$2.8M missing in PR fees

| 09/10/2013

(CNS): The chief officer from the Home Affairs Ministry has said that government is owed around $2.8 milllion from permanent residents who have not paid their annual fees. At a meeting in West Bay Tuesday night (8 October) Eric Bush revealed the hole in the public purse as he explained government’s planned immigration reform. He said that under the proposed changes permanent residents who do not pay their annual PR fees could find their residency rights revoked. The new regime will require applicants for PR to pay their first annual fee plus all the administrative application costs, which have increased, and any dependency fees up front at the point of application to deter frivolous claims.

Explaining the changes and the much more stringent system that the new government plans to introduce once the Immigration Amendment bill is passed, Bush said that in future permanent residents will be required to submit an annual truthful declaration in respect to their investments, employment and other factors when they pay their annual fee. Failure to comply or to withhold or give false information will be an offence leading to the loss of their PR. The right to residency could also be taken away if the person moves to an occupation that is not authorized in his certificate.

In light of the controversies that have arisen since government announced the major overhaul to one of the Cayman Islands’ most revised piece of legislation in modern times, Premier Alden McLaughlin, who was hosting the public meeting, said he was aware of the “concerns and misunderstanding” in the community. He told the audience of more than one hundred West Bayers, which included Opposition Leader McKeeva Bush, that he was keen for people to understand what was being proposed.

McLaughlin emphasised that there were lots of work place initiatives being implemented in parallel with immigration changes that would help Caymanians get back to work, as well as efforts to get the economy moving again. He said that government had worked hard to inspire business to invest and grow jobs, and with the return of commercial confidence after it had been seriously undermined, things would improve.

Immigration, he said, was a separate element from unemployment, but when half the country’s workforce comes from somewhere else, Cayman needed a system that works properly to protect Caymanians and give employers access to work permits when they are genuinely needed.

Ahead of the chief officer’s presentation detailing the changes, McLaughlin spoke of the weaknesses in the current system and pointed to the lack of enforcement and abuse. Going forward, thirteen more officers were earmarked for the department and at least five of them would be compliance officers, charged with monitoring the law and for the first time ensuring that the details presented in work permit applications were accurate and realistic

“The system has been abused badly,” the premier stated and pointed to the unintended consequences of the key employee barrier and seven year rollover. This had led to a drop off in investment in property because the majority of people on work permits were aware they would never get a chance to apply for PR, so instead of investing here they sent money back home.

McLaughlin said that by treating everyone the same and allowing them all to stay and try their hand at PR it was hoped that there would be more direct investment in the economy as people worked towards reaching the PR criteria and collecting enough points to stay.

As a result of the changes some 1,500 term limit exemption permit holders will now get the chance to stay on and apply for PR. It was revealed at the meeting that around 250 of those will be eligible immediately and they will need to make applications under the much stricter regime straight away or they will be required to depart. If their application is refused, which officials believe will be the case for most of them, they will also be required to leave at the point of their application being declined. Under the new regime appeals will be filed from overseas as appellants will no longer be required to appear in person.

Following the presentation of the proposed changes, the response was mixed but many West Bayers seemed more optimistic about the changes when they realized how much more difficult it would be in future for most ex-pats to get through the PR application process.

However, many had concerns about existing residents who should never have got through the barrier in the first place. It was clear that the attendees wanted to see government revoke the PR rights of every one of the delinquent fee payers. 

Most of the concerns from the floor after the presentation centred on the problems Caymanians have getting work and the abuse they face, with employers bending the law to avoid taking on locals and treating Caymanians “as second class citizens”, one local stated.

The plight of returning graduates was highlighted as a particular problem, as the perception is that many human resource managers are ex-pats who refuse to engage local graduates on the basis that they have no experience. With no one willing to give that experience to them, however, they are making up a significant percentage of the unemployed locals.

One West Bayer who had been part of a planned protest against the bill, which is understood to now be cancelled, said that he was comforted by what he had heard. But, he said, the premier should have consulted the grass roots and explained the aims about the amendments before putting out the bill. McLaughlin conceded that this was good advice that would be heeded.

As he rounded up the meeting the premier emphasised that the main goal was to ensure those who got PR were immersed in the community and had the wherewithal to take care of themselves, as many that already had residency rights were not able to do so and had now become a burden on the public purse.

The new process would “take out the subjectivity of the board”, he said. “We looked at systems across the world and nowhere do boards with personal knowledge of the applicants choose the people who will receive residency rights.”

McLaughlin pointed to the fundamental issue when he added, “Unless we decide that the only people who can become Caymanian are those born to Caymanian parents, we have to create a system that allows people to stay and become integrated. This may not be perfect but we believe it is a major improvement,” he said.

The next immigration public meeting will be in George Town on Thursday evening at Elmslie United Church.

See the full presentation below on the reform bill below.

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Category: Politics

Comments (170)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The CI Government should be invoicing for their receivables, and charging punative interest on delinquent accounts.  If an account is over a Calendar Quarter in arrears, the priviledges should be revoked.  The CIG has purchased the computerized and fully-automated accounting software to monitor and deliver this, they just aren't using it to its full potential.  

    Similarly, those businesses that apply for annual trade and business license renewal should have to provide a letter from their listed pension provider that states that their pension plan is fully funded.  Any delinquencies there, and no trade and business renewal.  Any business owners that are skimming off pension and not making contributions should be fully prosecuted for theft!

    None of this is hard to keep track of when you care enough to want to know how.  

     

  2. Another Anon says:

    In my opinion, the CIG lost all its credibility the day it was unable to provide a decent and reasonable set of financial statements. How are we supposed to believe that anything or how much is missing if the CIG cannot even balance it's books?

