A new category of Permanent Residency

| 20/07/2011

I wish to outline a new framework for the Term Limit and Roll-over policy regime which I think will be equitable to Caymanians and non-Caymanians and which may also encourage economic growth and build investor confidence. My proposal is for a new system of Permanent Residence, particularly a new Permanent Residency (Restricted) category, while also building upon and fine-tuning the existing provisions of the Immigration Law & Regulations, and effectively rationalizing the “Caymanian Status” eligibility (for only a specific category of people).

I will admit that the following ideas of a new category of Permanent Residency is not exclusively mine, as although I publicly wrote about this 5 years ago it has also been generally discussed in some quarters for at least a decade. The concept has however enjoyed much more “traction” in recent times, due to the mid-stream impact of the rollover policy and by extension its implications on the economic resilience of these Islands.

Vision 2008 (the 10-year National Strategic Plan which was launched in 1998) provides in Strategy 16 (pages 111 to 116) the over-arching objective of “establishing a comprehensive immigration policy, which protects Caymanians and gives security to long-term residents”. I have been a strong advocate for some form of “rollover policy” for at least 2 decades, and from the early 1980’s, when I was overseas at university, I even wrote letters to the newspaper back home advocating such a policy – in the interest of providing a career path for qualified and able Caymanians, while at the same time ensuring a Caymanian population advantage in the interest of future generations. Sadly, such a policy only came formally into effect on 1 January 2004, against the back-drop of potentially different motives and with a somewhat rushed legislative package and timeline.

On the subject of security of tenure for long-term residents, there has been resistance in embracing the changes brought about by the “rollover policy” because of the delays in implementing the policy and the then robust economic climate (in Cayman and elsewhere), which made recruiting a challenge in some areas. To further aggravate the prevailing feeble change management efforts leading up to the passage and enactment of the law, the introduction of this new policy framework (enshrined in the Immigration Law 2004) was further compromised by the impact of Hurricane Ivan in September 2004, as this made it even more difficult to implement both the immigration and the human capital development objectives of the law. After the completion of the general elections in May 2005 (delayed from November 2004 as a result of Ivan), the new government decided to continue the implementation of the Immigration Law 2004 and its term limit provision, rather than to delay, amend or repeal such clause(s). Respective immigration boards, including the Business Staffing Plan Board (of which I was deputy chairman from August 2005 to June 2009) undertook valiant efforts to accommodate the law and to serve is various constituents, albeit under difficult conditions.

However, in view of the fact that the immigration statistics seem to indicate that the average length of stay of expatriate workers is 4 to 5 years and the often stated claim by many expatriates that they do not necessarily want Caymanian status or citizenship but only some security of working tenure, we may therefore have a perfect recipe for a solution. If the foregoing assumptions are indeed correct, where some expatriates (whom their employers may have difficulty replacing in the short term) only desire to become “Key” is to enable them to qualify to apply for Permanent Residence in order to have some security of employment tenure, then another option for them may be more suitable. This new option would achieve their and their employers’ objectives, while keeping them under immigration control and monitoring their training of Caymanians, conduct etc., but preventing them from ever achieving Caymanian Status.

In substitution of the current system of a 7-year term limit or “Roll-over” for everyone, except those who are designated as “Key Employees”, I suggest that certain categories of specified non-Caymanian workers could begin the application for a new Permanent Residency (Restricted) category after they have been legally and ordinarily resident in these Islands for a at least three (3) years. In order to create equity and to avoid abuse, obviously the Immigration Law and Regulations would have to stipulate the category or job level of eligible employees, specific expectations and rules for the employee to fulfil, and similarly for the employer (perhaps following a similar standard as was proposed 3 to 4 years ago known as the “Immigration Accreditation System”). Those employees who choose not to pursue this new option of Permanent Residency (Restricted), would continue to be subjected to the 7-year “Roll-over” and the rigours of the Key Employee application process (where merited).

The “mechanics” of my proposal for a new option of Permanent Residency (Restricted) category is therefore outlined in a 7-point plan, as follows:

  1. Establish a new category of Permanent Residency(PR), with Restrictions in regard to the type of work/industry the holder can be engaged and also preventing them from ownership in certain categories of businesses as well as from voting in General Elections;
  2. Carry out an exhaustive analysis of this proposal, particularly with regard to any human rights objections or hurdles, and obtain opinions from relevant international legal luminaries, including queen counsels, and internationally recognized human rights scholars;
  3. If the two foregoing points are confirmed, then amend the Immigration Law and Regulations accordingly;
  4. Those individuals who meet the criteria of being critical to their employers, but who do not wish to obtain the existing Permanent Residency, (and thereafter Status), can apply for this new category of Permanent Residency (Restricted). Other employees would be able to continue to seek to be “Key” so as to qualify to apply for Permanent Residency, however they would continue to run the risk of being unsuccessful in being classified as Key Employee and/or gaining Permanent Residency, i.e. they would then be “rolled over” after 7 years and not be able to reach their 8th year to apply for PR;
  5. Those employees who exercise the option of this new (Restricted) category of Permanent Residence, would do so voluntarily and would also voluntarily waive their right (by a certified and Notarized legal instrument) to apply for Permanent Residency or Status in the future;
  6. This new Permanent Residency (Restricted) would be awarded for 3 to 5 years each time, with annual reports (police clearance, Caymanian training or availability etc., marital status, dependents etc.) being required each year with the payment of the fee;
  7. At a confirmation every 2 years, the employee would have to renew their waiver to apply for the other Permanent Residency or Caymanian Status, i.e. they would remain on the Restricted “license” with no claim to PR or Caymanian Status.

As I see it, if the following option becomes a reality, the Immigration “landscape” would be materially but not adversely altered, and would include following options:

  • Residency & Employment Rights Certificate – Reserved for persons who are married to Caymanians, or those with Caymanian connections due to descent, etc.
  • Permanent Residency with Right to Work – For people who may be successful in obtaining PR after they have become a Key Employee and are successful with the PR exam etc (if they choose to go that route)
  • Permanent Residency (Restricted) NEW – As outlined above
  • Permanent Residency without the Right to Work – Reserved for wealthy retires, investors, or other eligible long-term residents of property/home owners, whose resources are sufficient to take care of them without their need to work.
  • Caymanian Status — This would normally be for a Grant due to birth, marriage to a Caymanian, or on the basis of Residency under the existing Immigration Law.

There may be some who may argue that this new system may give some expatriates access to more power quicker than they can now achieve it. However, this is not necessarily the case if we examine the current economic situation and the other proposals and sentiments which are circulating. Additionally, if the proper monitoring and enforcement is done, preferably by a new authority, then the damage to Caymanians can be effectively mitigated, and the prospects for Caymanians' upward career mobility will be enhanced.

Others may say that there is a risk that children born to families who possess this new Permanent Residency (Restricted) category may themselves have a Right to Caymanian Status. Again, this is a matter for the legal luminaries to examine, as suggested in #2 of the 7-point plan above.

Third, some may say that this establishes a risky precedent. Well, that objection is also not without its weakness, because the present government has already amended the Immigration Law and have exempted certain categories of caregivers (of the elderly, physically handicapped/afflicted etc), from the provisions of the term limit. I am not sure what protective and control mechanisms are in place to prevent abuse of this new exemption for caregivers; however, with the Permanent Residency (Restricted) category which I am proposing there would be proper rules and monitoring.

Finally, some may suggest that those people who agree to the waiver and sign a “renewal” every 2 years may (say after 10-15 years) eventually renege on their commitment and then try to claim their right to Caymanian status. However, this would be subject to a court order, as the government would defend its position and appeal any unfavourable outcome, with the assistance of a credible queen's counsel. It is understood that a similar crown dependency, Bermuda, has also introduced a similar system, with favourable results.


The foregoing appears, in my mind, to be a fair compromise, which upholds the spirit of Strategy 16 of Vision 2008. However, for this to be truly effective, it ought to be done under the aegis of a long-range development plan (a renewed Vision?), as well as having a National Training Initiative imbedded in that bulwark. As I have also said repeatedly in the past, Action Plan 7 of Strategy 16 (to establish a Human Resources Authority) is a critical link in the chain of hope, in the new frontier of tranquility and prosperity for Caymanians, long-term residents, and our economy. In my next commentary, I will address this matter, as I have always maintained that the best home for the effective implementation of labour and human capital policies is not with the immigration department or the various work permit boards.

I commend the foregoing ideas, once again, for discussion and analysis on the agenda at the highest levels in the private sector and the political directorate. I stand ready to assist with, and engage in, a genuine discussion on a comprehensive and equitable solution in relation to the protection and development of Caymanian human capital as well as the equitable integration of non-Caymanian talent, as a recipe for sustainable development of our beloved Cayman Islands.

It is my considered opinion that the adoption of this policy, in a sincere and holistic fashion, will preserve the core of Caymanians values and aspirations, while at the same time rewarding and embracing needed and compatible non-Caymanian human capital. In my opinion, this new economic environment will result in a paradigm shift which will stimulate progress, promote workplace tranquility and productivity, and encourage investor confidence and sustainable development. In a service economy, where labour is a key input, such a combination would be the catalyst for dynamic economic recovery and propel the Cayman Islands from “Good to Great”.

