Bush confirms visa exemptions for Jamaicans

| 20/12/2010

(CNS): From the New Year Jamaicans travelling to the Cayman Islands who have validated US, UK or Canadian visas will no longer require a separate visa to enter the country. The premier told delegates at the Northern Caribbean Conference on Economic Co-operation on Friday that the changeswould be implemented in January. McKeeva Bush first announced his intention to scrap the requirement, introduced in November 2005, in the Legislative Assembly earlier this year. He said the visa waiver was one of a number of immigration reforms in his economic plan designed to create a better business climate for international and regional travellers. “The new 1-5 day business visa will be introduced for business travellers visiting for legitimate business purposes,” Bush told more than 150 delegates from across the region.

“In these instances, the business visa will replace the need for these persons obtaining temporary work permits for short trips to attend meetings or conferences,” he said.

The conference brought together heads of government and leaders in various fields, from education to tourism, to focus on issues relating to the Bahamas, the Cayman Island, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica and Puerto Rico, and find possible ways to co-operate to improve the common economic situation.

Talking about the purpose of the conference, Bush added, “At this juncture, the Cayman Islands government is open to considering any suggestions that can help us achieve positive economic growth so we can build a strong foundation for existing and future generations.”

During a press conference Bush said that in order for Cayman’s economic fortunes to improve, it needed more people. He said the changes to immigration would attract investors to come and live here. “We are trying to build a stronger country and we need more people,” he said. “In recent years these islands have not been so welcoming and we lost some 6,000 permit holders but double that in people. So we are trying to build back the population.”

Bush stated that this would not happen over night but it would be a gradual process.

Jamaica’s Prime Minister Bruce Golding also spoke about the need to ease the migration of skilled individuals and said that by pooling talent the region would compete more effectively on the international stage. “We have spent too much time struggling to compete with each other instead of pooling our energies and determining together how we can compete with the rest of the world,” he said. “We have to make ourselves not just as good as the best but slightly better in order to attract investors.”

The former Jamaican leader, PJ Patterson, said the Caribbean states had adopted some of the worst of the colonial practices. “We have become, or are becoming, draconian in our trade and immigration practices,” he said, adding that it was causing the region to be isolated, and while sporadic attempts have been made to break the isolationist tendency, none had been fully exploited. However, the attempts demonstrated that was an underlying desire to increase interaction and cooperation, he said.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Please tell me that at least Premier Bush got the agreement of the Jamaican Govt. that they would drop their visa requirement for Caymanians. If not, this is folly in the extreme. Last I heard the Jamaican Govt. was no longer even giving multiple entry visas but requiring Caymanians to apply for a visa for each and every trip. Meanwhile he has done nothing to arrange to avoid having to take trips to Jamaica to get a U.S. visa. 

    Whose interests is he serving? 

  2. Anonymous says:

    "The point that Dudus had a visa (if he actually did) would prove my point. Even though he was a criminal, Dudus had a lot of money".

    Somewhere in your tiny mind you actually think that this is an argument for using the U.S. visa as Cayman’s deterrent to Jamaican criminals.

  3. Anonymouser says:

     Great news!

  4. Anonymouser says:

     Does this mean from January 1st 2011?  I hope so….yessssss thanks KIKI. Haters don’t hate the Jamaican’s please! They are bad and good in all nationalities. 

  5. IRON CLAD says:

    And in the days of Caymanians going to the docks of Jamaica to seek employment as Ship Captains and other positions – in many cases if a Caymanian was given the job over a Jamaican, then the Jamaicans would BASH the Caymanians’ HEADS with BRICKS.

    And if Caymanians BURNED the Jamaican FLAG in Jamaica – as some Jamaicans did here in Grand Cayman after a one-all draw football game at the Ed Bush playing field several years ago, then the Caymanians WOULD have SURELY been KILLED on the spot.

    And just in case you dont know, Jamaicans are still being called ‘J’cans’ but that doesn’t mean bad. As for the ‘black ching-chings’, that came from a song and singer of some other Caribbean Island. The racially prejudiced Caymanians may still call you ‘black ching-chings’, but more so these days, calling Jamaicans ‘criminals’ and ‘aggressive breed’ with bad social and driving practices such as bypassing everyone in a line at the cashier or when pulling off the roadways and leaving the rear-end of your cars OUT into the road lane for some CRAZY TRUCK driver like me to take you clean off the road some day. There is only two things i can say about that sicken road culture almost all Jamaicans have – and that is that Caymanians have never been so BRAINLESS and the other is, that is just one of the cultural negatives we have to endure with until…

    Let’s face it… Jamaicans still carry the lead in the largest numbers of Immigration DEPORTATIONS throughout the USA, Canada and UK till this very day. And we onlywonder WHY!!!