  3. Anonymous says:

    So let me get this ting straight. I qualified and got PR when I had a goodpaying job and investments then due to the a down turn in the economy I lost my good paying job but I don't want to be no burden to nobody so I get another job but the pay is much less to continue to support myself amd because it is a lower paying job I lose my investment so because I no longer have the good paying job and my investment my PR is at risk and could be taken away? Boy unna is fool! This PR ting only for the rich and how much do they contribute to this economy? They buy a condo here and spend the winter months here and then go somewhere else.   

  4. Anonymous says:

    On the other side of the coin, I can and do pay my PR fees.  But the system sure doesn't make it easy.  Last week I queued for nearly two hours at immigration just to see somebody and hand over the money.  Not a pleasant experience, and I loathe it every time.

    I look forward to seeing one day a system where I can pay these sorts of fees online and on my own time, rather than my company's.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Everytime I read this kind of post I keep reminding myself that I have over and over said that Cayman poverty is imported. We keep blaming Caymanians for bad work ethics and then when we see DER send over persons seeking employment, they are not Caymanians. how can people be so ungrateful and expect that even PR fees or such fees are to be disregarded. How can you be in Cayman for so long and still not speak english.? As an employer, I can say that I have seen very few Caymanian canidates apply for work. And as other posters are saying, if they cannot even afford the fees to be granted the priviledge to work here, then what do we expect from them?. That is imported poverty. Yes we have a few un-employable and we have some idiots, but those can be counted on one hand. Say what you want, but in the end. A Caymanian knows a Caymanian. A person that can afford to buy homes and operate buisness and employ caymanians should be encouraged to live and stay in Cayman. A person  for example "married to caymanian" should not be given that same oportunity to walk into an establishment and say that they are caymanian and have to be trained to get a position. After all they could not do it in there own country. So why does cayman have to absorb so much ignorant people, and ruin the workforce that is true Caymanian. Pay your fees or get Out Please. There are a lot more deserving people where you came from.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Don't expect to get paid if you dont we'd out a bill…….lol

    • Anonymous says:

      It's true, there is no invoicing.  You can line up at Immigration for hours and get three different subjective opinions on how much is due and when, where, and who should pay it.  There is one hard and fast rule, and that is: NO REFUNDS.  

  7. Anonymous says:

    "McLaughlin said that by treating everyone the same and allowing them all to stay and try their hand at PR it was hoped that there would be more direct investment in the economy as people worked towards reaching the PR criteria and collecting enough points to stay"  REDUCE THE 7.5% STAMP DUTY ON ALL EXPAT PROPERTY PURCHASES AND STOP THE GREEDY REALTORS FROM TAKING 7% COMMISSION ON PROPERTY SALES!    EXAMPLE: Purchase Price $450K.  Stamp duty = $33,750.  Sale Price $500k (a few years later –  hard to predict but due to the current state of the global economy, you'd be lucky to sell it for that price).  Realtor fee on sale price of $500k = $35k.  Legal, bank fees = $5k.  Total cost  $73,750.  Negative Equity = $23k.   Not all PR holders want to live here forever, not all PR holders could afford to retire here, so they will need to leave at some point and sell their properties.  Who would want to be in this situation, especially in retirement, or to leave nothing for their children?   Why would anyone take this risk?????   Easier to forego the PR, save your dollars in the bank, or invest in property abroad where there are no such extortionate fees and then leave when yer time is up with a tidy nest egg!  There are hundreds of professional expats and tradesmen here who earn a 'middle class' income of around $75-130k per annum.   If they have some savings already, most of them would be able to afford a $450k house.  However that house will be old and dated for that price, which won't attract a decent re-sell price (or maybe not attract a buyer at all).  No expat who knows they will have to leave at some point, probably at retirement would want a negative equity investment that they won't be able to sell anyway!  So, PR or not, with the current state of the market, inflated fees, there won't be "more direct investment in the economy". 

    • Anonymous says:

      Please remember that most of the reale estate salesmen/women are expat. I know a well educated person, with a masters Degree in Inernational business , grew up in Cayman and knows every nook and cranny who took the Real Estate test and they failed him. It was just another way to step on a qualified Caymanian.

      • SSM345 says:

        12:54 are you thick?

        "who took the Real Estate test and they failed him. It was just another way to step on a qualified Caymanian"

        How can you be qualified if you fail the test, pray do tell?

        • a test is a test says:

          Don't believe you.  The tests are very straightforward and I believe a 95% is required to pass.  You either pass or you don't- nothing but scores, no hidden agenda.

          There used to be 2 tests a few weeks apart: so I really don't believe your post (by the way)

    • Anonymous says:

      Interesting that you are "talking out of both sides of your mouth" as we say in Cayman.

      So you support an elimination of stamp duty (tax) on  "expat property purchases". What happened to equal treatment for Caymanians and expats alike the position that defeated McKeeva's expat tax?

      Why don't you call for the elimination of all stamp duty for everyone?

      • Anonymous says:

        Of course I support equality for expats and Caymanians alike.  That's what I would love to see.  On the stamp duty issue, it's not equal as Caymanians get a reduced rate on certain property purchases that expats don't.  It should be the same for all, along with job opportunities etc etc, salaries etc etc.