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  1. Like It Is says:

    Is anyone else tired of the "how terrible it is to be Caymanian in the work place" sob stories?  To misquote Frank, if you can't make it here, you could not make it anywhere.  With all the positive discrimination mandated officially and unofficially, the real discrimination is against hard working, educated, talented ex-pat staff.  Stop moaning like spolied children.  Education, talent, hard-work, these are more important than a passport or having a friend in Immigration.  The moaners are insult to the many great Caymanians who do a fantastic job in the workplace.  The moaners usually seems to be the utterly mediocre.

    • Anonymous says:

      Discrimination in the workplace against Caymanians is a very real phenomenon even against Caymanians with considerable education and talent who are hardworking. I have seen it from a variety of vantage points. Rather like affirmative Action in the U.S., the need to legislate preference for Caymanians is needed to counter the prejudice against them but in practice is not very effective. It is discrimination when:

      – a Caymanian's application for a position for which he has the requisite qualifications and experience is not even acknowledged let alone an interview granted. The Board will never know that the application was put in the bin, and it will not help the Caymanian to fight for a position where he clearly is not wanted. Even if the application for a work permit is denied on the basis that there is a suitably qualified Caymanian who was not even considered the unscrupluous employer can appeal and the expat employee can continue to work pending the outcome of the appeal. At that point the Caymanian applicant has no choice but to move on.

      – a suitably qualfied Caymanian is interviewed for a position only to be told by the would be employer that in fact the newspaper ad did not contain all that was required for the position and the position will have to be re-advertised. The new requirements just happen to match those of the expat employee who is already employed on a temporary permit.

      – when the newspaper ad is written by the expatriate incumbent and includes qualifications which are not necessary for the position but happen to be held by the expatriate holding the position, e.g. speaking Russian, Hindi and Portuguese.

      – when the expat employee is given opportunities, mentoring and training that is not afforded to his Caymanian counterpart.

      – when the highly qualified Caymanian applicant is told that they are "overqualified" for the position.

      – where the managers of a particular nationality 'just happen' to have a large proportion oftheir staff of the same nationality.    

      These are all taken from real life situations. There are many others. Facts are stubborn things. Your denial cannot alter their reality.   


      • Anonymous says:

        Most of these examples, while generally apocryphal, are not examples of discrimination, but, at most, if true, anecdotal responses to the perceived impropriety of an employment regime that goes far beyond positive discrimination and which goes as far as to require an employer to harm his business by letting go or being unable to hire a better candidate simply because another candidate meets the mere "suitably qualified" threshold.  It is less an employment law but more a form of mandatory privatised social security.  If employers did not have to employ the less able candidate, they would not take steps to ensure that they had the best staff they could employ. 

        • Anonymous says:

          They are not at all "apocryphal". They are not based on hearsay but direct knowledge and the discrimination was clear in each case. You appear to think tha being Caymanian automatically means "less able" and the expat the"better candidate". You see hiring Caymanians are harmful to business. That employing them is equivalent to mandatory social security. That mindset reflects prejudice is a large part of the problem. 

          I don't know what point you think your denial serves since every Caymanian knows it to be false. You are obviously not Caymanian a so cannot speak for the Caymanian experience. You also cannot speak for all employers. You are precisely the sort of person why these laws need to be in place and why they should be vigorously enforced.

  2. Big picture says:

    Improving the future of the Caymanian people will not be achieved with policies solely focused on the limitation and control of expats (or crime or guns for that matter). A holistic system has to be built to get qualified, competent Caymanians to do the job.  Focus on development, not restriction. This will for sure rely on some restrictions and monitoring, and here some of what Mario proposes seems sound, but the mechanics of limiting who you want to stay are easy compared with training and motivating the Cayman people to do the work at hand. This is where you should be focused – like on having a real skill transfer program as a requirement for certain permits.  The message you need to send to Caymanians is that this is their opportunity to succeed with hard work– not an entitlement to a job.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Unless we can stop politicians to bully the various boards into interpreting the law as it suits them (the politicians) for the hope of gaining votes or other favors any given day, and until we can either do away with the boards altogether or have individuals serving on them who are actually there to uphold the law (not to hand out favours), it doesn't matter what the law reads!

    Boards have no teeth and no power and our elected officials are not interested to follow the law. There you go……..

  4. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for clearing things up for me.

  5. Anonymous says:

    You need 2 classes of expats: professionals and other.  Give the professionals a welcome with open arms and a guarantee of PR if they stay for 7 and fit in.  Do something else with the non-professionals.


    There.  I said it.

    • Anonymous says:

      What is that "something else"? You take too narrow a view of the quality of people we need to create a better society. People should not be discarded merely on the basis that they are not professionals. This would in effect discriminate against those among us from Jamaica, Philippines and Honduras the vast majority of whom are not professionals.

      Why would we "guarantee" of PR if they "fit in"? What does that mean anyway? How would that "fitting in" be measured?  What room does that leave for Caymanian professionals?  

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you! I have always wondered why the roll over policy did not have different term limits for the various industries/occupations in the market place. Clearly, domestic helpers are in greater abundance than doctors. If the roll over policy was ever going to yield the intended results (sorry, what are the intended results?) it certainly will not as it is now structured.

    • Loren says:

      You are a little late with your classification and this is the source of much of the problems within our immigration and country to date.

      I am for the Bermuda model.  There it is read it.



  6. Anonymous says:

    Please let us know of the many Bermudians living and working in the Cayman Islands.  How many are working here in clerical positions such as bank tellers, accounts clerks, junior administrative, lower and middle management positions, wait staff, kitchen helpers, supermarket workers, nannies, hotel workers  helpers, construction workers, sanitation workers, landscapers, security guards, dive masters, drivers, plumbers and mechanics? Some of these are the jobs that many of the unemployed Caymanians are unable to get at a decent salary to perform.  Let me know how many Bermudians are here working for US$2.50 to $3.00 per hr, let me know how many Bermudians are here making US$1,000 or under to $3,000 per month. 

  7. Anonymous says:

    O'Really again I rest my case, excuse me Cayman's work permits down to under 20,000 Bermuda's work permits over 8,000 my point half the amount.  Bermuda wins easily as I am sure that since you know so much no work permits are granted in Bermuda for clerical, junior and middle managers and a whole host of other jobs.  Void of stats in reality Bermuda seems to be doing way better than Cayman, how many Bermudians are on welfare? I see that around the same work permit holders in Bermuda are similar to thewelfare recipents in Cayman how sad and ironic! maybe unemployed Caymanians should go to Bermuda as job seekers.  XXXX

    • O'Really says:


      It is interesting trying to reconcile these two statements " …no work permits are granted in Bermuda for clerical, junior and middle managers and a whole host of other jobs "  and  " maybe unemployed Caymanians should go to Bermuda as job seekers." I love that kind of clarity of thinking.


      As for your case being rested – again – well if you're telling me, it must be a fact.

      • Anonymous says:

        O'Really it seems that you are not able to process and understand a simple statement .  Maybe you fully well understand the statement but choose rather to misinform.  With my limited understanding I will try to explain the statement to you and others as I understand it. In reading the other comments leading up to the statements it seem that there is a list of positions in Bermuda whereby Non-Bermudians (expats) are not given work permits (anyone can read the list as a web address is given on at least two occasions) which includes clerical positions, junior and middle managers, secretaries, wait staff, taxi drivers, landscapers and many other positions that most of the now unemployed Caymanians areseeking here at home in their country but are sometimes if not most filled by expat workers.    In reading the article the writer seems to be of the impression that  given the same senario Bermuda although in a decline as is most of the world including (here in CI) due to the economic depression is still doing better than the Cayman Islands as those positons are filled by their native while Caymanians seeking similiar positions are shut out of a job due to expats filling those positions here which is not the case in Bermuda. 

        In my opinion the comment made  " maybe unemployed Caymanians should go to Bermuda as job seekers." was simply sarcasm at its best because the writer is well aware that not a single unemployed Caymanian within that category (which is the case) could ever find a job in Bermuda because Bermuda's immigration policies does not allow it period . How is that for clarity? 

        PS I have yet to find a Bermudian working in Cayman as a waiter/waitress, bartender, secretary, bank teller and sales clerk.  The Bermudians that are working here are all in senior professional positions within government and the financial industry.  I wish the same was true for all other nationalities, maybe there would be no unemployed  natives here in Cayman; but this is wishful thinking without clarity.


  8. Anonymous says:

    Expats of 10-15 years ago that wanted to stay but the place has become too crime ridden and expensive so now it's time to go.  Sorry that your departure had to come this way but the irony of this is that Caymanians have no choice but to stay.  So for all those who are fighting the poor Caymanians to vote and stay and drain Cayman to the last drop and then run please have the dignity to leave before it comes to that, don't want to jump off like a rat from a sinking ship and you might not be able to swim to shore.  Leave gracefully while the ship is still afloat.  Caymanians will tell you that they have no problems with staying on their rock until it sinks, but please leave us along so that we can eat our last Turtle, Conch,Whelks, stew dinner, wear our whompas, kill our mosquitoes, see our Silver Thatch tree and Cayman Orchid, play on our white sandy beaches, sing "Beloved Isle Cayman" and as she sinks recite "He has founded it upon the seas".  While the churches sing nearer my God  to thee.


    • Anonymous says:

      Same old song.  Expats can go, but Caymanians have to stay.  Please stop the lies…  There are many, many Caymanians with US and Canadian citizenship, and if that doesn't work out too well, there's always Mother England.  So please stop your little willy-nilly sing song about poor us…

      • Anonymous says:

        Yeah but Caymanians with US or CND citizenship can't run for election in Cayman, and must also pay income tax on their earnings in Cayman.

