The legislative changes central to the establishment of Workforce Opportunities Residency Cayman (WORC) and Customs and Border Control (CBC), will become effective next month.
The Immigration (Transition) Law, 2018 and the Customs and Border Control Law 2018, which passed in the Legislative Assembly in November 2018, will be brought into force on 1 February 2019 by Order of Cabinet.
The legislation provides the statutory framework for regulating migration management and border control during the next transition phase.
These new laws complete the transfer of functions, authorities and responsibilities from the Department of Immigration to WORC and CBC, which both become into being on the same date.
New regulations supporting the two primary pieces of legislation will also come into effect on 1 February 2019 to further facilitate the transition.
The and the provide detail to a range of matters contained in both laws.
“Although existing immigration and customs-related regulations are saved under those laws, new regulations are required to reflect the separation of immigration management and border control and to give effect to new requirements,” Chief Officer, Wesley Howell, said.
The new immigration-related regulations contain provisions for Temporary Work Permits (TWP) and Business Visitor Permits (BVP) to be submitted to and processed by WORC during this transition phase. The application process and forms will remain largely the same, until the online systems come online later in 2019.
The Customs and Border Control (Visas, Entry and Landing) Regulations supplement the Customs and Border Control Law, 2018 in matters relating to entry and landing, asylum, visas, deportation and other border control matters. The regulations also provide the ability to apply to the Director of CBC for Visitor Work Visas (VWV).
The requirements and entitlements of the CBC facility will remain as they were under immigration legislation, but authority for granting and managing VWV applications is transferred from the Chief Immigration Officer to the Director of the CBC and his officers.
The published Commencement Orders and regulations, Mr Howell says, is the start of the delivery on Government’s commitment to fulfill its policy objective to efficiently enhance and streamline the current Immigration processes, and provide intelligence-driven border control.
CBC Director (Designate), Charles Clifford, said: “Our obligation as a new border control agency is to strengthen the security and stability at the front lines of all Islands, and to ensure we continue our legacy as a safe and prosperous country for all.”
WORC Interim Director, Sharon Roulstone, added: “WORC is committed to delivering excellence and aspiring to be a World Class service provider. It will be a year of growth and new opportunities for all customers we serve, and we are excited to get started.”
Leaders with the CBC, WORC, as well as the Ministry of Human Resources and Immigration, will extend its public information and education campaign to ensure all stakeholders impacted by the changes are fully aware of the laws and new regulations.
The Passport & Corporate Office will remain a part of the Ministry as a stand-alone department.
During the initial stages of the transition, services for the CBC and WORC will continue to be offered from the current locations.
Interested persons can review the Commencement Orders and Regulations in full at .
A Customs Basic Training Course for 12 new Customs officers commenced on Monday 4th June 2018 following a recent recruitment drive.
The new officers will undergo 18 weeks of training which will cover an array of subjects including, but not limited to: the relevant laws and conventions, investigative techniques, arrest and exhibit handling procedures, revenue and ethics in law enforcement.
In preparation for the planned 2019 merger of the Customs and Immigration departments into a single Border Protection Agency, both departments have embarked on a strategy to cross train Customs and Immigration officers. Consequently, 4 new Immigration officers have joined their Customs colleagues on this course.
During his address to the Class of 2018 at the official opening on Monday 4th June, Collector of Customs Charles Clifford focused his comments on the subject of ethics in law enforcement and advised the new officers that they would learn more about this during their 18 weeks in training.
Collector Clifford said, “I am particularly pleased that we were able to attract well over 300 applicants during this last recruitment drive and that the 12 new Customs officers which emerged from that competitive process, collectively bring with them a good combination of skills, qualifications and experience that will benefit the department, and ultimately the public. The group includes 4 former police officers with substantial law enforcement experience and this will no doubt enhance the learning opportunities for the class and benefit the organisation as a whole.”
Acting Chief Immigration Officer Bruce Smith said “While joint training initiatives involving Customs and Immigration officers are not new, certainly Immigration officers scheduled as participants in a Customs Basic Training Course marks a momentous occasion and indeed signals the beginning of a planned strategy to introduce a single entity at the borders in the Cayman Islands. Similarly, there will be cross training and sensitisation opportunities in Entry and Landing and other border control techniques and applications.”
The Class of 2018 is expected to graduate this August and will then be deployed to active duty in the various sections of the Customs and Immigration departments.
The Cayman Islands Department of Immigration’s (DOI) Enforcement Division continues operations to tackle illegal immigration and bolster compliance with the country’s immigration laws.
Through proactive patrols and operations, DOI officers enforce the law to enhance public safety, border security and the integrity of the immigration system.
After reviewing the final data collected from the department’s recent Immigration Amnesty campaign, officials report that a total of 185 overstayers fled the Cayman Islands during the month of August 2018.