    IRON CLAD all the way.

    • Anonymous says:

      "As for the ‘black ching-chings’, that came from a song and singer of some other Caribbean Island".

      Actually there was a Barefoot Man song that went "she’s as black as a ching ching, oh but she sweet". But he was talking about Caymanian girls. No one took any offence even though it was sung by a blond white man.

      The names I recall from the 70s and early 80s were ‘panhead’ and ‘onion’. Jamaicans had their own disparaging names for Caymanians when they went to seek work there in the 40s and 50s. They were discriminated against.    

  6. IRON CLAD says:

    WAIT!!!… What about the MANY Jamaican Drug Lords and Posse Members with fake US Visas who have NOT been caught and convicted of those crimes let alone the fraudulent US Visas???

    What about the FAKE US Visas that are being produced daily in Jamaica that will be used to target the Cayman Islands Immigration who have NO System of checking the total LEGITIMACY of those US Visas???

    It is an ABSOLUTE ATROCITY that McKeeva Bush is doing so much INJUSTICE against the people of our country… sooo much TO aide the demise and destruction of our country nation… and doing so RELENTLESSLY.

    Is it not obvious that McKeeva is determined to put our country and people at greater risk for the sake of his friends in the RICH and ELITE categories?

    We must STOP this MADNESS people… Slay the Dragon!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      who help to build this country ?  jamaicans

      so u all shouts u mouths u all are not perfect but as allways jamaicans get the blame for everything

  7. Anonymous says:

    My God!!! The Premier of this Island should cease residence here and go and live in Jamacia, since his main priority is making things easier on this Island for them. This is the Cayman Islands not Jamaica!!!!!  If Jamaica was so great as they claim, why don’t the Jamaicans stay in their country and try to make a living for themselves, why migrate to the Cayman Islands ????

  8. Anonymous says:

    The Murder of Estella Scott Roberts one of our precious and upstanding citizen IS NOT A PART OF OUR CULTURE!

    As a Caymanian I am very concerned that the Premier is inviting more of this!

  9. Anonymous says:

    The politicians can always count on the Civil Servive employee votes and the votes from the dregs and extended family bought in. Status Grant Favors = Votes. It’s interesting to see the 50/50 split. It used to be more like 80/20 but McKeeva needed fresh voters. That is where the other 30% came from. A few refridgerators and microwaves thrown in for good measure just to get it to all add up.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Jamaicans own a lot of businesses here including hotels!!! Surprise, surprise.

    The three international glory that Cayman received this year from Cydonie Mothersill, Chantal Morris & JG is all from the children of who you consider to be low level Jamaicans ( both parents to boot) . Go interview their parents & you will hear the big Jamaican accent.

    It is time the nasty comments stop.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Jamaican’s are classist people, that should shed some light on whats going on.

    • Anonymous says:

      You  know they could have done the same thing in Jamaica.  So why they did not choose there instead of Cayman?.  It must be something about the Cayman Islands that is much better why they choose here.

    • Anonymous says:

      Have you forgotten the big protest on West Bay Road – by Jamaicans working for their wealthy Jamaicans? 

  11. A REALIST says:

    Wow. Such ignorant hate towards fellow West Indians. The reality is that the Jamaicans with those visas are typically very well off. Many were dismayed at having been coming to these islands for, in some cases, decades and then overnight needing to wait weeks to be told they can continue to do so by a low level government lifer as happened in 1995. In one case, one such individual owned a hotel and other significant property.

    But the hate is generally rooted in racism.

    And I know the persons who believe the world revolves aroung these 100 square miles will be shocked to know that in many ways Jamaica is far more advanced that Cayman. Unfortunately, one of the lessons we can also learn is not to let the party become the driver of politicians rather than the will to serve the populace.

    And realistically, if Jamaican men are stopped from coming, who are going to marry the overweight Caymanian women with kids and with low self esteem who were abandoned by their Caymanian babyfathers? They all curse Jamaicans and when the reach a certain age all they will date is Jamaicans because Jamaican, for whatever reason, accept them with their baggage; Caymanian men do not want a woman with three or more kids by other men. haha

    • A REALIST says:

      1995 sorry

    • Anonymous says:

       How is the hate racist?  Since when did Jamaicans constitute a ‘race’?

      • A REALIST says:

        Read and comprehend. Nowhere did I call Jamaicans a race.

