No more excuses on immigration paperwork

| 01/02/2012

Immigration Q-matic machine(2).jpg(CNS): In just one month’s time Cayman’s busiest government department will be clamping down on paperwork infringements. After 1 March officials at the Immigration office will no longer accept incomplete applications. This applies to applications in all three islands and for all kinds of permits and immigration issues from permanent residency to a temporary permit. The Department is urging the public to ensure all applications are properly completed. Officials said the move will mean better business practice because incomplete applications slow down the processing time for all applications.

“The entire objective is to ensure we reduce the number of review times, thereby resulting in a quicker turn-around time for all of our customers,” said Deputy Chief Immigration Officer Samantha Bennett.

The public is also urged to submit their applications as early as possible. “Submitting an application at the last hour before the permit expires can have detrimental consequences for the applicant if the Department has to reject an application for incompleteness,” the department stated in an official release.

If employers submit the complete application after the work permit has expired employees will have no authority under the Law to continue working.  The worker will then have to be regularised as a visitor, the department warned. When employers allow their permits to expire according to the Law there is nothing actually in place to renew. This may result in the employer being asked to submit a full grant application, which can have further financial implications.

“When we process application we need to ensure that our efforts are focussed on customers providing the required documentation needed to make a proper decision,” Chief Immigration Officer Linda Evans explained. “It will no longer be acceptable for our limited staff to use their time to follow up with employers to submit missing documentation.  This valuable time will now be utilised to turn completed applications around faster.” 

The department also said there are new requirements for people applying for a dependent spouse or child over 18 years. Applicants will now need a full medical for both a spouse and child over 18 years if they wish for them to be included on their work permit grant, work permit renewal or temporary work permit as their dependent.
In addition, if an individual is applying for a work permit renewal, work permit grant or temporary work permit they are required to get a police clearance certificate and where an employer’s Trade & Business Licence has expired, a copy of the receipt of payment for its renewal is required.

Work permits in certain categories of profession also have specific requirements. Nurses and health practitioners, those working in the electrical, diving, plumbing, security officers and financial services sectors all need to ensure they meet the requirements such as CIMA approval letter for managerial positions

A complete list of all the minimum requirements to make an application are listed on a checklist at the back of all application forms but the boards reserve the right when deliberating to request additional documentation they feel may assist them in making a decision, the department warned.

Immigration officials said it was the intention to indicate to the customer the reasons why their applications are not accepted, should the Department find that applications are incomplete but after the 1 march cut-off date the applications will not be receipted and will not enter the system for processing.

For more information visit for more information, where new checklists and a complete list of forms can be found.

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Comments (21)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Kudos to the immigration team!

  2. Curious M says:

    Immigration apparently scans everything being submitted at the counter or in the mail. They can retrieve a document that I dropped off but had not been received by another area. Which was impressive for gov. If u tell them what date submitted or dropped off they can find it for you. I have renewed confidence in them. They are at least trying to do something.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I lash out on the Immigration Dept when they are careless; an boy haven't i had some experiences with them.  However I must commend them on my recent expereince.  On December 19, 2011 I submitted a work permit application for my domestic helper, this was a grant not a renewal.  There was no letter in the mail requesting any additional information; however I thought that it was due to the christmas and new years holidays.  On January 17, I checked on the status of the application and was shocked to learn that the application was approved; less than a month, I was most shocked again to receive the approval letter, license and all via email within a few days.  Now you see why I am commending them. 

    The staff of the Immigration Dept can do better; they just need to put the right person in positions and not family, friends and family friends.  I later learnt that Mr. Jeremy Scott is the Acting Administrator of the Work Permit Board – what else could i expect from a fine, discipline, dedicated person like Mr. Scott.  I hope Ms. Evans confirm him to that post.

