‘Key’ not working

| 27/09/2011

(CNS): Following the announcement of a temporary suspension of rollover, the chair of the Immigration Review Team (IRT) has said it is the ‘key employee’ aspect of the law that has failed. One of the main architects of the original 2004 immigration law that introduced the policy, Sherri Bodden -Cowan said the basics of the term limit policy won’t change completely but it will be the key employee designation, in particular, that the new review team will examine during the suspension. She said it was generally agreed that key employee was not working for anyone as employers claim not enough people are being granted key and some locals feel too many people have been granted key and are blocking Caymanian progression.

The suspension of rollover, announced by the premier in the Legislative Assembly earlier this month, will give government breathing space in which to “tweak” the law, said Sherri Bodden-Cowan, who has been asked to chair the newly formed teamof immigration experts who are looking into the issue. But it is unlikely that the law will fundamentally change in the long run. since the key employee aspect of the law is not working, this is where the focus will be. Bodden-Cowan said the controversial seven year term limit, or the rollover provision, was a sound one which should have introduced a system of progressive rights to permit those individuals felt most needed to build the country to reside permanently in the Islands.

“But what we could not have predicted when we passed the law was that within ten months we would have a Category 5 hurricane destroy the island and cause our workforce to jump from around 12,000 to 24 to 25,000,” the IRT chair explained. “Nor could we have anticipated the economic crisis which caused companies to have to tighten their belts in terms of hiring two people to do a job, i.e. an understudy, so that their long term planning to replace these persons after seven years was hampered by their economic ability to do so.”

Bodden-Cowan said these issues, plus the coming on line of Cayman’s first five-star hotel – the Ritz Carlton Grand — which employed over 500 people initially, meant that even though they had anticipated steady growth, which would have allowed them to rollover the majority of workers and keep the few that achieved key employee, businesses, both large and small, have found it a real challenge to keep up with the succession planning exercise.

There was no choice but to suspend the rollover before the review had taken place, she said. The statistics suggested that a considerable amount of people face rollover in the next two years, potentially causing huge economic hardship to the Islands.

According to the figures from the Department of Immigration, there will be 745 individuals up for rollover this year, 2,350 in 2012, and 1,593 up to and including September 2013, making a total of 4,688. Added to this is the figure of 998 individuals currently on appeal, making 5,686 people potentially rolled over by the end of 2012.  

Applying the term limit policy across the board was a fundamental issue, Bodden-Cowan believed, but it is how key employee has been enforced that needs to be examined. “As with any law, the issue is how a person or a board applies their mind to it,” she said. “We have heard previous chairman of immigration boards say that key employee should only be a ‘rare bird’.”

Immigration boards are comprised of voluntary members who might not always have the expertise in all fields of occupation, she noted, not necessarily appreciating the need for a specific type of occupation globally and therefore in Cayman also. A human resources authority, which had been recommended at the time the law was first introduced, would have assisted in this critical area, she said.

“The law, as we drafted it, could have only worked if we had moved it to a full human resources authority,” she confirmed “The costs and staffing of such an authority has been the challenge.”

Bodden-Cowan said that it was generally agreed across the political spectrum that key employee was not working, on the one side there was the view that not enough people had been granted key and on the other there were some Caymanians who felt key was not working because too many people had been granted key and were blocking positions for Caymanians.

By suspending the rollover, the team will now have time to assess five years’ worth of rollover data as that policy came into effect in 2006. The team will assess how many people took the 12 month break provided for in the policy before people can reapply for a work permit, and returned to the islands. They will look at how many unskilled and professional workers returned, how many received permanent residency, and so on.

“I believe we are going to find that rollover is working for the unskilled workers,”Bodden Cowan said. “In the professional category I think we will find that they have not returned and the question is whether we can afford to apply the policy across all job categories.”

One option will be to grant all professionals a nine year term limit, giving them the option to apply for permanent residency at year eight. At the same time they would also be looking to set the points system in such a way that those who achieve PR before they reach their term limit are the professionals the Islands need to keep long term, and those where Cayman professionals are available.

“The middle category or skilled semi-skilled category is going to be the hardest category because it is where we have Caymanians unemployed. How we encourage businesses to ensure they recruit and train Caymanians is where the real challenge lies,” she confirmed.  The onus ought to be placed back on the employer to ensure they train and recruit Caymanians, but how the Islands go about policing this was the real question.

Distrust between boards and businesses has grown and been another factor in causing key employee not to work, Bodden-Cowan said, which could have been alleviated by much more effective communication between the two, another function that could have been carried out by a human resources authority.

Bodden-Cowan said the current review will look at the entire system at a micro level and will be encouraging wider input from businesses as to how the law has impacted them. The team has 180 days to present their report from the date the premier officially appoints the team, which is expected to be next week.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Get rid of the rollover and key employee provisions instead have a  Caymanian only job category like they have in Bermuda http://bermuda-online.org/employwp.htm

    • Anonymous says:

      Many of those jobs are already openly advertised for Caymanians.  Sadly only a few seem able to apply and/or turn up for work.  So then what?

  2. Anonymous says:

    The key is fine. Its the holders of the key that don't work – within the laws and guidelines. If only we had capable people on these boards.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Cayman needs to quit shooting itself in the foot. How many more feet have to be shot off before Cayman dies completely?.

    The Key Employee mechanism failed simply because no one except the employer can know the value of his employees.  Government officials who spend their time trying to second guess the employers on who is key is an impossible task. That is why all attempts to do this have failed and will continue to do so.

    Government interference in the affairs of private companies has reached the breaking point where many companies are no longer profitable.  And if they are not profitable they will not generate the funds they need to exist, nor the fees they need to pay for government interference.

    Allgovernments, especially Cayman, need to completely remove themselves from trying to micro manage companies. There is nothing new about this. Adam Smith is his "Wealth of the Nations" was the first to show this. No government plan which tries to do this will ever succeed. So quit trying to do the impossible.

    And time is running out.

