Immigration boss says employers causing delays

| 03/05/2010

(CNS): The work of the Immigration Department is being held up by incomplete applications and the CEO is asking employers to comply with the law when applying for permits. Chief Immigration Officer Linda Evans said that inadequate applications are slowing the process down and warned that boards may refuse applications that are not in compliance. She also added that some employers are not advertising vacancies properly as they are legally obliged to do. Evans reminded them that they need to place ads for the permit application posts in at least two issuesof a local newspaper for two consecutive weeks.

With staff members processing hundreds of applications each week, she said the department is asking for more cooperation from employers and business people in the Cayman Islands. Problem areas relate to a range of permits, the immigration boss said, particularly the regular grants and renewals.
“In our continuing efforts to improve services and create efficiencies in processing permit applications, we appeal to employers to comply with all requirements," Evans said. “Incomplete applications cause significant additional work for our processing clerks … and ultimately lead to backlogs in the permit process. There is also a strong possibility that the Immigration Board may refuse applications which provide inadequate information.”
The department issued reminders that applications must be complete and accompanied by all required support documents. Certification proof must be submitted with applications for employees in the medical, legal, educational, plumbing, electrical and security services fields (or other professions which, by law, require licensing). Renewal applications submitted outside of the normal timeframe for processing will not be rushed as this would be unfair to applications that were submitted on time. Renewal applications submitted after the allocated time will result in employees being unable to continue working; they may also be required to leave the Islands until decisions are made.
Evans explained that the advertisement process for work permit applications is another cause for concern.
If applying for long term permits, employers are legally obliged to advertise vacancies in at least two issues of a local newspaper for two consecutive weeks – unless they have been exempted from so doing by the Governor-in-Cabinet or by the Immigration Board. Copies of the advertisements must accompany work permit applications and employers must provide details of all responses to those advertisements. The qualifications of all responders must be included, together with the reasons why Caymanians or legal residents were not selected.
Every advertisement must contain a full and accurate job description for the vacancy; a salary range, and all other benefits attached to the advertised post; a full and accurate description of the qualifications the prospective employer considers necessary to do the job – and the rationale for requiring such qualifications.
The department also noted that employers in the financial services are operating under new directives relating to work permit applications. These were recently issued by Cabinet and allow the Work Permit Board or the CIO to issue three-year permits for all workers who are not listed in a Business Staffing Plan. 
The directives encourage the grant of three- to five-year work permits for domestic helpers, doctors, nurses, teachers and ministers of religion. They also encourage the Business Staffing Plan Board and the CIO to issue three- to five-year work permits for workers in a Business Staffing Plan Certificate. Unless specifically requested on application forms, the Boards orthe Chief Immigration Officer are not authorised to independently issue permits for extended periods.
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  1. Anonymous says:

    IMHO It’s time for expats to gather up and leave the formerly great place to live and work. Don’t take it out on the immigration Department, the financial, banking and insurance industries recognize that the Cayman Islands are no longer a good place to be and are packing up and finding more business friendly places to go.  The Immigration Department is just a reflection of a general malaise.

  2. Classic says:

    A classic response to what we know is an awfully run department of the civil service – start blaming other people.

  3. NorthSideSue says:

    In this day and age, why are so many CIG departments depending on paper and not computers?

    I remember filing to become the executor of my parents’ estate in Cayman, so I could sell their home in Old Man Bay.  I had to pay a lawyer (SB-C) to file the papers for me. "How long would it take?" I asked innocently. "Aanywhere from 2 to 6 weeks" , she answered.

    My cynical reply was "So when the stack of papers grows tall enough and slides to the floor, then they will be processed?"

    SB-C said, "That’s about it."

  4. Annoymous says:

    You know what really bothers me about Immigration and their many Boards.

    They come out with these stupid weightless threats.  If you don’t pay we are going to revoke your application, deny your PR or Status.  Why don’t you do it and forget about reminding people about their obligation to this country that has given them the opportunity that many Citizens don’t have, especially our native Caymanians.

    Here’s my resolution to this problem with Immigration that:

    1. Put in the letter that it will be revoked in a certain time frame, and stick to it, have the person given time to leave of not less than 14 days etc etc. 