  4. pioneerdiver says:

    so in return immigration will no longer lose complete forms or parts of applications? or work on in in time, so that the 3 months period one has to get a health certificate in hasn't passed and one has to do it over again?? Ok, sounds like a plan…

  5. Anonymous says:

    Just more lame Caymankind excuses for the well documented pathetic incompetence of another Catmanian run Government funded department.  Blame it on the people who need immigration services and pay for it.  Blame it on all the many, many poor persons who have waited in line only to be told the paperwork they have allready submited has somehow been lost.  Again.  And its not their fault.  Political hireing of incomptent relatives starting at the top and working throughout the system has proven that it does not work once again.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Errrrrrrrrrrrrrr why is Linda Evans now making rules for Cayman Brac. Last time we all in the Brac checked the Immigration Dept. here does not fall under her. Immigration Officers here cant even transfer to Immigration in Grand Cayman to work even if there is a vacancy – as they are not the same department. We know that it should be as there is only one Immigration Law (and no where in that law does it speak to District Administration being in charge of Brac Immigration) but …………every time you need assistance in the Brac because of some incompetence or favouritism or corruption etc etc and you go to Ms. Evans you are told "Immigration in the Brac does not fall under me".  Come on guys make up your minds. Also the Brac Immigration must be commended as being extremely efficient with regards to getting work permits processed – they are the bomb – very efficient.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Should be a good thing, if every submission now must have all the necessary paperwork there is no room for them to say you haven't handed in x piece of paper, shouldn't it?  Works both ways.

  8. Anonymous says:

    This is so counterproductive.  Much of the time immigration make the rules up as you go along.  They often ask for something that is not a part of a published checklist when submitting documents.  I was even asked recently to submit a notarized copy of my status certificate In effect they are asking me to give them a notarized copy of something they issued to me!

    And when they needed more information on another item, (that wasnt on their published checklist) they stalled the applicaiton and sent a letter.  So why then do they ask for an email address on the application if they are not going to use it?  It delayed my application for over a week while the letter took its own sweet time to reach me.

    • Anonymous says:

      Because they can.  Some of it is because of their obviouse imcompetence and the rest is just because they are mean and don't like expats.  If I am wrong please someone in immigration answer the mans question correctly.

  9. Anonymous says:

    My trip to immigration was relatively painless and the officer I dealt with was very polite and VERY helpful and I was happy that I was able to deal with the same officer on my 2nd visit (I did not have all my paperwork together as I thought I did). I think it depends on whom you deal with. I do believe some officers actually like their jobs and do want to do a good job for members of the public.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Make sure to photocopy all submitted documents and ask kindly to get a stamp on every one to prove all was handed in. Make sure to photocopy them before 😉

  11. Anonymous says:

    10.04  Once the resumes say Caymanian or Status on it ,they are thrown in the trash or deleted . Once an expat gets a job and a Caymanians  applies that fill that position – you can forget it. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry to burst your bubble with facts, but I recently applied for 4 jobs, 3 of them went to Caymanians. The job offering the least remuneration oddly no Caymanians applied for.

      • Anonymous says:

        The poster is not altogether wrong. That does happen with some employers. Thankfully there are sitll some good ones.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yep…you're totally correct. Most of the time an overqualified expat will be passed over for someone far less competent or educated…then everyone wonders why things are the way they are…

  12. Anonymouse says:

    The majority of times they would send back the paperwork not completed except for the favorites. Now it should be equal for everyone.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Boy they have alot of nerve.  Approximately 10 counters there, maybe at any given time 5 are opened….you know that you have attached all requested information, and then you get a letter stating something is missing.  Unbelievable in a time like this…

  14. Anonymous says:

    The irony behind this is that Immigration cant recognize what a "complete" application is either. Rarely would you find 2 people in Immigration that know exactly what you need to provide

  15. The Questionater says:

    So does this mean that in just one months time there will be competent and capable people working in the Immigration Department?

  16. so Anonymous says:

    Now all they need is a law to keep the pissed off workers there from filing neccesay paperwork in the trash can and makeing it hard for the very people they are being payed to help.  Lost police reports, lost this , lost that, is the norm and it all can't be written off as incompetence.

    • Anonymous says:

      Two million dollar questions when it comes to Immigration: 

      1) Was the loss of documentation due to incompetence or intent?

      2) Why do they need the same documentation over and over, after having acknowledged receipt of it already? For instance, birth certificates. Or proof of Residency. Do they have any clue how inefficient this is?