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Deportations for immigration breaches reach 15 last year

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Appeal: Jason Hayward, the labour minister. (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

Fifteen people have been deported for immigration breaches since the start of 2020, it was revealed yesterday.

The immigration department also investigated 431 marriages to check that people had not tied the knot with a non-Bermudian partner to allow them to remain on the island.

At a press conference yesterday Jason Hayward, the labour minister, who is also responsible for immigration, said tip-offs from the public were a great help to the department’s work.

Mr Hayward added: “In order to effectively carry out their mandate and strengthen enforcement of the existing immigration legislation and policies, the Department of Immigration is encouraging members of the general public to report breaches of immigration laws and policies.

“The Department of Immigration relies heavily on information provided by the public to investigate potential breaches.”

Mr Hayward said that the two most common breaches were employers or employees breaking work permit regulations and people who stayed in Bermuda past the permitted date.

He said there were 55 general investigations under way and 15 civil penalty investigations.

Mr Hayward said: “I recognise that some individuals may be reluctant to report persons or companies who may be in breach of Bermuda’s immigration laws and policies, however, the public’s involvement in this process is vital.”

Police have requested travel records from the department 59 times and 17 people have been put on the stop list.

Anyone with information can give an anonymous tip-off to immigration officials at 296- 5202.

The department also has an investigation request portal here and can be e-mailed at Immigrationcomplaints@gov.bm

An investigation is launched if sufficient grounds are found.

Once an investigation is complete, it is forwarded to the principal compliance officer for review and a final evaluation is conducted by the compliance manager.

But complaints are often forwarded to the minister for a final decision.

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Published October 08, 2021 at 7:52 am (Updated October 08, 2021 at 7:52 am)

Deportations for immigration breaches reach 15 last year

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