        • Anonymous says:

          Who cares, that's not the point…  The point is that you can still leave.

      • Anonymous says:

        I think you are missing the point. The expat can return to his home country, but this is the Caymanian's home. In theory the Caymanian can move to any EU country but that is not practicable and his chances of securing employment over the natives of those countries are very low. There is a great deal of anti-foreigner sentiment in those countries particularly where your skin is of a darker hue. Yes, I know that you will pretend that discrimination does exist there but that is nonsense that flies in the face of the facts.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Herodotus, not only are you misinformed, your reasoning is rather limited and so is your knowledge of history or maybe you just don't like to read.  No offense but it seems as if you have missed the point entirely.  As for the comparison between Nelson Mandela and Jim Bodden, I would dare to say you speak more favourable of Mr. Jim than some or many spoke about the great Mr. Mandela.  For one the minority then the ruling class of South Africa and most of Europe branded Mr. Mandela with that evil name "Terrorist" some of us here even believed it at the time maybe you were even one of them given his ethnicity.

    As for political greed and the sellout of this country 99.9% of the Caymanians who are still alive and remember the 1980's would much rather be under Mr. Jim's leadership than under any administration now or in the future given the current political, economic and social outlook for these islands the future looks very bleak.  The worthy laws that were of benefit to Caymanians and the few that are still in place were passed while the country were under the leadership of the Great Mr. Jim.

    As for "The Lamb's blood" go read your bible again, God was in control of that situation, the reference I believe is that God will take care of everything in his own time.  No Caymanian foolish or otherwise would ever stoop so low as to advocate the killing of expat children, this only shows how shallow, misinformed and your lack of depth in your reasoning and rational.  You are a very dangerous person and should keep off discussion pages if you are unable to contribute anything meaningful. You are the kind of person that is reckless and will call out fire in a crowded room and cause a stampede.  You are a danger to yourself. 

  10. Knot S Smart says:

    Here are my two bits on this subject –  for what its worth.

    I see the best solution as this:

    1. When the current application process shows that no Caymanian is available for the job, then Issue a 7 year-renewable permit from the start so that the foreign worker knows that he/she has security for 7 years.

    2. Do away with the key-employee process altogether.

    3.  After the 7 years the employee must  leave for at least 6 months and can then apply for another 7 year permit.

    4.Any foreign employee who completes the second 7-year term and has no criminal record should automatically receive full Cayman Status and have all of the rights of a Caymanian.





    • Anonymous says:

      Anon 14:14

      Obviously you are not a Caymanian.

      Why should we give status to 20, od thousand expats, and why  should they have the same  rights of a Caymanian. 

      The expats are saying, they only want to have the security to work and live in Cayman. If that is the case, would'nt it be more sensible  to give them PR, which would allow them to work and  live in the Cayman Islands.

      As it is now, whenever these people  get status, it gives them the same entitlement as a Caymanian, which means the 20 od thousand can run down to the trade & business bureau and acquire a license to carry out any type of business, to compete with the established Caymanian businesses.

      This is the main goal of an expat…In there country, where they are from, they cant just drive up to their commerce office and acquire a business license, because they are now a  citezen. They have to be processed, and there is no gurantee, they will get one. 

      It is a known fact that more than half the status holders in this country, have been given a trade & business license. This country is too small for the board to issue license just because you are now a Caymanian by law.

      Where are the laws to protect existing Caymanian businesses? I have come to one  conclusion, that  there are no laws in place for the long term Caymanian….. this is pure madness.


      • Anonymous says:

        The reason that you may want to give status to thousands of expats is because most of the professional expats and their broods don't commit crimes.  That should help bring your violent crime stats down.  So if I were you, I'd welcome most professional expats from England, Canada, Australia and the US with open arms.

        • Anonymous says:

          Most of our expats are not professionals.

          I don't see how giving expat professionals permanent rights would lower our crime rate since you consider they are not committing crimes without them.

        • Anonymous says:

          Sounds like you are dreaming of a very 'White' Cayman. We kinda like it 'mixed up' a little.

      • anonymous says:


        you are RIGHT!

        If they want to work all they need is a work permit to fill a position we just CANNOT find a local person to fill.

        But obviously this is a BAIT AND SWITCH situationwhere they enter our country under the guise of a guest worker.

        1..Then they demand Permanent Residency,

        2. Then they demand Cayman Status and citizenship.

        3. They want to run for office and premier..

        This country is too small to offer this kind of luxury that inconveniences the Caymanian people.

        They can GO HOME and do business in their own country.

        Workers are workers. Citizens are citizens. Go home if you want to be a citizen and run for office!. This is  Cayman it belongs to Caymanians who told X-pats it was theirs?.

  11. Loren says:

    For all the Bermudans living and working in the Cayman Islands due to the lack of opportunities in Bermuda, I will bet my bottom dollar that there are more Caymanians living and working in Bermuda and experiencing a higher standard of living there than if they were living here at home in the Cayman Islands.

    The fox will always say that the grape is sour and no good because it's out of his reach.  In simple terms expats who did not get their way in Bermuda will always say that Bermuda is failing and that the standard of living is so down and no good because they cannot migrate there as easily and do as they please.  There are strict laws in Bermuda that protects Bermudian there is a big difference in Bermuda compared to Cayman just look at the work permit stats in Cayman there are over 23K work permits issued, in Bermuda less than 2K how is that for comparison by the way Cayman population is 54K Bermuda's is 67K now how's that for comparison and who seems to be doing better (i.e. which nationality is in better control of their country/island)?  Just the facts and I rest my case.



    • O'Really says:


      There was an article in the Compass recently stating that work permits, including government contracts for foreign workers, had fallen below 20,000 as of June 1. Your " over 23k " is somewhat wide of the mark. Not as wide of the mark as your estimate for Bermuda though, where as at March 31, 2011 there were 8,608 active work permits, as opposed to the "less than 2k" you seem to have pulled out of a hat ( there is a link further down this thread to an article I posted from which I obtained the Bermuda info). 


      If you are going to end a comment with the statement  " Just the facts and I rest my case" it may be a good idea to check your facts.

    • Anonymous says:

      Then you will go broke. I doubt that there is a significant number of Caymanians living in Bermuda.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I say give them all the right to vote, Permanent Residency, Caymanian Status, and every other definition except people on work permits.  Why?  Because they can't do no worse than who you all elected to put in Government.

     I say "you all" because I never voted for any of those politicians that are in Government.  I sleep well knowing I didn't sell out my country for a washing machine or paved parking lot.

    • Vote Early Vote Often says:

      The more people who vote the less chance of political corruption.  1 MLA for every 730 voters is just awful from a corruption minimization perspective.

      • Anonymous says:

        The number of voters has nothing to do with corruption minimisation. That is mere propaganda to promote extension of the franchise. The funny thing is that the smallest districts have the best track records when it comes non-corrupt representatives.  

    • Anonymous says:

      It is good people who did not vote that allowed them to get in. You are not off the hook and should not be sleeping well.

      • Anonymous says:

        I didn't say I didn't vote.  I just said I didn't vote for those elcted.  Any other words, who I voted for didn't get in office.

  13. Chris says:

    Mario my friend, there is nothing we can do to create a state of tranquility in the workplace where Caymanians come first in our country.

    While your motives are noble, the stark reality is that politicians on all sides engage in corrupt practices by micromanaging the outcomes on the various immigration boards.

    Tweaking the system and adding new catagories without cutting out the cancer of political corruption will do little to address the inequitable outcomes Caymanians are receiving from the current system.


    • Name changed by moderator says:

      Theboards are a joke and have become more political, more obstructive to business and more of a reason why jobs and businesses are leaving this economy.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Mario, you should be ashamed of yourself. You were part of the PPM's hatchet crew under Alden to kick all expats off the island when rollover came in, now you have your own plan to restrict & control a permanent residents ability to exist & prosper? 


  15. Anonymous says:

    Great idea let’s copy Bermuda! They’re sinking much faster than we are. Crime is out of control and their business community is dwindling. Ask any Bermudian who lives here. Why would they leave there home to live as an expats on this island when theirs is much prettier.

    Easy answer we are in better shape….. For now.

    • Anonymous says:

      Good point.  I've made a number of friends from Bermuda lately… here in Cayman.  Why have they moved here after all?


  16. Anonymous says:

    Those who are ignorant of history will repeat the mistakes of the past, SA still have Nelson Mandela, Mr. Jim Bodden is long gone (bless him).  Caymanian will learn the hard way very soon.  It is getting hard but just wait until next year and 2013.

    For all those Caymanians who were so eager to get rid of the status moritorium, the Caymanian Protection Board and the many laws that were in our favour .  I trust that you are loving it now.  For those Caymanians that were so happy about the status grants I hope you have the prosperity that you all thought that it would bring for you and your children.

    As for those consumed by greed, I wish for you the Midas Touch, everything that you touch should turn to gold.  For those crying about not having jobs and starving I hope you get every project that you desire and that Cayman will prosper for you and your families, for the rest of the God fearing Caymanians I pray that  God will put the Lamb's blood over the door as he did for the children of Israel when he passed over the land of Egypt that fateful night. 

    • Herodotus says:

      Did someone just put Nelson Mandela and Jim Bodden in the same sentence?  Jim Bodden laid the foundations for a culture of corruption and political intimidation. 