    • Lorry says:

      Agree but his will never happen in Cayman – there are too many people with so little understanding of economics here. Half the inhabitants on this island view the exodus of expats over the last couple of years as a good thing – yet fail to make the nexus between Caymanian unemployment and expat population. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Lorry, what would happen if every expat in Cayman should leave today? I guess the islands would crumble and fall into the sea and not a single Caymanian would be able to find a job, a house to live in and food to eat, I guess we would all fall down and die like toy soldiers.

  4. Rollover Beethoven says:

    Poor poor Sherri, all her plans have now been ruined by the ECHR's judgement in AA v. UK this week which establishes that a settled migrant's social tie swith the community constitute part of the concept of "private life" under Article 8 of the ECHR.  All this 10 year stuff is now probably irrelevant – deporation even of someone with such ties will be illegal under the ECHR unless there can be proved that it is "necessary in a democratic society" or for the "prevention of disorder or crime".  These concepts do not mean anything like what the nationalists here would like them to mean.

    Rollover probably has been killed off this week, but in Strasbourg not Goerge Town.

    • Boston Tea Party says:

      From AA v. UK:

      49. An examination of the Court’s case-law would tend to suggest that the applicant, a young adult of 24 years old, who resides with his mother and has not yet founded a family of his own, can be regarded as having “family life”. However, it is not necessary to decide the question given that, as Article 8 also protects the right to establish and develop relationships with other human beings and the outside world and can sometimes embrace aspects of an individual’s social identity, it must be accepted that the totality of social ties between settled migrants and the community in which they are living constitutes part of the concept of “private life” within the meaning of Article 8. Thus, regardless of the existence or otherwise of a “family life”, the expulsion of a settled migrant constitutes an interference with his right to respect for private life. While the Court has previously referred to the need to decide in the circumstances of the particular case before it whether it is appropriate to focus on “family life” rather than “private life”, it observes that in practice the factors to be examined in order to assess the proportionality of the deportation measure are the same regardless of whether family or private life is engaged (Üner, cited above, §§ 57-60).

      50. An interference with right to respect for private life will be in breach of Article 8 of the Convention unless it can be justified under paragraph 2 of Article 8 as being “in accordance with the law”, as pursuing one or more of the legitimate aims listed and as being “necessary in a democratic society” in order to achieve the aim or aims concerned.


      Borisov v. Lithuania is quite informative as well:




    • Anonymous says:

      The AA v. UK case did not establish any new law. That had previously been decided by the European Court in Omojudi v United Kingdom (2009) and Üner v The Netherlands (2006). These cases are about deportation where the subject has committed a criminal offence and is therefore liable to be deported but has his family in the host country. I do not see that they necessarily apply to rollover. If it did it would mean that immigration laws are effectively abolished.     

  5. Torch says:

    It is interesting that the more times the UDP issues a statement or commentary on this issue the more the numbers of persons affected affected declines.

    When first raised McKeeva said there was 6000 people affected and being rolled by the end of this year (a previous article stated that Bush maintained that "6,000 people are potentially facing rollover between November of this year and next as a result of the massive recruitment to the islands in the wake of Hurricane Ivan in 2004").

    Now we are told that "5,686 people potentially rolled over by the end of 2012".

    Supposedly that number is comprised of 745 for 2011, 2,350 for 2012 and 998 currently on appeal. My math puts the real number for end of 2012 at 4,093. If you exclude the 998 the number is 3,095! So we are at half of where we started!

    The vast majority of those numbers are likely to be unskilled individuals and as Sherri says that is the category rollover works for! That is, they will go away for a year and return.

    On the other hand for professional etc  I would be willing to bet that close to 90% or more of all key applications are granted so how is it that that has failed employers? To suggest that it has failed Caymanians because it has not created opportunities is disengenuous. That was never the purpose and Sherri has acknowledged that publicly.

    What she choses not to acknowledge is that the "dishonest politicians" that she speaks of having in the past claimed that the rollover was to create job opportunities for Caymanians were of the same UDP party! 

    What she dare not acknowledge is that when the UDP were "selling" the rollover they told the financial industry that it wouldnt affect them and that it was designed to keep "the Jamaicans" from getting status.

    The ironly is that after the 2005 elections, McKeeva realised that he has pissed so many Caymanians off with his illegal and in many cases grossly unjust status grants that the next obvious choice was to make Jamaicans (who have always dominated immigrant numbers) come to his patronage trough. Easy to do – they are used to that type of polictics!  Of course that was no accident. He was beginning to learn the political tactics of our neighbours. Dont forget that he and the UDP chairman immediately wrote to all of the illegal status recipients inviting them to join and support their benefactor, the UDP! Crazy like a fox!

    The man that used to proclaim that expats were "cluttering up the infrastructure" in Cayman finally found a use for the clutter he complained of! The campaign to claim that the other side was anti-expat and anti-Jamaican and the rollover only affected them because the PPM "implemented it wrong" had begun!

    How ironic that he has become the champion of those he used to denigrate to the betrayal of those who put him there!

    His newfound loyalists should not however, believe that he has altruistic motives. They are only useful to him at the next election and time has a way of shifting their perspectives to a more long term interest and that is when they begin to see him for what he is. A manipulator desperate to hold on to power in any way that he can. That is when he looks for the next group to bestow his magnanimity upon for the measely price of complete loyalty! 

    We can clearly see that there has been an exaggeration of the numbers and the sudden urgency to do this suspension of the rollover some twenty something months after the IRT was formed to consider these issues leaves one with the unavoidable suspicion that he is trying to latch on to his next lifeline to get him through more election cycles! The leopard doesnt change his spots.







  6. The other Madame Speaker says:

    I agree that if you hold a Caymanian passport after obtaining your Caymanian Status and you have citizenship in other countries you should have to renounce all the others to retain your Caymanian citizenship.  If you do not want to give up all the others then pay an annual fee for being a citizen in this country.  Additionally, all those that haven't paid for their citizenships/pr etc should have them revoked after 30days of non payment and they will have to reapply after 5 years.  This giving up of our birthrights and getting nothing in return is ridiculous and explotive.  

