October 29, 2020

Free immigration application to launch


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An Immigration officer assists a client.

Local business owners and human-resource professionals are invited to the launch of the Department of Immigration’s new computer application, Immigration On-Line (IOL), on 21 February.

Chief Immigration Officer Linda Evans encourages all interested businesspeople to take advantage of this introductory session, which will be held at the Ritz Carlton’s Cayman Brac Room on Tuesday afternoon, from 2 to 5 p.m.

“While our customers have had access to see their data for several years, the previous system provided very limited information,” said Ms. Evans. “That system will be terminated in May, and be replaced by IOL, so all of our customers should make an effort to get enrolled as soon as possible.”

This web-based service provides private companies with an external view of their records, as held in immigration databases. The IOL program is free to users and was developed by government’s Computer Services Department, in collaboration with immigration officials.

The developers describe IOL as a ‘powerful, functional tool that can be used to efficiently manage a company’s immigration needs’.

Computer Services’ Applications Project Manager Mick Whitworth said, “On these ‘virtual visits’ to the department, companies can review all their current applications and up to eight years of history. Users can view application status changes, meetings, decisions, financial transactions and more.

This system is proactive, and will identify to companies their applications that are due for renewal or annual payments. It also includes a ‘Meetings Calendar’ that identifies all applications listed on Immigration Board meeting agendas. Companies can also peruse their current Business Staffing Plans.

IOL incorporates comprehensive search engines to find applications quickly and gives users the ability to export data locally via Excel Spreadsheets.

“Empowering our customers with the information to help themselves is one of our customer service objectives. This initiative was tested for several months in a pilot project, which included large private-sector employers, as well as some recruitment agencies,” added Ms. Evans. “After fine-tuning the processes, we are happy that the system is now being rolled out publicly.”

Speaking of the security and flexibility of the new application, she noted, “The service has built-in protections and access limitations. Even so, while IOL will benefit larger companies, it is especially designed to assist smaller businesses – many of which do not have dedicated HR staff.”

Photo by: Information Officer Lennon Christian

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