      But Lamb's blood?  Are you advocating the slaughter of all male children of ex-pats?  What utter gibberish.

      You have not spent much time away from Cayman have you?

  17. Anonymous says:

    Writer of Professional Expat, please come back we cannot live without you.  The Cayman Islands have become broke because you don't employ our people anymore, we are lost without you.  Please come back, we will give you status, the right to vote and even to enter politics.  We were dying before you came here please come back, the entire island will turn out to welcome you back please do, please, please come back we cannot live without you.   We will die if you don't return.  We provided us with manner from heaven you made the Cayman Island the haven that you found.

    • Anonymous says:

      Nope, I'm busy now.  Thanks though.  

      I know you don't care in the slightest, which is why I left, but then again, neither do I, so it's all good.

      Good luck

      • Anonymous says:

        You don't care in the slightest but you are posting on Cayman News Service. Too funny.

        • King of Diamonds says:

          Flaming.  It really is quite fun. 

        • Anonymous says:

          Come on – you simply can't watch comedy like this on TV!  I have zero interest in living in Cayman again but the fiascos of your government and tin-pot King Mac are hilarious.  If a book were written about it it would be hard to stack it in the true crime section of the bookstore because so much about all of this pushes it into the humour section.

          Surely you know that the recent wave of expats that left are out there telling the tales of the crime-infested Island where you can buy an election with a washing machine or paved driveway, where a deal with the government never is, and where the definition of an honest member of the CIG is where once you pay them they stay bought.

          You literally couldn't pay me enough to be present for the final fall of Cayman, but I'm sure as hell going to watch it from here.  Glad that amuses you.

        • Anonymous says:

          Whether you wish to term it "flaming" or "comedy" you clearly would know nothing about it and certainly would not have the inclination to post if you did not care.  

          • Anonymous says:

            You ignore the possibility that I don't care other than as to my own entertainment, which is served by watching the Dictator-King rule his roost (and I mean that literally), and also by winding you up.

            Go on now… let fly your retort… quick, before they turn out the lights in Cayman and people have to rob each other by candlelight.

            • Anonymous says:

              You're not winding me up. I am just exposing your dishonesty.  

              • Anonymous says:

                Liar liar pants on fire.

                You have a big nose.

              • Anonymous says:

                You try to insult me but I know it's only because you are wound up, but I forgive you, because I  really don't care.

                • Anonymous says:

                  Yes, I know. You really, really, really, don't care. honest. LOL.

    • Anonymous says:

      It's not like that stuff is really worth much any more.  An expensive ticket into a combat zone is what you're trying to sell.  

    • Anonymous says:

      You won't die.  Weave some rope, sell that for some fishing gear, catch some fish and sell them, use the proceeds to buy a gun and then join the New Cayman Economy.  You'll be fine.

    • Anonymous says:

      I've just been through a hiring process where the idea that Caymanians should be considered before expats was criticized.  And I work for government.

      Guys and gals, you might as well give up.  If your own people won't stand up for you, you are fu****d.

      • Govt and ex-pats says:

        No one in our CI Govt has been grooming young Caymanians for jobs.  Look at most of the high positions in Govt and you will find an exp-pat who made their way up just because they had a contract….

  18. Loren says:

     An easy solution to the rollover policy is to discontinue it and as a result issue each work permit for five years and for every year there after increase the permit fee by 50% plus 100% of the airline ticket to the applicant's country of origin.  The natural process of this will prevail.

    Some people like to blame every thing that is wrong in this country on the rollover policy, this country is regressing and if relaxing our immigration and the wholesale franchising of these islands seem to be the solution then go right on ahead and let it happen. 

    History is there to teach us but it seem as if this is untrue in our case.  Ironic as this is I just read an article  where Donald Rumsfeld made fun of "Old Europe" during the run up to the Iraq war and predicted that Germany (old in their way of thinking) would fail, New Europe like Greece and Italy believe the rethoric and now look who's laughing and doing very well financially "the old" while the new is drowning in debt.  Old Germany thought me one lesson "To thine own self be true".  

  19. Anonymous says:

    Rollover's primary purpose was to create upward mobility for Caymanians, however the general reality is that the training is not being done either on the part of the employer or on the part of the prospective employee (scholarships that can't be given away), so ultimately there simply are not enough qualified Caymanians to assume those roles.   

    Rollover's secondary purpose is to expell those who could one day become a social burden to the nation before they qualify for PR, Naturalisation and eventually Status.  I still agree with this policy.  The last thing Cayman needs is the added welfare and pension burden of marginal residents and their families, however nice they may be.  That said, I think the current policy is sending first world professionals home that would never truly be a burden to this society and that is deeply regretable.

    Universal Suffrage is another issue altogether for our "democracy".  Perhaps the answer would be to give every resident over 18 the right to one voter unit, with Caymanians and Status Holders the right to 10 voter units each, or some similar equalisation ratio.  The judiciary would certainly benefit from an expanded jury pool, and expats could have a say, without yielding any serious power.   

    • Anonymous says:

      Anon 1147 the main reason for the rollover was to limit individuals asking for cayman papers not upward mobility. That in theory was a by product of the Caymanians staying with those companies longer.

      That being said the rollover policy is not working for either side. The companies are rolling over the expats and bringing another one in. There are companies out there that are trying their hardest to promote Caymanians but there are others that treat Caymanians as fools. 

      The other side of the story is job security. Even Caymanians would like to settle down at a job and move up the ladder. Cant do that too well as an expat or your upward mobility is limited to what you can accomplish in one year. Meanwhile the entire family is uprooted.

      So who do we allow in so to speak. We allow those in that is good for the country. If an expat comes and all he does is his job then you are paid essentailly. A lot of these expats however do work beyond their jobs. These individuals have my respect. It is a pity that Caymanians dont follow suit more.

  20. Anonymous says:

     Apartheid indeed. The real issue in the future will be convincing people to stay. Work, and invest. You can't do that with the Roll Over in place. No matter how you dress it up with "fixes".

    Strong words indeed when you consider the statement in its full context  and using South Africa as a example where the minority (non natives) were given all the financial, social and political advantages.  I see the identical situation shaping up to happen here.    I don't want to get into this expat or native bashing because it does not accomplish anything productive, but people should be mindful of what they say or write.

    If I migrate to work in any country I go there with the expectation of working for the duration of my tenure by their immigration department.  People who have no idea of global immigration policies should research before the post nonsense and misinform others.  Read the immigration policies of 1st world countries especially Germany and the USA and let us know in your opinion how they compare to the Cayman Islands and in both of these counties you must pay direct taxation so migration there would be to their advantage.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Olympic Race Walker you ask how is their (Bermuda's) financial industry doing now? I believe much better than Wall Street, London and sadly to say much better than Cayman.  I am sure that you are aware Bermuda's financial industry is primarily Captive Insurance which seems to be doing well given the current world wide financial crisis. 

    I would suggest that you take a trip to Bermuda and report back to us as to how their economy is compared to us due to their rollover policy.

    • O'Really says:


      This article might help:




      Seems they have problems with rollover. One quote from the article:


      " The current term limit is six years but the Opposition has long complained that strict term limits are unwelcoming to international business and threaten the financial success of the Island."




      • Anonymous says:

        Anyone can make claims. Give us the hard data and show us the connections.

        • O'Really says:


          The article is about a 15% reduction in active work permits between November 2010 and March 2011. In the previous year permits were down 8%. 


          There is data in the article I posted, speculation as to causes for adverse performance and indicators as to consequences, which should be familiar to Cayman. I can provide you with information but  I can't provide you with the energy to read it or with the ability to understand it, apparently.

          • Anonymous says:

            You said it "speculation".

            BTW being rude doesn't help your argument. 

            • Anonymous says:

              BTW laziness doesn't help your argument

              • Anonymous says:

                You speak for yourself. I have read the article but evidently you have not since it did not support OReally's contention about Rollover.

          • Anonymous says:

            OReally, you are obviously trying to mislead. The article did not make any connection between the drop in the number of permits issued and the Rollover. Instead, it says that the head of the Chamber of Commerce "attributed the drop to a number of large reinsurance companies redomiciling, plus the impact of the global economic crisis". Theredomicilation of reinsurance companies to Switzerland and Ireland is largely for tax reasons. These countries have double taxation treaties with the U.S.  see http://www.businessinsurance.com/article/20101107/ISSUE01/311079989

            The complaint of the Opposition that you quoted is not connected to any hard statistics and that was the original point. I believe that you do have the energy to read and understand the article so I must attribute your comment to dishonesty.      

            • O'Really says:

              The original comment on this particular sub-thread took issue with a post by Olympic Race Walker. This is the original post, which refers to Bermuda:



              "Submitted by Olympic Race Walker (not verified) on Thu, 07/21/2011 – 21:58.

              How is their offshore industry doing nowadays?  I have heard they really are experts in redundancy law by now."


              My view is that with a near 23% drop in work permits in Bermuda over a 15 month or so period the substance of ORW's point was legitimate. The article provided evidence for the drop in permits. The reference to rollover shows they are dealing with the same issues, no more, no less and was made without comment on my part.


              Clearly posting a link which is going to require someone to make an effort to read the accompanying article is dishonest. My bad, I had forgotten the law requiringspoon feeding of the bulk of the population these days.