    • Anonymous says:

      then by your reasoning Caymanians should renounce their British citizenship and passport abilities within 30 days.  If you do not………………………………..

    • Anonymous says:

      You can only make this statement if you are the holder of only a Caymanian passport. Otherwise you are just as guilty as those you accuse. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. You are no better than I and I'm no better than you, despite where either of us come from.

  7. Anonymous says:

    What is a true Caymanian? I have a new, productive, definition that may put all the bickering and decisiveness to an end.

    A true Caymanian is any person who ONLY holds a Cayman passport. This is the truest test of patriotism. These are the only people who can truly say "they have no place to go" and therefore must make things work out at home. 

    Anyone with dual / triple / quadruple passports should give up all others up to show their true commitment / dedication to these beautiful islands. Anyone not willing to do so are NOT true Caymanians and should only post  / comment in that context. Indeed, its the hight of hypocrisy to call oneself a true Caymanian if one as an alternate passport that allows one to slip out the back door and way too many fall into this category.



    • Anonymous says:

      Do I detect a note of jealousy that you don't have dual citizenship / passports in another country.  Actually It is not hypocrisy, its being smart.  When you have a country being run by a few nitwits, it is prudent to have an escape route.  Smart people know this, it is about survival of oneself and one's family, if this place goes further to the dogs than it already has so far.

      • Anonymous says:

        So what you are saying is that you are not committed to Cayman. If you are not committd to Cayman, then where are you committed to? And Mr. Smart why don't you live in that place you are committed to?


        • Head in the .. says:

          Why commit to a country that can not commit to you?  Unless your Mr. fool.

          Explains a lot.

          • Anonymous says:

            So if we make your status irrevocable, you will commit? 

          • Anonymous says:

            Which comes first, the chicken or the egg. It seems impertinent to suggest that a country must first commit to you so that you can decide whether to become a citizen.   

      • Anonymous says:

        So committed Caymanians are not smart? 

      • Anonymous says:

        Poor assumption. But that wont stop you from drawing a conclusion, will it Mr. Smart?

    • Really ? says:

      How many "True Caymanians" hold a British Passport along with a Cayman passport. Get your head out of your arse.

      • Anonymous says:

        The responses to this challenge are quite interesting. My point is that there are many who claim to be Caymanian TO THE CORE and use this "purity" against others. Yet they themselves would not give up their British, U.S., Canadian etc. Nor will they give others status that can't be revoked. So, in essence, we are a "nation" with very few people who are truly committed. This shows up quite clearly in our society and economy.



  8. Anonymous says:

    I know what to do. Stop letting those foreigners buy property, that way they wont settle down and make cayman their home! I bought a house then got evicted from the island, my only option of having a roof over my head when I left was to live in a shared house and now i wonder if I will be allowed back in to live in the house that I own.

  9. Anonymous says:

    So the reason for the sudden jump in population from12,000 to 24 or 25,000 is now reported to be because of Ivan???  Does Sherri Bodden Cowan think we are fools or does she think we simply forgot about all the wonton distribution of status grants that she helped facilitate?  WE ARE NOT THAT STUPID…….the uneployment issue we have is a direct result of that one move and several other factors also contribute, such as the rollover which permits persons to return after time abroad, and Key Employee status and lets face it.  Persons get Key Employee depending on who they are and who they work for, not out of necessity.  Didn't most of Darts workforce who were rolling over just suddenly all get Key Employees status????  YES!!!!  And soon they will probably also get PR or may simply skip that and jump straight up to becoming Caymanian Status Holders.  We need foreign labor here there is no question but it has to be monitored and we do not OWE anything to anyone who comes here to work which seems to be a grave misconception of Sherri Bodden Cowan, Macdictator and others.  The Immigration Dept. needs to concentrate on doing their job….protecting our borders from permitting undesirables from landing here.  There are many here already who should not be here either because they already have criminal records, are here on affidavits instead of Police Records which is a red flag, are not qulified for the jobs they are doing, are not in compliance with the PR requirements including not paying their fees, have sold their properties, etc. etc. etc.  There are also other factors that contribute to the unemployment here such as local companies who hire persons to work for them remotely in other countries so they do not have to hire Caymanians OR get work permits, yet they operate here, make thier money here, avoid taxes here etc. etc. etc.  This is an ever-growing way of doing business here and it has worked well for the companies!!!!  Not so well for Caymanians OR work permit hoders even and the Govt. is also losing money becuase of that!!!.   It is time to go back to work permits with a Work Permit Board and Immig. Dept that are not controlled by Macdictator and his self serving muppets.  There needs to be a Work Permit Board working in conjunction with a Labor Board AND Immig. to make sure firstly there is genuine need and then to establish the genuineness of the applicant by requiring Police Claearnace, Backgrounbd checks etc.  Work permits should be granted without a time limit as long as the employer  proves a genuine need.  They shouold be renewed and paid for each two years until the partnership is severed for whatever reason then the WP holder should have to leave the jurisdiction and cannot apply for another work permit here for two or more years.   No one except those with Caymanian blood family ties should ever get Caymanian Status.  Persons who choose to reside here for 25 years could apply to become Permanent Residents only and only if they have sufficient income or proof they can maintain themselves here, regardless of whether or not they own a home or are Rotarians or not etc.  Caymanians are almost extinct because this is the only place in the world where the leadership here feels we owe something to everyone except the endemic population.  Just because you work here does not mean you are entitled to become a Citizen.  Cayman is a small place that cannot sustain this type of citizenship stupidity.          

    • Anonymous says:

      Your so far off track with your comments here I do not know where to begin. All I can suggest is that you do a course in economics so that you understand how jobs are created and lost – stop with your fictional garbage based on your prejudices.

    • Anonymous says:

      Or maybe you are THAT stupid.

