PR simplified for investors

| 10/04/2012

immigration.jpg(CNS): A poor response to recently created categories of residency certificates for wealthy non-Caymanians and direct business investors has led to further amendments to the immigration law, which was passed in the Legislative Assembly on Thursday. As well as reducing property investment amounts required to get PR for life for people of independent means, it also makes it easier for those with a direct business investment to gain residency as well. The new bill has also addressed a number of other immigration issues, from removing the need for residency for descendants of Caymanians living overseas to get status to the introduction of a short business visa.

The Immigration (Amendment No. 5) 2011 address a long list of issues as well as simplifying the immigration and customs clearance for recreational sports fishermen going on long-range fishing expeditions. It tidies up some anomalies in the law for care givers certificates, the functions and make-up of the Appeals Tribunal, as well as other administrative issues, such as who in the immigration department can issue student visas.

Presenting the bill to his legislativecolleagues on Thursday, the premier said it was part of the continuing review of, and changes to, the immigration law that were required to try and attract investment in the current global conditions.

The law creates a new immigration category for foreigners who have a substantial business presence in the Cayman Islands and will enable people of independent means to apply for permanent residency for life rather than 25 years when they have invested $750,000 in a property and have an income of over $150,000 per annum. The law also provides for some people of independent means to apply for a work permit after being granted PR.

Explaining the changes McKeeva Bush said earlier amendments to the immigration law last year designed to encourage investment turned out to be “too onerous”, so the requirement of minimum investment amount in a business was being changed and the number of employees in the business that need to be Caymanian has been reduced from 50% to 30%.

The PPM opposition supported the passage of the bill but the independent member for North Side raised a number of concerns. Ezzard Miller said that while he supported several elements in the amendment, he could not support the changes regarding new categories of permanent residency, noting that he did not believe the changes in this area would lead to any noticeable inward investment.

“There are more negatives in the community to attracting business than how people are granted permanent residence,” he said, adding that he was also concerned about the changes that would now provide people granted PR under independent means the opportunity to be allowed to apply for a work permit. Miller said that Caymanians continued to have a hard time competing because of immigration laws and the fact that they were not being properly enforced.

As he closed the debate on the new bill, Bush said he didn’t expect any better from that member because his modus operandi was to castigate government and employers about work permits as he tried to make people believe he only wants Caymanians working here, and described him as a hypocrite.

The premier said the immigration department was hounded and cursed by all because people expect to have a high standard of living without having people from outside. Bush said these expectations were why there were so many problems surrounding immigration and why there had been so many changes to the law. “It is always problematic but can this country get along without people on work permits? No,” he said.

Bush noted that despite the problems and opposition to the amendments, there were more changes that had to be made that people might not like but his government would make those changes.

See new amendment which has now been passed into law below

Category: Politics

Comments (45)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This is my take 'on it'.  If you are wealthy and can qualify for PR and want to work, thus requiring a work permit, this is what you need to do.
    1, Create and open a business
    2. Work in your own business
    3. Employ workers, minimum of 3 staff members. Caymanians must be in this 3.
    Bush, I always supported you but you let me down on this one Bobo.
     

    • Anonymous says:

      We came to the Caymans 3 years ago, and yes, we have met some people who don't same to appreciate investors of any kind. But also, we have met far many more kind and welcoming Caymanians, some of which work for our company.

      At my tender age of 68, I have been around a few places, and I can tell you from experience that there are far worst places than Cayman. Spending part of my life in certain parts of Asia, I remember how poorly we were viewed as "outsiders" who were there to "steal" from the people. There were time we felt that our lives could be at danger and actually had security with us at all times.

      Yes this place has issues, but where doesn't?

      My Children visit every year and they love it and have made new friends here.

      When we first arrived, we heard about how Caymanians were this or that, but we have come to find out that most of this isn't the case. And to the contrary, some of the expats here are just as bad, if not worst!

  2. Wondering says:

    If I want to live in the Cayman Islands but work on my on-shore business remotely (and fly home as needed for face-to-face work), what sort of permits do I need? I wouldn’t want to do business locally at all, just live and spend my money locally while babysitting my business back home (it’s a portfolio of properties and business interests including advisory work).

