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The Ministry of Immigration and Border Services Introduces a New Era in Border Security with the Launch of Border Force

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#TurksandCaicos, November 11, 2023 – The Ministry of Immigration and Border Services takes a bold step forward in enhancing border security with the launch of the first phase of Turks and Caicos Islands Border Force. Border Force will see the transformation of our legacy Customs Department, Immigration Department, and Work Permit Unit, with all areas brought together to form one dynamic, responsive and flexible approach to managing TCI’s border protection. The threats to our borders have grown significantly in recent years – and we’re transforming the way we operate to put us in a better position to be able to respond to those who attempt to break our rules and to deliver an enhanced service to our law-abiding, valued visitors and residents.

Leading the charge is the newly appointed Director General, Emilio Seymour, who will oversee the suite of changes being made over the next six months, and beyond. An evidence-based, redesigned structure will allow better targeting and flexing of resources, alongside a clear focus on customer service delivery, with three main operational areas; inland operations, port operations and a separate ‘services’ function – all underpinned and supported by a new Intelligence Unit.

Our future Border Force delivers border protection services, and enforces our laws, across four of our Islands, so the new organisation will roll out in phases.

Phase 1: 30th October 2023

Phase 1 of Turks and Caicos Islands Border Force officially launched on 30th October 2023, integrating Customs and Immigration operations at airports and seaports into one team. This development is a culmination of significant investments in restructuring, process changes, rebranding and upskilling of officers at airports and seaports in Providenciales over the past year.

Changes by Phase 1 already include:

The transition of formerly separate immigration and customs teams into one border security operation at our ports of entry – one structure, simplified for staff and travellers;

A clear vision to safeguard our borders and our nation’s prosperity, supported by six key values – professionalism, service excellence, integrity, accountability, empowerment and leadership;

Intelligence-led operations, with streamlined processes, building on the existing frictionless customs experience and using data and detection techniques to target our effort;

New, security- and customer-focused operational guidance for all staff working at the border, providing a supportive framework for accountable decision-making;

New, unified branding; designed by our staff to help maintain pride in our operations and the services we deliver to the public;

Enhancing our criminal investigations through partnership working; working with US and Canadian colleagues, based in-country, undertaking together painstaking investigations to prepare cases to bring those suspected of organised immigration criminality before the court and securing their conviction.

Launch Ceremony Highlights

The official launch of Phase 1 was marked with a prestigious opening ceremony on 30th October 2023 at the Howard Hamilton International Airport. Attending this momentous occasion were distinguished guests, including Her Excellency Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam; Governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands, Honourable C. Washington Misick; Premier, Her Excellency Anya Williams; Deputy Governor, Members of Parliament and Permanent Secretaries from various ministries within the Turks and Caicos Islands Government, along with other key stakeholders.

Commenting on the launch of Border Force Hon. Arlington Musgrove stated “As we launch Border Force in the Turks and Caicos Islands, we take a monumental step towards enhancing the security and efficiency of our ports of entry. This transformation signifies our unwavering commitment to safeguarding our borders, protecting our people, and ensuring a seamless experience for our visitors and residents. The dedication and professionalism of our Border Force Officers are at the core of this transition and their adaptability is a testament to the spirit of service that defines our islands.”

What to Expect in Phase 2: From 2024

Phase 2, scheduled to come online in 2024, will see the launch of all other units of Turks and Caicos Islands Border Force. As this transition progresses, the inland element of our Border Force will be brought to life, delivering all customs and immigration enforcement, alongside the establishment of one combined services function. This new function will strive for a new approach to customer service, bringing the consideration and delivery of all applications in one place to allow us to more easily monitor response times and better flex to demands.

Later in 2024, Border Force plans to introduce digital borders, including automation for low-risk travellers, biometrics to drive security and, for the first time, one end-to-end system containing the details of all known non-citizens in our Islands, further solidifying our commitment to leveraging intelligence and technology for the benefit of our nation’s security.

