Country should select PRs

| 05/10/2011

(CNS): Giving people the option to work in Cayman for ten years will allow the country, not employers, to decide who moves on to Cayman status, Business Staffing Plan Board Chairman Danny Scott has said. “I firmly believe that every country should be able to reserve the right to expand its population base,” Scott told CNS. “But the system of key employee, which leads to permanent residency, which leads to citizenship, gave away the country’s right to decide who stays here.” An amendment made to the immigration law last week will now allow employers to apply for permits for their workers for up to ten years and to work through the eight years needed to enable them to apply for residency.

The categories of jobs and professions has not yet been revealed but for those that are eligible the move will allow those workers to apply for PR without the need for their employers to make a key designation application, which Scott says puts an important decision back in the hands of the people. He said that having employers make the decision in the first place as to who is key to their business was not the right way to decide on future citizens of the country and called it a “flawed approach”.

The board chair said he did not mind how the law was interpreted with regards to whether one or two year permits were applied for up to ten years, or whether it was a six year and then a four year permit system. Scott also believes it does not matter what occupations are to be singled out specifically for the ten year time frame, as he said that was up to the politicians.

“The one caveat I would put in place would be that we must have a system whereby Caymanians are trained and developed,” he said. “We have got to put in place an education system. This is of prime importance.”   

Having a ten year time frame in place would allow people who truly want to remain in Cayman and take upCaymanian citizenship the opportunity to make an application.  “This means that if they get to ten years and they want to stay here then they can make an application. If they fail to do so they can get on a plane and leave,” Scott said, adding that the bar ought to be raised as to who got permanent residency.

At the moment we have created a path for individuals that cannot be avoided: people get the points, buy the property and get permanent residency, he said.

“I think it should be taken away from immigration and left up to someone else to establish the guidelines for who stays and who goes,” he commented. “It’s a really tough decision, but from my perspective I know that the crucial issue is whether someone really wants to be here or not. If someone is prepared to stay here, even when the going gets tough, and calls Cayman home, then this is where they want to be.”

The opposition leader has also advocated that the country turn its attention to the permanent residency as the place where, he said, echoing former minister Dr Frank McField, the country engages “in its social engineering” and makes the decisions about who should and should not get to settle in the Cayman Islands.

During last week’s debate on the latest changes to the immigration law, Alden McLaughlin warned that by only suspending rollover with the introduction of more new permits, the immigration issue was being further complicated.

He said government should abolish the term limit for all and allow every person who stays in Cayman for eight years to apply for permanent residency and those that don’t should leave the country once they have been here ten years. He said that if everyone gets the chance to apply for PR then the criteria had to be clearly defined and fair with the bar positioned not too low or too high in order to ensure that a balance of different people would get through.

McLaughlin also stated that it was time to do away with the boards and to introduce a transparent and auditable administrative system to handle the country’s crucial immigration issues.

Category: Politics

Comments (41)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Many qualified Caymanians are unemployed and British Airways continue to arrive with people who come for sea and sun AND WITHIN A SHORT TIME ARE EMPLOYED. THIS NONSENSE HAS TO STOP. TEN YEARS! THAT IS TOO LONG WHEN SO MANY ARE  HURTING. All the top jobs are taken by foreigners and it is hog wash to continue saying that Caymanians do not qualify. How are they going to reach anywhere when they go for interviews for a job and the persons interviewing are foreigners? They bring in their friends and Caymanians' resume will be put in a drawer somewhere for "future reference".

    A friend went to two professional interviews and the first one the persons interviewing asked: Were you promised a promoted job? Does it make sense to you?

    The second interview was even worse. The two people interviewing had a conflict and one asked questions which the other did not agree with and he was stopped to his embarrassment. Then Caymanians are not qualified? We need more qualified Caymanians in positions where they can secure jobs for Caymanians. 

  2. Lippy Lawyer says:

    The system of 'key employee' is severely flawed.  The lawmakers are aware of this but because too many of their croonies have applications pending they have to keep that flawed piece of the system in play until they get approved.  In the meanwhile if they don't receive 'key employee' then they can apply for a 10 year work permit.

    They don't tell you that some persons on this island whom have received 'key employee' with Company A, but has resigned from that post and moved on to Company B, whom now has also applied for 'key employee' with the new company.

    There are 'no checks and balances' with these polices to secure the employment of a foreigner the minute they arrive on our shores.  

    The war between the Expat and Caymanian is just starting.  THe idiots in charge are too blinded by their own agendas to get what they want for themselves and their croonies to deal with it and make it 'fair and impartial'.