  10. South Sounder says:

    So Immigration are making the rules up as they go, it will take them another 2 years to make up some new rules at which point the new government will be elected and they will then have another 4 years to reinvent the rules, change the existing ones and require another 2 year suspension, whilst they try to catch up on all the applications made under different rules at different times

    Glad to see there is clarity in this genius policy and that it is being driven forward by the woman who fluffed up the rules in the first place….so prospective investors in Cayman are now much clearer about what they can plan for….well done you idiots, it's all perfectly clear to the rest of us that you have'nt got a clue what you are doing and you have no workable plans for the future…but hey drag it out and milk the cash cow for another couple of years, at which point you should be entitled to a plaque in Heroes square and huge pension for life.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Any government system based on patronage is bound to fail. 

  12. Patrick Schmid says:

    The reason behind stating yesterday that what Sherri said in relation to Roll-over was inaccurate in terms of Cayman’s legal obligations was simply because I know that a much bigger picture should be drawn to demonstrate some of the validity of the thinking behind the “rollback” of “rollover.”

    Today, in response to her elaboration of the reasoning (an objectively positive step), I still say that there are matters thrown into the mix here which are not logical and run a SERIOUS risk of falling foul of International (the International Declaration of Human Rights); European (the European Convention on Nationality, 2002 (“ECN”)and the European Convention on Human Rights (“ECHR”) , British (UK) (the British Nationality Act, 1981 (as amended) (“BNA”) and the Human Rights Act and Caymanian law (the official policy on Immigration law, regulation and practice as accepted by Cabinet and the Legislative Assembly in 2003).

    Here are my detailed reasons, which I think the public have a right to know:

    1. The problem with rollover is something we already know-the system of placing annual priorities in place regarding professions (REGARDLESS of whether they are “un-skilled; semi-skilled; skilled; professional” etc), has not been enabled.
    2. The use of reference to “skill” is antiquated and probably offensive. It is also irrelevant to prioritisation in accordance with national economic need and sociological functionality;
    3. The Cayman Islands can no longer afford to use a “Board system” to determine work permits – this is time-consuming, expensive & inefficient for Government and business AND it results in human rights deficiencies to the individual in the system which will become blatantly obvious (if not so already) when our Bill of Rights comes into effect;
    4. We have known since at least 1998 that the (a) the Labour Dept and Immigration Dept should logically be merged; (b) should be removed from the sphere of any political influence (whether direct or indirect); and (c) should allow for the faster processing of work permits by experienced and effective immigration professionals rather than Boards per se (THUS a HUMAN RESOURCES AUTHORITY must be created!);
    5. We have also known for a long time about the effect of European Convention (and English legislation + the relevant Order in Council) which bind Cayman);
    6. Logically, the term limit or “rollover”, key employee or prioritisation, the points system for permanent residence, our obligations for naturalization under the BNA, and the eventual grant of status pursuant to the Immigration Law of the Cayman Islands (– a requirement of the ECN and the ECHR), should ALL tie together;
    7. The reason for the selection of 7 years for “rollover”  and “key employee” was also one which was felt to be logical and fair to all concerned, Amongst the considerations: (i) Cayman is physically too small to welcome everyone who may qualify under natural law criteria for permanent residency if there is no initial criteria of is applied (ii) ensuring businesses are allowed to retain truly key employees allows the least possible disruption to business, (iii) ensuring a relevant points system on a ‘type of profession’ basis (rather than a categorisation of the professions into irrelevant groupings) is fairest to parties applying and most effective for the needs of the Islands; (iv)enforcing these systems uniformly and consistently ensures the most effective training and job opportunities for Caymanians without being burdensome on business.
    8. By utilising the system properly and in its entirety, citizens are granted their full natural rights in law; whilst foreign citizens working in the Islands have the rights to which they are entitled made clear to them and business are able to carry out comprehensive human resource planning and budgeting.
    9. Whereas the system anticipated that many people will not necessarily be interested in remaining in the Cayman Islands until they qualify as Caymanians, these recent actions and statements seem to have forgotten that many people come to Cayman only because they wish to for a certain period of time (and these reasons are personal to each individual).

    By the way, it was thought that 7 years would (A) allow a person reasonable time to appeal to the Courts if they requested a judicial review of the Board’s (or Authority) and the Appeal Board’s decisions and (B) allow a person reasonable time to relocate on Island’s if the Courts were to rule in favour of the decision original decisions of the Board’s or Authority; before the 10 years required by European Law would kick in and thereby give Cayman no choice in the matter (leaving it to one year should be very concerning if it is not currently happening in 3)!

    The “break in time living on island” of “at least one year”  was felt to be necessary to constitute a real and substantial break in time which could stand up in any court (where applied) should the question of domicile (as opposed to a place in which the person was clearly the subject of immigration controls) arise.

    So let us examine the matter the immigration and the rollover matters objectively and carefully, and why I have said that the suspension of the “rollover” is not really dealing with the problem and is actually probably illegal (and am really rather surprised by this action):

    (a)This is an issue that was considered thoroughly and carefully over an extended period of time by numerous boards and committees over the years, particularly:

     – the 55 member Vision 2008 Roundtable and more recently,

     – by the First Immigration Review Team (“IRT”) (consisting of Sherri (as Chair-she was then two time Chair of the Immigration  Board); myself as Deputy (I was Deputy Chair of the Immigration Board and had studied Immigration Law (Post-Graduate) in the UK + was a member of the American Imm Association/member of the Caymanian Bar Assoc. Committee on Imm and former Co-Chair of the Vision 2008 Imm Roundtable);the soon-to-be Deputy-Gov: Franz; the highly experienced current Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Connor; the current Minister for Education & Labour, Mr. Anglin; then Crown Counsel and immigration Attorney, Mrs. Westorberg-Frederick; Mr.Gilbert Mclean, MLA; Mr. Alden McLaughlin, MLA).

    (b)The Report of the IRT is technically one made to Cabinet and is still a document reserved for review by Cabinet ONLY. Considering its widespread national implications, it is arguable that it should be made available to the general public.