        I noted that much of the vitriol against "Jamaicans" are actually doing so because the majority of them are dark skinned. They happen to be the largest group of black skinned persons on the island and that is undoubtedly the reason for much of the hate. For you to deny that shows absolute ignorance.

        With that said things are MUCH better for Jamaicans in the Cayman Islands. I came here in 1979 and in those days Jamaicans were "J’cans" and  "black ching-chings" and were told daily to go live in "Jamaica Town". Lets not even begin to talk about the mental and in many cases physical abuse they had to deal with from employers who systematically abused them in every way; live in helpers having to live in bathrooms, helpers being worked from 5 in the morning to 11 at night with only tea and crackers for meals, helpers having to take abuse from the children they oversaw, bosses who sexually abused them and if they complained one letter to immigration would make them unofficially "perona non grata.

        This was all tolerated by the "forefathers" who are praised today as If you aren’t some Johnny come lately I am sure you remember those days.

        And whether you like it or not it stemmed from racism fueled by many Caymanians’ belief that Jamaicans particularly the blacks ones are below them.

         

         

        • Anonymous says:

          "For you to deny that shows absolute ignorance."  – Your assumption it is blinds you.  It’s obvious from your posts you have a chip on your shoulder.  

          I assumed you mixed ‘Discrimination’ with ‘Racism’ because its surprisingly common, especially when people are trying to dismiss rational argument by calling it racist.

           

           

  12. BDDN says:

    To me all the problem starts from Roll over policy,where companies cant afford to lose dependant worker,who may be in financial businness or just as my house helper,whom we can trust.

    Goverment has to amend the regulations to encourage stability of business,Competitive education system,particularly youth employment.

    Each companies has to register  the caymanian or no permit required worker in immigration.by ,this half of the said umemployed figure will be cut  down.

    Trace Illegal stayers.

    Change in Roll over policy is the requirement of time or people like me has to close the firm and sit home,but it will be difficult for other workers,caymanian as well as expats,to find other work and feed their family..this is the only reason my legs are in two boats..whether should i  shut down the business or wait till it sinks

    upto the point…. we here in Cayman needs to think broad,positive,future and get back to where we was.

     

     

  13. Anonymous says:

    And so, will Caymanians with US and Canadian visas be allowed to visit Jamaica on the few occasion’s that we do, without a visa being applied for from the Jamaican consulate here in Cayman ??

    • Anonymous says:

      It would appear you are living in a world on your own – when you make statements about the few times we visit – you obvisiouly dont know the how often many Caymanians (including myself ) visit Jamaica; you dont know about the many Caymanians (born and bred) that now have property and retirement home in Jamaica; you obvisiouly dont know about the many Caymanians that have Farms in Jamaica; go to the airport on any given day and see how many Caymanians are either boarding and coming back from a trip to Jamaica – so please keep your ignorant comments to yourself.  I can’t wait for Thursday – Jamaica here I comes – stress free Christmas..but then again I have to come back here to deal with my ignorant, self serving and perfect Caymanians – oh God thinking about it stress me out already.

      • Anonymous says:

        Is it wise to give up the people rights for nothing as the leader did or should he have requested the same for the poeple of the Cayman Islands?

  14. Anonymous says:

     I am confused.  Are we opening the flood gates for more low end arrivals?  Or are we hoping to encourage the higher earners, who will bring money to spend and circulate in this wanting economy.  We are always dropping our guard, opening the gate and allowing the horses to run wild.  

    I pray for a better Cayman Islands, and may the good God open the ears and eyes of or deaf and blind government, that they will see into the distant future and listen to the sensible people of our land.  Rome was not built in a day.  Let’s work together to make these islands better places to live and enjoy life in.  Stop looking out for others and forget about our very own.  Put them first at all times, not only on election day.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Well, obviously the "high end" (white) tourists haven’t being doing that well lately. I did not know that money knew color. It’s really pathetic that you plead to God and appear to be all about God and prayer when your heart is full of hate towards Jamaicans, mainly because of their color. Your covert vitriol makes me want to puke.

    • Anonymous says:

      When is this (expletive) of a man going to CONFIRM JOBS FOR CAYMANIANS!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Bush confirms visa exemptions for Jamaica.

       And that suppose to mean???  what.

    "Please"!!! 

  16. Anonymous says:

    Jamaicans coming from a crime ridden country must not be allowed to overstay, nor allowed to marry the crack heads or alcoholics who lay in wait to exchange marriage vows for $25 crack money!

    Laws must be put in place not to import more gangsters from the neighboring country.  For national security reasons since the visas are waived then we must have strict internal rules and laws that govern this pleasure afforded them.

