THE Ministry of Citizenship has set up a permanent office at the former Ministry of Public Service building at Waterloo Street, Georgetown, with a full complement of staff from the Ministry of Public Security from which matters of citizenship/immigration were delinked.Minister of Citizenship, Winston Felix said that Immigration Services are located on the middle floor of the three-storey building, after it was delinked from the Ministry of Public Security on Brickdam.
He added that staffers were brought over to perform duties in the administrative department in the Ministry of Citizenship, and they have a working relationship with the Guyana Police Force Immigration Office.
Felix said plans are on stream to have the ministry manned by civilians, as cops will be transformed into civilians, with their years of service to account for the Immigration Office aspect.
Their main objective is to launch a user-friendly website, which they are in the process of doing, but it will be some time before it is completed. In the meantime, persons can visit the office to have questions and issues addressed by the relevant staffers. Felix disclosed that their prime objective is to simplify access to information in which persons can do business online and rid themselves of the ‘old’ way which entails a lot of paperwork but for now that old system remains in place until it is phased out to accommodate the new system.
He also pointed out that they will focus on training for employees as to their roles and a meeting with the General Registry Office was held and some objectives were outlined and there is appropriate staffing as well.
The minister added that their work entails general naturalisation outlined in the law and after seven years of living in Guyana, a person can apply to become a Guyanese citizen and the ministry also deals with daily requests for visas and extension of visas.
He added that they also deal with matters of birth, death, marriage registrations and it is important that they make the system simpler via the use of information technology to launch a user-friendly website.