Business View Caribbean | December 2022

13 BUSINESS VIEW MAGAZINE VOLUME 9, ISSUE 12 Source Barbados Today, December 04 The Barbados Immigration Department (BID) will undergo a digital transformation over the next two years, says Minister of Home Affairs Wilfred Abrahams. On Saturday night, during the department’s staff appreciation ceremony held at the Sea Rocks Dome, Barbados Beach Club, the minister said the BID will be one of the seven government departments to do so. He outlined some of the key developments the department would achieve in the timeline. Abrahams said the BID has designed the island’s first cultural passport and it should be ready for issuance in January next year, noting that later on that year, citizens of Barbados will also be able to submit and pay for passport applications online. He said the eVisa application will be designed and operationalised and applications including those for citizenship, student visas, work permits and extensions will be facilitated online. An electronic document and records management system will also be established and Embarkation- Disembarkation cards will be integrated online. Abrahams said these online processes are being pursued in an effort to improve the services offered by the BID and to take the department into the 21st century. He added that the Welcome Stamp initiative, which attracted 7 014 people from 127 countries across the globe, is testament that the department has the capacity to implement successful online programmes. That programme, instituted in 2020, saw more than 4 078 applications and 2 566 were approved. Abrahams said the BID staffers are also taking part in career improvement activities to further transform the department. “This department has been so bold and forward thinking that it recently embarked on an inaugural institutional strengthening training clinic to improve the internal and external immigration customer experience. These efforts have been recognised and commended publicly and it is projected that this innovative training clinic would enhance the learning and delivery of services to make Barbados more competitive in delivering services while protecting our borders,” he said. OPENING L INES IMMIGRATION DEPARTMENT WILL UNDERGO DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION, ABRAHAMS SAYS