Open letter to the premier

| 14/10/2013

I don’t want to come across as complaining about my situation or not being empathetic toward unemployed Caymanians. I believe everyone, everywhere has the right to work a job, should they be qualified and should they commit to the requirements set by the employer to fulfill a position.

That being said, having been a law abiding, gainfully employed resident  in the Cayman Islands since 2005, I feel I am not getting a fair shake at what I have worked for while here. I knew the rules when I came to live here my second time around and played them to the letter of the law. I did my community service, I trained Caymanians, and I opened a small business. I also purchased property, all the while never taking anything for granted.

I refused to sign a  Term Limit Exemption Permit, believing I was taking the more difficult path, and as I did not want to sign my legal rights away as those choosing sign the TLEP, I applied for and was awarded a Key Employee designation.

Fast forward to this year, this new government. I feel as though the rug has been pulled out from under my feet. I am in the home stretch and the law is to change with the finish line in view. It raises the bar beyond my middle class capabilities, just as our business was beginning to grow and our future was looking bright. If we are not here to run our business it will wither and die, period. Nobody can run a small business from offshore and expect it to thrive. Small businesses arethe cornerstone of the economy along with middle class society.

So, ultimately, I really want to know why the government is persecuting those who took the harder path to Key Employee and did not sign their rights away as those signing TLEP have done. Why would you not hold TLEP holders and their employers to the contract they chose, in some cases on behalf of both parties? Everyone on every side knew the day would come. Why is this a large, shocking issue to them now? It was destined.

I guess this is written in frustration. I, for the life of me, cannot figure why someone would be granted a designation and have the rules that apply to it change in the middle of the program. Why would you not give people the chance to finish what they started on the same playing field? If you want to abolish Key Employee, abolish it. However, would it not be decent and fair to create changes to the Permanent Residency requirements applicable to the next wave, not those on the one breaking on the shore?

Category: Viewpoint

Comments (68)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    These rules was placed after I came here in 1969. It kept changing . In the past YOU could work here without PR andyou didn't need an expensive place of residence. than that changed. It keeps changing based on employment problem with Expat employing Caymanians. Gov't makes an appeal .Please hire more Caymanians. Expats talk with other friends nothing happens then new laws come down. There is cause and effect.

    I believe I read an article where if you live in Bermuda there is no citizenship. When you buy a gingerbread house they start at 1 million dollars. Why do you suppose they do that? One day a labour minister decided to make a statement in the press and told all the people in Bermuda that wash dishers they had one week to leave the country. The reason given was that Bermudans should be doing that job and no more foreigners would be allowed to have the job?

    Things change but there is always a lot of warnings. That stupid idea that one writes as ads in newspapers ,10 yers experience to do jobs that are entry level jobs. Everyone knows that whatever entry level job is being advertised could be learned or taught in a few days.

    So be careful and try to do whatever you need to do to apply. It could change again next month or tomorrow.

  2. Anonymous says:

    In the past a PR was given to a person who bought a place of residence a house or a condo. He was not allowed to bypass the work permit. He also had to have a 60% partner. Who is his partner? 

    When you changed your status from work permit to sole ownership you weren't suppose to work in your business .You were suppose to hire a Caymanian and look at the sunset drinking wine in your condo on the coastline .You were supposed to be retired. You had the privilege to leave the country and declare residency to gain the tax exemption from your respective country.

    ( definition of privilege law: is a special entitlement to immunity granted by the state or in this case Cayman Islands immigration law )

    Only when you became a Caymanian could you legally become a owner of a business 100%. . 

    You are not entitled to .

    • Anonymous says:

       

      How do you know this person does not own a residence? It says he/she purchased property….

      Why do you assume they do not have a 60% caymanian partner?

      Why would you not be able to work for your company on a work permit? Do you know their change of status? Why would you say they are retired?

      I read and re-read the viewpoint and was unable to make the same assumptions that you are making. Please expand on how you know these things

       

  3. Anonymously says:

    OMG this seems like entitlement mentality to me.  An expat feeling entitled to PR and ultimately Status after 7 years of employment in a Caymanian country but a Caymanian should not be or feel entitled to a job that he is qualified for in his own country (ROTFLMAO).

