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Axle 21 July 2020 

Azores Mercy Repatriation Flight - Today. 

Review of Repatriation Policy 

Today we had a SATA charter bring in about 30 Azorean nationals, many of whom are returning residents, holding valid work permits.  There were 60 outgoing who have lost a permit but many who have simply decided to return home to their families during this period.   See the story here (but ignore the horrid comments after) :

See below for some quick answers to some of the questions we have been fielding regarding employer responsibilities relevant to repatriation.

"Who has to pay for repatriation?"

The employer "left holding the bag" assumes the cost and responsibility of repatriation.  It does not matter if the worker has been here for 2 years brought in by your or 20 years brought in by somebody else.  Whomever last employed that worker on a work permit is responsible for his / her repatriation. 

"I released him.  I don't know where he is."

Again, he remains your responsibility for the time he is on island.  Immigration ties into customs records so they know exactly who is on island this week,and this week, we have received email inquiries for 3 persons who actually terminated employment back in January / February but are here kinda hanging out.     If he is hustling part time for somebody else, this is a problem that you need to be concerned about. 

"What happens if he does not leave? I cannot force him He ain't listening to me."

If DOI has to seek him out and deport him, they will do so and ALL costs will be for your account. They will escort him home on commercial lines, with 2 - 3 officers for the "high risk" fugitive and YOU will be responsible for all costs of the 2-3 officers eg. food, hotel nights, airline costs. Where they will not be concerned with your budget. 

"And his wife and kids?" 

You would be responsible for all costs associated with his repatriation and that of his sponsored dependents ie wife and kids. 

"I made his position redundant anyway".   

Be careful with that.  Remember that any job for which you have claimed and served redundancy cannot be filled by anybody with that or a similar title  for 2 years. 

"I thought they had a deduction in the Accord that is held at Immigration to pay for the flight home."

Simply put - no.   Funds are not put aside with Immigration or anybody else.    

Will there be another opportunity? 

Short answer.   We think so.  Think there may be another flight late August / Early September.   Acorean nationals cannot go through Boston right now, given schedules and quarantine requirements.  Not being accepted so direct is the only option.    We will keep you posted.