Waiting time info and wifi aim to ease immigration pains

| 17/12/2015 | 32 Comments
Cayman News Service

The immigration department now accepts credit and debit cards

(CNS): The immigration department has introduced a new service to give customers an idea of waiting times for a given service ahead of their visit to the office in Elgin Avenue and is also offering a free wifi service while they wait to see an immigration officer to make dealing with one of government’s busiest offices a little less painful. The department is also now accepting debit and credit card payments in addition to the previous methods of cash and cheque.

The department said in a release that its service offerings now include online access to view waiting times for services at the front counter. Customers can log onto www.immigration.gov.ky and click on the button “Immigration Online” to  sign up  and check the anticipated waiting time for a particular service at the public counter.

“We are cognizant that, at times, waiting can be lengthy, so the wifi access has been provided to customers for their personal use and has been a great success,” said Deputy Chief Immigration Officer Samantha Bennett. ”We are currently working on additional areas where we can make the customer service experience a pleasant and efficient one, and we will strive to make additional improvements in early 2016.”

Acting Chief Immigration Officer Bruce Smith said the initiatives would bring greater value to the customer experience and a move in the direction of positive change generally. From a staffing development perspective, increased numbers of staff from various sections of the department have been introduced to, and are actively participating in, internal cross-training.

“The aim of widening this initiative is to foster a culture of flexibility and personal development, enabling staff to respond to fluctuating workflows and the seamless delivery of service to customers, even in times of staff capacity shortfalls,” Smith added.

English Language tests for work permit applications can now be booked by telephone and email, eliminating the need to visit the office in person to schedule such an appointment. This can be arranged through the Immigration Call Centre on (345) 949-8344 or on englishtestdoi@gov.ky.

Immigration is also reminding the public that the office has extended opening hours on Wednesday evenings, from 4pm to 7pm.

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Comments (32)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    It would be far better if free morphine was given out.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Fake nails prevent an employee using a credit card machine efficiently.

  3. Anonymous says:

    So now you will know the wait time before you get to the counter and then told your paperwork is wrong because you didn’t complete pink form 357 which was introduced the day before and needs to be notarized by one of only two JP’s that are currently off island and returning in February.

    • Anonymous says:

      The cult of notarization is a disgrace in Cayman. There is no need for this American affectation to be required for just about everything. A pathetic waste of time and money.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Donuts. Donut-based incentives will speed things up.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Replace them all with UK border agency staff

  6. Anonymous says:

    Immigration in Cayman, also Customs as a joint body , do not necessarily have overly long wait times , if you compare to other countries when dealing with admin’ details on a daily basis. Also , the staff have got a lot more courteous in both departments over the past couple of years. Some degree of credit is due them for trying to get their government departments in the right direction & make improvements when & where necessary.

  7. Anonymity says:

    What difference does knowing the waiting time makes? You will still have to sit there for whatever LONG time ther service will take.
    Here is a brilliant idea to improve the pain,,,,,Get more efficient Dept. of Immigration

  8. Garyv@yahoo.com says:

    Please do not change this system. Whilst this is slow and inefficient I am making a killing taking as many numbers as I can get and selling them 1 hour later outside.
    People will pay good money for a low number that gets them to the counter quicker.
    A1 – A10 on a Monday morning can fetch upwards of 50 dollars.
    Between here and the vehicle licensing, I will have made enough cash way before roll over!

  9. Anonymous says:

    At least they are trying to do something positive for a change. Yes, it is a dollar short and a dozen decades late, but maybe, just maybe, there is a sliver of light at the end of the all day wait tunnel. I hope so because the present system stinks like old cheese dipped in a dirty toilet.

    If govt had to run a business for profit things would be different. But they have no accountability, and no motivation to do a good job. They can just jack up the fees and charge us all for their incompetence. That coupled with politics and apathy defines our civil service.

    Yes there are some great employees of CIG. And we are all weirdly thankful for people who actually do their jobs. It is so funny, someone was actually helpful to me in a govt. dept. this week and I was so shocked that I nearly fell to the floor. Should not everyone do their job well? Should not everyone be kind and helpful.

  10. Anonymous says:

    wow, what a progress! The rest of the world conducts 90% of immigration business online.

  11. Anonymous says:

    fill all vacancies with paper Caymanians and driftwood

  12. Anonymous says:

    A message to my fellow Filipinos:

    lahat ng mga test english ay online sa lalong madaling panahon mga kapatid dont takot magkakaroon kami ng higit pang lakas …….. malapit nang dumating !

    More Power!

    • Anonymous says:

      “all English test online soon brothers dont fear we will have more strength coming soon ……..”

    • D.T. says:

      English tests should not be done online. But I would agree that they should not always be required at the airport on arrival.

      Applicants should be able to have a test administered at a UK consulate in their home country for a fee equal to the current repatriation fee.

      An immigration officer who feels the results were falsified could then order a re test on arrival.

      I also feel that all workers from non english speaking countries have a return ticket to present on first arrival.

      And the wall… Lets not forget about that wall.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Waiting time before you are told to go away: 30 minutes.
    Waiting time before PR assessed: Decades.
    Waiting time for married gay couples to be treated equally: 3 months.
    Waiting time before illegal PR work permit equivalence fees are clawed back from CIG: Sooner that CIG can imagine.

  14. Anonymous says:

    That sounds fair since the employees are always texting and surfing.
    They think because they leave their phones on the counter they don’t know that we know what we are doing.

  15. Knot S Smart says:

    Waiting time at Immigration – two hours…
    Waiting time for Cayman Status – two years…
    Waiting time for Permanent Residence – twenty years…
    Remember to pick a number when you come in the door please – or your waiting time will be for eternity…

  16. Anonymous says:

    Welcome to 2005.

  17. Diogenes says:

    Waiting time info – if you are waiting for a decision on your PR application, around 8 years

  18. Anonymous says:

    “Now accepts debit and credit cards”, what a joke. I bet they are are still entering transactions in to a written general ledger. Looking into my crystal ball I see they will be accepting payments via mobile device in 2050.

    • Anonymous says:

      Only customs and licensing accept debit and credit cards so this is a milestone for government. What about Lands and Survey, Planning, etc.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hey the staff don’t make up the Laws they just enforce them. you wait 30 mins to be told your paperwork is incomplete because you don’t read properly the requirements and check list and then what its Immigrations problem. I commend the dept as they are always getting a bad rap considering they have some exceptional workers. Give them a break. more Govmt agencies need to be progressive like them

  19. Anonymous says:

    I was there last week – wait time 1.5 hours – unacceptable when there are 5 counters not staffed! How about you employ some of your ‘2000 unemployed’ in these positions and have the counters fully staffed at all times…

    • CayGuy says:

      Good point. What’s even more worrying is that the 2000 unemployed has to do with Government’s continued reliance on the gravy that is work permit revenues. Let’s be real, it really is government in this day of age to mostly blame when the # of permits increase and on the other side, they are registering unemployed Caymanian folks with their vastly inefficient NWDA workforce unit

    • Anonymous says:

      Have you ever been to the immigration office in England for example? Cayman might be bad and need improvement, but so are the other first world countries…just saying….

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