    2. Impose penalty fees eg: if unpaid after 30days of being granted you pay an additional fee to have the application decision reactivated.  If you still don’t pay by another 30days, then the application decision is resended and the applicant cannot apply again. Incorporate in that letter of the law that these extensions to pay will also be considered as the applicant’s time to get their affairs in order to leave the country. End of story, no more extension of previlages to non Caymanians in this country. The applicant is given 14days to move out. If you want to live here permanently then do what is right by this country and top insulting the integrity of it’s polcies, laws and most importantly it’s people.

    3. All those currently unpaid and are enjoying the previlages should be cancelled immediately and they are contacted and advised of their status in the country.  I am tired of people claiming they didn’t get a letter.  If your status in this country is so important to you then make it your business to go to Immigration often or contact them regarding and update, they are open Mon-Friday every day of the business week. 

    4. If we don’t impose the policies of the law and stick to them, then we are being abused and that certainly goes to the character of the applicant.  This country must run like a clock, we cannot constantly be accused of being a banana republic.


    • Anonymous says:

      You make it sound like the problems being discussed here are the fault of the foreigners and their employers. Yes there are a few unscrupulous employers and dodgy foreigners trying to pull a fast one, but there are a huge huge majority of hardworking expatriates and fee paying businesses being blatantly dumped on from a great height by the farcical immigration department.

      As has been more and more evident lately there are plenty of other places around the world that want to bring in foreign business and will bend over backwards to get it.  Lets not forget that our island is in ruins and our greed and xenophobia is destroying what is left.


      • A Great Mind hmmm says:

        I blame those who do not bother to take the time to go and sort out their own affairs, and want everyone to hold their hand.

        Get off your tush and find out what is up with your application, if it means a lot to you to become a Caymanian via a Status grant or granted PR, then it’s your duty to follow up on your application.  If the letter is not in the mail then go down and Immigration will gladly provide you with a copy.  You can also sign up for the free online service and check on your application as well.

        But after it is granted and you continue to do your thing and do not pay the fees then yes they should be revoked, rescinded etc. 

        If you don’t pay ur light or water bill, then you get cut off and have to pay a reconnection fee and late charge.  Same principle applies but make it stricter.

        We got too many people in this country that don’t deserve Status or PR and it’s time to weed those suckers out.


        • Anonymous says:

          This is the mentality that perpetuates the misnomer, Cayman Islands Immigration.  Each and every time I go to the Immigration department I receive a different story and this has nothing to do with protocol and procedures not being followed by employers and applicants. The Cayman Islands is becoming unlivable for expats and I’m not the only case,  I have heard countless horror stories.

          I agree with this poster, if you’re an expat living in the Cayman Islands, GO HOME, the sentiments of the Cayman people are against you.  The Cayman islands are reaching the tipping point and If you’ve visited Jamaica recently it’s a snapshot of things to come in the formerly wonderful Cayman Islands.




  5. Nanoo Nanoo says:

    Immigration is a disgrace.  It should be renamed The Cumbersome Expensive and Inefficient Means of Applying Positive Discrimination But In Reality Only Being Good At Doing Favors For Friends And Family Especially By The Hackneyed Tactic Of Intentionally Losing Documents.

    It would a) be honest and b) bring some income to a a local sign-writer.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Immigration who? Did you say boss? This is a joke because that place has more people wanting to be boss than you could imagine. On top of that they are hiring new ones with bigger than the world egos, who will do whatever to try to gain power. Better make sure you know who you hire Linda. Not because they can sing the song that it means they can dance the dance.

  7. Beachboi says:

    WOW!  I dont know who Linda Evans is but it sounds like she needs to rent a room behind McKing’s Wall.

    Lets face it we all know that Immigration is and has been a "black hole"!  Even light can disappear inside that place!!

    I used to joke that when the staff could not locate a lost file / document that the cardboard box that the application was in must have been out for repair.  Lets face it, I dont think that the CIG could afford to pay anyone skilled enough to go in there and clean that place up.  As for the "front line" well I cannot discount all of them as there are a few people that are truly trying to further themselves but I do know for a fact that documents and even job applications conveniently disappear in the "black hole".  You see, as we all know, there are Caymanians who indeed use their positions to do "favors" and of course dont mind making a little "extra" on the side.  If you dont believe this then you must have taken a nap at Galleon Beach and woke up at the Westin!!!!

