CIG releases bills to end immigration department

| 25/10/2018 | 28 Comments
corruption, Cayman News Service

Cayman Islands Department of Immigration

(CNS): With government planning to return to the Legislative Assembly in mid-November, it has now published a number of bills for final public consultation ahead of the anticipated parliamentary debates on the end of the immigration department. Several of the new draft laws relate to the impending split of the current department into two entities, which will separate the labour function from border protection work. Immigration will be phased out as the new agency, Workforce Opportunities and Residency Cayman (WORC), is created to handle work permit and residency issues, while the Customs and Border Control (CBC) agency takes over protection and enforcement.

Financial Secretary Kenneth Jefferson confirmed to the Public Accounts Committee on Thursday that the responsibility for both of the new agencies will now be under the premier’s remit. This includes customs, which has always been the responsibility of the finance ministry because of its major fee collection function. However, it will now move to the immigration ministry, which falls under the premier’s growing portfolio.

The draft laws seek to establish the future operations and the statutory framework for WORC and the CBC by laying out the new responsibilities and functions they will deliver. WORC will take over all of the current workforce development agency and some immigration work, while the border patrol agency will be created by merging the remaining immigration elements with the current customs department.

Government has said that further amendments to legislation are expected in the New Year as WORC begins to implement online and automated information systems.

According to the objectives of the Immigration (Transition) Bill, this split will make the work permit and residency process more efficient. WORC will also take over responsibility for training and developing Caymanians to meet the needs of the existing workforce as well as monitor labour market information and trends.

The rules surrounding the work permit process will remain largely the same but it is hoped that the agency will pay closer attention to the need to prioritise Caymanians in all recruitment decisions while enabling companies to recruit overseas workers when they need to.

It has been called a transition bill because many elements of the new regime will likely change as WORC begins to take shape. In the interim, the boards, such as those dealing with business staffing plans, permanent residency and Caymanian status applications, will remain in place until further legislative changes are made, the draft bill states.

Meanwhile, the new CBC agency will be formally established under its own new piece of legislation. This will see the collection of duties and all other customs enforcement elements merged with the landing, entry, asylum or deportation of immigrants to become an integrated border protection agency.

Changes to the Advanced Passenger Information Bill will round out the necessary legislation that will pave the way for the fundamental changes to how Cayman deals with immigration, all of which is scheduled to begin on 1 January next year.

See the relevant bills in the CNS Library

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Category: Border Control, Crime, Customs, Government Administration, Immigration, Politics

Comments (28)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Does that mean my work permit applications for staff will be delayed? Will this affect my friends RERC? I want to hire him too but not until he gets his RERC. He has been waiting since August.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Yes, I believe the full title is “A Bill for a Law to End the Immigration Department and for Incidental and Connected Purposes”

  3. Anonymous says:

    Will it now be easier to hire a domestic helper?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hopefully WORC will take a serious look at the job ads being placed and make sure that the requirements are truly justified.

    I think the hiring of Caymanians would be better assured if WORC did the hiring for all job ads being placed. Make a section of the department that will look at jobs positions and will find out. not by the company who is a hiring, but world standards on the qualifications needed for a job.

    I’ve ads posted for a position in another company that I do and the qualifications do not fit the job. They are wanting a lot more and unnecessary qualifications for something a level higher than an entry level position.

    It’s was obvious where that company was going by posting the ad and in fact I have a friend that works at that company and she told me that someone overseas had already been positioned to fill the post but they still had to post it.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree a lot could be done to stop the misuse of the advertising situation, but God forbid that a government department starts dealing with job placements. Nothing will ever get done; decisions will take forever and businesses will close down in the meantime….

    • Anonymous says:

      Say bye to all the offshore business if that ever happens.

  5. Anonymous says:

    We have been asking for this change for 15 years.

    The work permit system of Boards full of political supporters trying to decide who gets a work permit simply has not worked.

    Thank you PPM another promise delivered.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ummm, perhaps you should read some more. Same boards. Same system. Different name.

    • Anonymous says:

      Breaking the Immigration Department through sheer mismanagement and incompetence is cause for celebration? My God, some of us are truly sick and misguided individuals.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Their first project will be how they gain efficiency by merging, but that will take many years and many consultants.

    • Anonymous says:

      Five years from now and $5 million in consultant fees later… Result: Consultants highly recommend combining WORC and CBC agencies into a single Immigration department to increase efficiency and synergy.

      • Happy420 says:

        Tell CIG where they can deposit your consult fee$ oh wait they will a few more to tell them the same thing once more and spend thousands on fees

      • Anonymous says:

        5 years later a head administrators daughter reads an obscure article in a educational periodical of the success of “segmenting” administrative processes in country X far far away. The department pays millions to research and travel to country X. Nothing comes of it but now the head administrators family vacations in country X and plans to buy property while attending conferences to learn better how to segment or break up government units for efficiency.

  7. Anonymous says:

    …and continued deferral of enacting the Standards in Pubic Life Law (2014). Nothing this regime touches will be free of slime until some semblance of corruption/conflict and personal interest disclosures become public domain for public officials and senior civil service workers in the Cayman Islands. Good governance under Section 117 of the Cayman Islands Constitution 2009 doesn’t seem to mean much to this lot. The gong show continues…

  8. Ron Ebanks says:

    This sounds like putting too many hands in the soup . Or too many cooks in the kitchen. Then you know what we will have. A damn big mess .

    • Josh be Gosh says:

      Why is it that there is always such a negative view point when change is effected in this country., Is it because we don’t understand why the change is necessary , or is it because an inbred syndrome and inability to accept change ingrained by recessive genees of a particular strain in this island.

      It behooves us to provide commentary that is meaningful and not continued asinine cliches about kitchen when we are talking about ensuring first of all the rights for able bodied qualified Caymanian and with experience to be employed. Secondly it is Neccesary to change a cumbersome decaying process flow of which there are a never ending myriad of complaints and which is totally antiquated.

      I say congrats and best wishes to all involved . Strive hard for excellence in all and ignore ignorant nay sayers who apparently have a lot of time on their hand.

      • Ron Ebanks says:

        So, Josh how do you see the new changes that government is doing with these departments and the Islands ?

      • Anonymous says:

        I wish I could be as positive as you are about it Josh. I’ve been here a long time and I just know anything this government does always goes down poorly. This new admin will not magically solve the problems immigration already has.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Like a racehorse with a broken leg. Rather than fix it, Government is putting it out of its misery. Still, better than nothing.

    • Anonymous says:

      Should have called the new department G.L.U.E.

    • Anonymous says:

      Given you can’t “fix” a race horse with a broken leg, I’m not sure you’re analogy holds much water. The Immigration Department needs such an overhaul and realignment and/or separation of duties and responsibilities this is really the only way. Not sure whether putting the Workforce department in with the rump of Immigration is the solution but Border Patrol and Enforcement needed separating. The administrative function of Immigration also needs a complete overhaul, as does the law.

      • Anonymous says:

        Actually, I have worked with horses all my life, including some rather famous racing stables. You can fix a race horse with a broken leg it very much depends on the kind and location of the break.

        • Anonymous says:

          And the Immigration department could have been fixed but heads would have had to roll and this is Cayman so…..

    • Anonymous says:

      Any chance of any accountability, or just sweeping it under the rug?

    • Anonymous says:

      Cat fix stupid and you cant fix stupider from telling us that stupid is legit.

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