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 Immigration (Transition) (Temporary Work Permits and Business Visitors’ Permits) Regulations, 2019 and the Customs and Border Control (Visas, Entry and Landing) Regulations, 2019 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 www.gazettes.gov.ky.