  8. Anonymous says:

    I figure they delay the process so that we have to pay for re-entry stamps and visitor passes.  I had a child almost a year ago and she has still not been added as a dependant!  What a farce.  I’ve paid hundreds as every 30 days we need to stamp her passport again.  Although everytime I go and I get a different teller I’m told a different story and have paid different fees for the same stamp.  The last two times they have said that my office never filed the documents so then I pull out the same letter I show them everytime whereby the documents were sent to them and they proceed to supposedly update the system however funny how it’s not the next time around.  I get to do it again this week, hooray!  Can’t wait until I get it stamped for the last time.

  9. Anonymous says:

    immigration here has no idea what they are doing? they just have people who take breaks and sit on their fat asses. they pass all wrong information about stuff.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sure they know what they are doing. Their unwritten mandate is to frustrate as many people into leaving the islands as possible. Put in this light, it is the most efficient government department.  


  10. Anonymous says:

    We all know that Linda Evans does not have a clue about Immigration. She was put there to run the department administratively and for the department to continue being run from the Ministry it falls under Internal and External Affairs – Mr. Franz Manderson. The same now goes for the new Assistant Bennett. All we are doing is putting admistrative HR professionals in jobs that they cant handle as they dont have a clue about the law and if you need to see them dont bother they dont take appointments. Oh nor does anyone answer the phone at immigration all you get is voice mail and then they dont return calls.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well said! That department must be the biggest joke in the government. Unbelievable that with all of the so called "HR professionals" they recently hired a known felon plus at least one infamous trouble making backstabber the private sector was getting ready to sack and were celebrating to be rid of. What a disgrace.

    • Anonymous says:

      At least Linda and Samantha had enough ambition as to go to school rather than sitting on their buts and getting fatter and fatter and eating all the food that they could get. It is vey sad to know that you have Gary and Samantha at the helm of Immigration having a foriegn back ground, but you know what they have worked towards it. They were not looking down but looking ahead. In fact Gary does not make position swell his head as he tries to deal with people professional. He is acessible most of the time. We hope that he will not change. He is a very fair man and when we could not get to him we will now be

      • Anonymous says:

        Well I heard bennett was doing her best to clean things up…… give the woman a chance! she has only been there a few weeks.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are so smart! You saw right through the smokescreen!

      That place is a complete mess and the government needs to keep its promise and remove work permits from that department. The Department of Employment Relations is another mess and so work permits cannot even be considered to move there but all of the work permit staff and the labour staff could be put to work side by side as a Labour Agency. Remember all the talk during the election? What happened to that promise? More pie in the sky while we all suffer as a result of spineless politicians who make the civil service do as they want!! Franz needs learn about internal and external affairs and the work permits need to be removed from his empire.

    • Married to Caymanian says:

       Anyone listen to CITN Cayman 27 TV this morning?  There was an honest and fair reporting interview with a local hotel about the HIKE in work permit fees.  It stated the facts that  there are 7,000 less permits are here this year (due to backlog or employers just doing without?) and the COST of this bad decision to gauge the private sector has backfired.   The missing amount for the failing CI bidgets is MILLIONS….gee, guess this bright idea failed…lets ask WHY?

      ANSWER: The interview also stated that even though the fee hikes came into place, that work permits submitted LAST JULY have still not been heard, temporary permits are still taking over a month, and Immigration is still NOT working!  How can you get increased revenue without incoming payments?  

      Amnesty on guns?  How about an amnesty on work permits???  Anyone who has had a permit approved prior to 2010 should get an automatic renewal to clear the backlog….clearly if CI Immigration recently hired a local who had a warrant for their arrest and 17 DOCUMENTED arrests within 5 five years, we can take a chance that the previous boards made a good decision on work permit holders and we should take that chance again and just approve the waiting backlog, and ask the private sector for forgiveness for government continued bad management  (and Ms, Evans resignation)

    • Anonymous says:

      I understand they got new phones and those phones only ring twice – then goes onto voicemail.

  11. Anonymous says:

    When you blast people that turn in incomplete applications, you better wait before your shoe goes in your mouth.