    This surely isn’t taking away a Caymanian’s job, and it brings money to the local economy. Just wondering…

    • Anonymous says:

      You have a couple of options. One is to incorporate an exempt company, obtain a Trade and Business licence and be employed on a work permit. The other is to form an SEZ entity. Appleby and Maples are amongst firms with experienced teams advising in these areas.

      • Anonymous says:

        …or skip all that and just get a condo in Florida or in Texas on the beach. Seems like a lot of work to be able to lawfully log on to a computer server and look after a business back home.

    • Reality Check says:

      I would not bother.  Eventually you will be forced to employ people you won't want to or come up against corruption which is rife in Cayman.  Add to that spiralling gun crime and you have a country that it falling to pieces.  Many more people of your type have been leaving over the last few years.

      • Anonymous says:

        Where is your ‘reality’.
        I think you will find that the poster was asking about an independent means residency not a substantial bsuiness presence one. there would be absolutely no need for them to employ anyone in Cayman in respect of htheir overseas interests. Coorruption is not rife by any menas and while gun crie is escalating it is almost certainly less prevalent than whatever overseas locale the poster is from. If the country is – in your view – falling to pieces why are you still here. if you are not then keep your negative and slanderous postings to gutter press wherever you may be

      • Ex Pat Eric says:

        Spot on.  Plus you can add the ridiculous cost of living, US$1000 a month electricity bills, US$600 a month water bills, etc and the absence of any cultural activities.  Living in Cayman is nothing like the brochures or the recruiters say.  It is pretty grim all round.

        • Anonymous says:

          $600 on water bills? What are you doing – filling your swimming pool afresh each month? I have a large family house take baths in my Jacuzzi and my average bill is $100. 

          Many people come and live and enjoy it here. While it is not true that there is an absence of any cultural activities obviously that is not Cayman's main attraction. In January we had culinary month which broughts us a number of events including several with world class chefs, in February we had an international arts festival featuring world class musicians. There are jazz events. Right now Cayman local comedy Rundown is playing. But really it is about such things as watersports and relaxing on the beach in a hammock with a pina colada.  

          If it is so grim then you should catch the first flight out, but I suspect you will be miserable wherever you are.  

    • Anonymous says:

      You will be fine as long as your business is not based in Cayman any you do not do any business in Cayman. It sounds to me like you company is based outside of Cayman and you just do your thing remotely. There are no licenses in Cayman required for that if you work for a company outside of Cayman and do not do business or have a presence in Cayman. You can apply for PR or just get 6 month Visa which you can renew, you would just not be able to stay on island for more six months at a time. Just go home and come back every now and then.

      You can find details on this here.

      http://www.immigration.gov.ky/portal/page?_pageid=2681,5739608&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL

      Like myself I work for an IT firm in the US, but spend most of my time in Cayman. I have not applied for PR because I am concerned about eh stability of the country with all the anti-Government things going on as well as all the talk of some kind revolution that’s being planned. I go back to the US about 3-4 times a year and haven't had any issues renewing my Visa.

      I am not taking anything away from any Caymanians, I do not hold a job in Cayman. The land I brought was purchased from a Caymanian for a fair price and the home I built was built by a Caymanian contractor. I pay huge CUC and Water bills and shop locally. So if anything I am contributing to the Cayman economy no matter what twist people would like to put on it.

      • Anonymous says:

        Will be fine, but the information you are dispensing is just plain wrong. I would suggest you speak with a lawyer.

        • Anonymous says:

          There's nothing a Cayman lawyer can do regarding a business that is not based or operated in Cayman…Don't waste your money. If the company does not do business or is not registered in Cayman it has nothing to do with Cayman… you follow the laws of the Country where it is registered.

      • Jumbles says:

        Don't listen to any of this – it is bogus.  Do this and try to open a bank account, lease an apartmenbt, get a driving licence.