    (c)Numerous public statements have put parts of the Report in the public forum already, it is completely legal to make the following important confirmations:

    1. the IRT whole-heartedly supported the conclusions of Vision 2008-including the creation of a “Human Resources Authority” which would merge the Immigration and Labour Department’s (thus increasing many sensible efficiencies, CUTTING costs, and making decision-making on permits faster + causing complete independence from Government!);
    2. the IRT stated that the splitting of the Board into 3 would achieve efficiencies not then possible with 1 Board (but that having the Boards should only be an interim measure – EXACTLY as concluded by Vision 2008, and that at full introduction Boards should NOT be utilised for work permit processing and in any case should be industry-based and not District rep based! );
    3. the IRT re-iterated that the Grand Court had already ruled that the then subsisting moratorium on status grants was illegal and MUST be lifted immediately as a matter of common and legislative Law!;
    4. the IRT stated that it did not think it was feasible to consider the backlog of applications for status immediatelyas the Territory could not (from a sociological; economic nor infrastructural perspective) grant the likely amount of resulting successful candidates at once;
    5. the IRT proposed to Cabinet that it authorise the grant of up to 500 status in any one year over 6 years (at that rate all applicants would be considered on the basis of length of time which they had been waiting and other natural and human rights requirements as prevailed in public international law!)

    (c)More recently, the rollover matter was considered by 2 eminent QC’s – I have read Lord Pannic’s opinion in full – it seems to me that Lord Pannic’s opinion is largely in agreement with the conclusions arrived at by Vision 2008 and the IRT, butI would not purport to say anything about this as this is only my humble opinion of his opinion!

    (d)It seems quite clear to me (and many other lawyers have agreed) that it is a matter of European and UK law, (as extended to the Cayman Islands), that a break in the period residence, without a real and substantial break residence(as set out above) in any jurisdiction subject to the ECN and the ECHR, MUST give ANY person who remains beyond a certain period of time, an automatic right to a graduated form of residence;

    (e)Therefore, it is simply NOT an option to allow a person to “choose to remain, because whether they wish to or not, the person acquires the actual right to remain after a certain period of time of unbroken residence in the islands and cannot, as a matter of law be the subject of Immigration control.” Instead it becomes an obligation of the Cayman Islands to provide this right to the individual.

    (f)When the Legislative Assembly considered Immigration Bill, 2003 (“IB”), as prepared by a Senior Legal Draftsman which based on the thoroughly researched 3 official reports (or “Report”) of the IRT and the widespread public consultation that was conducted, there was unanimous bi-partisan support of the Immigration Bill, 2003, (subsequently the Immigration Law(2004), forerunner of the current Immigration Law),to quote from the Hansard:

    The Immigration Bill 2003”Hon. W. McKeeva Bush: “Mr. Speaker, I am proud to move that a Bill shortly entitled The IB 2003 be given a third reading and passed. An historic day for these Islands.”
    The Speaker(Hon. the late Mabry Kirkconnell: “The question is that a Bill shortly titled The Immigration Bill 2003 be given a third reading and passed.
    All those in favour, please say Aye. All those against, No.”…..[all Ayes!]
    The Speaker: “The Ayes have it. “

    (g) Strategy 16 of Vision 2008, which contained the unanimously agreed position of a Roundtable consisting of 28 Caymanians and 27 Non-Caymanians[55 persons of all walks of life and with equal say in the conclusions], was accepted by the Government and the Foreign and Commonwealth office in 1999 as crucial to  the 10 year developmental plan for the Cayman Islands.

    (h)Vision 2008 stated, inter alia: “We will create a comprehensive Immigration policy, which protects Caymanians and gives security to long-term residents. all policies should be linked to the overall Growth Management Strategy; be fair to Caymanians and Non-Caymanians; apply to the to the Private sector and the Government [at that time there were 2 separate sets of rules]; establish a system for the Grant of Status; Establish an appropriate roll-over or term-limit system; ensure the equitable prioritisation of training and promotion for Caymanians as inherently appropriate in any country for that country’s citizens.”

    (i)The Immigration Law, (and Regs) do notmake ‘easy reads’, but it is not fair to take any their parts out of context. There are also overarching specifications in the BNA, the ECN as well as the ECHR.

    (j)I am fairly certain that our Law is in line with the policies in most modern democracies, (though it should always be kept under review and amended from time to time). I am also convinced that what was actually happening was NOT what the Law intended!

    (k)Poignantly, the first IRT stated in its Report, that there should be a list of priority professions (the Regs used to refer to this!)which are considered and approved, (on an annual basis) ,by Cabinet. 

    (l) The IRT also produced thorough explanatory leaflets on the effects of the new law (produced in conjunction with the Chamber of Commerce and inserted in various editions of national newspapers at the time). The IRT also went to great lengths to ENSURE that business owners and operators understood the implications of what was then called the “term-limit policy.”

    (m)Business owners really had numerous documented opportunities to put substantial HR plans in place and KNEW full well of the exceptions to the rules (therefore took the opportunity to ensure that key employees were duly nominated as such and that key positions were set out in pre-approved Business plans).

    (n)The monitoring of such list of professions is properly, the role of the current Immigration Review Team (IRT), (now a standing statutory advisory committee of the CIG) – but that role is something the CIG has not yet bequeathed to the current IRT as a matter of Administrative Law.

    CONCLUSION: it is undoubtedly fair to say that until recently, in terms of the official policy, Cayman was meeting its obligations to Caymanians, to all persons who live in these Islands, and under UK and International law: the real improvements must come about in fine-tuning the practice (i.e. the ADMINISTRATION and the EXECUTION (or Enforcement), NOT the content of the Policy.)

    I completely understand the desire to improve the economic and sociological position of the Islands but I sincerely doubt that rollover, or key employee’s in the context of the overall policy has anything to do with the reality of our current economic challenges.

    The Executive needs to advance the system in accordance with the approved plan/policy to do so, (as stated in Law and the Reports), the administrative enforcement of the policy would then be able to fall into place!

