December 4, 2020

Pilot Immigration Online upgrade well received by business community

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Pam Abbott from SteppingStones using the upgraded Immigration Online system. (Photo by Immigration Department)

The Cayman Islands Government’s Department of Immigration recently unveiled its brand new Immigration Online system to a group of key
businesses to an enthusiastic response by those in attendance.

Mick Whitworth, Applications Project Manager in the Government’s Computer Services Department, provided a detailed overview of the upgraded system, which, he said, would add functionality to the system and help the Department move forward in its aim to become more business- friendly.

Over a six to nine month period, Mr Whitworth and his team had tested the new system on a small group of companies to ensure that they had developed services that were most useful to the business community. He was now able to showcase the upgrades to a wider audience and was looking for feedback on a broader scale, in a bid to push out the system to any business that signed up in the very near future.

Milly Serpell is the Managing Director of recruitment agency SteppingStones and she and colleague Pam Abbott were in attendance at the demonstration.

Ms Serpell said her company was thrilled to be involved in the new Immigration Online facility and they were very excited by the potential we saw.

“The new system appears significantly more user-friendly with much more data and information,” she explained. “We spend a vast amount of time creating and maintaining Excel spread sheets with our client permit data and it appears that the new system will automatically generate these spreadsheets for us.”

Ms Serpell went on to say that the fact that this upgrade was only the first phase of upgrades to be developed was very exciting and they looked forward to the day when they could view online scanned application and making payments online.

“I am continually impressed with how the Immigration Department continues to make improvements with what we all know is limited funding,” she added.

Mr Norman Bodden, Director and Manager, Immigration Services at Bodden Corporate Services says that the progress that the Immigration Department has made in upgrading its online system is highly commendable and a most welcome improvement.

“The system is now more ‘user friendly’ and makes valuable information more readily accessible to both companies and agencies alike – thus enabling us to save time and provide better customer service. While still a work in progress, it makes life somewhat easier for all of us and the Department deserves much credit,” he says.

Lucie Whewell with Kirk Freeport was also excited about the upgrades to the online system.

“I think it will be huge benefit to be able to easily access up-to-date information in a straight-forward, user friendly format,” she confirmed.

Darlene Ebanks of Best Home Care Agency commended Mr Whitworth for “a very down-to- earth demonstration” and said she was pleased to be invited.

“I look forward to Immigration updating their system,” she said. “They do a great job now and to have this system will make it better for them and also businesses in the Cayman Islands.”

Colleen Williams, Citco’s Human Resources Manager said the new Immigration Online tool will be a great improvement and advancement for both the private sector businesses that use it and for the Immigration Department as they use technology to improve services and create additional transparency in the processes that go through their department.

“We will be looking forward to accessing the new system for our different lines of business to ensure that we are on the same page with the Business Staffing Plan Board and communicating with them from an informed foundation,” she said. “With the empowerment that that this tool will provide, we anticipate that we will be better able to inform our relevant staff members of the status of their applications as well, which will help to improve the trust in the employer/employee relationship as well, which can only be good for business!”

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