    • Anonymous says:

      I suspect the concept of legitimate expectation is above you.

    • Anonymous says:

      Perhaps you should read the letter again. I do not beleive the writer has a sense of entiltement , but rather he is questioning a law that affects his future. People immigrate to countries around the world  everyday, through good immigration policy strong countries are built. See- USA, Canada, Great Britain.Obviously those are much larger countries but none the less, built on immigration.

      Any sensible immigration reform would greatly increase the opportunities for skilled immigrants to come to this country on a permanent basis. Once that were accomplished, there would be no need for work permit program, or any other program of temporary visas for skilled workers.

      In the end this gentleman is speaking of how the law is changing in the approach to his eligibility to apply for residency. It sounsd as though he came here, not once but twice. Saw an niche in the market and seized it. I don't feel he should suffer the anger being spewed by not only you but several other posters. He has said nothing negative towards Cayman or Camanians. There is obviously a lot we don't know about the person that penned this, but we can draw that he did take a risk, invest and open a business. If you haven't been sucessful it is most likely not his fault.

      Finally, how do you know you could not go to another country and obtain employment and eventually residency. As i said earlier it happens every day.

      • Anonymous says:

        And that my friend is what the CIGdoes not want,without the revenue from work permits Cayman would have to institute income taxes.

        • Anonymous says:

          So if the work permits are so important for this country's economy, why doesn't the general population understant it?  Why are they anti-expat?  Why this roll over?  If it is for the purpose of not granting PR and status, then why not make the roll over shorter, like 6 months or so?  Caymanians, please understand that if you chase away expatsno work permits will end up in YOU paying direct taxes to the Government.

          Those who call themselves Caymanians forget that their forefathers also MIGRATED here from other countries, and once they had made home here, even after that many Caymanians migrated to other countries like USA, Honduras, etc.for earning livelihood and settled there.  Did they get the same treatment what expats are getting here?  I don't think so.  They seem to have been welcomed in the new countries as they have their generations living in that country now.

  4. Knot S Smart says:

    Looks to me that you are going to have to start packing..

    Oct 31st is nearing and even with the new immigration plan a lot of you will have to go back 'foreign' from where you came…

  5. Kato says:

    Question, did you not come to cayman to fill a post that a caymanian was not  qualified for? Your company should have had caymanians identified under the immigration law to be trained and for your post to be transferred after your term was due to expire. If not, isnt your company breaking the law?

    let say you got  PR or status, what happens to the caymanians below you? What happens if every company on the island  receives PR or key employee status for every expat from supervisor level and upwards? What happens to the caymanians?

    mr. Premier you consider these points when reading this persons letter. Immigration laws are in place to protect the natives of any country.

    • Anonymous says:

      The natives?  I fail to see how this will help blue iguanas.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is exactly where the problem is in Cayman, and for most part, the world. This responder has made it clear that he should be "trained by the company". Is it really the responsibility of the company or the nanny or the teachers or the police to educate your children when they are out of school? For example, if I wanted a "professional nanny", why do I have to suffer the idea of having a "caymanian" that will most likey be from another country and be told that if I want them to drive, I have to teach, if  I want them to swim I am suposed to train them and so forth and so on. My only complaint about goverment is that there are individuals that bend the laws for moral purpose. As the man said before, moral and legal are completly different. The new hospital will be the perfect example. But let me remind you, this time its Indians we are dealing with, they are very smart and are trained very well all by themselves and families, the way it should be. When they apply for a reception job or nurse or IT job, they would have been educated to the point of what a "caymanian" CEO would consider qualified. When the children behave bad in school and disrupt other kids we blame the teachers, (they black, they white, they english they jamaican). The goverment also need to take a stance and assist the companies set standards. If we keep forcing companies to be responsible for the persons training or up bringing, the system will fail. There is a direct connection to the old status grants and cayman poverty. We can pretend and try to hide the facts, but there is a nationalitythat abused that system so bad the new laws had to be adjusted to curtail the effect. The abuse of brining everyone possible, every sista and breda or grand child and so forth would have arrived here, un-educated, un-trained, could have been spoil brat gang wanna be, and entered into our system as caymanian. Now it is the companies responsibility to educate and train the imported entitled minded persons? I dont think so. As a buisness owner, I prefer to know that if I have to spend any money on training it will be for a "Caymanian" not an imported one. Say or comment how you want. People came to this islands to run away from the same type of people that are being imported and making cayman seem as if "Caymanians" are not able to work. For example, show me one "Caymanian" on the front line at the CI Goverment hospital.. enough already cayman. set the standard, being caymanian should be an advantage, not a substitute for education or being employed. And Goverment, set the standard for the education system. Do not keep lower the standards to suit the "imported".

