10 year jobs still to be decided

| 03/10/2011

(CNS): Although the government has passed the new ten year permit into law, it has not yet defined the occupations and industries that will be granted the decade long work permit that will enable holders and their dependents to apply for PR if they choose to stay. The type of jobs and positions that will qualify for the ten year permit will be revealed in the regulations that will accompany the new amendments to the immigration law, which will be decided on by Cabinet. Presenting what the premier said were urgent amendments to the immigration bill on Friday, McKeeva Bush said the new ten year permit would offer security of tenure to senior managers and attract business to Cayman.

Bush said that it was the uncertainty created by the seven year term limit which drove existing business away from Cayman and preventing new companies interested in the jurisdiction from establishing a business presence.

“As a government, we cannot stand by and allow this to happen,” Bush said as he presented the concept of the decade long permit. The permit will be issued by the work permit and business staffing plan boards as well as the chief immigration officer for those employed in particular occupations and industries, though at this point those jobs remain a mystery.

“Those occupations and industries will be chosen based on the best economic interests of our islands and prescribed by the Governor-in-Cabinet by way of regulations under the immigration law,” Bush announced on Friday. It is assumed that the permit is aimed at the financial services sector but government has not said if employers of senior staff in other industries will be ruled out.

He explained that the permit would offer a much greater sense of security and allow employers to make business decisions with confidence, knowing that they will be able to retain their most important employees.

“The worker will be able to apply for permanent residence after reaching year eight without having first to go through the key employee designation process,” he added. “The purported unpredictability of this component of the rollover policy has been an oft-repeated criticism and is one that will be closely examined in the forthcoming review.”

The permit will allow the spouses of ten-year permit holders to be granted regular work permits until the expiry of the ten-year term or while working by operation of law, awaiting the outcome of a permanent residence application, and their dependent children will also be allowed to remain.

Bush said 10 year term limits would not be issued automatically but in every case employers will need to demonstrate compliance with the immigration law and show that every effort has been made to find and train a Caymanian for the post and that they have a genuine need to employ the worker and have proper training programmes in place for Caymanians.

“In return for the significant benefits that are now being offered to the industries and occupations that will shortly be designated, the benefiting companies and businesses should demonstrate their social responsibility by supporting long term human capital development in our Islands by contributing financially to a national training initiative,” Bush told his legislative colleagues adding that the amount that the firms in question contribute would be taken into account when considering applications for work permits for persons who enjoy a ten-year term limit.

The premier said he was confident that the 10-year permit and the removal of the key employee requirement for the most important industries would act as an incentive for businesses to relocate to Cayman and retain those already here.

Category: Politics

Comments (14)

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  1. Forelock says:

    I can’t see this working for the average employer or employee.

    The engine for growth on these islands is the smaller business, not the bigger ones.

    Very few small business owners can commit to an employee for ten years, but if the relationship works, then it should be allowed to continue without government interference.

    The only truly enlightened approach is that advocated by Mr. Gordon Barlow. Let the employee apply for his own work permit in his profession and then be free to work for anyone within his line of work.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Let me get this straight.

    A person moving here for the first time can get a 10 year permit that will then make them qualify for PR and later status.  Do these people have to have intensive background checks or just he normal for someone applying for a regular permit?  Currently the permit system serves as a probationary period of sorts for an individual. 

    This permit will be making a lot of commitment to someone who is basically an unknown and untested in our community.

    I am not totally against this but feel we need to make sure that we are protected and that we are not just sucking up to the business comunity for votes.


  3. Anonymous says:



    Bermuda will start to issue their 10yr work permits this month. The comments to the article pretty much mirrors the situation here.

  4. King of Diamonds says:

    It is a lot easier to flee Cayman when you have not invested in businesses here because you were not allowed to without rules fettering who you did business with.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Why not use the PPM plan, it would be much much better for Cayman and reassuring to the expats?