              • Anonymous says:

                Yada, yada, yada. Try as you might you cannot evade the point that the article did not make any connection between Rollover and the drop in work permits. You're dishonesty consists in the fact article does actually attribute the drop to causes other than Rollover but you failed to disclose this in your post. 

                This is now the standard tactic in Cayman – use our economic crisis as cover to obtain all sorts of concessions that otherwise simply would not be entertained.  

                • O'Really says:



                  I see you still have a comprehension problem. If you will give yourself a somewhat unique user name, I'll try to use a larger spoon when feeding info to you. 


                  As a startin this process, I will clarify something for you. I do not believe rollover to be a major factor in the turn down in employment in Cayman. I do believe it is a more significant factor in influencing the attitudes and spending patterns of individuals coming to work in Cayman, but this is not something easily quantified.


                  And to end on a bombshell – I pretty much agree with your last sentence. 


                  • Anonymous says:

                    LOL. Well even on a slow day my level of comprehension obviously beats yours!

  22. Loren says:

    The Bermuda model appears to be substantially the same. Except for the following which is not the case in Cayman. Oh have you read about the additional cost of $20,000 for extension of the term limit.


    The website also states:

    Opportunities for Bermudians must be paramount, but on the other hand when there are no Bermudians available for a job there is the need for a guest worker. In many cases, such as can be demonstrated in sectors of international business in Bermuda, a work permit holder creates jobs for Bermudians.


    Under no circumstances or in only very special and pre-approved by Bermuda Immigration circumstances (for example, if you are married to a Bermudian for longer than three years or such other item as may be applicable) can non-Bermudians (non nationals) find employment in Bermuda in any junior clerical or lower management or middle management administrative, or clerical or technical or management fields. They include all construction workers, allied trades and the following: (read list on website)

    Then again I see that you are an advocate to do away with the rollover policy let everyone who want to stay remain and give everyone the right to vote and run for office, open borders and immigration policies would be the ideal solution I guess. Maybe Bermuda and Germany got it wrong that is why they are doing so well compared to the rest of the world.





  23. Anonymous says:

    I lost me cow.  Anyone see me cow?  Me cow one of dem exapt cows, not born ere, not bred.  I iz sure you can tell me Cow not from ere jus by lookin at er – she got dem brown spots all ove’r.  I ope she not get a big belly from dat nasty politico bull I saw runnin round.  Him shootin off is big mouth about dis and dat how he gonna provide fo her and how he gonna make shoe she gonna get some papez.  Papez I say to er – you don’t need no dam papez.  You not see how dem peeple treatin dem own peeple – you tink dey gonna treat ya differently jus cause u got dem papaz foo fool?  You not no belonger… 

  24. Loren says:

    Why don't we adopt the Bermuda immigration model, both countries are very similar why do we have to reinvent the wheel? 

    See how we compare at


    • Anonymous says:

      Please explain. The Bermuda model appears to be substantially the same.

      The website states: “Government’s controversial work term-limit policy will remain in place but some expatriates identified as key members of staff will soon be able to get Work Permits which extend beyond the current five-year maximum. The term-limit policy was first implemented in 2001. It limits guest workers to five years of employment on the Island unless they are deemed key workers, married to someone deemed a key worker or married to a permanent resident certificate holder”.

      • Olympic Race Walker says:

        How is their offshore industry doing nowadays?  I have heard they really are experts in redundancy law by now.

      • Anonymous says:

        95% of their key employee applications are approved, and even a fund accountant can apply for key there

        Big difference to Cayman

        • Anonymous says:

          Perhaps their employers are not trying to pull the wool of the Board's eyes with the applications for key employees.  

          • Anonymous says:

            I repeat "even fund accountants are getting key status"

            A farfar more junior level ythan is needed in cayman

    • Anonymous says:

      Bermuda should never become our template for intelligence or good conduct.

      • Anonymous says:

        Anon 09:33

        Why not?  they seem to have things under wrap, you cant walk in and start up your own business, like here in Cayman.


        We need the revenue, so we are prostituted for the status holders.  it would be better to put a cap on trade & business, and we pay tax to generate  our revenue. we would be in a better position, and be able to strive,and not close our business.

        We are being sold out, no other country are doing this, it is ludicros. At  the moment we have over 750 Business license to carry on construction, and the board is  issuing more daily. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Our model is based on the Bermuda model – which also isn't doing too well as it happens.

      • Anonymous says:

        Anon 9:39 No we are not, one cannot walk into Bemuda and start a business because a Bermudian is able to buy a license, to carry on a business, we are the only damn fools that allow this.

        • Anonymous says:

          "we are the only damn fools that allow this."


          mm speak for yourself, let us see who allows just residents to own a business:




          the EU


          to name a few, in fact they even allow those darn furriners to own businesses even if they are not even living in the country

          It's called outside investment

          • Kung Fu Iguana says:

            Actually none of these countries have laws like this.  The generally have quite open access to markets because they are free economies.  The only traditional restrictions are in certain markets for policy reasons – defence etc.

          • Anonymous says:

            Not sure your post is as clear as it could be, but in any event if you want to come start a business in Canada, as long as you can clear our immigration process you can start as many businesses as you like.  Of course there are vastly different circumstances in play as between Cayman and Canada.

  25. Rumpolestiltskin says:

    Another tier to the apartheid that is the Cayman employment/immigration system.

  26. Shock and Awe says:

    Mario I appreciate the thought that went into this proposal, but it still does not address the most glaringly offensive part of the permanent resident/key employee/indentured labor aspect of living and working on Cayman for any length of time- you cannot vote in local elections. Why not?? You live there. You work there. You spend your money there this leaves political parties of all persuasions pandering to the voting portion of the population, creating a gimongous civil service in order to buy votes. And enables them also to enact such backward legislation as the Roll-Over..

    Retro-active no less!  What a disgrace that was. People who had invested their lives here being told to leave. Uprooting neighborhoods friends and families. For what?

    Politcal expendiency.

    Not only that it IS backward, protectionist, and non-productive it does Cayman and Caymanians a disfavor. It creates dissatisfaction real or perceived and a two-tiered segregated society. Apartheid indeed.

    The real issue in the future will be convincing people to stay. Work, and invest.

    You can't do that with the Roll Over in place. No matter how you dress it up with "fixes".

    • A.M. says:

      “You live there. You work there. You spend your money there…”  But do you permanently live and work in the Cayman Islands? Do you have interest here like land and house? You see, there is a big difference.

      • Anonymous says:

        Makes no difference if you have land, house or anything, you still can't vote.

        • Anonymous says:

          Of course those are not the bases on which the right to vote arises in any country.  

    • Anonymous says:

      20;20 you sound just like a human rights supporter, is this why you ran from your country…too many immigrants pushed you out,  and you never stood a chance in your own country.

      Go to the USA , become a  residence, then tell uncle sam you want to vote and run for office.

      Do you remember the issue with the Republicans and Obama, the birther! even though he was born in Hawai, they climed he was not an American and shouldn't have the ran for President.

      Give the small population  of Caymanians left, a chance to enjoy the fruit of their labour..please!

      Two- tiered segregated socity never came to cayman shores untill you brought it here.

      Let me ask you one thing, what have you done for Caymanians, who built your home? I'll bet my bottom dollar, you picked your own country man to do the job. That is the problem we are facing here in Cayman, you building up your own colony, now you want to vote. God help us!

      • Anonymous says:

        I'm from the US.  Nobody (except perhaps my ex-wife) "ran" me out.

        I will tell you what I've done for Caymanians (who did not build my home, Jamaicans did).  Gave them my blood, sweat and tears.  I stayed after Ivan and helped rebuild the country you call your own.  To this day I give every day and all I ever hear is how expats are piranha, gnawing at the bones of Caymanian leftovers.

        Let my ask you, what have you done for your country?  Besides drink and whore?  Those are not "birthrights" by the way.  What have you done to EARN the right to vote besides drop out of your mothers' womb?

        God help you indeed.

        • Anonymous says:

          Anon 2154 could you please elaborate on what you mean by "gave them my blood, sweat and tears"

          There are many people that are claiming this same thing. And when we check what they meant is that they worked in the country holding a high paying job. If that is what you meant then many of us can claim the same. Now obviously I dont know you but I would suggest that giving your blood sweat and tears for acountry goes well beyond just doing your job.



          • Anonymous says:


          • Pit Bull says:

            Except in Cayman's case were are not talking about a country.

            • Anonymous says:

              Pit Bull thanks for your contribution, but it does not change the idea of contribution to a "territory".

            • Anonymous says:

              What a relief to see Pit Bull back in action with his usual one liner about Cayman not being a country (though he forgot to remind us it is owned by the UK). I was really concerned he may have left us and I was bereft at that possibilty. Now all I need to see to feel really good is Whodatis returning to the fray with his "Chagos" stuff.

      • Kung Fu Iguana says:

        An avid FOX News watcher who hears the words but does not quite understand them.

      • Anonymous says:

        "Go to the USA , become a  residence, then tell uncle sam you want to vote and run for office."

        It takes 5 years of continous residence in the US to become a citizen and be able to vote. You can also run for office, just not the presidency. Look at the old Governer Schwarzenegger, he was born in Austria and still ran from office

        It seems Uncle Sam seems to allow it

        Also as you brought up the US, if you are born there you can claim citizenship, many Caymanians used to fly to the US to give birth for this reason. Is it the same in Cayman mmm think not.

