5-day work permits coming, says CIO

| 10/11/2010

(CNS): Senior Immigration Department staff finished a round of public meetings in the one district where the chief immigration officer does not have control of immigration. While CIO Linda Evans headed a panel held on Cayman Brac, District Commissioner Ernie Scott, who was also at the meeting, heads the department on the Sister Islands. Although she does not have oversight on the Brac, Evans laid out some of the improvements that are being made in customer service within the department, including five-day work permits given on entry, and greater use of technology to make the department more efficient.

Evans explained that the planned five-day work permits will be acquired at the airport on entry and will allow companies to access people outside the jurisdiction quickly. She said the person would arrive by invitation of a local company, would fill out a form at the airport and pay a fee for a 5-day non-renewable permit.

Another significant change to be implemented in boarder control is the requirement by immigration for airlines to supply an electronic manifest, which they will be able to use to scan a database for undesirables leaving and entering the jurisdiction, and could also screen for children in custody disputes.

A backlog of 1500 work permit applications has been reduced to 6,000, the CIO reported, while the turnaround for business staffing plans is now down to three or four weeks.

Explaining some of the improvements taking place in the Immigration Department to improve service and turnaround times, the CIO said they were embracing the use of technology. Starting with a pilot group this week they would approving licences by email, she said. The department is also working on improving online access so that employers can see the status of applications. If they are deferred they can see what was missing and if they are refused they can see why.

Staff will also be scanning active files – about 30,000 out of the total of some 126,000 files – so that they could be accessed electronically, starting in the coming weeks with work permit files, which would have the greatest impact. The department does not have the funding to completethe process but they were hoping to get enough in the next budget to finish, Evans said.

Figures for the Sister Islands, supplied by staff at the Brac office at the meeting since they are not apparently held by staff on Grand Cayman, revealed that between 1 January and 1 November 2010 the Immigration Board for Cayman Brac and Little Cayman processed 324 annual work permits, nine of which were refused. During this time period, the Sister Islands board also processed 281 temporary permits, eight of which were refused. Trade and Business licences are processed in Grand Cayman, and immigration received 144 applications from the Sister Islands, Brac staff said.

Senior Immigration Officer Roger Scott, who reports to District Commissioner Scott rather than CIO Evans, noted that status and permanent residency applications from the Brac are also processed in Grand Cayman and that the cultural tests also have to be done there.

Assistant Chief in the Enforcement and Intelligence Division, Jeremy Scott, said they rely on members of the community to inform them of breaches in immigration law. All anonymous reports are confidential and can be made on the new hotline (1-800-534 2546) or email address (legalim@gov.ky).

Scott said that between 1 July 2009 and 30 June 2010, the division made 108 arrests, of which 72% were male and 28% female, for a range of offenses, including illegal employment, altering documents, working without a permit, obstructing law enforcers and making false statements. Almost half (48%) were for overstaying, he said.

Fines incurred by culprits for the last fiscal year amounted to $181,000, compared to $73,161 the year before, an increase of 240%. In the first four months of this current fiscal year, they have already handed out $76,000 worth of fines, Scott said.

 

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Comments (19)

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  1. Just Smilin' says:

    I love the statement: "A backlog of 1500 work permit applications has been reduced to 6,000, the CIO reported, while the turnaround for business staffing plans is now down to three or four weeks." (Down from what, a turnaround of seven to ten days?)

    Methinks it is a typo, but then the figures quoted are believable knowing how tings bees in government ’round yah.

  2. The Cleaner says:

    It seems to me that the Immigration Board of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman are on the ball trying to controlour borders. Can we say the same for Cayman ?. I dont think so.   I have a dream that one day,  Cayman Brac and Little Cayman will secede Cayman.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      No one was complaining about the Immigration Board in Cayman Brac. What was said is that the Immigration Department in the Brac should be reporting to the Chief Immigration Office in Grand Cayman as mandated by LAW and not the the District Commissioner who is not mandated in LAW to head the Immigration Department and its Boards.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps he is more accessible to the people.  Have YOU ever tried to get a response from the CIO?  And no its because the CIO is soooo immensely busy…it just shouldnt take 12 months to answer one question….but it does!

    • Anonymous says:

      Better to wait to get an answer from the CIO and get a right answer than to get a fast answer from the DC which is wrong or the answer given suits their personal agendas and is not correct in law.

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh really???!!  You better check with your lawyer to make sure  the answers you got from Grand Cayman are indeed correct before you get on here suggesting that the answers given by the DC are wrong!

  4. Anonymous says:

    5. (1) There is established a Board called the Cayman Brac and Little Cayman Immigration Board which shall consist of-

    Cayman Brac and Little Cayman Immigration Board

    (a) a Chairman;

    (b) a deputy Chairman; and

    (c) three other members appointed by the Governor.

    (2) The members of the Cayman Brac and Little Cayman Immigration Board shall be appointed by and hold office at the pleasure of the Governor.

    XXX

    CNS: I’ve deleted the rest of this comment as it is simply a cut and paste from the Immigration Law concerning the establishment of  the CB&LC Board and does not actually make a point. If anyone is interested the law can be downloaded here

    .