    There are MANY stories of lost bits of information that immigration calls ‘missing’.

    Not missing, removed and misplaced.

    Take a poll of a pool of work permit holders and you will find many stories such as these.

    Sorry, no sympathy for the Immigration moaners. Just because I am Caymanian doesn’t mean I’m going to defend everything Caymanian. Especially when it comes to the government.

    • DMA says:

      All the comments / opinions / facts in regards to this subject shall increase inward investments? Which foreign investor wants to deal with that on top of the high cost of operation here? Time is money, no!? And the same is true for local business btw.

  12. Anonymous says:

    The efficiency of private business is inversely proportional to the complexity of immigration.

    So streamline immigration, toss out the complex rules and regulations, and unload a tremendous burden from the economy.


  13. Don't worry I wont stay says:

    I have nearly always been satisfied with the service i receive at the Immigration Dept. counter. The rare exceptions being when there is a system or printer failure and the people waiting are not informed of the extended wait times.

    That said, after the counter, the applications send to go into a void with renewals taking months. 



  14. Anonymous says:

    XXXXXX I agree most of the incidents of incomplete application take place right in that department.Quiet recently, a friend had a lawyer, who is an immigration specialist, deal with her application. She had originally been married to a status holder and sent off the Island for one year. Her employer wanted her back and using a legal service submitted the application with the divorce certificate showing she was divorced. The certificate went missing at the immigration department, but the lawyer had proof that it had been received by the department, but there were no consequences. Luckily, the lawyer could provide another copy to the immigration department and knowing that the lawyer was aware of what was going on, the permit (after the unnecessary delay) was eventually granted. XXXXX

  15. Anonymous says:

     Its not my fault.

  16. Bobby Anonymous says:

    Immigration needs to start visiting some of these companies to see if they really exist. Come check out my bussiness anytime you want.  In thereal world I would live to hire local help, let’s face it ,why do I want to deal with Immigration, high permit fees and roll over???

     I am sick and tired of trying to hire locals that are not qualified for the job or decide" today is not a good day".

    Let me hire who I need for the benifit of my company! I do NOT hire "because they are a friend of so and so".

    They refuse people entry because they can’t speak english? I can take you to a few bars on Island that have pretty barmaids that speak NO english!

    Immigration. Support the companies that are genuine!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Not wanting to open a can of worms or anything, but there’s nuff people living here get permits on overseas ‘workers’ just so those ‘workers’ can live here.  They never do a scratch of work for the person holding the permit… they free to come and go as they please, work for who they want on the side for cash-in-hand.  Thesystem is being abused in many ways and needs a complete overhaul.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Thursday, 19 July 2001 – The Immigration Board has been on a drive to clear the backlog of applications that were awaiting decisions.

    16 December 2005 – Mr. Anthony Scott. The Board will be hearing applications in January 2006.

    Friday, 22 December 2006 – T he Board added that: “Failure to comply with the board’s request within this set time frame could result in the incomplete application being denied by the Board.”

    Thursday 24th of May 2007 – Mr Manderson said the board plans to meet every day of the week to clear the backlog, unlike the two half days it does at present. The plan is to clear up to 500 applications every week through daily sittings, so all of the nearly 3,000 applications pending from 2005 are processed before the end of December 2007.

    16 August 2009 – Although the previous board members were able to whittle down a backlog of some 3,000 permanent residence applications, well more than 1,500 of those still remained to be dealt with at last check.

    When will the excuses stop? Could it be these Boards are no more efficient than say, our government accountants? If one does the math, the PPM processed approximately 1,500 applications in between January 2006 and May 2009. 1,500 / 40 months = 33 applications reviewed per month. Or, 8 per week versus the 500 Mr. Mandersonalluded to. (Eight versus Five Hundred.)

    Now does this seem like an efficient department?

    • Anonymous says:

      NOW YOU  CAYMANIANS HEAR ? The Public was asking from the last few years for a breakdown on how many people was granted Residence a nd Status since the big 3000 give away. So there was another 3000 applications but we would like to know how many of the 1500 that was dealt with how many was approved? We know that Miss Linda is a open book and we hope that asap she will give the Public that much wanted  and overdue information.

