STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER FOR NATURAL RESOURCES, LABOUR AND IMMIGRATION,
HONOURABLE VINCENT WHEATLEY
AT THE SITTING OF THE 5TH SITTING, 2ND SESSION,
4TH HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY,
TUESDAY 25TH FEBRUARY, 2020- IMMIGRATION UPDATE
Mr. Speaker, for the year 2020, as reported before, the Immigration Department is in the process of receiving a new Border Management System. The contract with Canadian Bank Note (CBN), the team who will be developing the system, was signed in late December and they were in the Territory early January meeting with various stakeholders who will be the users of this system; these include Customs, Police, Passport and Visa Office and the Department of IT.
Mr. Speaker, the Border Management System will be installed in three (3) phases and it is hoped that the first phase will be rolled out by the end of April, at all the sea ports. More details of phase 2 and 3 will be forthcoming as soon as they are in progress. This Border Management System is intended to ensure efficiency as persons pass through our borders and at the same time maintain a high level of security for the Territory.
Mr. Speaker, the Immigration Department is highly cognizant of the Corona Virus and is taking all measures to protect themselves and the borders of this Territory. They have been receiving updates from the Ministry of Health on a regular basis and the Chief Immigration Officer has been proactive in his actions and has made sure the officers on the front line receive the necessary tools and gears to help protect themselves.
Mr. Speaker, the Immigration Department is also working to submit a new fee structure and to raise existing ones. The department is long overdue for a review of its fees as this was not done since 1977. This revision has been based on regional trends and the rising cost to provide services.