    • Castor says:

      Well said and gives rise to the argument that not all expats that come to Cayman want to stay. I am one of them, now not living in Cayman and of an age that retirement is around the corner. I have worked off and on in Cayman since 1995, great place, super, liked it very, very much. I participated in volunteer work, obeyed the laws of the land and was a good "citizen." In my travels I was a Cayman booster, sang her praises, promoted tourism in as much as all my family and many of my friends have visited on multiple occasions. But retirement in Cayman? Not practical or feasible. Too expensive to begin with. I rented all the time I was there and not sorry about that as I have no wish to be an absentee landlord worrying about keeping the place afloat in an ailing economy. I never felt permanent in Cayman. I do remember my time in Cayman fondly but have no regrets leaving for home. I suspect many, many "expat" people feel the same way.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your suggestion is wrong, it is not fees equal $73,750 to only one person.

       

      In your example, on a Sale price of $500,000:

       

      The Stamp Duty and Mortgage fees are paid by the Purchaser = $33,750 + $5,000 = $38,750

       

      The Realtor Commission is paid by the Seller = $35,000

      • Anonymous says:

        It isn't wrong.  In my case, thepurchaser and the seller are the same person.  I purchase the property and then later I sellthe property…….me all along 🙂

  8. Anonymous says:

    The poor people who was given PR cannot afford to pay the fees. So why are we going to tripple the amount of PR approvals. This is what we have been talking about. If ythey cannot afford those fees just tell me how are they going to afford to pay our hospital fees etc? I suggest that Government start looking into finding a way to have more revenue to support them and we all know what that will be ….. Property and house taxes. God help us……..

    • Anonymous says:

      It probably would have been best not to have given them PR in the first place.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am sorry for them, if they cannot pay their PR fees from the first going off, then you expect that our country can keep these persons.From the off-set you can tell they have very little to contribute to our country.  Just looking after their wealth of gaining the PR makes me sick, as I know many of them were not entitled to.  That is why poverty will reign in the Cayman Islands, because we take each and every body's problem to be ours instead of our own – Caymanians please get over this mentality, and stand on our two feet.

      Caymanians should travel abroad and see how they would be treated.  The books of laws will be thrown at them, each time a new subject raises its head, and what do you do??? abide by what you have been dished out, and you dare not question why? Where?  How? ONLY IN CAYMAN THESE KINDS OF ACTS happens.  Other countries the motto is  "EVERY MAN FOR HIS SELF AND GOD FOR US ALL"  why can this not be the same in the Cayman Islands. NO ONE ENTERS CAPITOL HILL OR A GOVERNMENT BUILDING TO TALK ABOUT STATUS OR TO TELL WHAT THEY WANT IN A LAW  OR REGULATION – you pay Lobbyist to do these chores, and you might not even get a nod of the head on these issues, They could not careless  of your financial status nor your family ties, therefore you are fighting a loosing battle, the Law of the Land is what counts.

      It will be more than a sad day when you see Houses taxed.  Then government wll have more assets on their hands, as no one will be in a postion to pay these taxes.

      • Anonymous says:

        If the Law of the Land is what counts as you say above, then everybody should be treated equally and fairly!

    • Anonymous says:

      If they are working then they can afford the fees!  Instead of paying work permit fees they are supposed to pay their permanent residency fees which are usually substantially less so this path to status is fair and just. You wanted this, you applied for this paperwork, you agreed by law, now pay up or get out! 

       

      • Anonymous says:

        Annual PR fee is usually frozen at equivalent of last work permit fee – the wording of the agreement is in the PR letter sent to the recipient.  Yet, every year, after waiting in line sometimes for hours ("now serving E607…"), there seems to be subjective opinion inserted at the Immigration counter as to whether the grandfathered fee is due, or some newly enacted work permit rate (in some cases double or triple the grandfathered rate).  No invoices are issued to clarify or follow-up on Government recievables.  Ascertaining the correct number due is wise and advisable before paying, as there are no refunds issued!  It is up to the recipient to go out and ascertain the fee and pay it – essentially the honour system.  Additionally, those on the cusp of Status with applications in for over a year are similarly less inclined to pay what can amount to a 5-figure payment (ie. Mercedes Benz) without any hope of a prorata refund.  I was told to pay a similarly collosal amount, only to recieve Status two weeks later.  No refund. 

      • Hear Hear says:

        Who put thumbs down?  You appolied for PR, you went out of your way to prove you are an upstanding member of the cimmunity and you are financially sound to remain here as a permanent resident – so WHT should you not have to pay your PR fees?  It is the LAW you agreed to.

        I also have an Immigration question.  Does someone on PR have to apply for Status or can they stay on PR forever?  How are these people with outstanding fees coming on going from the island on their passports?

        I agree, just like an overstayer on a permit, if your fees are overdue and unpaid- buh-bye!!!

        If you decided you were above the law you have just been found out and will now have to pay the price.  Don't let all your years and hard work go away- Pay up!

        Eric Bush…so just how many people owe?  This outght to put a black eye on the ex-pat community?

         

         

    • anonymus says:

      Or take it out of their pay until paid if you can find them, then Adios. Un desirable.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Just stand up in the Social Services line and you will find these people.9,000 plus of them!

  10. Anonymous says:

    And another thing, when I sell my property at the end of my "permanent" stay, and retire to my homeland I will proably be taking my equity with me….however if I had rented the whole time, all my rent money would have been injected into the community…just a thought….. Are there any statistics on how many "permanent" residents actually stay here after retirement?

    • Anonymous says:

      Err, with the current state of the global economy and the extortionate stamp duty and realtor fees, you won't have any equity to take to your homeland….just a debt to pay before you leave!  I agree, renting is a much better option for a PR holder.  No property maintenance costs, no ridiculously high insurance costs, competitive rental prices because there are so many rental properties to choose from….good deal all around really 🙂

      • Anonymous says:

        PR recipients have to continue to hold property of greater or equivalent value to what was demonstrated in their application.  I got a letter to that effect.  Wanted to sell around the time of the McKeeva tax talk, but couldn't!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Equity? Is it really worth anything after 4 years of McKeeva Bush? Will you be able to sell?