“The revised number of 185 includes the previously reported 14 persons that voluntarily turned themselves into the Enforcement Division,” Deputy Chief Immigration Officer, Gary Wong, explained. “The additional 171 individuals are comprised of those that simply left via airlines without notifying the department, and were identified as part of the post-amnesty assessment.”
Reports show that Jamaican nationals accounted for the highest number of overstayers with a total of 75, followed by Americans with 55 overstayers. A breakdown of the data by gender, age and nationality shows:• 91 males and 96 females• 179 adults and eight children (under age 18)• one Belizean national• one British Overseas Territory Citizen• two Barbadian nationals• five Canadian nationals• two Swiss nationals• two Chilean nationals• one Colombian national • four Cuban nationals• two Czech nationals• nine British nationals• 16 Honduran nationals• one Hungarian national • three Indian nationals• 75 Jamaican nationals • one Filipino national• three Swedish nationals• one Trinidadian national• 55 American nationals• one South African national
The longest period of overstaying was found to be 13 1/2 years, with 122 individuals found to have overstayed for less than one week.
“This year’s immigration amnesty was a component of a wider effort by the Cayman Islands Government to reduce crime as well as criminal activity,” Mr. Wong noted. “The successful campaign also allowed for employers and the public to play a critical role by providing information to help officials locate wanted individuals.”
Throughout the month of August, officers with the Enforcement Division continued to actively pursue those persons in breach of the Immigration Law, and those who did not take advantage of the amnesty period.
On 16 August 2018, enforcement officers carried out a targeted operation in the vicinity of Spotts, Newlands. The suspect, a male Jamaican national, was found working at a residence in the area, and was arrested on allegations of working outside the terms and conditions of a work permit.
On 23 August 2018, another targeted operation was conducted at a local business in the George Town area. Upon arrival, enforcement officers issued a search warrant to the business owner on suspicion of illegal employment. After officers proceeded to search the building, the female Jamaican national suspected of working illegally at the location was not found.
On 4 September 2018, an operation was executed to locate a Saint Lucian national in violation of the Immigration Law for allegedly overstaying on island.
Based on information received by enforcement officers, a search warrant was issued for a residence in the West Bay area. After reviewing the premises, the suspect in question was not discovered. On 10 September 2018, enforcement officers continued their search in the Midland Acres area of Bodden Town, but with the same result.
On 13 September 2018, after receiving new information, officers carried out an operation at a compound in Bodden Town. The Saint Lucian national was successfully located and was arrested by the Enforcement Division.
“When officers are unable to locate a suspect, our efforts don’t simply stop there,” Mr. Wong said. “The division continues to actively pursue all leads, in addition to information provided by the public, until the individual is identified and subsequently arrested.”
He added: “We thank the public for their ongoing support, as enforcement officers will continue to crack down on illegal immigration and bring all offenders to justice.”
The Ministry of Human Resources and Immigration today (Wednesday 24 October 2018) gazetted for public consultation a number of bills central to the proposed creation of two new Government agencies on 1 January 2019.
The public is advised that the Immigration (Transition) Bill, 2018, Customs and Border Control Bill, 2018 and the Advance Passenger Information (Amendment) Bill, 2018 are now available for a 21-day public consultation period.
Published with Issue 81 of The Extraordinary Gazette, the bills and amendments to legislation, seek to establish in law the future operations and the statutory framework for Workforce Opportunities and Residency Cayman (WORC) and Customs and Border Control (CBC).
In addition to a number of new responsibilities, WORC will deliver functions currently provided by the administrative arm of the Department of Immigration (DOI) and National Workforce Development Agency. Meanwhile, CBC will unite the Customs Department and the Border Control and enforcement sections of the DOI.
Following the 21-day public consultation period, the bills will be discussed in the Legislative Assembly before the vote is taken.
Future amendments to legislation are expected the first quarter of 2019 as WORC begins to implement online and automated information systems.
Interested persons can review the bills in full at www.gazettes.gov.ky.
The Cayman Islands Department of Immigration (DOI) has confirmed that the Immigration Detention Centre (IDC) has reopened to accommodate the arrival of 11 Cuban migrants.
The individuals were transferred from Cayman Brac to the Grand Cayman facility on Thursday, 4 October 2018.
The group, which consists of nine males and two females, arrived in Cayman Brac on Friday, 28 September 2018, after their broken vessel was sighted by Immigration and Customs officers.
Due to safety concerns, the boat and its occupants were towed to shore, and the group was assessed by local physicians.
Since the closing of IDC, after a group of migrants was released and relocated to approved DOI accommodations, officials have conducted repairs and renovations as necessary to ensure the facility is a safe, suitable, clean and a healthy environment for all occupants.