      • Anonymous says:

        Do you go to church? Have you never heard of my brother' keeper? Well when we were setting this country up before all you smart entitled crowd grew up orgot here. We decided what we learned from our travels to the states and basically the same thing we did here. 

        You know that when the first tourist came here had more sense then when they coming now. They were different, they went with the flow. They didn't try to be smug, unyeilding,etc. So they got so much from the people. They got along so well that people would TEACH them how to fish or get lobsters, or make raw conch taste good. Bring free plantation food cassava, bananas ,papayas guavas,mangoes. Teach them the poison plants so they wouldn't get sick. Make special heavy cakes invite them to parties and functions. We lived good visitor ,bank and hotel operator. Thats why they came here to start businesses and wanted to retire here . It was safe and friendly. Even the first Jamaicans who came here were the same. 

        Then Jamaica started to crash and burn, Manley robbed his people of their education money only half the schools were built through the parishes. Crime grew marijuana became big business and the shooting began. People came from there and some mixed with our people . Some had the same life style we had some didn't. We were able to fix most children problems with a switch because it helped to switch their minds. But we started to follow the psycho babble andcrime grew. You can't even look hard at your kids today . In fact some kids call police on you . 

        We changed alot unfortunately and you stuck with the system. If you want crime to climb then don't hire or train anyone. The half breeds will soon reach mammoth proportion because of their baby mamas and they will kill their Dads. We will be out populated by uncontrollable, unresponsive,uneducated , drugdealing. You really won't have to hire them at all. But don't travel after dark without your bodyguard. Just stay home or surround your property with iron bars and 10 ft walls. Then you will feel just great.

  6. Freedom says:

    The problem with work permit holders in my opinion is that they come here for a specific time to complete  a specific employment yet clearly as  indicated in the authors note that he/she set up a business, invest and so on and when the time is up, it's all kind of drama yet you have over 500 graduates each year just from the government schools and are unable to find employment. Where is the justice for these young graduates? Should we continue to allow them to be idle and get mix up in the wrong crowd? It's frightening to think 500 or so young kids get in gangs and so on just to make ends meet! You think anyone would be safe in cayman then? 

    Let's face it, not all these kids can be lawyers, doctors, engineers, etc…., and if you have every WPTL who is a plumber, contractor, lawyer, etc…, who gets PR open up their own business  and then spend the rest of their lives here then Cayman will not be a nice place to live as it will not be safe for you or me. Then you will probably pack it in and call it a day. What will happen to me and my family when everyday it will be another gang member or an innocent bystander? 

    If I was given the opportunity to work and live in another country whith policies to protect the citizens of that country, then I would expect  that when my tenure is up, I would return home with more knowledge, experience and a couple of dollars more, then I would say thank you and move on.  I certainly cannot go to  the USA and tell Obama that he needs to change his immigration  policies to suit me? 

    The only people being let down here are the 500 kids that potentially will have to go find work in another country.

  7. OK says:

    So you planned for the best but feel that you're getting the worst, eh?  I did it the other way around and when I wanted to start my own business I just went home and did it here, where I can't be deported.  I can still go and sit on the SMB as a tourist, and Cayman can do what it wants for itself as is the right of Caymanians.  They didn't get the benefits of my business being in Cayman and I don't get the pleasure of running my business there.  That's how they want it and that's OK, since it's up to them.  You decided to start a business when you didn't know if you'd get to stay on in Cayman, and that's a bold move.  Bolder than I could be.  I hope things turn out for you.  In the end though, as a stranger in a strange land you've got to accept that it was always a risk that you could get sent off at the pleasure of your hosts.  Trying to growing roots where you don't have a right to be isn't really a good idea, and I expect Cayman is worse for everyone knowing the truth of that.

