The Immigration Department in the mid 70’s was solely responsible for all permits. They were accepted and processed by Immigration staff; approved and endorsed by the Chief Immigration Officer ” only”, who, at that time was Mr. Eustace Brooks.
In September 1990, the 1971 Immigration Ordinance was amended to incorporate the commencement of the first Turks & Caicos Islands Immigration Board. This legislation included the Board’s constitution, functions and powers. The consititution of the Board in accordance with the 1990 amendment, stated the following: there shall be a Board known as the Turks & Caicos Immigration Board which shall consist of a Chairman and have not less than five (5) members and not more than ten (10) and the Chief Immigration Officer shall be a member of the Board; the Governor shall also appoint a public Officer as the Secretary of the Board.
The Turks and Caicos Immigration Board commenced operation in October 31, 1990 headed by Mrs. Rosemary Simons, Board Secretary. She first started with one staff member and shortly therafter two officers of the Immigration Department joined her. This office was solely responsible for dealing with all permit matters.
However, in spite of all the efforts made to make this venture a success, in 1991 the Immigration Department resumed the administrative responsibility for dealing with permits, while the Board continued to carry out its functions. The Immigration Ordinance was again amended in 1991 to remove the words “public servant” as Secretary of the Board to be replaced with the words Immigration Officer. The first officer to serve in this capacity was Miss Sigrid Lightbourne in June 1991. Throughout the years a number of Immigration Officers were appointed to this post.
In 2004, the Government, in its endeavours to meet the challenges of an uncertain global economy by expanding its resources to accommodate the demands of a country that is experiencing rapid economical growth and development. It has taken the initiative to establish essential offices in the various Ministries.
Hence, the reestablishment of the Turks and Caicos Immigration Board on June 7, 2004. Subsequently, all administrative responsibilities were detached from the Immigration Department, in Grand Turk and transferred to Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands.
To date, this office is made up of two components: adminisrative staff members and appointed members. Both parties fuctions are clearly defined and work independently to bring about collective results.
The Board's staff is regulated by the Turks and Caicos Island's Government General Orders; whilst the appointed board is governed by the Immigration Ordinance, mandated to carry out its mission statement.