     

     

  3. noname says:

    such a bad idea…..i smell curruption. I liked the silent policy that immigration used to have 10-20 years ago. you got a permit and you never knew if it would be renewed. no limit was put on you so if you loved the island, you would still invest and make it your home. if no one complained about you, you got to stay. i do however think that immigration used to look at the pictures! 🙂 and lord knows, they all spoke english.

    back then, if i knew that i could only stay for 7 years, i would not have bought property. i am sure that we can put the population control back into immigrations hands. we have lost some fabulous people that had cayman at heart due to the roll over and have since imported a different breed……generally speaking.

  4. Anonymous says:

    THE PROBLEM IS MR DANNY I am afraid that we have already expanded our population by far with too many poor unskilled. Where there is poverty you get crime. Somebody is here on a work permit and they get some poor Caymanian pregnant and a year after the baby is born their work permit is aup and they return home to their other baby motherleaving her to raise the child on her own. Within another year when she enquire of him she is told that he is in New York with another family. For years I am been preaching that this thing called STATUS should be abolished. I was of the opinion that our good ole Mr Truman was going to deal with that before he retired from Politics.If someone is here working and their behaviour is good then let him remain for as long if not then ship him back to whereever. After all we do not beg them tom come anyhow. This is the only Country where you have more expats than locals. I am scared to even go out as every face you see has no identity to the Caymanians. Years ago you didnot have to know the person, but one look and you could see by the feature if they were a Ramoon, McField, Seymour or whatever, and they were a good looking breed of people. Not to mention the languages, when you step into a stor airport restaurant or whereever you have to wander where you are if its Hondurs Cuba Phillipines India or whereever. My goodness how did we allow this to happen, so no no no Mr Danny we do not need to increase our population Sir.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thak you for this iluminating post. I was unaware that Cayman used to have a selective breeding programme for it's population.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The whole "Key-employee" concept has been flawed from day one. Somebody is receiving this status because they are considered so instrumental for a company, that company would suffer significantly if this person was no longer employed by them.

    If this is the case, I always wondered how come someone who was given this Key-emplyee Status was then able to switch jobs within a relatively short time frame after receiving such status. You can't have it both way – one moment your company can't survive without you, the next moment, you have moved on, so clearly, the companies usually manage to survive quite fine.

    It would be interesting to see how many of the people who have received the "Key-employee status" have remained with that company which applied for this status and how many have moved on.

  6. Anonymous says:

    NO NO NO NO  END OF STORY.

  7. Anonymous says:

    How come the country didn't decide who gets to stay with the key employee system?  The Board had the right to reject any key employee application they didn't think fit and have done it numerous times.  So why blaming that system now – just to introduce a new one!  It won't be long before faults will be found even in the new system, after it has been put in place

  8. Anonymous says:

    Is Danny Scott the person that I keep hearing people call on to enter the political arena? God help us if he does after reading that heap of nonsense.

    What we need to do is turn the work permit system upside down. More than ten years ago I approached several of the Elected MLA's with a plan to wean Goverment off work permit fees as a source of revenue, but they would have nothing to do with that. I wonder what the plan is when there is no work permit revenue?

    Here is a brief outline of what I proposed:

    1. Work permits are held, and paid for, by the employee not the employer. Most employees pay for them in any event, one way or another. Work permit holders are free to work for any employer the same as if they were Caymanian in a free market economy.

    2. 20% of the work permit fee (and increasing by 10% each year thereafter until it reaches 90%) goes into an education/training fund that any employer can apply to and get funds to train Caymanians to fill any job held by a work permit holder.

    3. There is a quota and base fee for every job category that is reviewed and adjusted as necessary at the end of each year. Plucking a few numbers out of the air, 2000 Accountants paying $3600 for work permit fees would provide $1.44 million that employers could call upon to train Caymanians in the first year of the new  system.

    4. Work permit holders are charged a 10% premium over the base rate for each year they have the permit. This would solve the rollover issue by ensuring those who eventually meet our PR/Status requirements are those who really want it. Also a lot of employees would not be "Key" if they were suddenly free to go work for someone else.

    One of the problems with this system is the risk that an MLA might go home one night and not have any supper because his/her "helper" received a better offer. 6000 domestic workers paying $300 for their permit doesn't sound like a lot of money, but the $360,000 into the education/training fund could pay for an Ivy League education.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      sounds great for the caymanians, but I don't think many foreigners would sign up to come here and do 'volunteer' work to send you guys to ivy league schools.  human nature, ya know.