  6. Anonymous says:

    "“Those occupations and industries will be chosen based on the best economic interests of our islands and prescribed by the Governor-in-Cabinet by way of regulations under the immigration law” = CABINET STATUS GRANTS STYLE

  7. Anonymous says:

    As the Bible says, "there is nothing new under the sun."  Same old same old.  Expats, when will you finally get it?  All these grand announcements about suspending rollover for 2 years and granting people 10 years permits, are designed to give you a false sense of security, just to get people to stay here for another 2 years and/or to get new people coming here for 10 years, so as to keep renting from Cayman landlords, spending money locally, keep supporting local shops, retail operations, restaurants, bars, and general businesses, help Cayman get its economy back on track.  As soon as things improve, you will see the immigration laws changing yet again, with mass refusals of residency applications or work permit renewals for frivolous reasons.   Study the history of immigration policies in these islands, this is their normal mode of operation i.e. use the expat and his money as long as you can, milk them and when the time is right for you and you are prosperous again, eject them.  Caymanians wants to retain political control and are not willing to share it with long-term expat residents who become status-holders.  They don't want to lose control over their country.  So don't be lulled into a false sense of security.   "Shame on you if you fool me once, shame on me if you fool me twice."  Don't let them fool you yet again.    Until they see the need to put a simpler, clearer, more logical policy into place as suggested by PPM – which is allow everyone to get to year 8, apply based on a points system, dispense with a subjective immigration board and let a HR resource manage the applications – then all this is, is just another waste of everyone's time.  And for people like Jim O'Neil of Chamber of Commerce who thinks that this is a great idea to halt the mass exodus and this will get more people coming here to invest money, you are deluding yourself.   Other expats are smarter than you think.  You obviously have become vested in Cayman and you are trying to protect your lifestyle down the road, but the rest of us know we don't stand much of a chance in hell in getting residency here and therefore will not spend our hard-earned dollars here more than we have to, nor buy properties, invest in businesses, etc.  Chamber of Commerce is largely irrelevant these days – you have not done anything to help the small businesses who make up your members.  Your voice is for the big banks, insurance companies, and hotels, that is who you speak for.  You have lost credibility with the small businesses, many of whom have closed their doors in the past 2-3 years while you sat by and did nothing to speak up or lobby for them. 

  8. Anonymous says:

    Once the roll over is suspended it doesnt matter how long a permit can be taken out for. Immigration will renew the permits once they have expired since government needs teh money so its just as well…

  9. Bill the Turtle says:

    A Play Called Night Falls in Cayman
    By Bill the Turtle

    “Times are good! All you expats get out!!!” [Expats slowly begin to exit stage left]

    “Times are horrible! All you expats come back, but only ’till we’re done with you and then throw you off!!!” [Expats look on in fear]

    “Oh no, it isn’t working!!! We’re all doomed!!! The sky is falling!!!” [Expats agree and flee in droves]

    “Wait!!! We’ll give tenure and security and all the things we denied you before!!!” [Expats don’t believe them]

    “Damn expats!!! Never could trust them anyway!!!” [No expats in sight]

    Curtain falls, applause.

  10. Firefly says:

    Not sure if there be any 10 years jobs the way this place is going, Let alone7 year jobs.

  11. Anonymous says:

    7 years; 10 years; who cares?  Its all just a confusing mess that's now being made an even worse confusing mess – I am not feeling any more secure, just waaay less secure, particularly after reading and hearing what Sherri Bodden had to say recently.  I mean what's the point?  What we needed was a much more simplistic approach.  And if the 'governor in cabinet' gets to choose the 'elite' professionals and industries – again, God help us, this is probably just as well as the whole key employee thing did (not).  Nah, I can't be bothered with this miss, it seems the whole country is content to keep diggin itself into adeeper grave. 

    • Empty Chair says:

      This is just Mckeeva Bush looking for more votes in the next election, but he can do whatever he wants but it will not help him because his time is done. The Cayman people are fed up with Mckeeva Bush, his politics & all that comes with it! 10 year jobs, 2 year rollover postponement, washers, generators, fridges, cash, microwaves,plywood, top soil, marl, special favors, whatever, it cannot help him, he is FINISHED!

      • Anonymous says:

        Well if its expats he's trying to woo for votes, he's taking them for even bigger idiots than he (shamefully) takes he own people for, only they've seen it all before in their own respective countries so are well aware whats going on here.   The only effect this is having on expats, and foreign business here,  is what many Caymanians are hoping for – they're mentally packing their bags already – prepare for the mass exodus.

      • Married to a Caymanian says:

        I hope so.