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Immigration Dept. reporting success with collections

The Immigration Department is well on its way in collecting its projected revenue of$42 million for its fiscal year, with just over a half already pulled in for the first six months of that year.

Immigration Director Jack Thompson is foreshadowing that the second half of the fiscal year will outweigh the first half.

In an interview withThe Nassau Guardianlast week, Thompson disclosed that his department has already pulled in$21,967,918.95 in permit fees in all categories including work permits, spousal permits, citizenship and permanent residency permits.

“Hopefully next year-meaning the next half which starts in January and ends in June-we hope that we will realize our total projected revenue for the fiscal year,”he said.

“I wish to say that this is due in large part to the work of our immigration staff inclusive of officers and clerical staff. It is important that I say that because we work as a unit, we work as a cohesive team to make this happen,”Thompson explained.

“We are looking good. We are very pleased so far with what we have done especially given the economy. I think a number of persons, companies, and businesses realize the importance of paying their monies, so it is reflected in our revenue,”Thompson said.

In August last year, Thompson had revealed that the Department of Immigration was struggling to collect over$700,000 in work permit fees owed to it by 92 firms throughout the country. These were companies that brought employees into the country after receiving approval from the Immigration Board, but never actually paid the fees for the work permits.

The department created a Delinquent Accounts Unit to strengthen efforts in collection.

Thompson did not have the figures to say how much of that remained outstanding, but noted that”a considerable dent”had been made in the collection of the outstanding revenue.

“One of the first things we did was to create a Delinquent Unit whose job was to deal with outstanding sums, and they have been working around the clock. Some of that would have been collected in the monies we got as well,”Thompson revealed toThe Guardian.

“I think the next half is going to be even better than this half. I am expecting very good things in the second half. I have reason to suspect that we are going to have a very good second half,”he stressed.

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