    E.g.  Not allowed to marry for three years, while remaining at home in Jamaica.We will not be a haven for criminals! even Castro has laws that discourage marriages of convenience.

    They can stay TWO WEEKS ONLY IN THE CAYMAN ISLANDS. THEY "MUST NOT" BE GRANTED  A TEMPORARY WORK PERMITS THAT HAVE NO POLICE BACKGROUND CHECKS  AND WHEN THEIR TWO WEEKS VACATION IS OVER THEY MUST HEAD BACK HOME! NOT SIX MONTHS, NOT SIX WEEKS BUT  TWO WEEKS AND OUT!

    We have way too many crimes already.

    McKeeva Bush I’m depending on you to DO THE RIGHT THING AND PROTECT OUR TOURIST AND LOCAL PEOPLE FROM WOULD BE CRIMINALS AND CROOKED CORRUPT JAMAICAN POLICE COMING FROM THIS ECONOMICALLY TROUBLED JURISDICTION!

    WE DO NOT FORGET THAT THERE ARE HUNDREDS IF NOT THOUSANDS OF FRAUDULENT VISAS HANDED TO JAMAICANS BY THE CROOKED  JAMAICAN POLICE REPORTED IN THE GLEANER AND OUR LOCAL PAPERS IN 2010. THE US DEPORTED MOST OF THEM ALREADY.  MCKEEVA BUSH ARE YOU SAYING THAT YOU ARE INVITING THE DEPORTEES TO THE CAYMAN ISLANDS?

     Vacation is Vacation. Not a Job Hunting venture! We need checks and balance in our immigration and work permit policy making and systems of operating.

    • Anonymous says:

      The nature of your letter shows your ignorance. Clearly, you know nothing about Jamaica. No wonder,your views seem to becoming from someone on the fringes of a rational society.

  17. Anonymous says:

    "WE are trying to build a stronger country and we need more people,” he said. “In recent years these islands have not been so welcoming and we lost some 6000 permit holders but double that in people. So we are trying to build back the population.”"

    That is a ridiculous attempt to conflate separate issues. We didn’t lose 6,000 permit holders because we were not sufficiently welcoming. The population lost them because there was/is a recession and they lost their jobs and returned to their home countries.

    Given the escalation in the crime rate this is the worst possible time to be relaxing visa restrictions. We should instead be finding ways to make them more effective.   

    • Anonymous says:

      Visa restrictions do not reduce crime! Placing the problem on  a scapegoat doesn’t solve the problem, Prior to the introduction of visas for Jamaicans, the crime rate in Cayman was very low. Think independently..Jeesh

      • Anonymous says:

        It’s not a question of scapegoating. That’s like saying that the U.S. is "scapegoating" non-citizens because it requires them to be fingerprinted and photographed each time they enter the U.S. when they have homegrown terrorists as well. Clearly we have to reduce crime whether it emanates from within or without. Having a visa restriction does not mean that no other anti-crime measures should be taken. It would obviously be stupid to pretend that there is no risk of imported crime. As I said if the visa is not working effectively then the answer is not to reduce restrictions but to find more effective ones. 

        The fact that the crime was lower prior to the introduction of the visa proves nothing. It might have been worse still without it – and yes it can get a whole lot worse.  

        The U.S. visa requirement is not an effective solution but it will obviously please the middle and upper class Jamaicans who will tend to have one. The argument against it last time around was that U.S. visas were being forged in Jamaica. Has that changed? Since we did not issue it how can we be sure that what purports to be a U.S. visa is genuine? In any event Dudus Coke had a U.S. visa so that provides absolutely no assurance of anything.        

        • Anonymous says:

          Let me address the easiest question first. What i know of  Dudus is that he travelled to the States when he was a kid.  The point that Dudus had a visa (if he actually did) would prove my point. Even though he was a criminal, Dudus had a lot of money. If he was able to pass a visa test to the US. then why do you think he would not pass one to come to the Cayman Islands where the immigration problem is a mess? Are you saying that the immigration officials in the Cayman Islands are better trained at detecting these things than the ones in the US, UK, or Canada?

          I have no problem with fingerprinting and photographing people upon entry into a country. I am not anti immigration control. I am anti Visa restrictions there is a big difference.  Fingerprinting and photographing all visitors is not discriminatory. Visa restrictions are. The fact that The US, Canada and Britain allow people from rich countries in without a visa (no matter what their occupation and financial situation is  I think it is very ineffective. There is discrimination, just because you happened to be born in a poorer country.

