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Hunt on for overstayers

The clock is ticking for anyone working in the country illegally.

The Immigration Department has introduced a new amnesty period and Acting Chief Immigration Officer, Bruce Smith urged illegal residents to take advantage of it or face the consequences.

“Do not procrastinate. Understand that you need to make preparations now. Do not wait until we find you,” he said.

On Wednesday (01 August) the department kicked off an amnesty programme aimed at giving illegal residents a chance to leave Cayman voluntarily without prosecution.

He said the amnesty is aimed at certain individuals.

“These are persons who do not have work permits. We are also targeting those who work permits but do not work for their employer,” he added.

He told Cayman 27, whichever category persons fall, they have the month of August to leave without question. After 3:00 p.m. on the 31st there will be no more chances.

He also stressed this was not a pardon or an opportunity to regularise status and that failure to leave the island will attract fines or even jail time.

His warning did not go out to employees alone.

“Employers who do not have sufficient work for employees. Do not allow them to continue to breach, but to cancel their work permit, so that these folks may be able to depart and take advantage of the amnesty,” Mr. Smith pleaded.

The Acting Chief Immigration Officer said those who think they can escape should think again as the Enforcement Department will continue its efforts to root out illegal residents as part of government’s wider crime-fighting plan.

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