    • Anonymous says:

      It doesn’t make a point because there is no point to be made. No one is talking or criticising the Cayman Brac Immigration Board – they are doing a good job. What they are saying is that the Cayman Brac Immigration Department and the Board should be governed by the CIO in Grand Cayman as the law says they should be and not by the DC which is not correct in LAW

      • Anonymous says:

        Then the law should be changed to make it legal for the DC to administer the law in Cayman Brac. How many times has the CIO even visited Cayman Brac?!!

  5. Anonymous says:

    A fragmented Immigration Department makes no sense. The law speaks to a Chief Immigration Officer and thats all – it does not mention a District Commissioner being in charge of Immigration in the Brac or Little Cayman. This must change and Cayman Brac Immigration must be governed by Grand Cayman Chief Immigration Office who the law says should administer the law.

    • Florence Goring-Nozza says:

      How about some CAYMANIANS BEING CALLED BACK FOR A JOB  FIVE DAYS AFTER MAKING AN APPLICATION for one?

      Is there such  checks and balance existing within the labor office and immigration board systems?

      The answer is NO!

      Because they never get called bac at all regardless of how many degrees they have or how much experience or how qualified they may be.

      This war cocntinually waged against the livelihood of Caymanians is not only supported but only made possible  with the help and accommodation of our Government and the immigration Review Team together with the Labor Office.

      So why make an announcement telling the people that you now have found a better  and quicker way to screw them!

      • Anonymous says:

        Sure bet you have not let the Labour Department or Immigration know that you applied for the job. If you did then you would have been called for an interview. Just shows that you know nothing about how Labour in the Brac operates. I registered with the Brac Labour and have been sent to interviews – if I dont get the job and a work permit is issued then the blame lies with Immigration not Labour as IMMIGRATION GRANT WORK PERMITS not Labour.

        • anonymous says:

          You’re missing the point. Some of most of those interviews turn out to be a SHAM. Caymanians need jobs not just an INTERVIEW!

    • Anonymous says:

      So, if the law requires the CB and LC Immigration officers to report to the CIO in Grand Cayman why isn’t it happening? Whoever is allowing the seemingly unlawful administration of this office to take place should be made to explain it. I do agree though that it is beyond frustrating to try to reach the CIO either by telephone or email. Regardless of how many road shows are put on or what promise statements are thrown out to the publc it is obvious that the management style at that department is a  failure and someone needs to fix it.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Can anyone say if it is legal for the Immigration Department in Cayman Brac to be headed by the District Commissioner and the Immigration Law to be administered by the District Commissioner? Is this part of the law or once again just a government policy to justify having the District Commissioner position. I dont think it is law – the law says the Brac has its own Board to do work permits – however status etc. is done by Grand Cayman Immigration Boards. I dont think that it is right to have someone who is not trained in the law and is not charged by law to administer the law to be in charge. This used to be the same with the Post Offices and it had to be changed when challenged because the Postal Law made no mention of the District Commissioner being in charge it said the Post Master/Mistress General. I beleive it is the same with the Immigration Law and speaks to a Chief Immigration Officer not a District Commissioner. Any one have any answers to this?????????/

    • anonymous says:

      Of course its illegal. I’m sure Julie worked this out with Big Mac.

      However the Brac and Little Cayman are a part of the Cayman Islands so someone is operating  illegally and AUTOCRATICALLY.  Typical UDP!

      The person in charge of Immigration in Cayman Brac SHOULD REPORT DIRECTLY TO MS. LINDA EVANS WHO IS THE CHIEF IMMIGRATION OFFICER OF THE CAYMAN ISLANDS IMMIGRATION SERVICE!

      My little kitty cat knows this.

      CNS: Just to clarify, the DC on Cayman Brac has always been in charge of immigration and customs, as well as other departments, such as PWD and Treasury — so your claim that this is a UDP issue is wrong. He does not, however, head the police, the fire service or planning in the Sister Islands. In another anomaly, while he has no say in the delivery of education at primary and high school levels, District Administration heads up the Brac Day Care Centre. The post office was moved from the responsibility of DA to the CI Postal Service under the previous UDP administration when Juliana O’Connor Connolly was minister of District Administration. The situation now is the same as when the PPM came to power in 2005.

      • Anonymous says:

        Now that CNS has brought the Customs Department into the mix – the DC should not be in charge of this department either. He is not mandated by the Customs Law so to be. This is not a UDP or PPM anomaly as it has been in place for many many many years. IT MUST BE CHANGED it is illegal for the DC to be in charge of these departments as the law does not give him the authority to be.

        • Anonymous says:

          Well if it is illegal I think that the law should be amended to allow the District Commissioner to legally administer these laws on behalf of the heads of these departments. The man is obviously doing a good job of it!!  Those in charge in Grand Cayman hardly even visit the sister islands much less be availble to advise the CB people. Strange that I do not see people complaining from the other departments mentioned by CNS but I suspect that many of you posting on here are beating up on the DC because of personal interest. Leave the man alone, it is obvious that he and his predecessors have kept Cayman Brac and Little Cayman safe and the departments are operating much more efficiently under his leadership than those in Grand Cayman.  Keep up the good work Mr. Scott and thanks for having the respect to reply to people who telephone or write to you.

        • Anonymous says:

          CNS also point out that the long standing custom has been for all of the departments named to be administered by the DC. The system is working and working well so get over it! The DC is a good manager and I don’t have to go to a bar room to try to find him.