        Good example by the way


        • Anonymous says:

          First, it does not make sense to compare a nation of some 300 million where the immigrant population is a comparatively small part of the total population. Second, it actually takes 5 years of residence AS A PERMANENT RESIDENT (green card holder) to be eligible to be naturalised.  Third, there is nothing in our Constitution to prevent a naturalised citizen from running for office provided they hold no other citizenship – same as the requirement for born Caymanians.       

  27. anonymous says:

    Trick question. They'll find a technicality in the law to demand legal status.

    Keep the rollover policy!

    • Anonymous says:

      ANON 16:33

      I totally agree with you, keep the roll over policy. If it was not in place we would have had by now, the  2004 storm surge of expats, applying and obtaining Status or PR.

       According to the figure given…was in the 6,000. can you imagine the invation of the trade & business licenseing  board….Not to mention the invation of the well established businesses here already…

      I can see them now closing down, far too much people crawling over each other tendering on local projects and jobs.

      One  dont have to go too far out of town…poor Rohellio, his car wash suffered, because of all the business license issued.

      And that is just one of the business that suffered, I can mame hundreds…everyday there is a new van driving on the road, with new companies poping up..the Government loves to see this…more revenue, but their people suffer.

       Ellio said no more Licenses except for Caymanians…ha ha ha ha.

      Mario, I see nothing in your views, to save your Caymanian businesses, how about ammending the Constituation, give these people PR to live and work only..remove the paragraph that states…As a Caymanian he should be GIVEN a Trade & Business License.

      .No opening of businesses to compete with the already, established Caymanian businesses.

      They should never be given the same entitlement as the indigenous Caymanians. That was dumb and stupid,on the part of our own leaders…they had to be smoking Columbian  grass.

      If they want a business license, let them  pass a test and go through the right commerce boards. That will slow them down, and give your Caymanians a chance to make their money back on theirinvestments.



  28. What about Voting? says:

    You're Missing the Point Mario,

    The fundamental error in how these matters are approached lies in:

    "There may be some who may argue that this new system may give some expatriates access to more power quicker than they can now achieve it."

    There are two choices:

    1. Allow Caymanians only in Cayman; or

    2. Allow people of other nationalities to live and work in Cayman.

    If you follow the former what Cayman can possibly achieve will be massively limited, and benefits would be lost to Caymanians.

    If you allow the later the people in question have to be treated fairly and there has to be a means to integrate them.

    The choice is fudamentally whether Cayman is minded for growth or minded for protectionism.  You can't have your cake and eat it.  History treated the Coolie labourors who came to the West Indies during another period of growth in the region better than these proposals.  Either invite people in (and integrate them) or keep them out (but don't expect the benefits that go with them).

    Too many people in Cayman are suffering from schadenfreude – they not only want to do well, they want other people (from other coutries) to do worse.  Protectionism never raises standards, it introduces complacency and thus lowers them.  Cayman athletes compete in overseas sporting events because it improves their skills, the same benefits are to be found in a local workforce (and schools) of varied nationalities.

    Another serious question that needs to be asked is why there is such vehement objection to giving non-Caymanians the right to vote?  Most major democracies allow legal residents to vote after residence of no more than a couple of years.  That does not however mean they are necessarily entitled to stand for election, they would be voting for Caymanian candidates.  Any approach that advocates the maintenance of voting disenfranchsiment is fundamentally flawed as it is an approach derived from the mindset of indentured labour, and worse …

    (For the record none of the proposed restrictions outlined in the article would apply to me, I qualify to be Caymanian on the cirteria stated.  My comments derive not from self interest but from frustration at the harm I see Cayman, which is my home, causing itself.)

    • Anonymous says:

      "Another serious question that needs to be asked is why there is such vehement objection to giving non-Caymanians the right to vote?  Most major democracies allow legal residents to vote after residence of no more than a couple of years.  That does not however mean they are necessarily entitled to stand for election, they would be voting for Caymanian candidates.  Any approach that advocates the maintenance of voting disenfranchsiment is fundamentally flawed as it is an approach derived from the mindset of indentured labour, and worse".

      The answer to your question should be patently obvious. If Caymanians are outnumbered in Cayman and non-Caymanians (who may not even intend these Islands as their permanent home) will completely control the country and its policies. If it all turns sour theycan then return to their home countries or move elsewhere but Caymanians will be left 'holding the bag'. It is already the case the economic power in Cayman is controlled by expatriates. Policies which are harmful to these Islands are already being implemented because it suits the interests of certain wealthy expatriate political supporters and the politicians concerned will benefit directly or indirectly. If direct political power is also given to expatriates Caymanians will be left powerless in their own country. Clearly it does not matter whether the politicians are Caymanian or not if their policies are dictated by the expat vote and the expat dollars.  

      It is an often repeated falsehood that most major democracies allow non-citizens to vote after a couple of years residence. For example, the United States (which I presume you would consider a major democracy) only its citizens have the right to vote, for example. The UK permits resident Commonwealth citizens and citizens of Ireland to vote but there is no general right of residents to vote in general elections. The general rule is that the right to vote is reserved to citizens. In any event, in most major democracies you will not find that the citizens are outnumbered by the non-citizens and that substantially changes the picture.

      You make simplistic statements like "There are two choices:

      1. Allow Caymanians only in Cayman; or

      2. Allow people of other nationalities to live and work in Cayman".

      I confident that you will not find any significant body of opinion in Cayman that advocates not having other nationalities live and work in Cayman or that desires that only Caymanians should live in Cayman. That is not the issue and you know it.

      This is a complex matter and is not helped by making patronising statements that insult our intelligence.

      The truth of the matter is that when the number of expats of most nationalities reach a certain critical mass they tend to integrate less and less and become more exclusive. You will find that there are many Caymanian status holders who have no desire to integrate so it is naive to suggest that merely handing people permanent rights ensures integration.    

      • nauticaloneticalone says:

        Good argument! Well thought out.

      • Anonymous says:

        "Policies which are harmful to these Islands are already being implemented because it suits the interests of certain wealthy expatriate political supporters and the politicians concerned will benefit directly or indirectly. If direct political power is also given to expatriates Caymanians will be left powerless in their own country. Clearly it does not matter whether the politicians are Caymanian or not if their policies are dictated by the expat vote and the expat dollars."

        – The solution to this is not outdated and divisive voting restrictions but a review of the political process, which universal suffrage would almost certainly assist.

        "The UK permits resident Commonwealth citizens and citizens of Ireland to vote."

        – So a Caymanian living in the UK can vote but someone from the UK living in Cayman cannot.  While some countries may restrict voting to citizens, citizenship itself is more easily obtained.  The fact remains that few countries have legal residents of the tenure of many in Cayman without either citzenship or the right to vote.

        "I confident that you will not find any significant body of opinion in Cayman that advocates not having other nationalities live and work in Cayman or that desires that only Caymanians should live in Cayman. That is not the issue and you know it."

        – Agreed, because it would be to their disadvantage.  A benefit is being obtained and that involves a social contract.  The days of viewing foreign workers as indentured labour to be sent home at will should be behind any decent society.

        "You will find that there are many Caymanian status holders who have no desire to integrate so it is naive to suggest that merely handing people permanent rights ensures integration."

        – Divisive solicial policies will never foster a healthy society.  Lead by example.

        • Anonymous says:

          Universal suffrage refers to the right of all adult citizens to vote, so clearly we already have it. (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_suffrage)

          However, if what you mean by that is giving expats the right to vote I have already explained why that is untenable. However, we do need a review of our voting system to introduce 'one man, one vote' single member constituencies.

          "The fact remains that few countries have legal residents of the tenure of many in Cayman without either citzenship or the right to vote".

          Rollover was introduced precisely so claims to citizenship etc. did not arise by virtue of tenure. Many claim that they are not interested in citizenship or the right to vote so there is no reason to maintain Rollover. Your post demonstrates why that would be an unreliable premise on which to remove Rollover. Further, there are many persons who have Caymanian status but have chosen not to become naturalised, become full citizens and therefore be eligible to vote. That is their choice.

          "The days of viewing foreign workers as indentured labour to be sent home at will should be behind any decent society".

          That is false rhetoric. People are not "sent home at will". If you are dismissed unfairly you are entitled to redress before the Labour Tribunal. If your permit is terminated the Board must justify it according to the law and you are entitled to appeal and you may continue to work pending the outcome of your appeal.

          There is no proper comparison with indentured labour in which you were obligated to work for your employer/owner for a term of up to 7 years without wages. Indentured servants were treated as property and could be sold. They required their owner's consent to marry. Here employees can leave any time they wish.Even changing employer in the Islands is relatively simple these days.   

          Incidentally, having a work visa in the U.S. (H1B) does not give you any greater rights than a work permit does here. In the U.S. you can be in H1B status for a maximum period of six (6) years at a time. After that time you must remain outside the USA for one year before another H1B petition can be approved, i.e. there is a one year Rollover much like we have here.       

      • anonymous says:


        Take a rain check We happen to be a MINOR democracy. This is a very SMALLl British Territory , we need to keep our identity, this place is way too small to accommodate every Tom Dick and Harry who want to come here under the fallse pretense to work and before lunch time or  their first 15 minute break they wantpermanent residence, right to vote and run for office! WHAT PART OF THAT DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND?