    • Anonymous says:

      That is why you want Status – it let's you leave.

      • Anonymous says:

        Nothing stopping work permit holders, PR holders or anyone else from leaving. Flights every day.

      • Anonymous says:

        Nothing stopping work permit holders, PR holders or anyone else from leaving. Flights every day.

  11. brit says:

    Revoke all grants of non payments & say bye bye. Then give it to deserving people who can pay!!  If I hadn't paid my Status within 30 days of the date on the letter then that would have been bye bye me!!!  If they can't pay then they shouldn't be here as they are obviously not supporting the economy.   Doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure it out surely!

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you sure all of them are still here?

      Do not be surprised if a lot ofpeople are voluntarily 'rolling themselve's over' at present.

      The people who I know who have left, all went well before their roll over date.

      Most of them left due to the pain received banging their heads against brick walls in an effort to relieve the frustration!

  12. Anonymous says:

    I am an ExPat with PR. I recently was informed that I owed multiple years of PR Fees. I was surprised because I know the amount was paid late last year, I assumed I owed for this year but there was no way I owed an additional year. I gathered my PR information and sent it to the Government Agent I spoke with. I included a copy of the invoice provided by the Government and the receipt returned to me with my granted PR Letter. The receipt showed the amount per the CI Gov Invoice was paid in full. The agent explained to me the fee on the invoice did not include my annual PR Fee. I was confused because I used and paid for the services of a local Company which provides such HR services and is well known. They didnt think I owed for the first year either. On my second conversation with the Government Agent I recommended going forward an invoice should be provided clearly indicating what is owed. How hard is that? I am in the process of arranging payment but I can easily see why the Government is missing so much in PR Fees.

    • Sucka Punch says:

      Good for you! But Sparrow Says no money no Love Some of Unnah need to Go Home ya hear!

    • Anonymous says:

      I had similar experience and agree – government invoicing for receivables should be a no-brainer.  As it stands, you go to the counter and get 3 different opinions on what should be paid.  No refunds if someone gets it wrong.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Hey we asked for transparency and gueswhat Franz and his team are starting to provide it.Looks to me like we are heading in the right direction with person who are commited to sorting out our civicl serivice and its failure to collect money remember Rome wasnot build in a day, it takes time to gett this info. Personally i blame the chief immigration officer so these fees not been collected this falls under her, just goes to show she's not doing her job. if I was not to collect millions in fees for my employer, firstly we would be bankrupt, secondly i would be fired.. end of story. I dont need any excuses from her, they have a computer program that shows when my company permit fees and T&B needs to be renewed, surely they have the names of all these person on their finger tips and all they ahve to do is call, send an email and or letter informing these people these fees are due and if not paid in 10 days PR is revocked, just like our WP's. Fianlly, with this large amount out standing it would be interesting to see what the demographics are, is it low income persons not paying or weathy people who cant be bothered. Oh before i forget, I do have one question and hopefully someone can asnwer this. Lets say some of these people have now received status and cayman passports, but their PRs are owed. Can their starus be revoked? just wondering.

    • Savannah Resident says:

      Why are you giving Franz praise for the work completed?  You do know Mr. Manderson was Chief Immigration Officer when these fees where outstanding as well?  

      SMH, get your facts straight before spouting out garbage please.

    • Anonymous says:

      Someone in accounting should get fired for not invoicing these easy and steady government receivables.  For years it hasn't been done.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Anyone wanting to make some extra cash if they are chased for fees should research the IRS Whistle-Blower programme.  You can make up to 30% of taxes that someone does not declare and with FACTA that means a lot of people in Cayman.  I have reported a long list of neighbors, friends and colleagues who have US passports and now look forward to the cash rolling in.

    • Anonymous says:

      FATCA

      • Anonymous says:

        You can report me because I report my taxes each and every year. I am sure many other American can and do for a very long time.

    • Anonymous says:

      You sound like a real nasty person.

      • Anonymous says:

        I think people who don't pay their taxes are nasty, selfish people.  This poster sounds like Robin Hood. Just on commission.

        • Anonymous says:

          The US Govt. being "the poor" and anyone who has US citizenship "the rich"? LOL. 

          • Anonymous says:

            Taxes benefit the poor and needy.  That is why Republicans don't like them.

            • Anonymous says:

              Oh, really? So the big banks with CEO's who receive bonuses in the tens of millions that were bailed out with U.S. tax money are "the poor" then? You are a bigger fool than I thought.  

              • Anonymous says:

                You are too stupid to vote.  What would have happened if these banks failed?

                • Anonymous says:

                  You are the one who is stupid. The point is that the money was given to big banks whose CEOs still got lavish bonuses. That is where the money went rather than to "the poor".    

    • Anonymous says:

      And the funniest thing of all is that I was not joking. . .

    • Anonymous says:

      Revenue Canada also pays for off-shore tax snitching, but only 15%.

      • Anonymously says:

        Revenue Canada should pay Cayman a visit there are lots of taxes to be collected and many of their tax cheats that many if us would like to see the backs of, good bye and good luck.

      • Anonymous says:

        Why would I do that?  I like Canadians.

    • Anonymous says:

      Snitching is a dangerous pass time in the Cayman Islands. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you! My boss should not have gloated about jumping the Miami immigration line when we were on the same flight.  Quite an expensive mistake.  I will smile at him today, and he will have no idea why.