    • Anonymous says:

      Patrick, I appreciate the time and effort you have invested in commenting on this issue. Obviously, as with me, it is an issue dear to your heart.  I agree with many of your comments.  In particular, I concur that:

      (a)  "the suspension of the “rollover” is not really dealing with the problem and is actually probably illegal";

      (b) "I sincerely doubt that rollover, or key employee’s in the context of the overall policy has anything to do with the reality of our current economic challenges".

      But there are a few with which I have difficulty:

      1.  "The problem with rollover is something we already know-the system of placing annual priorities in place regarding professions (REGARDLESS of whether they are “un-skilled; semi-skilled; skilled; professional” etc), has not been enabled".

      I am not sure I understand this comment. You appear to be saying that professionals should be treated preferentially but then say that it is regardless of whether they are professional, skilled etc. Are you suggesting that professionals (as distinct from any other category of worker) should not have been subject to roll over? If such a govt. policy (as distinct from a recommendation of the IRT) was intended to guide the implementation of the Immigration Law, 2003 then I am sure you will agree that it should properly have been reflected in the Immigration Regulations, 2004 or Immigration Directions. It was not. Government policy in order to be transparent and publicly known must be published.

      2.  "I am also convinced that what was actually happening was NOT what the Law intended!".  

      The Law seems plain to me. Can you please explain the intention behind the Law which it did not express?  Was rollover intended to apply to certain nationalities but not others? Was it intended to apply to certain occupations but not others? Was it intended to give certain businesses exemptions but not others? On what basis?  

      3. "It seems quite clear to me (and many other lawyers have agreed) that it is a matter of European and UK law, (as extended to the Cayman Islands), that a break in the period residence, without a real and substantial break residence(as set out above) in any jurisdiction subject to the ECN and the ECHR, MUST give ANY person who remains beyond a certain period of time, an automatic right to a graduated form of residence".

      My understanding is that while the UK is a signatory to the ECHR and this has been extended to Cayman the European Convention on Nationality has not been signed or ratified by the UK. See   http://conventions.coe.int/Treaty/Commun/ChercheSig.asp?NT=166&CM=&DF=&CL=ENG. I do not understand that there have been any decisions of the European Court finding that the ECHR is relevant to the acquisition of nationality or permanent rights based on residency. However, Article 16 of the Directive 2004/38/EC of the European Parliament and the Council provides that people who are nationals of an EU Member State derive a right to live permanently in another Member State if they have lived there legally for a period of five years or more. By Article 16 (4) this right is lost if the person leaves the country in which he or she has resided, for a continuous period of two years or more. While this is the EU standard I do not think that it has been extended to the countries and territories of the EU of which Cayman is a member. In the UK the Citizens Directive is implemented by the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006 but this has also not been extended to Cayman. In any event if Cayman were bound by that Directive a 7 year term would be too long and a 1 year gap would be too short. For non-EU citizens indefinite leave to remain is acquired after 10 years provided there have been no breaks of greater than 6 months. While this Law has also not been extended to Cayman I think it is the standard which the UK will demand of us.     



  13. Anonymous says:

    As far as I can see a lot employers of professionals only apply for Key Employee Status and then the professional applies for PR in order to stay in their current employment, they do not apply in order to stay here beyond retirement. A few might, but most will eventually return to their original home countries. If they do stay in retirement it is probably because they are wealthy enough to still be net contributors. So what is the real problem immigration wise? Maybe the policy is a sledgehammer to crack a nut? The Island can only sustain a certain number of persons no matter how they are here…..only one part of the problem…( not talking about unskilled labour pool) but still one worth throwing into the pot of the debate…..

  14. Anonymous says:

    "…The onus ought to be placed back on the employer to ensure they train and recruit Caymanians, but how the Islands go about policing this was the real question.

    [sighs]  Is it only me who keeps seeing the goal posts moving on every news article, or by every government official pertaining to all these immigration issues?  The only goal post that seems to remain the same (as quoted above) is the same issue that is perpetually the biggest failing of the successive governments here in Cayman – the lack of resolve to properly educate the youth and provide vocational facilities to train school leavers into the jobs they so much deserve but simply do not have the skills or knowledge to have; and the constant shifting of that burden and blame to the private entities that choose to come and do business (as opposed to coming to run educational facilities) in Cayman, thus boosting the Cayman economy.  Just as it should stay separate from church, unless they areactively trying to put businesses off coming here with excessive fees and training requirements, government has no business telling private companies that they should become educators – on-the-job training to improve existing skills, yes, but teaching someone how to do a job – no.  The people coming here on work permits have spent years in universities and colleges, and then more years working through the ranks (more often from the bottom to the top) of various employers to gain the skill and knowledge they excel in and are valued for here. 

    Furthermore, there are plenty of extremely professional and well-skilled Caymanians in employment here today who have recognised that fact, showed some initiative, and sought out the relevant education abroad.  They have returned equipped with the same skills and knowledge needed to excel here.  Such Caymanians are a praiseworthy example of how to take responsibility and control of your own future, rather than sit on your backside complaining and expecting everyone else to do everything for you. 

    If the government want to secure votes, a future and ample opportunieis for its own Caymanian people, it should explore its skills gaps and try spend some money on decent educational facilities to improve employment prospects for Caymanians, instead of throwing money at churches, paving, extravagant hurricane shelters and concessions, etc.

    From what I am reading over the last few days, it only looks like they gonna make an already shambolic situation even worse.

    • Lorry says:

      Right on – it is not the job of the private sector to train and educate Caymanians. It is the repsonsibility of Caymanians to ensure that their government provide the educational instituions necessary for their training. And then it in encumbent on those that attend to actually learn something, develop a work ethic and to make good things happen via hard work – seems to work in every other country. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Not quite true. It is true that it is not the job of the private sector to train Caymanians – unless the private sector employer is relying on foreign labour in which case it is a condition of work permits that some part of that privatesector entities’ job becomes to train Caymanians.