        The rollover policy is all we have left and you want to take that away too?  Find a larger jurisdiction, some of you need to go back to Canada,, there are far too many of you here and people are complaining about your nasty attitudes in holding a monopoly on the jobs.some of you are real duche bags!    we definitely don't need anymore of you here. Its time we start looking at numbers from each jurisdiction on work permits.We have far too many of some nationalities and we need some checks and balances in the number of work permits granted and jurisdictions of origin preferred.. Some of you seem to think you now own the Cayman Islands as your numbers increase. Enough is Enough. ROLLOVER MUST STAY! we will fight to keep you or anyone else from removing the rollover policy. The idea that x-pats want to direct how we run our country is an insult and its time they shut up and go back to working and staying out of local politics. To dream that the roll over policy will be removed is a dream and a dream only.

        Get over it, its not going to happen!

    • Anonymous says:

      Caymanians will never allow expats to vote as it would really shake up the good old boys club in the country. That trough is only big enough for the chosen few.

      Thank goodness there are expats to blame for the countries problems.

      • Anonymous says:

        “Caymanians will never allow expats to vote”.

        You got that bit right. The rest is rubbish.

    • nauticalone says:

      Well said!

      The current system keeps the voting pool too limited.

      • Anonymous says:

        Who says? Based on what measure?

        First it was just do away with rollover we don't care about permanent rights. Now it is doing away with rollover does not go far enough we want to take over the country.  There is always an agenda beyond what is being expressed.

        • truth says:

          Measure the stupidity and incompetence of the current voted in by the current voters.  The ability to have your cake and eat it too is off the table when the cake is all gone.  But I would bet everything I have that that and more is what it will take to educate all the fool fools.

        • Anonymous says:

          Yup – as soon as us expats get the vote we fix dis broken govment wit a proper one made of good old expats.  Den no problems mon, and no more mac to mess tings up.

    • Mario, I gotcha back... says:

      First, I am Caymanian.  Not from extended generations, but by virtue of parental forsight to invest and live in a less-than-desirable-at-the-time place (FYI, most decendant Caymanians will be up in arms on that, but how many REALLY lived through it, and of those, REALY want to go back??!!!)

      So, I am here, and I am staying.  But rollover has killed our growth.  It has created a massive divide, caused an underlying hatred between people and led to a continued instability of the island.

      Mario's plan is very similar to one I proposed many years ago, even talking to then head of immigration Franz Manderson on the subject.

      However, he was quick to shoot me down, and the early research by those looking to investigate the Mario Plan will apparently find out, you cannot restrict rights under the conventions of human rights based on an individual's choice to opt out.  This becomes even less of an option when applied to the decendants.

      So, where do we go?  I am not just here to stick a pin, but also to open the door for solutions…

      Clearly there are a large number of people who want to live and work here for as long as they want, but at the end of the day, they want to go home.  Home to the houses they have built while living here, home to their friends and family, home.  My question is, HOW THE HECK do we create the legal framework that adheres to international rights and yet allows for this???

      Well, I DON'T KNOW!!!

      I have experienced rollover.  I have also experienced the older unwritten rules of the pseudo-rollover everyone knows existed in the path where certain people's permit's were denied after 2-3-4 renewals.  The draw of the new rollover was to ensure EVERYONE knew haw many permits they would get, and as a result WHEN we would kick them home.  The old system was a nail biter.  Would this be the permit that got denied, or would I get another year?

      Old system?  Uncertainty, hope, relief, turmoil.  New system? Gaurantee, hope turmoil, DIVIDE.

      That's right, even the most optimistic person arrives on Cayman knowing that no matter how he looks at the glass, after 7 years, it is half empty.  So why should they invest?  Why should they integrate?  Why should they assimilate?  Why should they care?

      Some do, thank goodness.  But the divides on the postings on CNS show the undercurrent of us vs them is rife.  We are not "belongers vs non-belongers" like Bermuda (yet), but we sure as hell ain't "everyone meet at one place from all walks of life with no worries on a sunday afternoon" any more.

      Can we get that back?  Doubt it.  Rollover – both legislated and unofficial, has killed that spirit and the likelihood of a return is gone.  It is still here in pockets, but you only have to look around and see the insular nature of groups of friends and aquaintances and the unwillingness to 'branch out' to know its gone.


      We owe it to ourselves to try and stop this cancer spreading.

      Reality is, rollover is aimed at certain expat communities who come here to escape a life less desirable, or in many cases, barely worth living.  They want to work, send home money, support a family, build a house and then, at the end of their work life, GO HOME to the rewards of years of labour.  There are very few Jamaicans, Philipenos and others who could afford to live in retirement in Cayman.  They want to go home.

      So why are we using a policy to rollover this sector who will leave when they are done anyway?  Surely we should welcome them, integrate with them, be harmoneous with them!!!  Sure there will be bad apples, but THOSE can be weeded out.  It is a lot easier to weed out bad apples in a pool apples than in a river of ever changing apples (ie under rollover).

      So let's work this out.  So what if we give away rights to live here?  Understand, the way to limit this is NOT to rollover good citizens, it is to ENCOURAGE good citizens to stay, and then put up a "No Room At The Inn" sign at the entrance until there is a genuine lack of supply and a real need to add more – most likely, when the older ones leave or others choose to move on, or, with a lot of luck, the economy demands it through growth.

      Keep what we have got, make citizenship as desired and valuable as it should be, offer it to those who stick it out and want to stay here, and limit the new inflow.

      End of story.  A stable community that can gradually get to know each other again.  And some will leave, more will come, but it will be by choice, not force.  Force divides.  

      Remember – you get a lot more bees with honey than you do with dung!!!

      • anonymous says:

        It needs to be brought to the attention of Mr. Mario Ebanks and others who keep ignoring the reality that this is a very small country and we  CANNOT INVITE  and accommodate the ENTIRE WORLD " here in the Cayman Islands as some seem to think, it’s just too small.
        The time has come for those concerned to consider going elsewhere like the United States or the UK. There are other islands that will welcome  them if they want to continue to enjoy the sun the mon and the rum. But then again those islands do not have the wealth these x-pats in the Cayman Islands are fighting to control!  We certainly need to get a handle on this and not allow it to happen not with Mario Ebank’s help or no one else.

        Our focus should be on our Tourism product  bringing visitors here to these islands, providing a safe and crime free environment  and they return back home after their vacation. Whether they arrive by plane or by cruise ship or private jet we must make them feel welcome and Caymanians need to be the visible faces in our hotels and restaurants serving these people that vacation here in these Islands. Foreign faces should not be the image of our Tourism product. We should only  use guest workers only in cases where there’s no local person to fill those positions. It’s time to give our own people a breather. Our people are suffering now by being outnumbered and competing in the Government  Hard Work Permit Casino games being played every day. Foreigners are walking away from the tables and slot machines with the "Jack Pot" while Caymanians have to sign over their jobs, houses, lands, and all their inheritance and that's still not enough.Guest workers should understand that they are here to work and not to get involved with our local politics; and when your time is up you should go home.. We are not obligated to marry you or take you in our home just because you work in our office! While the market calls for  a few work permit holders that we really cannot find a local person to fill, that IS NOT THE CASE  nor the TRUE PICTURE with 99% of the positions that are presently being filled by x-pats. Those positions were filled by means of 'FALSE ADVERTISING!" as  Mr. Mario Ebanks is well aware as permanent secretary he fully understands that the Cayman Islands government allows this corruption among business owners discriminating against our people. Unemployment of Caymanians  has nothing to do with  lack of trained or qualified Caymanians. It has everything to do with Government generating much revenue off work permits apparently in partnership with employers who prefer to hire foreign workers that they can pay minimum wage and control them by threatening their work permit holding them hostage as a runaway slave!  Caymanians do not put up with such BULL !   None of these truths held falls into the equation of "Unqualified or unemployable Caymanians" as the silly Minister for labor and education puts it. He too has no vision for his own people and is responsible for this dilemma..
        Mr. Mario Ebanks, x-pats and Caymanians are also aware that Caymanians are more than qualified to fill those positions our people are being denied.. It is just blatant CORRUPTION in government  and the  opportunistic pirate attitudes of new comers to pursue the wealth of these islands, overtake and recover all from  the local people. Too many Caymanians are being denied of their inalienable rights to live and work in their own homeland. How dare Mario Ebanks  advocate for or demand that xpats  rollover policy be removed WHILE CAYMANIANS ARE BEING DENIED even their basic rights? Mr Mario Ebanks must realize that the Cayman Islands are not the size of the  Big United States that can accommodate everybody and even the United States have stiff and stringent policies in place notto flood the country with strangers suffocating their own people. So I conclude that Mr. Mario Ebanks  like Mr. Alden McLaughlin well, he too is phishing for the X-pat vote in 2013, God help him. Grassroots Cayman need to be very careful to elect those candidates that will take care of home first. ' F I R S T"  Mario, good try but you may have hurt yourself.  You should have stuck to the topic of pulling your own people out of the hole since Caymanians are the ones that are drowning, instead of rescuing X-pats who have everything going for them ALAREADY including the premier working hard on their behalf. Looks like you didn't understand who really needs help, what we're trying to tell new candidates nor what we really want.  Mario I saw your followup commentary, You are an Ebanks that alone makes you Caymanian but you are out in left field to convince us that we need the rollover. Rollover has not stopped our growth. What are we growing and for who? the population or education? It's better to encourage our people to marry and have a lot of children and provide incentives for education and good parenting to grow the population as you put it. Grow the population WITH OUR OW N PEOPLE and outlaw abortion. Put a stop to abortion that's the reason our numbers are down. Too many Caymanians running to Miami to kill their unborn child its murder!  We should be building on the framework already put in place. We don't need more people here to share what we have with, there's not enough on the table for our own children to eat and be filled.They are in the streets killing, shooting, looting and robbing people because there are no jobs for them because they are caymanian!. The work permit grants is 99% the cause of this problem of rise in crime in the Cayma Islands. So where did you get the idea that we must now go into the highways and byways of the world and  invite everyboy to our shores to enjoy what OUR OWN CHLDREN ARE BEING DENIED? 
        Mario it would have been better if you had written a letter that proposes how we are going to create jobs for Caymanians and put Caymanians back to work. That's what we need 'SCRATCH WHERE WE ITCH that's the idea.
        The  UDP are determined to make Caymanians extinct and pander to x-pats demand for Cayman Status. Somebody has got to put a stop to this madness.  Mario you claim people want to go home at the end of the day, I beg to differ, why are they fighting nail and tooth in these forums to stay here if they want to go home?! Which audience are you addressing. Good try.The Rollover Policy Must STAY.
        YA THINK?

