“You’ve got mail” from immigration

| 01/02/2011

(CNS): The immigration department began sending e-mails last week to people awaiting work permit decisions, speeding up the process. The new fast track service, which sends the approval to the applicant as soon as a decision is made, is one of a number of modernisation initiatives taking place at immigration, officials said on Monday. Enhancements currently being made to the Immigration database means that so far only good news can be sent electronically, so while approval notification licences can be sent immediately after a board meeting, further technical changes are still required before deferrals or refusals can be sent the same way. The move is one of a number of initiatives the department is adopting in an effort to make the system work better for business.

“This is the first phase of delivering enhanced online services to the Cayman business community,” said Chief Immigration Officer Linda Evans. “We are also re-engineering other internal manual processes and introducing technology wherever possible to maximise efficiency and improve turnaround times. Operating in these difficult economic times forces us to think outside the box and come up with solutions that not only save money but allow our limited human resources to be utilized in more productive ways.”

Evans added that the service should prove to be a real asset, given that the department handled over 21,000 work permit applications last year.

Information on client needs was gathered over several months via a customer survey, focus groups and staff brainstorming sessions. Evans said staff arrived at practical solutions to customer needs with help from Deloitte, which conducted the survey at no cost. Technical arrangements to facilitate the email project were led by Computer Services Department Applications Project Manager Mick Whitworth.

“Once the groundwork was done, we tested it on a pilot group of seven of Immigration’s largest corporate clients during December. The group included an employment agency, which also provided valuable feedback,” Whitworth said.

Local businesses in the new email initiative are asked to send their current email addresses to IMM_IS@gov.ky so that they can be put into the database. The department intends to publicly launch its new web-online access at the end of February.

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  1. Anonymous says:


    This is the one thousandths headline about immigration improving it’s self in 10 years… just slightly edging out "middle east peace agreement" for the number 1 slot.

  2. Anonymous says:



    It seems like Government is finally beginning to use technology in a way that helps business and reduces its cost.

    Good work – whoever is behind the scenes showing them these things.

  3. Cat says:

    I like this Idea as well due to the fact, that records of the emails being sent will be electronically archived on the Government Servers, and the WP Board can go back if necessary and see what has been sent, and it’s great for auditing purposes.

    The Immigration Dept, does have the bad luck to sometimes lose documents or approval letters for WP & Status holders in the past,so this can become a great tracking tool.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I hate to be negative but this is an absolute joke that they are finally utilizing e-mail. I would probably be more excited about this news if I was still living in the 90’s. We are one of the richest countries in the world and we have plenty of local IT talent, yet everything is still 10 years behind. I don’t care how small we are, that should make it even easier. We need to start setting our standards a lot higher and I think we should (and can) be several years ahead of the US/UK when it comes to technology.

    The government needs to modernize and automate all of their systems in every department this year. I  would love to see McKeeva take this initiative as it would save millions every year and be better for the people of Cayman.

    • Right ya so says:

      Then don’t be negative!  Govt’s the world over are known for being years behind the private sector so it shouldn’t be a surprise that we are just now utilising the internet for notifications – just be thankful that it is finally being done.

      And hats off to the ladies at the immigration call centre who are all really quite well informed, extremely friendly and quick to find the correct answer to your query. A huge change from 4 years ago when I can remember dialing 949 8344 10 mins past the hour for 8 hours for at least 3 days in a row before I got a response!

      I for one say thank you for all of the improvements/modernisations finally being put in place.

    • Anonymous says:

       Haha! "We are one of the richest countries in the world". Hahahahaa

    • Anonymous says:

      Unfortunately there are those who cannot read so nor understand to use email. Also alot of employers who apply for w permits for a domestic helper are the elderlys, who do not understand emails.

  5. Anonymous says:

    This is a great step,all the business people coming to the Islands selling their ware without a permit will have no excuse.the can apply on line and have the approval sent to them by email so they will have to produce it at the port of arrival. No more shady dealing let collect some $$$$$ from these people..