      • Anonymous says:

        Why are 1,500 applications for permanent residence to the Board submitted in accordance with the Immigration Law being compared to the 3,000 secret Caymanian status illegitimate giveaway by Cabinet?  Provided the met the criteria set out in the law so what if ALL were approved?  

  18. Annoymous says:

    Front line staff needs to be trained to deal with customers. Some of them have no people’s skills and should not be on the front line.

    The system that is presently in place at the Immigration Department is not a good one – it doesn’t work!!

    One can sit and wait for as long as 4 hours plus on any given day after receiving a "multiple ticket" upon arriving at the Immigration Department.

    If applications are being submitted "incomplete" then why in God’s name can’t Linda Evans deal with other "formal complaints" (which have also been receipted by her front line staff, which the complainant have copies of) that have been submitted some 5 months ago?

    I wonder if I called and to make an appointment to see Linda Evans what run around I would get?

    What does one have to do to get some feed-back?


    • Anonymous says:

      An appointment to see WHO. Linda Evans????? Impossible. You cant get near her. Dont know what she does but if you have a problem with Immigration and ask to see her you are told a resounding NO thats not possible.

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh yes, been there did that! And dont forget the rudeness you get from the staff member turning you down!

      • Annoymous says:

        This is the third time I am making this post…why don’t I see it??

        CNS: Stop posting in coloured font.

        • Annoymous says:

          I know I won’t get an appointment to see Linda Evans. You have to be a friend of a friend and so on to get to see her, or maybe get a family member of hers to call on your behalf.

          As another poster said not sure of what she does all day long, but she sure doesn’t deal with the pressing matters that she should be addressing.
          What Linda Evans and the Business Staffing Plan Board members need to do is to scrutinize all the renewals and new applications that are submitted for e.g. “legal secretaries” and check and she how many experienced, qualified Caymanians were made redundant in the past year or so and refuse to grant and renew these applications.
          Caymanians we don’t matter any more in our own country. The reason for this is we don’t have to PAY WORK PERMIT FEES
          The Government is getting the revenue that is so desperately needed from the work permits that are granted, but in the end we the Caymanians are the ones that are hurting, we can’t get jobs, because the Immigration Department continues to grant work permits…we are being sold out!!  
  19. Anonymous says:

    Immigration Dept is a hot mess….those in charge are worse than the employers out there.   There were qualified applicants with clean police records for the position they gave to the WANTED FELON but as usual they felt that they could do as they please and give the position to a friend…what a shame and it backfired in their faces.  Imagine with the wrong they are doing, they are trying to make employers do the right thing   WELL…..Start by doing the right thing by setting the right examples in your own department.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is a disgrace and someone in there should be sacked for it! What is mild mannered Franz doing about this in his new position as Chief Officer but maintaining responsibility for the disfunctional mess he left called the Immigration Department? I am not impressed and someone should pay for this.

  20. Anonymous says:

    The underlying assumptions are Immigration staff:

    1) Don’t hide files.

    2) Don’t take things out of files.

    3) Don’t delay files until they receive instructionsfrom their friends who have issues with the applicant.

    4) Don’t lose files.

    5) Are honest, competent, organized and efficient. 


    • Judith says:


      It sounds funny, but what do you do?  You need someone to handle the files!

      I think instead of attacking Immigration, you should such matters up to the Premieror Complaints Commissioner if you have any evidence of foul play

  21. Been here 15 years says:

     This is the SAME Immigration Department that just hired a WANTED FELON!!!  for drugs and Lee County Clerk records show that XXXXX had been arrested 17 other times between April 2003 and April 2008.  

    A few things are very wrong with our Immigration system.  There are too many gaps.  For instance, we leave it up to the employee to provide a "police clearance letter" from their home country/county/state/province and these documents could easily be doctored in this day and age.  There are many databases that could be used to save time, money, and hassle.  

    Maybe a background check on XXXXX would have been a good idea???  Who is the HR bonehead who hired him?

