Immigration staff to begin processing permits

| 01/12/2008

(CNS): The amendments to the Immigration Law passed in the Legislative Assembly last month have now come into effect and the Immigration Department will soon be administering some of the more regular work permit applications, leaving the Work Permit and Business Staffing Plan Boards free to deal with more complex and controversial applications as well as the allocation of key employee status.


The Leader of Government Business, Kurt Tibbetts said last week that changes to the Immigration Regulations (2007 Revision) took effect on Tuesday 25 November and under the new system straightforward categories of work permit applications will soon begin to be processed directly by Immigration personnel against what he described as a carefully chosen checklist of criteria rather than by a Board.

This system will significantly reduce the number of work permit applications going before the Work Permit Board and Business Staffing Plan Board. As a result, backlogs on applications for annual work permits will not arise and the turnaround time on these applications will be greatly improved – a consequence that will no doubt be well-received by the business community. This will mean that the Boards will now be able to focus closely on difficult or sensitive applications and the critical issue of Key Employee designation,” Tibbetts said.

There are currently 26,121 work permits issued to some one hundred different nationals. The largest percentage remains Jamaican holders at more than 10,000, the next largest is workers from the Phillipines numbering around 3000 with Canadians now holding less than 2000 permits.

Tibbetts said that despite handing the decision making process in some areas to immigration staff the Boards will retain decision making control of all applications where a Caymanian applied for the position; or where there is a signed complaint against a prospective employee on file; or where the Department of Employment Relations identifies that there is a Caymanian who is capable and available for the position.

The Boards will also retain responsibility for determining applications involving the promotion and re-designation of an employee; the revocation of work permits; applications for the grant, renewal or amendment of a Business Staffing Plan, and requests for the waiver of the requirement to advertise a position.  Tibbetts said the new system however, should make Cayman more competitive.

It is clear that we in the Cayman Islands will feel the painful effects of recession along with the rest of the world. It is therefore critical that the two industries that form the backbone of our economy – tourism and financial services – are able to recruit and retain the brightest and best personnel that they need to enable them to compete effectively in the difficult times ahead.

He said the private sector needed work permits granted quickly and without unnecessary interference. One of the most frequent complaints that I hear is not the actual decision of a work permit application, but the length of time that it has taken for the decision to be taken,” Tibbetts added. He also said that government had waivedthe moratorium on recruitment for the Department of Immigration so it can meet the staffing needs for the new system.

Keep checking CNS this week for the details of the changes to the immirgaiton system from finger printing to new work permit fees.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Dear CNS,

    Can you please explain why certain views expressed here are being suppressed. Is it just because you disagree with them? And please not the standard we do not publish defamatory or mean remarks since in fact many of the comments suppressed are  not in the slightest defamatory or mean and many of those that you do publish could fall into that category.

    CNS: See our comment policy.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I never once said that it was terrible to live here and I never erupted into a trantrum.  But I was responding to point you made – perhaps not thepoints you wanted a response to, but you made very arrogant and inaccurate statements which I was addressing:


    You said :"As for people being treated as lepers and therefore investing nothing in Cayman, that is simply unadulterated nonsense." and my response was purely to tell you that it is not nonsense and you making such bold statements is just simply ignorant and you should get out there and perhaps get to know a few month ex-pats better and you’ll be told a few hometruths. Or perhaps you should read the comments on this site on a daily basis as it is a common theme.:



    Also, the point you made about how the reason we see the Caymanians in court and not the ex-pats is either because the ex-pats are not caught but the Caymanians are??? Yeah, of course…..why didn’t we all think of that. It all makes perfect sense now…….all of the unsolved crimes in Cayman are by ex-pats which of course would outweigh all the Caymanian criminals that are caught and are brought to court! How clever of you.:



    Oh and since you missed my point…….I’ll be clear this time…I was never intending to address your point of finger-printing and that is why I did not mention it and I am not the original poster that you were replying to so I couldn’t have missed your point "again" because it was my first post. Perhaps you should reflect before you write!

  3. Anonymous says:

    What a load of tripe that “Dear anti-hyprocrisy” just wrote!

    Please I beg you…..get the court list everyday for a month and then tell me how many are Caymanians and how many are ex-pats. I get them…I know the statistics.

    My closest friends are Caymanian and I love this Island. I have invested all my money in purchasing homes here. I spendmy spare time working for charities, which I might add is all run by ex-pats and it’s all ex-pat volunteers…….I have rarely seen Caymanians in two of the charities that I volunteer with.

    There are alot of ex-pats like me that love Cayman and have many many Caymanian friends and would never begrudge any native national anything. HOWEVER……..there is a huge section of the Caymanian population which treat us ex-pats like we’re all nasty people ruining their heritage and bringing crime and sin to this Island (like they’re all the holy ones!!). The post to which you were replying to had a very good point. We are treated badly by alot of Caymanians and you need to be aware of this instead of just immediately blindly refuting it.

    People come to this Island because it’s a beautiful Island and has the promise of a lovely life. Nobody comes here with hate in their heart, but when you are treated the way I have seen some of my ex-pat friends treated, then you resent the Caymanian community as a whole. I have seen hateful people here who call themselves Christians. They will send a letter to Immigration spouting lies and deceit about an ex-pat, just to “show dem” who come to “their” Island and take their men and jobs. Vindictive people who will then sit in church and cast that first stone. Meanwhile the ex-pat who hasn’t done anything wrong (and believe me I have seen this with my own eyes) is taken away and been told that their permit is going to revoked, or their permit is refused etc.

