Employers get access to fast track permits

| 16/12/2008

(CNS): A new express service for processing temporary permits and an entirely new work permit category to deal with the issues surrounding seasonal workers have come into effect under the recent changes to the Immigration Law. The new permit for temporary employees in the tourism sector is designed to cover the fact that the tourist season lasts for longer than six months which was the previous term given for a temporary permit.


“Tourism operators indicated that the traditional six-month temporary permit was not adequate to cover their staffing needs for the entire high tourist season which runs from about November to June each year,” said Chief Immigration Officer Franz Manderson.

“We did not think it was fair for a company to pay for a temporary work permit, and then have to seek another because the first did not cover the entire period for which they needed a particular employee.”

He added that these permits usually relate to wait staff and other ancillary employees who are not available on island in sufficient numbers to meet local demand during the high season. The seasonal permits will be issued for a period not exceeding eight months at 66 per cent of the cost of an annual work permit in a specified category. 

Manderson explained that seasonal permit holders will then have to leave the island for at least three months before another application can be made. Offering these permits on an express service Manderson said that employers can pay an extra fee to have a decision on a temporary permit within 48 hours of an application. 

 “The express service does not guarantee an approval however we will provide a decision within 48 hours” the CIO added. “We see the express service meeting the needs of our customers whether they are a large business or personal employers.”

In the face of considerable concern in the community that unemployment is growing among Caymanians while even more permits are being issued to foreign workers Manderson said the moves are all part of a new strategic thrust to implement business-friendly immigration policies to support the growth of critical industries such as tourism and ensure Cayman’s continued prosperity. “I wantto re-emphasise that this is not about issuing more temporary permits,” he said adding that the Leader of Government Business, Kurt Tibbetts’ strategic policy statement in the legislative assembly last week expressed government’s commitment to provide an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.

Fees for Express Work Permits are as follows:

$300 for permits valued between $5,000 and $17,000

$250 for permits valued between $2750 and $4999

$200 for permits valued between $1,100 and $2479 

$100 for permits valued between $100 and $1099


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