    • Annoymous says:


      Response to Been here 15 years…13.22
      I too would like to know who hired the WANTED FELON?
      Might have been Linda’s friend and class mate that was just hired for the 
      Deputy Chief Immigration Officer (Administration) position and where Immigration Officers who have been at Immigration for 20years plus have been "passed over" for this position and other positions.
      It sure goes to prove “it who knows who”!!
    • Anonymous says:

      You forget luv, that is the department with HR "professionals" crawling all over it! The poor worked to death HR manager who has been there for several years now probably donthave a say anymore. The degreed folk arrived there!

  22. Anonymous says:

    This is a good notice by Immigration department.

    I would also advocate a system be put in place for either Department of Employment Relations or Immigration to devise a system where they Flag employers that display a pattern of refusing qualified caymanians/residents. Such employers should be made to invite representatives from DER or Immigration onto the panel of interviewers to observe that a fair interview process is undertaken, as well to ensure reports on such interviews are consistent with what was actually experienced.


  23. Cayman Concern says:

     Franz kept the place honest.  It is a mess now and The Immigration Department  is woefully lacking any talent or direction.  I say "outsource"!  Why not use the computer programs that exist (for screening applicants) to reduce time and paperwork?  

    • Anonymous says:

      Outsourcing is a good idea for HR purposes but make sure that it is a Caymanian owned business that gets the job!  And I mean a born Caymanian!

    • Anonymous says:

      You must mean Franz tried to keep the place honest but it is clear he didn’t succeed otherwise there would not be so many on "required leave" now for wrong doing.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I have submitted "complete" applications in the past only to receive a letter some 30 days later that my application was incomplete.  I then returned to Immigration with the "missing" documents and asked the counter person to to stamp them received (and I kept a copy).  Some 30 days later I got another letter stating that my application was still incomplete.  I took back the "proof" that the documents had been delivered but they were not swayed by my argument. 

    Rather than applications being incomplete I contend that in some cases disgruntled civil servants who handle applications "make" them incomplete.  How can you argue otherwise when I have a proof of delivery. 

    Employers……..start having your entire applications marked as received.  If we all follow suit then maybe we can "fix" the system that doesn’t seem to be working.

  25. Laura says:

    What Linda says makes sense!  If you put in an incomplete job-application, and Immigration does not approve it within a month time, WHAT DO YOU EXPECT???


    IN SUM:  You deserve to wait, wait, wait, wait, wait…


    • Anonymous says:

      You have to be kidding me…. Applications complete and submitted by my Cayman attorneys with all supporting documents, 9 months later no decision yet, on a renewal…but Immigration was happy to take the fees from day 1…

      The problems are on immigrations side not the public’s and immigration wants to blame the public ? or rather qualified law firms ?

      Everyone knows the Civil Service is not efficient, don’t blame the submitters, you make the guidelines and rules for submission , you have the right to accept an application or not, if it is not complete why accept it ?

      Bad organizational skills and management…

    • Anonymous says:


    • Anonymous says:

      OK Laura, we knew you would defend but next time try to know what you are defending.

  26. Anonymous says:

    The Boards MAY refuse to applications that are not in compliance?

    I am sure as hell hope so as the applicants/employers are breaking the law when they are submitting incorrect and incomplete applications. Once they learn a hard lesson, they won’t make the same mistake again.

    I also hope that immigration doesn’t take their time to chase for missing docs and info etc. Just send the application back with a letter asking to re-submit!

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes the Boards can resfuse incomplete, late, and dishonest applications. So your point is mute. Employers, at least the ones who don’t have connections within the department, know not to mess with this department as it is so anti-expat any excuse will be made to refuse an applicant. Any and everyone who can be refused, will be. Rightfully, or wrongfully. So, you tell me, who is the real cause of any backlog?


      Its time Cayman stop trying to sell a false product. 550 banks, 5th largest financial centre, business freindly, cost effective (my health insurance went up 12.90% this month alone), efficent (it used to take 3 days to open a company, now 3 weeks is more likely.) Friendly people, safe environment, christian society, top notch education. We are so caught up in our own bs, the world is laughing at us while it passes us by. 

      While I’m dispelling a few myths, I should add the king didn’t give us tax free staus (which we will soon find out the hard way), and leaves don’t create the wind. There are reasons, such as 3 feet above sea level, why it is hot and why it is easier for us to get flooded.

      • Science Major says:

        Wait a minute!…….leaves don’t create the wind?  Why don’t they move when it isn’t windy?