  8. Anonymous says:

    To "Someone about to be let down by the system"

     

    So what do you do with your business these days and till you know how the PR is resolved? Do you keep investing and growing?

    Do you employ more people?

    Do you buy a new car?

    Do you go to a restaurant or save every penny for the storm brewing?

     

    This is the point that is being missed, just the discussion taking place is having a serious chilling effect in the economy and things are getting worse because of what this Government is doing.

    Great start!, god help us!

    And before I have silly comments I did not vote UDP

  9. Village idiot of Absurdistan says:

    Dear Viewpoint Writer,

    I was caught up in a similar situation during the first round of rollover implementation- invested financially and empitionally and can empathize with you. 

    I ended up moving somewhere new which was a great experience. I have since moved to my home country which has also been great. A Caymanian took over my position in Cayman and appears to be flourishing. I enjoyed seven years in Cayman that were life changing and memorable. Faced some adversity, Hurricane Ivan, and others, but ultimately I grew from the experience. 

    I'll share some of what I learned during my time away in three different countries/territories;

    1) I was a guest in another country and accepted that the rules, policies, and laws may change (suddenly) and not always to my liking. It happens in my home country too. 

    2) My overseas experiences have increased my appreciation and empathy of the struggles that expats and foreigners face in my country. I am more aware of the plight of others and empathize much better

    3) Nothing is forever, change is the only constant. The challenge for you, as you face adversity, is to create or find value in the situation you face.

    4) Or choose to wallow in your so-called plight- let me know how that works for you. 

    I argue, much to the chagrine of many expats, that the rollover system can and does work as it is intended. I am living proof of it. I appreciate that Caymanian leaders are smart and motivated enough to protect their own. 

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      wow this nonsense flies in the face of 99% of expats who struggle with caymanian immigration………maybe caymanians should follow your lead and move overseas to experience more of the world?…..

      who are you?

      • Anonymous says:

        I did. Moved to the US after college. Got rolled over and came back to Cayman. Guess how long the rollover was for me as a business administrator? ONE YEAR!

      • Village idiot of Absurdistan says:

        I often share this advice with others looking to live and work overseas, as it is a frequent conversation:

        1) Are you willing to move there and accept the laws and policies as they are and not try to change or impose your "better ways"?

        2) Are you prepared to live and work in a country you do not have full rights- such as voting?

        3) In the face of natural disaster, can you accept that not even your  "home country" will come and save you?

        Most disqualify themselves with one of these questions.  Many need to reframe their expectations and disassociate the belief that with work/employment comes power. 

        Who am I? I am a person who views the world through different glasses than you.

         

  10. Anonymous says:

    As someone who has gone through the process of WP's, PR and status for 17 years, I can sympathize but at the same time you cannot expect fairness, it is their system and they make the rules.  You have to make the best of it on a day to day but always have a plan B.  I have been packed and ready to leave on several occasions waiting for the outcome of WP's or PR.  I have invested in the islands and also own a business that employs Caymanians.  During my carreer I have trained staff and volunteered locally but you have to realize that you have to be grateful for the opportunity, I know I am and I could never be living the life I have now in my home country.  I have issues with the system but at the same time they system is run by Caymanians and they are doing what they think is best for their children and grandchildren.  I think you have a great case for PR so hire a good lawyer/consultant to help you and you should be fine.

  11. Whodatis says:

    Millions of expats experience similar struggles in the UK, EU and USA.

    The only place one is guaranteed lifelong residency is in his own country.

    I wonder how such an open letter to David Cameroan would be received by the British public today? We all see what is taking place over there and within the wider EU. "The Right" is back with a bang, yet not a single Brit or European can confess they have seen anything near a 100% population increase by way of immigration as can we Caymanians.

    In any event you sound as if you will be okay regardless of the outcome. Simply apply your skills in the economy of your homeland. Don't you miss your home, friends and family?

    *Lastly, CNS readership really needs to make up its mind. Either Cayman is a horrible crap-pot that everyone should be happy to see the last of – or it is a place on earth that most are willing to sacrifice everything from their homeland to remain … which is it?

    • Anonymous says:

      Haha, you are deluded. Without immigration there would be no Caymanians! How did this island become popluated in the first place?! The only difference between expats and Caymanians is Caymanians' families got here before there were work permit and PR laws.