Our transformation into a Border Force demonstrates our forward-looking and responsive dedication to protecting the integrity of our borders, and the Government’s commitment and support to border security. We are excited to embark on this journey and look forward to the positive impact Border Force will have on our community, economy, and the overall well-being of our beloved islands. Together, we stand united in our mission to preserve the natural beauty and harmony of the Turks and Caicos Islands for generations to come.

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TCI Red Cross Hits New Heights with 3rd Annual Red Hot Challenge Success  

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June 13, 2024: PROVIDENCIALES, TURKS AND CAICOS: The TCI Red Cross recently hosted their successful 3rd Annual Red Hot Challenge, a testament to the organization’s commitment to community engagement and humanitarian efforts.

This year’s event, held at the National Stadium in Providenciales, brought together over 13 teams in a thrilling display of sportsmanship and skills. The Beaches Marlins emerged victorious, with the Amanyara Cruisers in second place and the Beaches Pirates in third.

Speaking on the event, TCI Red Cross Director Candianne Williams said, “Year after year, the Red Hot Challenge fundraiser has grown more successful, and we really could not have done it without the support we have received from our participating teams, sponsors, volunteers and supporters.”

She continued, “When we started the Red Hot Challenge series of fundraisers, our goal was not only to raise funds for the work we do here at the Red Cross but also to create an event that would bring together the community in a spirit of unity, support, and fun-filled camaraderie.”

This year’s event showcased an active lineup of exciting competitions, which included traditional favorites like arm wrestling and tug-of-war, alongside engaging challenges such as football tosses, planks, spoon relay races, egg tosses, water balloon tosses, sprint races, and soccer kicks.

Williams added, “The games were not only interactive for the participants but also fun, and I extend my heartfelt congratulations to the Beaches Marlins on winning first place in this year’s competition, as well as the Amanyara Cruisers on their second place and the Beaches Pirates on coming in third, respectively.”

Keneisha Thompson, the Turks and Caicos Athletics Association representative, emphasized, “We commend the teams for their participation, especially as this is the only event in the TCI for sporting participants. Their dedication this year, from organizing the rules to meeting the teams and executing the event, is truly remarkable.”

The annual Red Hot Challenge stands as a cornerstone of the organization’s acclaimed ‘Red Hot’ fundraising series, serving as a pivotal event in the TCI Red Cross’s fundraising initiatives. This series has witnessed the success of two corporate sports days and two fashion extravaganzas. These events not only raise crucial funds but also foster community engagement and support for the humanitarian work of the TCI Red Cross.

Karen Whitt of the Hartling Group, who serves as Chair of the TCIRC Fundraising Committee, commended the participants, stating, “Congratulations to all of the participants; you are all winners for supporting this year’s Red Hot Challenge. The event’s success is a testament to the unwavering commitment of our community to support the vital work of the Red Cross in the Turks and Caicos Islands.”

This year’s team lineup featured the Beaches Marlins, Amanyara Cruisers, Beaches Pirates, NSS Destroyers, CHHS Eagles, Waterloo Worriers, The Palms, Royal TCI Police Enforcers, Louise Garland High School, NCS, The Sands, and The Source. Proud sponsors of the team included The Strand and The Marlin Limited, with Powerade joining as the official drink sponsor of the games.

The next Red Hot Challenge is scheduled for Saturday, May 3, 2025, at the National Stadium on Providenciales. For more information on the TCI Red Cross and its activities, please visit their website at https://www.redcross.org.tc/ and follow their social media accounts: Turks and Caicos Red Cross on Facebook and @TCIRedcross_ on Instagram.

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EXPERIENCE TURKS AND CAICOS ROLLS OUT EXQUISTE TURKS AND CAICOS

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Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands, 13th June 2024– Experience Turks and Caicos is set to roll out a new initiative designed to promote immersive tourism in the islands.
Titled ‘Exquisite Turks and Caicos’, this immersive tourism programme, conceptualised by the Strategic Development Unit, collaborates closely with industry partners to curate and deliver on niche product offerings and services to enhance our visitors’ overall experience.
 