    • anonymous says:

      How long do you have to wait? I have whole heap of stuff that I want to submit monthly so that it generates a small income.

      Revenue Canada do the same but I am still waiting on money owed from June this year. The good thing with CCRC is that the interest gets added.

      • Anonymous says:

        Canadians can retain citizenship and become legally non-resident for tax purposes.  This has always been the case, so not sure how you plan to monitize your coworkers that way, but good luck with your miserable sinister scheming.

    • anonymous says:

      It is far more lucrative to approach the IRS and offer to research who they want to look at, rather than submitting speculative info. That way you get a retainer paid and far more interesting tasks.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Anyone know how much they are owed in unpaid garbage fees and school fees?

    • Anonymous says:

      School fees for public schools are illegal too.

      • Anonymous says:

        Quite am ignorant statement. How is school fees for a public school illegal? Cayman children have been given the right to a "free" education in the public system, by special permission expats can send their child to a Government school, if space permits but they have to pay a fee. I don't see anything illegal with that.

        • Anonymous says:

          The initial reference was in fact to "book fees", for which, unless I am mistaken, there is a substantial amount of uncollected revenue outstanding, from Caymanians.

        • Anonymous says:

          I suggest you read section 20 of the Constitution. I know that the Premier believes that the words "…achieve progressive realisation, within available resources…" means that the Govt. can continue to charge school fees for expat school children until the Govt. deems that it can afford not to, but he is quite wrong this belief. The principle at stake is equality. If fees are to be charged then all must be charged a fee. If public education is to be free then it must be free to all. It is between those two poles that "within available resources" operates, not as to whether one is entitled to discriminate.  

           

           

          • MacDumDum Blowhard says:

            Didn't you hear me when I declared "weeze broke"? What wrong wid unna?

  16. Lord Belly-Cloth DSO says:

    As with most government proposals all of this is perfectly unsound in theory and likely to be perilous in practice.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Speaking of money not recovered – does this government have anything to say regarding the money that was never paid in relation to the Ritz duties etc????

    • Anonymous says:

      You need to understand the concept of a limited liability company.  I think that is beyond you.  So shut up.

    • Anonymous says:

      Bad debt. Companies have no assets. No personal guarantee from Ryan to rely on. Sue Mac for negligence (or worse).

  18. MacDumDum Blowhard says:

    Curses. Foiled again.

  19. Anonymous says:

    It is rather interesting that reference is made to other jurisdictions and what they do and not do.  The question is, do they charge annual PR fees?  If you compare the proposed revisions to the Bill and PR systems in North America, I am sure you will agree that it would be easier to receive PR in the other jurisdictions.  I can see a 2014 revision in the making.

  20. Alice in Wonderland says:

    Just add it to the projected surplus. Cos we all KNOW that's gonna come good…………

  21. Anonymous says:

    With everything described above I think the term "permanent" resident is a misnoma…there are so many ways to lose this "status" that it can hardly be called permanent….. Why not be able to change jobs if it becomes necessary….that seems illogical…..

    • Anonymous says:

      Shh.  The terminology will help the human rights challenge.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is a Golden Work Permit, and has nothing to do with Permanent Residency.

    • Anonymous says:

      You can change jobs with PR, but you must stay in the same type of work. After all, that was one of the factors why you were awarded PR in the first place.

      Note that in the UK your British citizenship may be revoked if, in the opinion of the Secy of State, it would be in the public interest to do so and you would not be made stateless as a result of us removing British citizenship.

      • Anonymous says:

        just do like a certain gentlemen did and renounce citizenship. They cant send you off.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Sorry these people knew they had to pay these fees theres no excuse NOW PAY UP.

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe they are waiting for their pension money to be paid into their account!!

    • Anonymous says:

      One should not assume that "these people" are still here. There's no law keeping people from packing up and leaving.

      • Anonymous says:

        I know plenty people who got status and left, am sure there are many more.

      • Anonymous says:

        LOL. I would assume that Immigration would know if they had left.

        • Diogenes says:

          Yeah, but you would also assume Immigration knew that they owed them money and would go and collect it, too.  

      • Anonymous says:

        True, but their spouses and children and baby mothers and aunts and ….

    • Anonymous says:

      These ppl were under the assumption that, just as their work permit fees are been paid by there employer, then the latter will be too.  However there's still no clear indication of whom this should be paid by. (some employers pay for it). Also if someone with PR lose their job and is unemployed then they are stucked with having to pay thousands of $$$$ with no income.

  23. Anonymous says:

    So let me understand here, if a work permit fee is not paid then the permit applicant is considered over staying and will be arrensted and deported, how is this not the same situation?

  24. Anonymous says:

    Why would the Government jump on this issue and not unemployment?

    What happened to the Minimum Wage they promised?

    Why worry about 1500 expats that will be replaced by another 1500 if they leave first.

    Caymanians are always last in their own country.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thsy would jump on this issue because these people applied for Pr and are not paying the bill that goes with it. These people could very well be taking away jobs Caymanians are after. Moreover it is funds that the country needs.

      As for the 1500 the Government appears to be making anattempt at getting some of these jovs to Caymanians. A really big problem will be if it is true that over 900 of the jobs are low salaried jobs that Caymanians have little interest in. But hey at least you probably will not have the problem of not qualified. 

    • o please says:

      Find some other tune to humm now. the PPM has now provided enough detail for us to see where this does not hurt Caymanians and they have already begun to tackle unemployment. The NWDA Task force, the work permit system revamp (including the 20,000 fine for lying to immigration to get a work permit), the jobs program with the tourism industry, the hotel training school, fixing the economy so businesses can actually afford to hire, etc etc.. Anyone who continues to holler about the Immigration bill is either dumb as a post or looking to cause problems.

