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Partial services at Immigration

Plan in place: Wayne Caines. the Minister of National Security (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

The Department of Immigration has restarted work on applications with a reduced workforce, it was announced yesterday.Wayne Caines, the Minister of National Security, said the department would process existing applications and emergency passports.Mr Caines added: “A plan has been prepared for the processing of new applications once the Government offices officially reopen. At this time, applications cannot be submitted to the Department of Immigration. Visitors who require an extension of stay in Bermuda will not be penalised for overstaying.“Once the department officially reopens, further instructions for requesting an extension of stay will be provided to all affected persons.”Mr Caines said applications for new work permits or work permit renewals can be submitted once the Department officially is up and running again, including late or already expired applications.He added: “Each application will be considered on its own merits, pursuant to our work permit policies — penalties and late fees may apply.”Residency applications, land licences, Permanent Resident’s Certificates, Bermudian status, naturalisation, and spousal letters can be submitted or applied for when the department reopens.Mr Caines said: “We have heard the requests from key stakeholders and wish to allay concerns by confirming that applications which were submitted prior to or on March 18 are being given priority. “With respect to these applications, employers and/or applicants will be contacted after the Government offices officially re-open. I also want to remind employers and work permit holders that permit holders cannot work without a work permit or perform duties outside the scope of their work permit, unless the Minister for Immigration grants approval.” •People who need an emergency passport for medical purposes should contact Marita Grimes, the assistant Chief Immigration Officer, at magrimes@gov.bm. Employers should contact either Ms Grimes or Danette Ming, the Chief Immigration Officer at dwming@gov.bm for continuance of work applications