      • Anonymous says:

        Nowhere in my proposal did I suggest that work permit holders do 'volunteer' work. My suggestion puts a clear association between the source of revenue and how that revenue should be spent.

        Under my proposal the work permit fees would not of necessity be higher than they are now. Currently work permit fees go into general revenue, and is used to pay expenses such as the Premier's overseas jaunts with large entourages; or is it my beer tax or fuel tax that pays for that?

    • Frodo says:

      Do you also want expats to piggy back you aorund Grand Cayman? That way you well and truly would be getting a free ride. 

  9. Young Caymanian with Concerns says:

    Regardless if this is the wrong or right way to go about this there is definitely one immigration standard/policy that has to change…the English exam.  I am an HR professional and I can tell you half of the applicants that we have on work permits cannot participate in a simple conversation in English but passed thetest.  I don’t know if anyone else has ever seen the exams but I have had fluent work permit holders tell me that it is a multiple question joke!  Sample question (and I wish I was lying about this): The boy’s hat is red.  What color is the boy’s hat? A) Red B) Green C)Blue…WTF?! Regardless if you know the color of a hat, do you really think that you can hold a conversation in the national language of the country?! THAT SHOULD BE THE CRITIERIA!!!  If these work permit holders will eventually be eligible for PERMENANT (by definition: lasting forever or for a very long time, especially without undergoing significant change) residency they should be able to speak the national language fluently.  South FL is a perfect example of this issue taking over the community and the way the country has adjusted to compensate for the influx of non-English speakers.  Try to approach someone in Miami and start a conversation…guaranteed they will reply in Spanish.

    I am saying this only because of personal experience; you feel like a horrible person when you have a employee coming from half way across the world only to find out that they cannot speak a lick of English…would you send them back home as soon as they set foot in our country to work for you? I couldn’t either…but I am certainty tired of ‘making-do’ and having to have people translate simple this such as IMMIGRATION APPLICATIONS! Ironic?! I do believe….

    The correct action should be along the lines that all applicants should be given an English test (use the TOFEL standards that colleges use to get J1 visas if anything!!) administered by the employer and it must be submitted to immigration along with their work permit application.  Immigration then grades the exam and conducts a phone interview with the applicant…I am not saying this is a cure all but it needs to be addressed period.

    • Anonymous says:

      the english is only half of the exam. there is also the swim suit competition where the points can really add up.

  10. Question that I would like answered says:

    For the special permit that allows workers to stay pass 7 year but does not count towards the time as resident for PR, would the time now be counted as time off a work permit? And therefore after the special work permit has been abolished, these workers can continue to work on the island with a "fresh" 7 year term limit? Or will they be asked to leave as soon as this special work permit is abolished?

  11. Anonymous says:

    X Pat makes many good points but I would like to add that qualfying for PR must a lot fo sense but I do think the criteria for PR needs to be heavily weighted with respect to financial stability as many of the  PR candidates will eventually be status holders.  Therefore, they must have the means to support themselves in retirement as Cayman cannot afford to take on additional future liabilities.. 

    • Anonymous says:

      You are of course right, but guess what. That weighting is already there. In fact, the points system says the ability to maintain yourself and your family is the single most important factor. But guess what also. Your government has been ignoring thevlaw and regulations for so long that literally thousands of parsons who can nether maintain themselves or their dependents are here and have PR or status even though the law clearly required they be denied those permissions.

      Our laws are not broken, just the people enforcing them.

  12. Anonymous says:

    No matter how you dress up the system of key employee status, 10-year permits, or whatever you call it; until they get wise and do away with rollover, you are still going to have a transient society of people who won't invest their money and their lives here because they don't know if they will be allowed to stay.  The transient society of employees is inferior to a society of people who know their jobs, establish personal relationships with their customers and clients, and invest their money and energy into contributing to this community.

    • Anonymous says:

      You mean as long as Cayymanians are not allowed to participate in it you will have a transient economy and a community that ( with exceptions) doesn’t give a damn.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Mmm always a worry when a points system goes and the desicion comes down down to one persons discreation, asit is very open to abuse and corruption. Potentially back to a bribe to get status.

  14. ex xpat says:

    For the good of the country, wouldnt it make sense to grant residency to anyone who has made a  investment and reinvested in the island,with plans to stay in Cayman. My suggestion is drop the rollover, and let everyone who has passed their 8 years of work permits apply for P.R. If they have invested, in property, been good citizens, met all the critera of the current govt then let them stay. Give people some incentive to spend their money on the island and to try to build a life here, you will be surprised ofthe caliber of individual you will attract, from the helper/maintiance/waiter/accountant/CFO. Just a thought….oh ya, im not a real estate broker in case it sounds like it….

