Persons wishing to stay in the Territory whether via extension or a one-year work permit will soon be charged more as Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, Hon. Vincent Wheatley announced in the House of Assembly on 25 February a plan to raise immigration fees.
Hon. Wheatley did not specify which fees but as it currently stands expatriates living and working in the Territory pay $25 to the Immigration Department, as well as residents wishing to extend their stay in the Territory. Additionally, the Department also charges a $16 fee for clearing vessels on public holidays Sunday, or after hours.
In his short mention of the proposed price hike the Immigration Minister said, “Mr. Speaker, the Immigration Department is also working to submit a new fee structure and to raise existing ones. The department is long overdue for a review of its fees as this was not done since 1977. This revision has been based on regional trends and the rising cost to provide services.”
This increase follows a similar work permit fee hike that took effect in July 2017.
Meanwhile, on a separate topic, the Minister also mentioned that the Department of Labour will be implementing an Amnesty programme to allow persons working outside of work permit stipulations to become compliant.
Hon. Wheatley told the House of Assembly: “The Department will introduce a Skilled Workers Amnesty Programme (SWAP) – Skilled workers, particularly in the Construction Industry, who are working in the Territory with employers not listed on their work permits will be asked to contact the Department to address regularizing their work permits status.”