       

       

      • Anonymous says:

        PPM blogging machinery working hard LOL. the ppm have been embarssed to share details in public but it does not make the answers right or explain how this bill benefits caymanians

      • Anonymous says:

        Ok – well if you are correct – then unemployment should be reduced by at least 1000 by Christmas. 

        Lets watch and see –

         

        fines can be increased all they like – but its a fact that enforcement section in Immigration cannot investigate big companies unless the Chief Immigration Officer allows them to, and she doesn't do that as often as she should.

      • Govt says:

        20k fine for lying to get a work permit? That is great news! Finally the unsubstantiated poison pen letters to secure a work permit will be abolished!  For far too long, old-school businessman have been writing slanderous letters about hard working locals to secure their own ex-pat permits.  These are never challenged and unfortunately the victim is usually left in the dark and now I'm glad this fine will show some teeth.

         

        • Anonymous says:

          Ummm…the fine is already $5,000. All this does is increase it. It is never enforced now so…

    • Really... says:

      If you don't want to be last, get up and walk to the front of the line.  There's jobs there as a dishwasher and a garbageman and a helper and a nanny and a gardener and so on and so on.  What?  You don't want to do those jobs?  OK, so get up and walk to the front of the OTHER line. There's jobs there as doctors and lawyers and accountants and engineers and so on and so on.  What?  Not qualified for those?  Hmmm… I'm out of lines.  Sorry.

      • Anonymous says:

        I am a Caymanian lawyer and eminently qualified for many jobs that I have applied for above the position which I hold. When I had 2 years PQE it required 3. When I had 3, it required 5. When I had 5 and my local friend who had 7 showed an interest, the requirement became 10. Anyway, the company finds it acceptable to hide my application from the authorities to keep their existing permit holders just long enough for them to apply for PR.  

        Tell me what to do, oh wise one. Should I be a nanny? Maybe I could get a Britsh passport and be a gardner in England. Damn. not qualified. Can't tell a daffodil from a hydrangia.

        • Really... says:

          Seeing as you are a Caymanian holding a professional qualification, why don't you just start a practice?  I've seen a good number of Caymanian lawyers do just that and they seem happy and are making a living.  Lawyers aound the world do that as a matter of course, and at 5 years PQE you are as well in the zone to be as self-sufficient as the rest of the world's lawyers with 5 years.  I hear Caymanians saying "these are our jobs and it's our off-shore industry", and I for one would love to see young Caymanians starting businesses in that sector and building home-grown firms.  It can be a tough go, but it's worth it.  In the end you have a choice and the ability to take control of your own destiny, which is more than the average gardener can say.  I'll say a prayer for you, and I wish you all the very best as you look for your path.

          • Anonymous says:

            Why should I to be the one to move on? After 8 years of progression and hard work, what you are saying is that I should hit a glass ceiling and leave all I have built and risk being a start up in this economy, all to make room for expats? Particularly galling given those expats used the prospect of my advancement past the glass ceiling as an element of gaining their immigration permissions.  

            • Anonymous says:

              The tone of your posts comes across like the tone of an attorney who used to work in our office.  That attorney had just qualified and acted like an equity partner from day one, rolling in half an hour late on his first day, lording it up and acting arrogant towards the existing staff (both expat and Caymanian), making outragious sexist remarks to the female staff and clients, taking two hour lunch breaks and forever disappearing out of the office on personal errands, only never to return for the rest of the day.  Arguing with the Partners that they gave him too much work even though you did (no lie) about 2% of the work per day that the expats had to juggle in their daily schedules.  He was an incredibly intelligent person, with excellent English qualifications but his attitude stank and he simply was not capable of doing the work when it actually came to practising law.  He finally got sacked but none of us could believe how long the firm put up with his disruptive behaviour, which severely affected the morale and productivity of the other staff within the office.  This is not a Caymanian thing however, it happens world-wide, but I am just trying to point out that if your attitude is anything like the man I speak of, then I would not be surprised to find you out of work.

              • Anonymous says:

                You sound just like one of my expat colleagues, but you are not describing me.

                • Anonymous says:

                  I am expat.  But the Caymanians who work with me (and there are plenty in our firm) would be quick to say the same thing.  I am not exaggerating I swear to God I am telling the truth.  In fact there's a lot more I could tell but I wouldn't sink so low.

                  • Anonymous says:

                    Then I hope I may work with you one day. That is the fundamental issue here – how do we work to identify and separate the good from the bad, on both sides of the Caymanian/Expatriate issue?

        • Anonymous says:

          So, your story is one that I don't often hear. Usually the conversation is about lower level jobs and people who are unemployed. I would like to ask you some honest and sincere questions and I hope that you will not take offence but I would like to know what you honestly think as an answers.

          First of all, I assume that you are employed so this is a discussion of underemployment or employment below your skill and experience level rather than a discussion about unemployment correct?

          Next, if you were in charge of an international law firm and you had the choice between someone who had 10 years experience and someone who had less, in all honesty, who would you rather choose? Keep in mind that this law firm has to compete on a global stage with other firms who are choosing the best people they can find from a global pool of workers. 

          The labour market is very competative, not just here but everywhere. I don't think you need to go be a nanny but yes, perhaps it takes longer to move up or perhaps it takes moving to another jurisdiction for a period of time to get more experience and a broader experience. 