          It seems as if visa restictions is aimed at deterring immigrants from poorer countries who might work illegally in their destined country. If the country’s goal is to reduce illegitimate visitors who are actually going to work instead of vacationing, there are several suggestions. Go ahead with the fingerprinting and photographing for all. Make it a requirement that all have travel insurance valid for the entire time that they are in the country. They must have proof of accomodation for the entire time. No free access to public service such as health care, education etc.

          America does scapegoat and it is criticized by many. The fact that they were profiling people was an act of scapegoating and it created such a ruckus that the TSA has decided to go through with a different type of policing. This is why you have the publicdebating the full body scan equipment at the airports. The problem with scapegoating, sorry profiling, is that, with a sense of hubris, you think you know who the criminals are without admitting that the criminals are also smart. Example. If i am planning on doing something bad on a major scale and I know that the authorities single out a particular ethnicity as the culprit, with all the money and influence, why would i not recruit people from a different ethnicity that are not as scrutinized as badly to perform the task? No race or ethnicity is inherently evil or good.

          I am somewhat surprised about your opinion regarding the connection between visas and crime. If prior to the visa enactment, crime in the Cayman Islands was a lot less, and after the implementation it increased I cannot understand why you would think that the visa implementation worked. Even though, i might agree that this proves nothing supporting your claim, it does atleast shed some light on your motives for the implementation of visas for people from coming from Jamaica and poorer countries.

          You claimed that if the visa implementation isn’t working you must just add more restrictions. I am sorry but this is not how a progressive society thinks. If something is not working, you find an alternate solution. You don’t waste time and money on an ineffective strategy.

          Jamaicans do spend money and we do have a middle class. We have an educated section of the population. We do not want to migrate to your country. We just want to visit people that we have met without feeling that we are singled out because of where we are from. Before you make the comparison to the US or Canada, Humbly, Cayman is neither.

          BTW, I do have a Cayman Visa. I spend lots of money when i am there. I have no desire to visit the island again due to the prevailing mindset. I will also not encourage my friends from the Caribbean, The US and Europe to visit either. The prevailing attitude needs to change. The world doesn’t revolve around the Cayman Islands or Jamaica

          • Anonymous says:

            "I am somewhat surprised about your opinion regarding the connection between visas and crime. If prior to the visa enactment, crime in the Cayman Islands was a lot less, and after the implementation it increased I cannot understand why you would think that the visa implementation worked. Even though, i might agree that this proves nothing supporting your claim, it does at least shed some light on your motives for the implementation of visas for people from coming from Jamaica and poorer countries.

            You claimed that if the visa implementation isn’t working you must just add more restrictions. I am sorry but this is not how a progressive society thinks. If something is not working, you find an alternate solution. You don’t waste time and money on an ineffective strategy".

            You seem to have a comprehension problem. My post clearly said that if the visa is not working then we should find more effective restrictions (not "just add more restrictions"). That is otherwise known as "an alternate solution". Obviously, a U.S. visa is not it for the reasons I have already given. What is your proposal for an effective solution?

            As I have said, my legitimate concern for my country is to reduce all sources of crime, from within and without. That is my "motive". The issue is less to do with being a "poor country" than it is to do with being a high risk country for crime. For example, St. Vincent and Guyana are also poor Caribbean countries but no visa is required because they have not proven to pose such a risk. Please at least be honest about the issue. And may I also remind you that Jamaica has its own visa requirement for Haitians.   

             "Jamaicans do spend money and we do have a middle class. We have an educated section of the population. We do not want to migrate to your country".

            FYI, there are many educated, middle class Jamaicans in Cayman (my wife included) including some who have done very well in business and the professions. You insult them with your comments.

            You are clearly very bitter about some particular experience.  

  18. Anonymous says:

    No wonder the Premier has the Jamaican flag flying in his yard.  

    • Anonymous says:

      You’re kidding!! That is a very serious matter since it suggests misplaced allegiance.   

      • Anonymous says:

        I don’t know if the statement about the flag is true, and I really don’t care if it is. Of all the things that the Premier has appeared to misplace, allegiance to country would cause me the least of worries since he appears to put "self" far ahead of country.

        • Anonymous says:

          There is something very wrong if you don’t care if it is true. Flying a flag is a powerful statement.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Great…

    Let’s just give up now and call ourselves jamaica 2. We needed to get them out not let more in. We can see where the loyalties of  our government lies and it is not in the best interest of our country, it is and will only ever be with themselves.

    • Joe Average says:

      8:25:  Ya know it sounds to me like you’ll be one of the first patrons of the new country and western bar on SMB.  Cause "country ‘n western" is part of "Cayman’s proud heritage."   Redneck.