DEPARTURE OF PERSONS FROM THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS

The Ministry of Immigration, Citizenship, Labour and Employment Services in collaboration with the Employment Services Department and the Immigration Department would like to remind the General Public that in accordance with Sections 32 of the Immigration Ordinance (2018 revised), which states:

  • A permit issued may authorized a person –
  1. If issued by the Director of Immigration, to remain in the Islands for a period specified in the permit otherwise than for the purpose of engaging in gainful occupation; or
  2. If issued by the Immigration Board or the Commissioner of Labour, to remain in the Islands for the period specified in the permit for the purpose of engaging in gainful occupation specified in the permit

Section 33 of the Immigration Ordinance (2018 revised) states that All permits that are issued can be subject to conditions or restrictions which may be imposed or prescribed depending on the circumstances. The general public is reminded that full adherence to the conditions are expected.

The general public is further reminded of the following immigration offences to be guide accordingly:

  • In accordance with Section 102 (d) of the Immigration Ordinance (2018 revised), it is an offence to remain within the Islands beyond the time permitted by an Immigration Officer.
  • A person commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of $10,000.00 or to imprisonment for a term of two years, or to both; and if the offence is a continuing one, to a further fine not exceeding $100 for every day or part of a day on which the offence has continued.
  • A person commits an offence in accordance with section 19 (1) (g) and (2) of the prescribed ordinance, which states that a person shall not engage in any gainful occupation in the islands unless he/she is in the possession of a valid permit issued under section 31,39 or 40.
  • A person shall not employ whether on his own behalf or on behalf of another person whether under a contract of employment or a contract for services who, under subsection (1), is prohibited from engaging in any gainful occupation.

This press release applies to the following categories:

  1. Individuals whose work permits have expired and current employer does not intend to renew;
  2. Individuals whose work permits have been cancelled;
  3. Individuals who are currently unemployed, and will be unemployed for several months after the curfew has been lifted;
  4. If your temporary work permit has expired
  5. Persons whose visitor’s visa has expired and they have remained in the country illegally

Visitors are reminded to seek extensions from the Immigration Departments to cover any additional period of stay outside the authorized time.

Please note that this does not apply to the following category of persons:

  1. Turks and Caicos Islanders;
  2. British Overseas Territory Citizens;
  3. Holders of Permanent Residence Certificates and endorsees;
  4. Holders of valid Residence Permits and endorsees;
  5. Holders of current Work Permits and endorsees or those currently in the renewal process;
  6. Permits that remain at appeal status;

Honourable Vaden Delroy Williams, Minister with responsibility for Immigration, Citizenship, Labour and Employment Services, in his comments stated that now that our borders and many other countries borders are opened to international air traffic, all persons residing and/or working within the Turks and Caicos Islands illegally, should make plans to return to their home countries or to any other country, which would welcome them or face the legal consequences for their actions.

Honourable Williams also spoke directly to those companies and individual employers of workers with a valid work permit still residing on Island, stating that if they do not have work for their staff, the work permit card should be turned in by the employer or employee for cancellation and the worker/s should be encouraged to leave the TCI, as opposed to remaining within the islands and working illegally.

Finally, Honourable Williams reiterated his thanks to all concerned for their full cooperation and compliance.