          Do you really think that the reasons for this situation have to do with someone trying to keep Caymanians down? I have never understood why someone would want to do that. Couldn't it be just that the career you chose is very competative? Why would someone be trying to hold you back?

           

          • Anonymous says:

            Because holding others back doesn't happen in the real world, right? Don't be so naive. Often it is nothing personal, it is just that they prefer someone who is "a better fit", meaning they have a similar background, culture, outlook, perhaps even colour and accent.  

          • Anonymous says:

            For exactly the reason the person has stated above! 

    • Anonymous says:

      The ones that are last are there for a good reason.  Many hard working Caymanians that took advantage of education, training, and a good job would have to disagree with you.  Anyone can be first but you do have to work for it.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Pure slackness by highly paid officials

  26. Anonymous says:

    The Immigration Law has been amended at least two times in the last 12 years. Every MLA who has collected a salary and served in the LA, the numerous Chief Immigration Officers and the Immigration Review teams are all responsible for failing to insure the PR fees were collected and provisions were put in place.

    • Anonymous says:

      Twice in the last 10 years? I counted at least 13 amendments since 2003…..

  27. Anonymous says:

    Having admitted that enforcement is an issue – then why does the law need to be changed to merely add more officers to the Enforcement Section?

    Again – trying to sell this gift to their friends by sugar coating it with claims of help for Caymanians.

     

  28. Anonymous says:

    Why not simply amend the law to allow for the revocation if fees not paid?

    Don't try to sell this ugly expat loving law using that.

    the 1500 TLEPs will apply for PR and be able to continue working until their PR application is heard. How does that help unemployed Caymanians?

  29. Anonymous says:

    and these same PRs are now getting welfare.

    • Anonymous says:

      and tens of millions in free education and healthcare for their school age children.

    • Anonymous says:

      Myth!  People with PR are not Caymanians and do not qualify for social services payments!

  30. Anonymous says:

    The government is looking for money and has recently discovered that $2.8 million in PR fees are missing. I hope they continue to find out what other holes they have in their pockets!!

    • Anonymous says:

      only 2.8mil???? im surprised it isnt more. I bet this number increases real soon.

    • Anonymous says:

      At least this Government realized that money is missing! WTF has the previous Government done? Which other country can you apply for and be granted permanent residency and not pay the required fees in advance?????

      Time to stop this Micky Mouse operation and get down to business. If you can't pay your fees involved with obtaining Permanent Residency you need to leave!

      • Diogenes says:

        Its not the fee associated with obtaining PR, its the annual fee thereafter.  Which is why it cannot be paid in advance as you cannot tell how long people will stay (or live).

        • Anonymous says:

          It seems to me that what we need to do is have one fee for the current permit fee x 5 which may be payable in instalments over the course of the following 5 years and is revocable in the event of default on any instalment. This addresses any perceived infringement of the ECHR based on discrimination among settled residents.

    • Anonymous says:

      Government is owed many millions more in work permit fees underpaid by unscrupulous employers intentionally defrauding the government of legally mandated revenue – but it does nothing and keeps rewarding the employers responsible with business licenses, work permits and even PR and status grants. This country needs to stand up firmly and get rid of the criminals – all of them.

    • Anonymous says:

      Where else in the world can one go to, except The Cayman Islands, get permanent residence, don't bother to pay the required fees, then collect welfare for you and your dependents for the rest of your life. Well, we all know who put this system in place and he still sits in the Legislative Assembly, amazing.

      • But seriously says:

        Hi… There's a lot of crap that gets posted on CNS (free speech has its price), but I'm curious about this one.  Are there really people who are let into the Cayman Islands on PR who can't support themselves?  Did that really happen, or is this just another vitriolic post from someone making sh!t up so as to feel like they have something  to contribute to the discussion.  Seriously, I really do want to know about this.  If that actually happened, why?  And why are they allowed to continue to stay?

        • Anonymous says:

          incompetence and corruption. Check any public school or district clinic to see the immigration status of the people being served, for free.

        • Anonymous says:

          It is absolutely true that hundreds of persons who cannot support themselves and their dependents have been granted PR. In one case a recipient was reportedly in Jamaica when she found out she had received it. Unable to afford a ticket back to Cayman, she tried to get social services to buy her one.

          This is all despite the fact that the existing points system clearly requires prospective PR holders to be able to support themselves and their dependents. The regulations actually state it is of paramount importance. Regrettably political interference (all PR recipients are potential future voters) seems to have meant that persons who ought not have been able to get PR, have got it.

          Much of this regrettably linked to status grants. XXX Children and spouses have been given PR in their own right with effectively no vetting.

          Being "destitute" is grounds for having PR revoked, but the section does not seem to be being applied.

          I think the local word for some of this is nepotism. 

          Whatever it is called, it is an economic and social disaster for us.

        • Anonymous says:

          The same reason we haven't collected the fees they owe.

        • Anonymous says:

          11:54 Sad to say but this is happening. For your information most of the PRs are poor people. Quite a few people have migrated to mtheir original Countries and are getting the Social Service check of$500 such as Cuba at least three of them and some went back to Jamaica where their monies can stretch further. They are in their sixties and qualifies for the handout. Caymanians are not complaining just to complain. We do have alot to complain about sir.

          • Anonymous says:

            What garbage! This is mythical BS supported by the Dino-brains on the morning call-in radio.  PR applicants must satisfy a variety of criteria, not least of which the means testing (own property/business, demonstrate financial ability, and provide balance sheet and supporting bank references) to qualify for PR.  People on PR are not Status Holders.  They cannot vote, and certainly cannot apply for Social Service Payments!  I doubt very much that they would have their "cheques" forwarded to Cuba – how exactly would those get cashed?  Moron.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well, Judging from post 10:53, I see that we have 14 people reading this (5 thumbs down and 9 lol) that has free Permanent Residence and is collecting welfare. And to add insult to injury 9 are laughing at the Cayman Government for allowing this to happen.