        • Anonymous says:

           

          Your rhetoric will not work in convincing people to stay away, the truth is that you do not need to be a resident or even have a Cayman address to open a bank account or lease an apartment or even buy a home, you don’t even need to go into the bank, it can all be done via the mail or online. And even tourists are issued driver’s licenses good for 6 months on the regular whenever they rent a car.

          Keep trying, good example of the xenophobia that exists.

          Take my advice folks do your own research and get the facts, I’d recommend visiting the immigration department when you’re on Island and ask your questions to them. You will be fine as long as you can prove that you can support yourself while you’re here.

        • Anonymous says:

          You have not idea what you're taking about, anyone can open a Cayman Bank Account, you don't even have to be on island or go into the bank. It can be done online or even through the mail. People lease apartments and buy houses all the time that are not full time Cayman residents and you can go to any rent a car agency and get a license that's good for 6 months if you have a valid one from home…

          Sounds like another attempt to scare people away..

      • Anonymous says:

        "I am concerned about eh stability of the country with all the anti-Government things going on as well as all the talk of some kind revolution that’s being planned".

        The protests and petitions that are happening in Cayman are normal in any democratic society. There is no violence is associated with them. Anyone who knows Caymanians will know that their natural docility does not permit them to even challenge the government publicly and talk of a revolution is preposterous. What is much more likely to have an effect on the stability of the country is the apparent corruption which may cause the UK to intervene.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Why I would never invest in Cayman: DUMP= future ecological catastrophy!!! Inept government, Police  and many other reasons… I will not be protected in ANY way.

    • Anonymous says:

      And do not forget the fact the Caymanians generally do not like foriegn investmentor, they will gladly take your money, but really do not want you there..

      • Anonymous says:

        I’d say it Rather depends who YOU are?

      • Anonymous says:

        That is untrue and unfair. Quite understandably Caymanians wish for their interests to be taken into account and not simply those of the foreign investor. For example, in the case of Mr. Michael Ryan, the UDP government did not pursue him for the $6,000,000 owed to the government and took no steps to secure payment of that debt. Instead, it is the little people, which includes most Caymanians, that must provide government revenues. If we fail to pay $500 we will be taken to court and made to pay.     

        • Chris Johnson says:

          Mr Ryan's companies owe somewhere over $500m which dwarfs the Government debt. Had the Government ever had the foresight to look at the accounts of Ryan's companies before they granted the loan, they would have realized just how negligent they would be. Mr Macmisick must take full responsibility and resign from his position. As Minister of Finance he is a joke. Ken Dodd would do a better job. The receivership of the Ryan companies reflects poorly on the Cayman Islands that prides itself in good company governance. Any director must be made accountable but I guess the usual directors' indemnities will kick in. it is high time these were outlawed and clearly it is not just hedge fund investors that suffer the consequences of our archaic laws. Local creditors are suffering on this receivership and the Attorney General needs fix our laws once and for all as undoubtably similar insolvencies will occur again and again. If the AG cannot fix it the maybe the FCO should step in.

          • Anonymous says:

            But wasn’t it Mac and the FCO and the AG that gave Ryan status after his many many weeks of tenure here – human rights and all!

            Personally I don’t like what happens if that is an example of the AG and FCO stepping in.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I have 5 Wishes

    I Wish that the Cayman Islands had enough Caymanian people  to provide jobs, prosperity and success for the people and the Island.

    I Wish that the Cayman Islands hadenough learnt Caymanian people to fill every position available.

    I Wish that every working Caymanian could be relied upon for productivity, punctuality and loyalty.

    I Wish that the Premier was able to waive a Wand and make all the above happen so that his job could be easier. 

    I Wished  I had performed to the best of my ability at my previous jobs and not take my job for granted. AND finally…

    I  wished I had a job, clothing, shelter and to know where my next meal is coming from. But, all I have is Wishes and so I will continue to Wish.   

     

     

  5. Anonymous says:

    ……and you wonder why crime is on the rise. You just cut a whole group of Caymanians out of the employment scene. You Mr Bush will be the blame for the downfall of Cayman further just because you spend all our money and find the simple way to get it back through work permits and allowing investors here who no interest or intention to hire Caymanians. You have just further the social and class breakdown even lower.  I bet you retire shortly and move away and will never look back because you made yours!!  XXX

  6. Anonymous says:

    Rich people are not looking for 'hand-outs' or give-aways – they want things to brag about. If you made the PR super exclusive and very costly, then you would see more 'rich' people showing up at your door wanting one.

