Categorized | National News

Immigration Crackdown

Immigration officials yesterday sent out a very stern statement indicating that persons found employing foreigners without work permits may be subject to detainment.

While the statement was a general one, it was in response to an incident in Inagua.

“The Department of Immigration is reminding all citizens that it is an offence to hire anyone in The Bahamas who is not a Bahamian or a permanent resident without a work permit,” the statement said.

“This is regardless of whether that person has a visitor’s visa or a seaman’s visa for the duration of their stay in The Bahamas pursuant to entry on such a visa. That while a visitor or seaman may walk about the environs of the town and use public facilities, they cannot be hired for work in The Bahamas without a work permit. Work includes selling goods or buying or collecting goods for the purposes of export and gain.” Officials said the public dump in Inagua is the property of The Bahamas government and no one can enter the dump or remove material from the dump without the permission of the government. “Scrap material collected from the dump may be subject to excise or other taxes and therefore should not be exported from the country without the permission of the Department of Customs,” the statement said.

“Where there is a reasonable suspicion that an individual in The Bahamas has violated Immigration laws, those officials can exercise the lawful authority to question or detain that individual and can do so in Matthew Town where the circumstances warrant it.”

The statement also reminded residents that officers of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, the Royal Bahamas Police Force and the Customs Department have the powers of immigration.

The department added that going forward there will be greater scrutiny in Matthew Town to avoid the violation of immigration laws.

Minister of Immigration Fred Mitchell has pledged to supplement the existing complement of immigration officers with reserve officers as soon as the recruitment and training exercises have been completed.

According to the latest statistics by the Department of Immigration, 2015 saw a total of 9,208 work permits being issued in The Bahamas.



Director of Immigration William Pratt suggested that the 2015 immigration statistics were very similar to previous years and that the majority of permits are issued to unskilled labourers.


Mr. Pratt added that a primary objective of the department is to strengthen the “Bahamianization” of the workforce in particular the skilled work areas.


A series of public service announcements will be aired in Inagua by Coast Radio by November 1st.



Written by Jones Bahamas

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