    • Anonymous says:

      Whodatis neatly sums up the dichotomy of commentary that makes me bite my tongue at times. We must remember that there is no single, unified, "CNS Readership". We are as divided as the Red & Blue states in America. Or any other suitably large group of individuals, each with their individual opinions, even if we align in to rough if shifting sub-groups.

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed…you hear alot of complaints from foreigners (not stereotyping, I didn't say "all" foreigners) about Cayman but they're still here, still complaining. If their place of origin is better than here (or if not and they can find a place better than here), I would expect they wouldn't complain as much and just move. They like Cayman enough to stay so I guess its just for the sake of complaining! Maybe they might be able to channel that negativity towards changing what they don't like….who knows…………

    • Anonymous says:

      It is a horrible crap-pot where you can make a lot of easy money, declare it on trust offshore at the end and the retire early to somewhere nice.

    • Anonymous says:

      Can you at least try to understand the point that rules are being changed retroactively? Do you understand the damage we are doing to our own reputation? Cayman's corner stone of its success has been rule of law and estability, we are playing with fire.

      • Anonymous says:

        The rules are being changed retroactively to benefit expats. Would you have preferred the 7 year rollover without a chance to apply for PR? You people never stop complaining. smh. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Thanks for stressing the point.

      • Whodatis says:

        I understand fully the issues at hand. Nevertheless, I stand by my initial post.

        Today the world is witnessing political asylum seekers, many of home are fleeing civil wars and violent unrest in their homelands, being uprooted and repatriated out of the UK, Greece, Italy, Spain, Malta, even Israel (nice, eh?).

        However, many still wish to label Cayman and its policies as unfair, xenophobic and inhumane?

        Again, let me remind the room that I was born in the 1980's and in my lifetime I have witnessed the population of my country double by way of immigration.

        (Edited due to misdirected comments.)

      • Anonymously says:

        Expat entitlement, OMG took that from a Caymanian too.

    • Anonymous says:

      to answer your last point…..

      cayman is a wonderful place to live mainly due the climate and to the hardworking expat population….

      it is a land of great opportunity being dragged back by caymanian ignorance , arrogance and stubborness… 

      • Whodatis says:

        Well, clearly ignorance and arrogance is not limited to the native community.

        Anyway, you just try and focus on elevating your sub-standard country up to the level of the Cayman Islands. That way no more of your fellow countrymen will be subject to your "misfortune" of ever setting foot on this glorious soil.

        Deuces!

      • Anonymous says:

        You know it is eactly this sort of arrogance and ignorance that gets Caymanians' backs up. People like you seem to delight in deepening the divide that exists. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Its people with that attitude right there that we don't need here. You come here and bash the locals and stereotype every one of them. I blame the government for giving expats opportunities over locals, but seriously, what makes you sohigh and mighty to come here and insult ALL the people in this country as if you've met every last one of them? This is not your country…do you go to someone else's house and insult them while you are a guest? Please. Leave if you don't like it.

        So now we have people like this guy, who think expats made this island…because all we locals did before you guys got here was sit on our asses and wait for handouts. Your statement "cayman is a wonderful place to live mainly due the climate and to the hardworking expat population…." is extremely appaling, especially for those of us who left this island to further our educations only to come back to find that people like YOU have our jobs or poeple like YOU won't hire us.

        Cayman indeed does have ignorance residing within the country. But don't for a second think that its all local ignorance, and don't for a second think that wherever you came from, thereis none there. All you are doing is compounding the problem

      • Village idiot of Absurdistan says:

        Can you truly blame Caymanians for trying to look after and look out for their own people first? What kind of protection would you expect in your home country if you were competing for work with others from overseas? My assumption is that you haven't faced that scenario before. 

        Whodatis has been onto something for awhile and ahead of the curve on protecting his own people and their interests. 

        I maintain that expats like to view (and criticize) Cayman under the microscope because it is small enough and information is easily accessible enough to do so. Whereas few will spend the same time, learning about the issues of their home country- especially related to guest workers or permit holders.

         

        • Whodatis says:

          Thank you for those words of support.

          You have made excellent points as well.