     

    Reducing the cost and increasing the giveaways make it look cheap, which is NOT what rich people are about.

    • Anonymous says:

      BS! That is exactly what they are about- hence the reason they have money…. DUH!

      • Anonymous says:

        BS?! Tell me something:

         

        How many rich ppl have formica in their homes?

         

        Where do rich ppl go to have a drink at happy hour?

         

        What kind of boat do rich ppl buy?

         

        What size house do rich ppl build/buy?

         

        What kind of flooring do rich ppl install?

         

        Where do rich ppl go for dinner?

         

        After you have answered those questions truthfully, tell me if those places or things are cheap?

    • Anonymous says:

      Only insecure "rich" people brag. They are "hurry come ups" and will eventually lose their money. You know the ones who come into a little money and buy a brand new car, or dine at the Ritz for show. The truly rich always look for deals. 

  7. Anonymous says:

    Mr.Premier,

    Caymanians have always had a high standard of living until you came on the scene!

    You and your bad leadership and incompetent puppet government has lowered the standard of living for Caymanians, and has raised the standard of living for everyone else.

    You have sold us for work permit fees and you have kept foreigners employed and you have stood and is still standing in the way of Caymanians progressing especially our young people who are suffering from joblessness, homelessness and a life of crime  theyhave no other alternative under your regime but turn to crime.

    Your actions speak louder than your words Mr. Man.

    Mr. Miller is the only one we have looking out for us. May I remind you Mr. Premier that

    'YES WE CAN"  si se puede  DO WITHOUT people on a work permit in these islands

    snce they are sitting in the Caymanians seat that CAN NOT get a job in their own country.

    Your UDP are the worst government in the history of the Cayma Islands.

    This too will come to an end.

    • Truth Hurts says:

      That high standard of living is why Cayman is in so much debt now and being forced to sell off itsassets. yeah I also believe Cayman could get along without expats, if Caymanian citizens would be willing to pay income and property taxes, the government would not need the expat fees or the foreign investment.

      Wether you like it or not and it may put a bad taste in your mouth but the fact is Cayman is being sustained by Foriegnors not Caymanians. Ask yourself as a Caymanian how much do I invest to sustain my own country. How much of your own hard earned money do you give to help sustain your own Country.

      People in Cayman seem to think that Government sustains people, but the truth is that people sustain governments and the Government is going to favor the ones that are sustaining them. Unfortutunately for Cayman the government cannot count on Caymanians to sustain the Country so they are forced to look elsewhere.

       

      • Angel of truth says:

        Cayman is in debt not because of the high standered of living( i know you would like to see us like some of the other poor countries ) but Caymanian greed and expat greed got us in this mess , tell the truth and shame your pocket.

    • Anonymous says:

      Always? You have no sense of our history. Just in case you don't know, many of us rarely saw our fathers because they were at sea.  

  8. Anonymous says:

    i wish they would tackle the real immigration issues……..

  9. Anonymous says:

    Govt. selling us out?

  10. Anonymous says:

    "The law also provides for some people of independent means to apply for a work permit after being granted PR".

    Isn't that a contradiction in terms? If you get residency on the basis that you are wealthy person of independent means why would you need a work permit? This is just a way to circumvent the normal requirements for work permits. 

    "The premier said the immigration department was hounded and cursed by all because people expect to have a high standard of living without having people from outside".

    Bush knows that is not the problem. I don't think any Caymanian is in any doubt that we need expats at all levels. However, that is not an excuse for failing to look out for the interests of your own citizens.     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      This is something you may not like to hear and although it is sad it is also true. People cannot rely on Government anywhere to look out for them personally. People have to learn to look out for themselves.

