Immigration backlog progressing

Brent Symonette, Minister of Finance, Trade & Immigration.

The Department of Immigration is almost up to date with work permit applications, according to Minister of Immigration and Financial Services Brent Symonette.

“We’re two weeks behind in work permit applications,” the minister said in a recent interview.

“One third of those are getting replied to electronically as oppose to in the post.

“When I checked yesterday, I did permit applications for April 3rd.”

He said there were just over 200 citizen applications that were expected to be brought before Citizenship Commission this week.

“The commission has done 205 citizenship applications we have to bring to Cabinet next week, so they are pretty caught up,” he said.

“They’re down to under 300 I think.”

The Department of Immigration has been challenged with a backlog for several months.

According to Symonette, ministry’s investigations have uncovered that this is because of unfinished applications dating back nearly five years.

“A lot of the backlog we have found as we dive into it is persons who haven’t delivered paperwork,” Symonette said.

“We haven’t heard from some of those people since 2015, so we are not trying to reach out to those.”