    Obviously not all Caymanians are like this but when you live in such a small place, it can seem like alot and feel exagerated to the ex-pat community.

    A little understanding on both sides is needed here both from Caymanians and from ex-pats. Ex-pats need to remember that we are still foreigners in their country and respect that sometimes it might be difficult for Caymanians to see all these thousands of ex-pats coming for only a few years and taking the best jobs and best salaries and contributing nothing to the community and just bitching about it instead.

    Can’t we all just get along?? 🙂

    • Anonymous says:

      I will let other readers judge who gave a rational response and who erupted in a tantrum which againmissed the point. In no way did I say that expats are all bad or that Caymanians are all good. You didn’t answer any of the key points I made. Why is it that it is OK to be fingerprinted and photographed every time you enter the U.S. as a visitor, but it is a bad thing to be fingerprinted as a worker in Cayman? Try to climb down from your high horse and reflect a little before you write. We won’t all get along if you persist in your persecution complex.  If life is so terrible here why stay? Be a part of the solution, not a part of the problem.

  4. anti-hypocrisy says:

    So the government thinks that fingerprinting expats will make the place safer?  He should go down to the summary court any day of the week and see that the majority of people committing crimes UNCHECKED and without punishment are the ones who don’t need work permits.  The statistics show that the people who commit the crimes again and again and are charged are those who are in the majority not work permit holders.  All of the gun offences this year are by Caymanian nations or status holders.  No foreigners there.  How is it going to be so much safer taking foreigner’s fingerprints?  Its not and that is the reality – it is just another nail in the coffin of Cayman.  Treat the people who visit the island to work like lepers and they simply will invest nothing in the community they live in.  The financial services injury will continue to leach and all you will get is people who come to the islands to avoid tax, save money and then leave whilst putting nothing into the community that they cannot be a full part of where they are treated like second class citizens. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Dear anti-hyprocrisy,

      In your anti-Caymanian rant you have succeeded in missing the point. The issue is not whether Caymanians are among those who commit crimes, since obviously they are. However, this is not a reason not to take whatever measures may be reasonably necessary to aid in the detection of crime by persons of whatever country of origin. The idea that all of the crimes are being committed by Caymanians is of course preposterous. We can live in cloud cuckoo land or we can deal with the reality. We prefer the latter. I have noted that where serious crimes have been committed in Cayman by non-Caymanians the news media avoids mention of the nationality of the perpetrators and indicates only the district where they are resident. Many of our crimes go on unsolved so naturally they will not be reflected in the prosecutions, so the nationality of the perpetators remains unknown and will not show up in statistics. Clearly then, your reasoning is hopelessly riddled with non-sequiturs.

      Caymanians like other non-US citizens are fingerprinted and photographed every time they enter the U.S.  We may not enjoy the experience but we understand it is what the U.S. considers it must do to counter terrorism and other criminal activity and so, because we value the privilege of being able to visit there, we subject ourselves to it. My guess is that you would happily be fingerprinted and photographed every time you enter the U.S. minus rants about second class citizens.  Why is that?

      As for people being treated as lepers and therefore investing nothing in Cayman, that is simply unadulterated nonsense. There are expats of every nationality and stratum of society who see Cayman simply as a place to make money and send their money back to whatever country they regard as home.  Often this does not change simply because they are granted Permanent Residence or Caymanian Status. It did not start with the ‘rollover policy’. It has been a fact of life here for a long  time.     





  5. Anonymous says:

    You tell them girl You do not lower your standards to meet their wants and desires that is exactly what wrong with Cayman today. We love the way you manage your site. some need to read the posting caption carefully. When people do not get posted they should feel honoured its a privilege to have your views aired in a public forum. It means it has not met the standard set by this medium and makes you thik and improve it. Let them try this, see if they find one of our evasive politician ( people representatives) before election time tell him your views or opinions see if he even cares or  listens or pushes it out to the public or takes action. Keep up the good work Mrs Ledger.

  6. Anonymous says:

    The Immigration Department must stop the flow of part time workers!  This is not an ex-pat problem, but a Caymanian one.  Our locals here abuse our rights by bringing in Jamaicans and other nationalities to do our bidding, but then only give work to them part-time and let them fend for themselves for the rest of the time.  These ex-pats that are brougt in are thankful for the opportunity and work off their indebtness to their sponsor, but can’t irk out a living and eventually turn to crime.  If this is not the case, then we must adnmit that 100% of the crime is Caymanian which I do not believe.  Stop making the conditions ripe for crime and the crime will stop.  I doubt if this will be posted as Wendy (the editor) rarely posts my comments.  Is this an open forum or not?


    CNS Note: Comments are not posted when they contain potentially liable accusations, are of an insulting nature to someone, contain bad language, are poorly written and therefore incomprehensible or contain comments that incite any kind of hatred. On occasion comments are also lost because of technical issues though this is a problem we are working very hard to address. We appreciate contributions from all of our readers that add to the important debates within our community or introduce new topics.