Archive for February 7th, 2012

Reprieve given to 37% of workers due for rollover

| 07/02/2012 | 4 Comments

PA170415.jpg(CNS): In its latest round-up of statistics the immigration department has revealed the first figures relating to the term limit extension permits (TLEP), which came into effect in the final quarter of last year. Following changes to the immigration law, work permit holders due to be rolled over were given a window of opportunity to extend their working stay in Cayman by a further two years. Of the more than five hundred people facing rollover between October and December last year, just over one third applied for the opportunity to stay, leading to 134 people being the first holders of the new rollover reprieve permit.

The figures show that out of 511 foreign workers who were faced with their seven year stint coming to an end in October, November or December of last year, 191 applied to stay on. From those applicants 134 were approved and given one of the new term limit extension permits. The applicants came from a variety of trades and professions but the largest number was 68 approvals for craft and related trade workers, such mechanics, electricians, carpenters, painters, masons and plumbers.

There were also 48 people given TLEPs in the elementary occupations, such as domestic helpers, kitchen and laundry attendants, beach attendants and general cleaners and labourers.

In the tourism related sector, which is where many of the TLEP applications were expected to come from, there were only 19 applicants. The smallest group of applicants came from the professions where the boards and immigration staff approved just four TLEPS.

Over the next 12 months the immigration department says that a total of 2,350 people will be coming to the end of their term limit and will be able to make an application for a TLEP. The busiest two months for the immigration department will be March and December when 247 and 259 people respectively will be facing rollover if they don’t make a TLEP application.

The people who don’t need to make TLEP applications but who will stay past the seven year rollover are those workers who have secured key employee status. Key employees are workers who possess particular skills or experience and whose employment is critical to their employer. They can remain in Cayman on work permits for a total of nine years and, unlike people on TLEP, they can apply for permanent residency in their eighth continuous year on island.

220 people were designated key during 2011, while a further 118 were refused, more than half of whom were Jamaican. Since 2009 the immigration department figures reveal that there have been 336 refusals of key employee applications and around 150 of those have been unskilled workers. However, 45 professionals and managers have also been refused key employee in the last three years.

The Caymanian Status and Permanent Residency Board processed 2,392 applications for residency and the right to be Caymanian in 2011 and 372 applications were refused. The largest group of applicants were from spouses of Caymanians, the second largest group was applications from people on work permits who had passed through the eight year residency.

Of the variety of statistics revealed in the latest report, it remains clear that with almost 20,000 foreign workers in Cayman, an average of more than 7,500 customers visiting the headquarters counter every month and an annual revenue collection of over $70 million, immigration remains one of government’s busiest departments.

See Immigration’s year end statistical report for 2011 below.

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