    • Anonymous says:

      Caymanians do not want any new high caliber citizens! More likely to put up with low caliber ones.

    • FOR THE PEOPLE OF CAYMAN says:

      Ex-Pat 10.29.   I am a Caymanian, and trust me of all the talk, written up, the blogs, the wild decisions, the this and the that.  There is only one Blog on here that make sense, and that is Yours.  I do hope some people in authrity with some sence will read what you have to say and see that it does make sence.  Because for one it will surely keep out some of the low life persons that envade this place and do not want to make Cayman home.  I like your idea very much because there arer many ex-pats who are good ex-pats. 

    • ex xpat says:

      to the 6 people that have given me a thumbs down…why? explain yourselves. Please make some alternative suggestions.

       

      • Anonymous says:

        it's human nature my friend. people don't like 'other' people. You don't, and the caymanians don't either.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Scott is quoted as saying: "Giving people the option to work in Cayman for ten years will allow the country, not employers, to decide who moves on to Cayman status, Business StaffingPlan Board Chairman Danny Scott has said. “I firmly believe that every country should be able to reserve the right to expand its population base,” Scott told CNS. “But the system of key employee, which leads to permanent residency, which leads to citizenship, gave away the country’s right to decide who stays here.”

    For the life of me I cannot figure out what he means. What does he mean by "the country"? Won't employers also be putting forward the persons that are eligible for 10 year permits? The designation of key employee has always depended upon approval by the Board not simply the employer.  Seems like a lot of high-sounding nonsense.

    • noname says:

      Presumably, the "Country" to which he refers is the United Kingdom. The Cayman Islands is not a Country.

      • Anonymous says:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cayman_Islands

         

        Seems to be reffered to as a country a few times here…just saying

        • Anne says:

          It's referred to as a "territory" 11 times and as a "country" 6 and that's just as a result of writing style.  Cayman is NOT a country.

          I didn't count them.  I used the search function.  I'm not quite that sad.

           

        • Anonymous says:

          Ah yes, because Wikipedia knows it all. Of course, how could I forget?

          Next time I'll try to remember to double check with Wikipedia before I post.

          My most humble apologies.

    • Anonymous says:

      More than that, by issuing a 10 year permit, who gets to stay will be decided at the beginning of their tenure not after they've contributed. 

      As an expat I think the points system is fairest. Either you meet the criteria or you don't.

    • Name changed by moderator says:

      I agree with you 100%, XXXX

      If we continue this madness I'm afraid professional Caymanians will be cleaning toilets soon or leaving our shores, because there wont be any place in an already none expanding workforce to place them once they are trained as Mr. Scott is suggesting.

      Case and point look at the local legal sector's disregard to take on Caymanians who have completed their studies, McKeeva talks about addressing this issue but on the otherhand Mr. Scott's board probably approves 99% of new applications related to new lawyers, based on the simple fact the guy is making quarter of a million dollars, not one time thinking about all the Caymanian that have a degree but don't have a job.

      This has got to stop, the selling out of the Cayman Islands.

      CNS: Can you log in please if you are using your real name.

    • Anonymous says:

      More confuscioused also!  They all have to be applied for by the employer and approved by one of the many boards.  So how is the 'country' not choosing who stays or who goes…..errmmmm…..

  16. X Pat says:

    The key things are along the following lines:<p>

    All persons who have been resident for a suitable number of years should have the right to apply for Permanent Reidency, AND that PR will be granted unless the applicant has a criminal record.<p>

    Eight years sounds about right. The idea of a 10-year permit, or even an 8-year one, seems wrong as that circumvents the PR time-frame.<p>

    However the main point here is that , once you set the residency rules for PR, it should then be granted more or less as of right for those who have passed those residency criteria. Whether it be 8, 10 or 15 years is up to the legislators. But it must be granted without fuss or excessive fee, and not at the whim of some Board sitting in judgement over an individual's application deciding if they're worthy or not etc.  If they've been here long enough, ain't a criminal, then they should get it if they want it. Decide on the Law then stick to it long-term. That's the FAIR way.

     

  17. Anonymous says:

    It appears to me that Mr. Scott's argument is flawed.  Under the new law the employer makes the decision  today that the employee will be key  so it is still the employee making the decisions. 
    To me it makes more sense the current way.  An employee is proven key after being here and proving himslef both to the employer and the country for seven years.  Not at the beginning when he is an unknown.

    I again believe this is a way to pacify business to gets votes for the UDP. 

    It would work if we had a "Crystal Ball" into the future but, alas, we do not.