        • Anonymous says:

          However we know that this is simply not realistic – those people who advocate two people for the one job so that a Caymanian can be trained are obviously not business owners  (who are struggling at the moment). I consider people that advocate this to be leeches who want to suck the life out of a business to fill their belly

  15. Anonymous says:

    I would have thought that step number one should be to collate, examine and analyse date from the recent census and from the immigration department to find out the following: –

    1) How many work permit holders there are on island.

    2) Break that down into skilled, unskilled, professional (basically to each of the categories of work permit) to see where Caymanians and expats are employed.

    3) Show the salary range and average salary by category in 2) above, broken down to expat and Caymanian.

    4) Show unemployment numbers and list the last job which the unemployed Caymanian was doing. Show he qualifications of those unemployed.

    5) Look at some facts of how many Caymanians were offered and underwent training facilitated, paid for or just supported by their company (expat owned, or wholly Caymanian owned)

    6) Breakdown the qualifications by type, for expats verus Caymanians.

    The census was expensive and comprehensive. That data does not appear to be being used in any meaningful way. The data from that would be perfect for this debate.

    Basically get facts before you spout off on here. Without any further facts, all opinions seem to me to be jingoistic, xenophobic nonsense, inclined only to cause deep routed social unrest and to segregate expacts from locals.

    If a lot of people concentrated on what they could do to make themselves more employable, or valuable and likely to be promoted, rather than complain and spout self-entitled, lazy, uninformed, greedy nonsense, unsupported by any facts and figures, this country would be a lot happier and prosperous.

    • Head in the .. says:

      That would take real work.  By soneone with real abilities.   Not gonna happen in current immigration.

    • Anonymous says:

      "Without any further facts, all opinions seem to me to be jingoistic, xenophobic nonsense, inclined only to cause deep routed social unrest and to segregate expacts from locals".

      Because of course all of the negative commentary likely to "segregate expats from locals" is only coming from those hateful Caymanians.

      • YY says:

        I think you just disproved the point your trying to make. The poster you are responding to did not mention whether it was Caymanian or Expat at fault, no doubt both are, but your own paranoia concludes they were referring to just Caymanians as being responsible for the relationship between expat and Caymanian. 

        • Anonymous says:

          Errr. No. I think you need to look up the meaning of the words "jingoistic" and "xenophobic" and consider them in light of the rhetoric that is continually levelled against Caymanians and in the context of Cayman. Since we are speaking about immigration issues in Cayman with Caymanians depicted as pitted against expats those terms could meaningfully only be applied to Caymanians. If the poster meant to indicate that both expats and Caymanians are guilty unreasonable behaviour he would have used more neutral terms like "selfish" or "myopic".

  16. Anonymous says:

    If the "Key" is not working then it joins a distinguished list along with McKeeva, Billy Reid, and Sheri herself.

    Sheri was appointed as Chair of the IRT in July 2009. That's more than two years ago! Just like McKeeva, she has accomplished NOTHING. A big fat ZERO! The reason for this is that decisions are never made with regard for what is best for the country, but always with regard to what is best for certain individuals.


    Here are a few excerpts from what McKeeva said when she was appointed:

    "The IRT will identify areas of omission and the removal of certain previously existing provisions in the law by the previous government, such as the right to appeal a refusal of key employee status and the removal of the Residency Provisions for Entrepreneurs and Investors, and consider their reintroduction into the law in an amended form,” Bush announced.

    He said IRT would consult with stakeholders, produce a report with findings and recommendations for Cabinet within a reasonable timeframe, and assist with the preparation of draft amending legislation if necessary.

    What is a reasonable timeframe McKeeva? Is she working on it with the same urgency that you, Stefan, and the rest of the UDP have displayed in getting a cruise terminal?

    Is the original team still in place, or have they been subject to McKeevas weekly revolving door?

    The IRT will be chaired by Sherri Bodden-Cowan, and Independent MLA for North Side Ezzard Miller would be the Deputy. Members will include Betty Baraud, Paulette Anglin Lewis, Erma Arch, and the two official members of government. The team will also include a representative from Legal Drafting and Bruce Smith (Deputy Chief Immigration Officer), and Christopher Eakin (Policy Advisor to the Immigration Board) will be asked to assist.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is a labour issue and there is no representation on the IRT from labour. Oh well

    • Anonymous says:

      I am so sick and tired of hearing how foreigners are taking Caymanian jobs away.  That is a a bunch of crap.  Have you ever been in the Departments of relations (employment), oh boy…the men alone are dressed as if they are in a gang or just hanging out on a street corner.  Is the government going to stop work permits being granted for the Ritz, Dart, Wendy's, Fosters, Kirks, this is to name a few where there are majority of work permit holders employed there.  I wonder why???????  As Sheri  what nationality her helper is????

  17. X Pat says:

    The trouble is that Sherri B-C is too close to the Premier, the UDP and generally has assumed too much influence at Immigration over the years. Being an attorney whose firm specialises in immigration issues she has a massive conflict of interest and should not be involved in any tinkering with the Immigration Law. It is a mess because it is too complicated and too partial. However, take away the partiality and you take away the power from all these Board members and others in the system – and that would never do now would it?

    • Anonymous says:

      In many cases it is the practising lawyers who are most familiar with the law because they have to guide their clients through it.  The system is designed to be incorruptible and the chairpersons of these boards do not hold votes.  Also, if they are doing their job properly, they will recuse themselves (leave the room) when a related person comes up for discussion.


      Now on the other hand Sherri IS too close to the government to conduct an independent review like this.  McKeeva is banking on the suspension to calm the CNS voices so he needs a lackey in there to direct the outcome he wants.  He has always stuffed boards like this – nothing new, nothing good.

  18. Island Prophet says:

    Why dont the Government raise work permit fees in the hospitality industry and also across the board in Business.

    If these people want the foreign workers then pay for them.

    Caymanians dont have any of these businesses so it wont hurt us.

    Since we cannot get these jobs, then let the foreigners pay us to stay home through work permit fees.

