Recent changes to work permit forms ‘minor’

Recent changes to work permit application forms made by the Immigration Department are minor and should not interfere with the processing of applications that were previously submitted, officials said.

Chief Immigration Officer Linda Evans clarified the department’s position last week after some local companies and human resources management firms had applications returned that were submitted on the earlier work permit forms.

“As a matter of department policy, the changes made are minor to the forms and therefore the [Immigration Department] counter accepts the applications on the older forms,” Ms. Evans said.

The chief immigration officer said the only amendments to work permit application forms this year are related to a new process with the National Workforce Development Agency. Instead of asking for a waiver letter, which is no longer provided to employers seeking to hire a non-Caymanian, the company is asked to provide a job identification number, which is given out by the agency.

The job ID number allows the workforce agency to check against the permit application to see if there are any qualified Caymanians available for the position.

The other change referenced is a recently implemented effort by the Immigration Department to conduct English language tests for workers in non-English speaking countries prior to their arriving in the islands.

“We would ask the score from the overseas testing center if [a test] was, in fact, done,” Ms. Evans said.

Both changes were publicized via a press release prior to being made, she said.

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