Paperless immigration department planned
The Department of Immigration plans to phase out hard-copy paper certificates, letters and work permit documents as part of an effort to automate the island’s immigration system.
A paperless immigration system is being developed, the labour minister told MPs yesterday.
Jason Hayward told the House of Assembly that documents such as certificates, letters and work permits would be produced in a “digitally secure format”, although people would still be able to print copies if needed.
Mr Hayward said: “Currently, individuals receive hard-copy immigration documents, employees receive work permit cards and employers receive hard-copy work permits.
“Moving forward, all documentation will be sent electronically and will be accessible on computers and mobile devices in a digitally secure format.”
“This is a significant change and the department will begin to communicate these changes to the general public in the coming weeks.
Mr Hayward said the changes were part of a move to an automated system, with the first phase due to be operational next month.
He added: “Due to the cost and complexity of automation of the processes, the department is implementing the project in phases. The functionality in the early phases will be basic in nature with further enhancements being released later.”
Mr Hayward said the goal of the automation project was to reduce the amount of information entry needed to progress applications, reduce turnaround time, prevent the submission of incomplete applications and improve standard operating procedures.
He added: “Like businesses that are expected to think and do things differently, the department must do things differently.
“The Department of Immigration has undergone a rigorous process review and is several years into its efforts to re-engineer outdated processes and procedures.
“These include extensive process mapping and analysis of key application processes such as work permit, Bermuda status and naturalisation, permanent residency certificate, Bermuda passports and the electronic payment of application fees.”