      • Anonymous says:

        Whether deliberately or not you have misconstrued my comments. I have never asked any govt. to look out for me personally. However, it should be obvious that any govt. should give priority to the interests of the citizens of the country as a whole in making any changes to legislation or policy. Since the "people" are not consulted on the making these laws and changes in policy clearly they are not in a position to look out for themselves in that respect. That is what they elected the govt. to do. Instead we are left to complain to deaf ears after the event. If the govt. is not acting in our best interests then it is time for it to be removed.

        • Anonymous says:

          It is what it is…Welcome to the real world.

          I'd like anyone to show an example of any government that consults the people before making decisions on policy. Government make the decision that thinks in best for the country as whole, not any specific group of people.

          As far as removing the Government that called a coup, when the people of the military take over the government. Look at the world around you  where this has happened and then tell me if you actually think Cayman would be better off in that type of situation.

          If the people of Cayman call themselves rising up against the government all that will happen is they will find themselves under direct British rule and I’m sure their answer to all Caymans problems will be Tax Tax Tax..

          • Anonymous says:

            "Government make the decision that thinks in best for the country as whole, not any specific group of people".

            That is the problem. This govt. doesn't do that. It makes decisions in the interests of cronies and big investors. That is a pretty specific group of people, and no doubt you are included in it.

            As for the nonsense about a coup, we should all be aware that there is a thing called a general election which is due in another 13 months.
             

          • Just Commentin' says:

            Real world? What universe, Dude?  Are you actually suggesting that our Maroon-led Government makes decisions based on the best interests of the country as whole? (REALLY??) So special-interest groups and influential wealthy individuals have no sway here? (REALLY???)  Day-um! And I thought Dr. Suess wrote great fantasies!

             

            Just in case you somehow missed reading a kinda obscure little document that contains a formula for removing a sitting government, I would suggest you do just a wee bit of catching up. The document is called the Constitution. Ok, yeah, it is a truly crummy document that is rife with the potential for disaster (a fact to which our present Maroon-led government aptly attests.) But anyway, the point is: No coup needed…all legal UK-approved stuff dat is deh. Stuff happens, the Guv calls an election, and…Bam! New government!

             

            Since you are in some far nook of the space-time continuum where the existing laws of reality apparently do not apply, let me show you some examples of governments working in the best interest of the people and consulting the people on broad reaching policy issues: Come have a look through my Space-Time Look-Deh LaserScope Waybackden Frame. See those Vestrymen meeting with the public to get their opinion on framing the future of a fledgling Cayman Islands? They are doing their best to bring the wishes of the people to the process of governance. Let me fast-forward a few years now…see those Exco Members and backbenchers holding frequent public meetings in their home districts asking the people's opinion on upcoming legislation under consideration? Listen to Mr. Benson as he painstakingly explains issues to his district people. Watch as Ms. Annie fields questions from the audience and reassures them that their voices will be heard as long as God gives her breath. You are not looking at party-politics affairs but genuine efforts to feel the pulse of the people and make the common citizen a pro-active part of the government's decision-making process.

             

            Now let's hit the "Go To Present" buttonand listen to a (so-called) leader pause from flying off on global junkets just long enough to tell a group of concerned citizens that he has more important things to do than listen to their concerns and answer their questions.

             

            By the way: If, as you say, the process for removing government is a "coup"; and if a coup is "when the people of the military take over the government", how the hell could a coup happen here? Military? Huh? What? Are you fretting over the prospect of the Cadet Corps suddenly leaving off FaceBook-ing, texting Be-Fri's and squeezing zits long anough to yank Big Mac from his throne and getting back home in time to finish their homework?? That is kinda scary, but I do not think you have much reason to worry.

            • Anonymous says:

              An Election when someone else wins is not the same as Removing the Current Government. And your stories of yesteryear was great reading. But open your eyes and you will see that those days and those people are long gone. The reality of today is that money talks.. I also completely agree with you that weathy individuals have sway and it's becuase they are the main ones filling the Government coffers, not the ordinary citizens. In the US the government gets the bulk of its funds from the Lower and Middle class because its a much higher percentage of them than the Rich Folks and they all pay hefty income taxes as well as property taxes to call themselves citizens. Yet they still do not have much say when it comes to the choices government makes. At least not untill the next election.