    • Mamau says:

      You fool. You do your fellow Caymanians a great disservice with your comments. It is exactly this attitude that many hard working Caymanians are trying to turn around – yet you go and give the expats all the amunition they need to degrade Caymanians. You may be happy to sit on the couch at home and get paid for doing nothing – but we are not all like you – you lazy bum. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Dont worry, we know there are many hard working, sensible Caymanians around.

        This is just another example of empty vessels making the most noise….



    • Anonymous says:


    • Anonymous says:

      Are you truley living under a rock.  Government did just that and it closed many businesses by doubleing the cost of many work permits  Now there are half as many jobs.  Unfortunately no one in government is smart enough to understand the lesson so you might get your wish.

    • Dan says:

      Work permit fees are already quite expensive, how can raising the fees help the economy here?

      You're really saying Caymanians down own any hospitality businesses or "across the board" businesses?

      I am a partner with a Caymanian providing professional services to other Caymanian businesses. Not only do we help businesses here be more profitable (and thus make Caymanians more money) – but as the majority shareholder in our business, my partner makes a larger percentage of income and has more equity in the business then I. It seems to me that rasing fees "across the board" for businesses would in fact be taking money out of a Caymanian's hands?

      Don't you see you can't apply any economic policy such as this "across the board" and expect everyone to win?

    • Anonymous says:

      Dear Island Prophet… THEY ALREADY ARE… my work permit fee is around $19,000 USD per year, my job was advertised twice over the last two years and not one qualified caymanian, or actually any caymanians applied… they would love to employ a caymanian to do the job, you have to realize something, there are x jobs on the island and y people and there is going to be a gap which has to be filled, if you raise the cost to high, whats the point of having the business which = caymanians out of work. Just for a laugh, contact the law society in cayman and CISPA (accountants society) and ask how many caymanian qualified members they have and then look at the 1500-2000 professional jobs on island… don't shot the goose that laid the golden egg, you raise these permits much higher and companies will move all the jobs offshore and just keep the min here, look at the fund accounting industry over the last 5 years if you dont think that will happen…

    • Anonymous says:

      With your attitude, I see why employers would pay not to hire you!

  19. Anonymous says:

    That is a whole lot of hogwash, we caymanians know ourselves that we do not have enough man power to run this island. Foreigners have also been a great impact here and have brought alot of publicity. Why do we keep blaming them when in fact we know our own caymanians are the one's against their own.

    • Capt.Bill says:

      This wasn't always the case. To my mind my generation of Caymanians (50+) have a very good handle on the value of expats and I belive work alongside them for mutual benefit. Somewhere along the line though the generations that followed got swallowed up in hatred towards the expat, and we see it manifesting itself everywhere now. 

  20. Anonymous says:

    You ever hear a more twisted and confusing story and set of events. Why don’t they come out and grant the 20K on work permit now caymanian status and get their objective(s) out of the way.

    Wha mess these people in: trying to find queen’s English to describe deception, half-truth and twisted, self-serving motives. And who else to present the case to the “simple, needy” caymanian: a lawyer! Oh not just any lawyer. To remove all doubts to our “enlightened” caymanians…a caymanian lawyer. Well trained in Bush(shit)ology. Well done thy good and faithful servant.

    What a mess they….I mean we in.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Governments must be cautious when meddling in the affairs of private business.  The more unstable, subjective, overly complex, or costly their policy revisions to labour regs, the less attractive doing business there will become.  Capital is portable in this global world and will flow to where it is treated best.  In the depths of a global recession, Cayman's government should be mindful to ensure that capital here is treated well through accomodative policy.  If you take care of that priority, the local jobs will be here in abundance.  Constrictive or oppressive policy will have the opposite effect by repelling entire offices elsewhere.  This proven formula has been in effect for 1000's of years.

  22. Anonymous says:

    The buck stops at the top. The top in all immigration matters are the board members. Are they qualified? Do they understand the law? Do they apply the laws justly? Are they professional in their execution of the law? 

    If the answer is no to any of these questions, the person should not be on a board. I don't think the idea of these boards is the problem. I think the size and make up of these boards are the root cause of many of Cayman's problems.

    E. Miller is on the radio this morning say all the necessary laws are in place, but they are either neglected or abused. Well who abuses or neglects, if is the board members who have the final say? This is an internal problem that needs to be solved by recognizing too many people are on these boards for the wrong reasons. 


  23. Anonymous says:

    The only thing I see "not working" are the Caymanians who feel that it is their right to progress in the work place. There are a lot of hard working Caymanians who I see get promoted, etc. However, there are a few that do nothing, don't further their education, and just sit around waiting to be promoted because they feel it is their right.

    I'm so sick of hearing about this stuff- instead of trying to get law's passed to protect the lazy, why don't you teach them the value of a good education and hard work.

  24. Sotong says:

    One thing that always strikes me about the idea of Caymanian progression is the issue of work experience.

    I have a masters degree in my field and have 12 years experience working for a FTSE 100 companies and another industry leading company in the US.

    I just do not think it is possible to obtain that sort of experience working solely in Cayman.

    I think that there are a lot of competent Caymanians, but if their work experience is limited to working in Cayman, they will always find it difficult to compete with expat workers who have significant experience of working for major companies around the world.

    • Anonymous says:

      If only the wisdom in your words could win over the pride and arrogance of theirs.

    • Anonymous says:

      Immigration creates the level playing field. To listen to Ezzard on the radio this morning. He thinks expats sign contracts with the Cayman Islands Government and not individual companies. One can just hear the hatred in his voice – yet he is married to an expat.

  25. insane says:

    Just waiting to see the comments on this one…..

  26. Anonymous says:

    Like everything else CIG this would only work if the people who decide who gets key status would follow the word of law instead of their "feelings"

    Not going to happen in this generation of I get to decide because "I am Caymanian and your not"

    Maybe the next generation?  Doesn't look like they will get the chance.

  27. Anonymous says:

    So the same person that designed the 2004 law that does not work is now designing the replacement law. Great idea!!