  12. Anonymous says:

    The saddest thing is that this Viewpoint has to be Anonymous, because anyone who is not Caymanian expressing a political view is likely to suffer persecution.

    • Anonymous says:

      Likewise any Caymanian expressing a view in respect of their own interest is likely to suffer persecution from expat employers.

      • Anonymous says:

        Touche

      • Anonymous says:

        all employers are partly caymanian……oh yes but they are part of the big anti-caymanian conspiracy too…..zzzzzzzzzzzzz

        • Anonymous says:

          Huh? Where on earth did you get such an idea!? I hope you are not referring to the 60/40 rule since that does affect many businesses in Cayman from accounting and law firms to banks, fund administrators, trust companies and hotels.

      • Anonymous says:

        So everyone is harmed by the sickness of the Caymanian/expat divide?

      • Anonymous says:

        Are you more paranoid or self-pitying?   It is hard to tell.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Read "Don't Stop the Carnival".

     

    Then laugh or cry or both. The choice is yours.

     

    If you are an expat, do not expect justice in Cayman; you will only find legality that changes frequently on the winds of political expediency.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Are you saying you don't have th right to apply for permanent residency.?..  If not, I think that is wrong.  If you do have he right to apply, shouldn't all applicants be treated equally?

    • Jonas Dwyer says:

      Talk to a lawyer, or an Immigration consultant before making the statements you make .

       

    • Anonymous says:

      Everyone has their circumstances………….Laws need to be applied and unfortunately sometimes the laws are detrimental rather than beneficial to some.

      BTW I don't believe that you applied for Key-employee status because you thought this was the harder route!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Sorry Bobo, having a job is not something anyone is ENTITLED to, but hey you have anotehr opition right? Home? Caymanians don't have a choice and there are graduates, children and grandchildren to plan for to fill 20,000 work permits over the next decade or so.

    Glad you love the country so much that you now feel ENTITLED to have our laws suit your needs but that's life and all the best.

    • Anonymous says:

      You have pleanty of options with your British passports which I do not believe should be afforded to you in the first place!

      • Anonymous says:

        No, they were taken away from us and given back to a limited number (not all Caymanians) only once Hong Kong was safely back in Chinese hands. They were only accepted back on a non reciprocal basis.

    • Anonymous says:

      With all this ENTITLEMENT anyone would think he already was a Caymanian!

      • Anonymous says:

        You can try to spin it all you like but it only goes to show that an entitlement mentality is not the preserve of Caymanians.

        • Anonymous says:

          Lighten up, I guess you need to develop a sense of humour… Or did thatone hit a nerve?!

  16. Anonymous says:

    While I am sorry for your situation, there are people in cayman the adult sons and daughters   of status holders who were minors when the came to cayman without PR or status. These people came pre Ivan and some in the late 90s. They are given only 40 points under these laws. Essentially keeping families broken up. Can the government do something fair for these people who are already integrated members of society?

  17. Anonymous says:

    Well said. It has become a joke with the games being played

  18. Anonymous says:

    its called caymankind……..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  19. Anonymous says:

    Removal of key employee is going forward. That will not be something that can be granted anymore. Don't you already have PR because you're a key employee already?

    • Anonymous says:

      19:00, being granted "key employee" status was the only way someone about to be rolled over could stay here for a further year thus qualifying them the RIGHT TO APPLY for residency, nothing more.

  20. Anonymous says:

    But you said you were granted key employee. If that's so, you should be safe to my understanding.

    • Anonymous says:

      18:58

      My date to apply for PR falls after the point system for PR is set to become only attainable by the wealthy.Plus many of the new requirements are unattainable because no matter how hard one tries, you cannot travel back in time.

      • Anonymous says:

        Wow, I am sorry that you only found out now that joining the humane society the day before you apply doesn't cut it.

        • Anonymous says:

          Unnecesary speculation – you know nothing about the person you are addressing.

    • SSM345 says:

      18:58, safe for what, a further year on island?

      Key Employee status was the only way a person that was about to be rolled over could get a further extension to remain here, thereby qualifying them the RIGHT TO APPLY for residency, as they meet the minimum 8yr threshhold. Nothing more.

      So unless the PR is granted, you are not safe, you only get another year to decide where you are supposed to start a new life.