, any person who upon reasonable grounds is suspected of being a person referred to in section 9(4) or section 22(1)(i), and the Chief Immigration Officer may order the release of any such person.
16 - Detention pending inquiry, examination, appeal or deportationAny person in respect of whom an inquiry is to be held, or an examination under section 18 has been deferred under section 20, or a deportation or rejection order has been made may be detained pending inquiry, examination, appeal or deportation at an immigration station or other place satisfactory to the Minister.
EXAMINATION OF PERSONS SEEKING ADMISSION OR ENTRY
18 - Examination by Immigration Officers(1)Every person seeking admission shall first appear before an immigration officer at a port of entry or at such other place as may be designated by an immigration officer in charge of the port of entry for examination as to whether he is or is not admissible.
(2)Every person shall answer truthfully all questions put to him by an immigration officer at an examination and his failure to do so shall be forthwith reported by the immigration officer to a Special Inquiry Officer and shall be sufficient ground for deportation where so ordered by the Special Inquiry Officer.
(3)Unless the examining immigration officer is of the opinion that it would or may be contrary to a provision of this Act or the regulations to admit a person examined by by him,, he shall, after such examination, immediately grant admission to such person.
21 - Rejection orders and reports on persons seeking admission(1)Where an immigration officer, after examination of a person seeking to enter into Trinidad and Tobago, is of opinion that it would or may be contrary to a provision of this Act or the regulations to grant admission to such person into Trinidad and Tobago, he may either -
(a)make an order for the rejection of such person; or
(b)cause such person to be detained pending the submission of a report to a Special Inquiry Officer.
(2)A person in respect of whom an order for rejection has been made under subsection (1) (a) who is aggrieved by the making of such order may forthwith give notice of appeal to the immigration officer.
(3)Where a notice of appeal has been given under subsection (2), the immigration officer shall forthwith make arrangements for the appeal to be heard and determined by a Special Inquiry Officer.
(4)Where a notice of appeal has been given under subsection (2), the immigration officer may either -
(a)cause such person to be detained pending the hearing and the determination of such appeal; or
(b)release such person on such terms and conditions as he thinks fit having regard to all the circumstances of the case.
(5)The provisions of section 20(2) and (3) shall apply for the purposes of an order for rejection made against a person under subsection (1) (a).
25 - Decision after inquiry(1)At the conclusion of the hearing of an inquiry, the Special Inquiry Officer shall give his decision in writing as soon as possible and shall give it in the presence of the person concerned wherever practicable.
(2)Where the Special Inquiry Officer decides that the person concerned is a person to whom section 4 relates, he shall, upon giving his decision, admit or let such person come into Trinidad and Tobago or remain therein, as the case may be.
(3)Where the Special Inquiry Officer decides that the person concerned is a person who -
(a)in the case of a permitted entrant, is not a member of a prohibited class;
(b)in the case of a person other than a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago, or a resident who is in Trinidad and Tobago, is not proved to a person described in section 8(1)(d), (e), (f), (j), (k), (l), (m) or (o); or
(c)in the case of a resident who is in Trinidad and Tobago is not proved to have lost that status by reason of section 7(1),
he shall, upon giving his decision, subject, in the case of the admission of a person mentioned in paragraph (a), to the provisions of this Act and any directions to the contrary given him by the Minister, admit or let such person come into Trinidad and Tobago or remain therein, as the case may be.
(4)In the case of a person other than a person referred to in subsection (2), the Special Inquiry Officer shall, upon giving an adverse decision make an order for the deportation of such person.
Part III - DEPORTATION AND TRANSPORTATION
28 - Deportation service of orderA deportation order or copy thereof shall be served upon the person against whom it is made and upon such other persons and in such manner as may be prescribed.
29 - Execution of deportation; Return of deportee; Arrangements for deportees(1)Unless otherwise provided in this Act, a deportation order shall be executed as soon as practicable.
(2)A deportation order does not become invalid on the ground of any lapse of time between its making and execution, and remains valid after execution unless cancelled by the Minister.
(3)An appeal against a deportation order shall stay the execution of the order pending the decision thereon.
(4)A person who has committed an offence against this Act or the regulations may, notwithstanding the fact that a deportation order has been made against him, be prosecuted and required to undergo any punishment that may be imposed upon him in respect of such offence before he is deported.
