Immigration Dept. To Review Police And Medical Certificates Requirements

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Recently appointed Acting Chief Immigration Officer, Geraldine Ritter-Freeman is pushing for consultation on the entry required medical form and the delivery method of the required police certificate.

At present entry into the Territory for employment requires police and medical certificates dated no earlier than 30 days before application. The medical certificate includes results of VDRL, Stool and Mantoux test.

Mrs. Ritter-Freeman explained during a recent appearance on the JTV Spotlight program that considerations are being made as it relates to the medical form: “We can reform the way we issue medical forms for example,” she told the program’s host Edju En Ka.

In explaining the need for change the Acting Chief Immigration Officer said: “The medical forms, the way I see it, has been around forever and we are now looking at amending it because, maybe, some of the requirements in there are no longer necessary. Sometimes we go through the motion, and do things because that’s how we’ve been doing it.”

Mrs. Ritter-Freeman said that the decision relating to the form will require consultation: “We can just sit around the table look at the form and say listen we can either do away with this form, there is no use for it, or we can change it, or make it easier or friendlier.”

Regarding the police certificates the Acting Chief Immigration Officer explained that the consultation for that document can, among other things, look at what the form means and how it fits into today’s society. “Now we have email, and all these things; and we still have to do it the way we did it 20 years ago,” Mrs. Ritter-Freeman said.

“These are the kinds of things we are looking at different stakeholders coming around the table looking at the process for what it is, and trying to make the necessary changes to make it easier for everybody; not just for visitors; not just for business persons, but for us as Virgin Islanders, because we are competing, and we are also trying to sustain our industry. It is important that we do that by modernizing and streamlining and everything else that comes with the process…being more efficient,” she added.

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