In a move to streamline and upgrade government’s service offering, the departments of Labour and Immigration are set to officially merge on Wednesday.
A soft launch for the merger is to be held at the Immigration Department in Road Town.
Minister responsible for Labour, Vincent Wheatley, said while there will be no immediate physical change, other changes will be visible.
“What we are hoping to do is to create an e-government platform for these two departments and link them electronically,” Wheatley told BVI News.
Wheatley said new permits will be processed during the pilot phase, while permits that are already in the system will be weaved in over time.
“Every single thing [will be done] online. The only thing you will have to do is to come into the ministry to pay [for the permit],” Wheatley said.
First time Labour, Immigration under same ministry
With this new merger, both departments will be under the same ministry for the first time, Wheatley said.
“In the past, the Immigration department was under the Premier’s office, and Labour department was under Natural Resources Ministry,” he explained
He further said persons can expect their processing times at either department to be “significantly cut down” with the impending changes.
“It is a very important first step in making the government more efficient and streamlining our services,” he added.
Former Junior Minister for Trade, Marlon Penn, first announced the prospect of the merger back in March last year. He said eliminating the long lines outside the Immigration Department by replacing it with an appointment system was the first step towards that goal.
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