The Office of the Deputy Governor has appointed Sharlene Grant-Richards as the new Director of Immigration and Visa Services, in the Ministry of Immigration and Border Services.
The appointment of Grant-Richards holds, who holds a Master of Law (LLM) (2018); a Bachelor of Law (2007) and a Legal Practice Post Graduate Diploma (2009), was announced on Wednesday.
“She is a qualified lawyer with jurisdiction within the Turks and Caicos Islands, having been called to the Turks and Caicos Islands Legal Professional Bar in 2018 and has a career in Law Enforcement, which includes ten plus years of experience in Policing with the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force (RTCIPF) and the Metropolitan Police Service in the United Kingdom,” the Deputy Governor’s Office has announced.
The Deputy Governor Office added: “She served for ten years as a Magistrate (JP) in the United Kingdom and has previously worked with the UK’s National Crime Agency attached to the Interpol Department.”
Commenting on her appointment Grant-Richards stated: “It is an honor and I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to return to my beloved country Turks and Caicos Islands after 25 years in the United Kingdom as your new Director of Immigration.
“With a multifaceted and strong background in Law Enforcement and the wider Criminal Justice System both nationally and internationally, I believe that I can make a positive contribution to the department.
“These are remarkably interesting times, and we are individually and collectively engaged in the ongoing struggle to maintain and uphold the laws, rules and principles that underpin successful delivery of Immigration and Border Services in our country.
“This role will no doubt present many challenges and complexities to say the least, but I have accepted this challenge and I will do my endeavor best to fulfill my duties with integrity, fairness and the vigor that is required as we shape and build the future of immigration in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
“I would like to say a big thank you to my niche, but loyal inner circle and my two children for their continuous support throughout my journey thus far, it is understood that I could not have accomplished so much on my own.
“Finally, God’s timing is always best and the many sacrifices I have made has prepared me for such a time as this. I count it a blessing and privilege to serve my Country and to do my best.”
In the meantime, Her Excellency Deputy Governor and Head of the Public Service, Anya Williams has extended her congratulations to the new immigration director.
“This is a critical role that carries very significant wide-ranging responsibilities as it relates to national security and border protection here in the Turks and Caicos Islands,”Williams said.
She added: “Mrs. Grant-Richards, in addition to her previous experience in law enforcement here in the Turks and Caicos Islands, returned to the TCI in 2018 to complete her supervised practical requirement to be admitted to the Turks and Caicos Bar, working as a member of the Attorney General’s Chambers and Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions for a period of 3 months to fulfill this requirement.
“As we continue to progress the setting up of a new Border Force Agency and work to further strengthen and improve our Immigration policies, practices and procedures here in the Turks and Caicos Islands, Mrs. Grant-Richard’s legal background will be an asset to this role.
“We wish her well on her appointment and welcome her to the Turks and Caicos Islands Public Service. Congratulations Mrs. Grant-Richards.”