Focused on adding significant value in education, culture, history, eco-friendliness, entertainment, engagement, and affordability, the programme has identified priority areas through which new or existing micro and small businesses can partner. The programme targets businesses that are land-based, water-based (excluding dive and charters), and involved in the promotion of the cultural arts, nature and wildlife, gastronomy, agriculture and heritage. The goal of Exquisite Turks and Caicos is to ensure that the traveller will walk away not only having an exquisite experience, but a learned one that will be treasured always.
 
“Immersive Tourism is about creating compelling and interactive visitor experiences through strategic partnerships with local vendors. It goes beyond traditional sightseeing and offers travellers a deeper connection to the destination’s culture, history, and environment,” says Mr. Courtney Robinson, Strategic Development Manager.
 
“‘Exquisite Turks and Caicos’ is our commitment to our pillar of Inclusive Growth which ensures that everyone in the Turks and Caicos Islands benefit from the tourism industry through the enhancement of our offerings. It extends beyond the warm smiles, white sandy beaches or picturesque landscapes; it is a promise to curate and deliver on experiences that create memories, that resonate with the soul of every traveller,” he added.
 
Mr. Robinson will visit Grand Turk, North Caicos, Middle Caicos and South Caicos to meet with business owners about the programme.

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TCI Sport delegation visits the Cayman Islands and Barbados with key sport leaders

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TCI Sports Commission delegation traveled to the Cayman Islands and Barbados to visit with key Sport leaders. The TCI delegation included the Sports Commission Director, Mr. Jarrett Forbes, Deputy Director, Mr. Alvin Parker, and Facility Manager for Providenciales, Mr. Darian Forbes. The aim of the travel was to visit major facilities, with priorities being pool facilities, and discuss sport development strategies.

The team had the pleasure of being hosted by the Deputy Chief Officer for Sport, Dr. Dalton Walter, and the Director of Sports, Mr. Kurt Hyde in the Cayman Islands; who facilitated the facility tours and shared valuable information on Sports Development. Meetings were held with Deputy Chief Officer Ms. Joan West and Technical Director for the Cayman Islands Aquatics Sport Association, Mr. Jacky Pellerin, on the Cayman Islands’ new 50-meter and 25 meter 10 lanes Mrytha pool facility, as well as with Ms. Shakeina Bush from the National Olympic Office on National Federation development and funding opportunities. The Sports Commission delegation was also grateful for the courtesy call with the Minister of Sport for the Cayman Islands, Hon. Isaac Rankine, and the Chief Officer Ms. Teresa Echenique.

During the Barbados leg of the exploratory travel, the Sports Commission team was hosted by the Director of the National Sports Council, Mr. Neil Murrell, and the Assistant Director of Sports, Mr. Ryan Toppin. The TCI team toured the National Sport Council facilities and visited the Barbados National Olympic Association. Significant to the TCI’s plan to develop an aquatic center, the TCI Sports Commission visited the Barbados Aquatic Sport Association and met with former National Olympic Academy Director, Mr. Dave Farmer, and the President and Second Vice President of the Barbados Swim Association, Mr. Robert Armstrong and Mr. Nicholas Mathis. Insights were shared regarding swimming pool design, development and maintenance as well as pool programming strategies to ensure the growth and sustainability of swimming in the islands.

The TCI delegation also visited other stadium facilities such as Track and Field, Football and Cricket, and other major facilities in Basketball and Boxing. The TCI Sport Commission officials had great discussions with both the Cayman Islands and Barbados sports officials surrounding the development of coaches, athlete development pathways, and strengthening relationships with National Sport Governing Bodies.

Director of Sports, Mr. Jarrett Forbes, said, “We were very grateful for the hospitality and support extended by our Caribbean colleagues. Their support affirmed the commitment and unity among the Caribbean community to develop sports in the region.”

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