  31. Anonymous says:

    don't blame them…to think that you got to pay extra to be treated like dirt is unbelievable…..

  32. noname says:

    Hire a few unemployed indigenous Caymanians to collect these fees immediately. No pay no stay!! Simple! Sick and tired of this shhhh… let them abuse and use any other destination besides our beloved Cayman Islands!! Dont you dare mention writing off this amount in bad debt either….stand up and be Progressive, PPM or else!!! 

  33. Sucka Punch says:

    Time to pay foreign Diablo's time to pay! You have to PAY to PLAY all this time can you imagine Lick dem PPM lick umm Good! and theirshould be penalties or interest charged on this too. Outrageous!!!!! Running round ya running up unnah mouth and have not even paid to be here ??? Typical nuisance

  34. Anonymous says:

    PR fees are illegal under the ECHR.  No-one can be obliged to pay them.

    • Anonymous says:

      I wish I would have known that before I paid mine. And what's worse, now that I have PR, my employer doesn't pay for it anymore (like he did for work permits) so I am basically paying what amounts to a 6% expat income tax, for which I get absolutely no benefits except for the right to stay here. I don't know what these people are talking about saying people on PR get welfare assistance, but I am not entitled to a single cent of government assistance. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Those low income earners are reaping the benefits.

      • Anonymous says:

        The employer is supposed to pay it.

        • Anonymous says:

          The employer is only legally obligated to pay the Work Permit fees – it is an offence to collect WP fees from the employee as the permit belongs to the employer.

          PR on the other hand, belongs to the employee, and it is their responsibility to make sure it is paid on an annual basis.  The employer may elect to pay those fees on behalf of the employee, but they are not legally obligated to.

          And how to PR holders get a Cayman passport?  If they qualify for that, then I feel the PR fees should go away.

          • Anonymous says:

            Cayman passports have nothing to do with Cayman immigration. In fact, having one extends no right to travel to, live or work in the Cayman Islands. It is evidence of identity and a travel document. That is all. There are even prohibited immigrants that hold them.

    • Anonymous says:

      Should we call it some other name to be more fitting under the expat system.

      I say this if you dont pay the fees then your PR should be revoked.

      And perhaps since we are having this problem we should double up on how hard it should be to get PR in the first place.

      I like to PPM system. It tells the expat that your contribution should be more than a jobs. You get paid for that.

    • Anonymous says:

      No. You are referring to the position in England where PR is generally equivalent to what we call Caymanian Status. Our PR is in fact generally equivalent to what is called a Work permit in England.

      Besides, we have legitimately and openly chosen to collect our revenue in a manner different from the UK. It is one of the reasons so many come here. Your foreign dominated perception in fact has no relevance to our regime. You came knowing of it. Comply with a smile, or leave.

      I find byself hoping that you are indeed so arrogant as to refuse to pay PR fees yourself.  It may be good to spend your repatriation fee for the purpose it was intended.

      • Anonymous says:

        Good luck with the argument in the first paragraph.  As to the rest, a taxation system that discriminates against settled residents on the basis of national origin will be a fun one to see argued in Strasbourg. 

        • Anonymous says:

          And good luck with the third paragraph, although the ticket will only get you to Miami. It is a long swim to Strasbourg.

        • Anonymous says:

          They are only settled residents only once they have PR, silly (and pay their fees).

        • Anonymous says:

          No dsicrimination. You can always leave!

      • Anonymous says:

        Then why call it PR, when it isn't. If you call it PR, then expect to be judged by those standards under European (thus British and thus Caymanian) Law.

        Just rename it to "work permit where the worker pays the fees, not the employer" and have done with it.

        Regardless, anyone who has been here 8 years will STILL have a claim to Permanent Residency (real PR, that is) under European Law.

        • Anonymous says:

          Not true.  Just because Cayman is a BOT it does not follow that it has to observe all British laws. That simply is not the case.

          • Anonymous says:

            But Cayman does have to comply with the ECHR.  That has been accepted already by the courts.

    • Anonymous says:

      If this is the case, why dd you not inform them when you received the PR?  PR status is not a right, it is a privilege and people should have to pay for privileges.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Thank goodness the PPM is doing something to collect them via the change in the new law. Civil servants should be held responsible fornot collecting these fees!

    • Blame MAC says:

      Blame MAC and his supporters. He is the one who issued the directive to the board to approve every work permit and PR application. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Why does no one blame the Civil Service for not raising the issue before?

        Are they just now awakening to fees that having been being paid?

        Asleep at the wheel sounds too nice to describe this.

        • Anonymous says:

          If proper accounting had been done this would have been picked up on when it was due, but seeing as this is not done non payment slips through the net. The buck I'm afraid falls back at the feet on the civil service lack of accountability.

      • Anonymous says:

        Silence is golden.  Collect or rescind the PR.

        • Anonymous says:

          Collecting is not enough. Unless there are penalties you are simply rewarding those who broke the law and lived and operated unlawfully. If the worst thing that happens if you are "caught" is you have to pay everything that was due anyway, there is no point in obeying anything.

    • Anonymous says:

      Do you realise ppm were in power 2005-09 and failed to do anything in order to collect fees right?

      • Hoping for better days says:

        Thanks for posting because people forget this part…and it is crucial not to forget when they were in office from 2005-09. Fact is we were going down from then!