(5)A deportation order that has been made against a person who was at the time of its issue an inmate of any prison or becomes an inmate of such an institution before the order can be executed, shall not be executed until such person has completed the sentence or term of imprisonment awarded or at the expiration of his sentence or term of imprisonment as reduced or remitted by lawful authority.
(a)A person in respect of whom a deportation order is made shall leave Trinidad and Tobago in accordance with the terms of the order, and shall thereafter so long as the order is in force remain out of Trinidad and Tobago;
(b)Any person who contravenes the foregoing provisions of this subsection is guilty of an offence.
(c)Any person who returns to Trinidad and Tobago in contravention of a deportation order may again be deported under the original order.
(7)Subject to subsection (9), a person against whom a deportation order has been issued shall be deported to the place whence he came to Trinidad and Tobago or to the country of which he is a national or citizen or to the country of his birth or to such country as may be approved by the Minister under this Act.
(8)Any person who, having been removed or otherwise lawfully sent out of Trinidad and Tobago, enters or resides in Trinidad and Tobago without the permission in writing of the Minister is liable on summary conviction to a fine of one thousand five hundred dollars and to imprisonment for six months and, in addition to any penalty for such offence, is liable to be removed or again removed, as the case may be, from Trinidad and Tobago.
(9)Unless otherwise directed by the Minister or an immigration officer in charge, a person against whom a deportation order has been made may be requested or allowed to leave Trinidad and Tobago voluntarily, provided he complies with the conditions governing voluntary departure.
(10)Where any person is ordered to be removed from Trinidad and Tobago under the provisions of this Act, the Minister of Chief Immigration Officer may order such person to be detained in custody for such period as may be necessary for the purpose of making arrangements for his removal, so however that any person detained under this subsection who appeals under the provisions of section 21 or section 27 against the order of removal may, in the discretion of the Minister or Chief Immigration Officer, be released pending the determination of his appeal, on such conditions as to furnishing security or otherwise as the Minister of Chief Immigration Officer considers fit.
(11)Subject to the determination of any appeal under section 27, a person who is ordered to be removed from Trinidad and Tobago may be placed aboard a suitable vessel by a police officer or immigration officer, and may be lawfully detained on board such vessel, so long as the vessel is within the territorial limits of Trinidad and Tobago.
(12)Any person who is detained in custody in pursuance of an order made by the Minister or Chief Immigration Officer under subsection (10) may be so detained in any prison, police station or immigration depot, or in any other place appointed for the purpose by the Minister or Chief Immigration Officer.
30 - Jurisdiction of courtSubject to section 31 (3) no court has jurisdiction to review, quash, reverse, restrain or otherwise interfere with any proceeding, decision or order of the Minister, the Chief Immigration Officer, a Special Inquiry Officer or an immigration officer had, made or given under the authority of and in accordance with this Act relating to the detention or deportation of any person, upon any ground whatsoever, unless such person is a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago or is a resident.
31 - Right of appeal for citizens and residents(1)Subject to the provisions of subsection (2), an appeal shall lie to a judge of the High Court and thence to the Court of Appeal against any rejection order or deportation order of the Minister, a Special Inquiry Officer, or an Immigration Officer, with respect to a person who claims to be a citizen or resident of Trinidad and Tobago or any declaration as to loss of resident status under section 7(4).
(2)Notwithstanding the provisions of section (1), there shall be no appeal by a person referred to in section 8(1)(l), (m), (o) or (q) against a declaration of the Minister under section 7(4).
(3)A person to whom section 50(5) applies may appeal to a judge of the High Court, whose decision thereon shall be final, on the ground that there is a reasonable excuse for his failure to apply for permission to become a resident in accordance with section 50(1) or, where his application is refused because the Minister considers that such person was not ordinarily resident in Trinidad and Tobago for a period of five years from the commencement of this Act, he may appeal on the ground that he was so ordinarily resident.
(4)Rules of Court may be made by the Rules Committee under section 77 of the Supreme Court of Judicature Act for regulating and prescribing the procedure on appeal from the decision of the person making the rejection order or deportation order or any other matter in respect of which an appeal may lie under this section to a judge of the High Court and therefrom to the Court of Appeal.