        • Anonymous says:

          Professional expats (not the labourers) bring in the big money that creates jobs for Caymanians.  You wanted to send the labourers home, so you made a law that does that, but it also sends the professionals home, so you have no jobs and here you are.

          I'm an ex-expat professional, now back in my homeland practicing my craft and employing a handful of people.  I have no idea what happened to the 2 I employed in Cayman before I left. Hopefully another expat came in to fill the hole I left and gave them jobs.  Beware that when the stream of expats to fillthat position finally stops from your beloved rollover policy, those folks will be looking to get on the Civil Service welfare system and the worse the whole thing gets.  That and the local spending from that position will go away.  You've lost some 11% of your economy already, so this is quite real.

          Enjoy your anti-expat laws and policies Cayman – may they give you exactly what they are designed to achieve.

        • Mario Ebanks says:

          Hello all. This is the first time that I am replying to my Opinion which was kindly Posted on CNS. I only have 4 points to clarify your lengthy and well-intentioned contribution:

          1) I am a true, sensible nationalistic, loyal, 4th generation, and practical Caymanian. I however understand the new phenomenon of "globalization", and how this will affect the ability of Caymanians (including th smiling and hopeful faces of our School and colleges/universities graduates each year);

          2) I have long fought for the rights of Caymanians, in the workplace and elsewhere. You may not be aware that I lost a senior job/career in the financial services sector in 2003, largely due to my public objection  (without much help from other Caymanians at that time) to the mass Grants of Caymanian Status by the then Cabinet);

          3) My Article/Opinion, did NOT recommend the abolition of the "roll-over policy" – please read the article again!

          4) I do not intend to be a candidate in the 2013 Elections. I have lost confidence in the majority of our voters being able to make sensible decisions in the Voting Booth. My motivation for writing this Opinion was purely to explore a future vision, which protects Caymanians but also promotes growth and opportunities for Caymanians.

          Call me, write to me on premier@candw.ky, or visit me on http://www.premiergroup.ky, and I will be happy to discuss further.

          Mario E. Ebanks

          • anonymous says:

            Mario you are working for Mckeeva? His email shows up in your post? We couldn't possibly respond to you. You sound like The chairman of the Work Permit Board! the UDP party leader!

            Ya Think?

            • Mario Ebanks says:

              Hi, thanks for your "cute" question asking whether I am working for the Premier Mr. McKeeva Bush. The answer is no (and since I am not a member of the UDP I am unlikely to get such a senior job with him anymore!). This is my private and business e-mail address. I have had premier@candw.ky from probably 1995. My company is Premier HR Management Solutions, a member firm of the Premier Solutions Group, since 2003. My company's website address is http://www.premiergroup.ky. The license plate on my vehicle is PREMIER (intended to only promote my company's brand), which I have had for about 6 years (but folks have only noticed it during the past year!).

              I hope that this now clarifies everything in your mind, and others like-minded.

              Be blessed.



            • Anonymous says:

              You kinda slow.  As in real slow…  Mario's email address has nothing to do with McChavez.  Just because it has premier in it doesn't mean that he's in any way associated with the Premier – in fact he ran against him last election.  Mario's website http://www.premiergroup.com also has nothing to do with McChavez.  Neither does his car's license plate.  You get it now?

      • Anonymous says:

        You say "Reality is, rollover is aimed at certain expat communities who come here to escape a life less desirable, or in many cases, barely worth living.  They want to work, send home money, support a family, build a house and then, at the end of their work life, GO HOME to the rewards of years of labour.  There are very few Jamaicans, Philipenos and others who could afford to live in retirement in Cayman.  They want to go home".

        You may be right in some cases but we just cannot afford to take that gamble. Having gained permanent rights, they may stay and depend on the Social Services dept. We do not have a social security system. That would completely bankrupt the country. 

      • Anonymous says:

        The Caymanian:Expat divide is not a new phenomenon since rollover – it goes way way back.  The hatred is passed from one generation to the next, and in case that isn't enough, the clasification of residents is taught in the primary school textbooks.  We should not pretend this dischord is a new thing, or something that will go away.  We've enshrined it.  

        • Anonymous says:

          You make the divide sound very one-sided. It is not.

          Please explain what you mean by "the classification of residents". It sounds very sinister.  

          • Boston Tea Party says:

            It is very sinister; the local school primary social studies text book teaches the difference between "born" Caymanians, "people we call "paper" Caymanians" and expatriates.  Scary stuff.  But given that the kids don't actually mix with any non-Caymanians in the public schools, it is hardly surprising they "graduate" with such terrible prejudices.  The closed public school system is one of the most dangerous ingredients in the mix which leads to poor education and the entitlement attitude. 

            CNS: Your first sentence is factually incorrect. The 2008 curriculum (we can hardly call it the "new" curriculum seeing as it was introduced 4 years ago) does not distinguish between "born" and "paper" Caymanians. You have probably seen the older curriculum books, which I think you can still buy in book shops, but that is hardly the fault of the education ministry or department. So please stop repeating this fallacy, which used to appear in the comments quite regularly but hasn't, thank goodness, for a while.

            • Anonymous says:

              Thank you for setting the record straight, CNS.

              There are of course legal differences between holders of Caymanian status (which is now called the right to be Caymanian) and a born Caymanian, .e.g status on its own without naturalisation  will not allow you to vote.      

  29. anonymous says:

    Mario it sounds Ok but let us know just how close you are to Mr. Bush, that we are very concerned about. Who do you stand with Independents, UDP or PPM?  If you arewith Big Mac, sorry we can't vote for you but if you are an Independent Tea Party, we'll think about it.

  30. Robyn says:

    Oh I like this!!!!!  It makes so much sense!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  31. Joe B says:

    No system that limits skill and experiance from comeing and working in Cayman while not doing whatever needs to be done to insure that Caymanians are fully trained to fill the vacancy of skill and experiance will do Cayman or any country/business any good.

    Good Idea fixing the first half but hothing has been done or will be done in the near future to fix the latter.  
    Cayman has done a great job lately  of getting rid of expat skill and experiance so any Caymanian skill can be utilized.  Even the most  anti-expat/pro Caymanian can see now that it is NOT WORKING.  I would say that more needs to be done to get Caymanians the training needed to fill the gap but right now NOTHING of merit is being done or even considered.  Just one of many problems  on Cayman that have no culturally acceptable fix.

  32. Anonymous says:

    The Caymanian authorities cannot figure their way out of a soaking paper bag, never mind implement something to the effect of what you suggest.  I stopped reading your "solutions" after point 1 simply because everything else after that becomes unintelligible to those who have the power to affect change.  You may as well p1ss into the wind.  Your suggestion for carrying out "an exhaustive analysis…" is downright laughable (no disrespect intended).  A comprehensive and "exhaustive analysis" is akin to asking your everyday Caymanian Chicken and Stray Dog to manually fly the next shuttle to the moon – and communicate in Chinese (Roy Bodden's courses should help) while doing so…

  33. Libertarian says:

    I think this Permanent Residency (Restricted) category for those persons who want to continue working here but have no desire for a Permanent Residence (non-restricted status) or Caymanian Status, would be a great idea that will benefit everybody; especially, employers. However, I have to ask just this one thing:  Would it be feasible to have a Rollover Policy in place if the Permanent Residency (Restricted) option to not stay here permanently is available?

    • Anonymous says:

      Perhaps 10-15 yrs ago expats would have wanted to stay but I think that has changed.  I know of quite a few expats who are leaving over the summer and won't return so I think the tide is turning. It is expensive to live here, expat vs Caymanian thing is tiring, crime, hurricanes, the threat of doing what I say or you will be kicked off the island  is hard to deal with etc. The sun and beach are fine for a while, but it is not for everyone for ever.

      • Libertarian says:

        I don't know, but we should not be all about reducing the population; we need more people here for more money circulation, so businesses can thrive and make huge profits. I think the rollover policy is an obstacle, a protestionist law that is just causing to lose people/money when we need money more than ever. I understand Mario's view on implementing a Permanent Residency' restricted option. It gives more options to expat and employers. However, if the rollover policy is also about ensuring "more jobs for Caymanians," I think it is making the job market less qualified. Government's focus should be on educating Caymanians and providing incentives to businesses that hire Caymanians and/or train and educate them. I think the rollover policy is too arbitrary. Caymanians, we should not worry about population more than about educating and advancing ourselves.