(CMR) Legislative changes to facilitate the transition of various immigration-related powers to the Workforce Opportunities Residency Cayman (WORC) and the Cayman Islands Customs & Border Control (CBC) will now take effect in early 2019.
Sources indicate that the changes should come into effect for February 1, 2019. One of the major changes that impacted the start of this new immigration regime will be the implementation of the strict 1 month ONLY Temporary Work Permits (TWP’s).
Cayman Marl Road has been reliably informed that Workforce Opportunities Residency Cayman (WORC) will no longer be issuing 3 or 6 month temporary permits. With the 1 month temporary work permit there will be no extensions granted under any circumstances.
However, the regular annual work permit grants will be processed now within a two-week window to minimize any negative impact on local businesses. Application submissions will now be completely automated and online.
The current agencies of Immigration, NWDA and Customs will be amalgamated and re-shaped. Immigration sections Enforcement and Border Control will fall under Customs and the department will be re-named the Cayman Islands Customs & Border Control (CBC) and will be headed up by Charles Clifford. Senior staff members who were previously at immigration like Bruce Smith, the current Acting Chief Immigration Officer and Garfield Wong, Deputy Chief Immigration Officer Enforcement will now be joining the CBC team.
WORC will be combining existing immigration staff with NWDA and will be headed up by Interim Director Sharon Roulstone. Sian Pairaudeau will be Deputy Director of Labour Needs and Supply. Jeremy Scott has already begun his role as Deputy Director of Compliance.
Existing Immigration support staff will be split between the two new agencies and new positions will be advertised internally first to find existing suitable candidates. High level senior posts would have been advertised externally and some positions were automatically given to the existing staff. For example, Bruce Smith and Garfield Wong.
One big question has been the future for the various boards including the Work Permit Board and Business Staffing Plan Board. We understand that at this time no significant changes are planned in operation until mid year with respect to several boards including the BSP. However in the long term they will cease to exist and replaced by a more effective robust system of accreditation – yet to be announced.
Various pieces of legislation will be forthcoming to make sure that all of these changes are legally compliant including:
The Immigration (Transition) Law, 2018 and Customs and Border Control Law, 2018. Until the changes are confirmed as being implemented, persons applying for Temporary Work Permits (TWP’s) and Business Visitors’ Permits (BVP’s) and Visitors’ Work Visas (VWVs) should continue to follow the existing processes detailed on the Immigration Department website, until further notice.
The Ministry of Human Resources and Immigration is working to ensure that WORC and CBC are structured and equipped to increase Caymanian employment, streamline current processes and provide intelligence-driven border control services.