Around 60 jobs within the Department for Enterprise (DfE) have been affected by immigration issues.

That’s according to the Minister for Enterprise Tim Johnston, who acknowledged that the Passports, Immigration and Nationality offices are currently under ‘significant pressure’.

In response to a written question from MHK for Douglas North John Wannenburgh, in which he asked what jobs within the DfE had been ‘lost or denied’, Mr Johnston wrote: ‘The department recognises the significant pressures being faced.

‘These have arisen because of high levels of current demand and a number of complex ongoing investigations, which have impacted visa processing times.’

Back in January, the island’s customs and excise division of the Treasury took responsibility for passports, immigration and nationality services.

The government move, which came into force on January 16, has led to the division being renamed the ‘Customs and Immigration’.

Designed to improve efficiency and effectiveness through ‘shared resources and personnel’, the merging of the teams is to create a single enforcement team working at the island’s ports and on immigration matters to ensure compliance with the agreements.

Mr Johnston continued: ‘The Department appreciates the efforts of Treasury to bring in additional resource to support the processing of visa applications and the Department itself has extended support to further ease pressure.

‘On the basis of feedback received through the Department’s Executive Agencies, it was recently estimated that approximately 60 roles had potentially been impacted, although it is important to stress that there are various factors which impact the pipeline of forecast jobs and not all of these posts may have been realised.’

In Mr Wannenburgh’s question, he also enquired about the estimated loss to the island’s GDP as a result of these jobs and roles being impacted.

Mr Johnston said: ‘It is not possible to say definitively that these roles have been “lost”, and as such it is not possible to calculate the estimated loss to the Island’s GDP, which would also depend on many variable factors including the consumption spend of individuals, Government spending and net exports.’

Roles within the DfE being impacted by immigration concerns could also pose further problems within the hospitality sector - a subject that the Enterprise Minister has been under scrutiny for recently within the House of Keys.

The Licensed Victualler’s Association (LVA) issued a strongly worded statement on April 19 calling for changes to be made to minimum wage legislation, VAT and taxes.

Speaking during Keys, Mr Johnston acknowledged that there are concerns in the short term with regards to energy, licensing costs and skills training, but that his department will ‘continue to meet and discuss with the sectors’ about these concerns.