Immigration meetings set for WB and GT

| 08/10/2013

(CNS): Government has added a date for George Town to the schedule of planned island-wide town hall meetings to explain the proposed immigration reform, which is set to be the corner stone of the PPM administration’s first year in office. The first public meeting is tonight (Tuesday, 8 October) at the John A. Cumber School Hall in West Bay and the second will be in George Town on Thursday, 10 October, at Elmslie United Church. The proposed amendment bill was published on 20 September and sets out the first major changes to the local immigration regime which, mostly because of high local unemployment, are proving exceptionally contentious.

Government is hoping the meetings can address concerns and provide an opportunity to present its employment initiatives.

The bill proposes a number of major changes, including the removal of the seven year term limit for ex-pat workers and the key employee designation, which allowed employers to select key personnel to apply to stay past seven years and be in a position to apply for permanent residency.

The Progressives government has proposed removing that barrier and allowing all expatriate work permit holders to stay until year eight, when they are eligible to apply for permanent residency, removing that first barrier.

Government has justified this by pointing out that with the key employee designation the only way through rollover to permanent residency was through employers, and it was them and not government who were choosing who gets to stay and go on to become Caymanian. By allowing all work permit holders to stay and have the chance to apply for PR if they want, while increasing the stringency of the application process, it will be the government — the people of Cayman — and not bosses that get to choose who becomes one of them. The premier has stated that the new regime will make it much more difficult to get PR but ex-pat workers will also see very clearly what the criteria is.

Those refused PR will be forced to leave in year nine and appeals will have to be made from overseas.

However, many local people remain unconvinced that this will prove an effective barrier and are also concerned that the workers will also get to stay longer. They believe that the removal of the first barrier will see significant numbers of foreign workers staying at a time when unemployment among Caymanians is very high and this will make it increasingly difficult for qualified and experienced Caymanians to find work.

All residents are being urged to attend the meetings, which begin at 7pm in West Bay and 7:30pm in George Town and  ask questions or raise their concerns about the policies.

Officials added that dates for the remaining districts will be announced as they are set.

See immigration amendment bill below, as well as the proposed revamp of the permanent residency points system.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Why doesn't givernment advertise their ex-pat positions yearly and roll their staff over? Why is it a double standard where the private sector is expected to carry the burden when government doesnt have to do squat? Time for government to walk the walk. Stop the double standard!  

  2. Anonymous says:

    What about domestics that our babies has became attached to, what are their chances?  To me they are more important than those accountants, lawyers and rich people.  The Cayman household needs the domestics more than the others. Think of them! The majority of them do not want to become Caymanians, they just want to work and provide for their families, especially those in Jamaica.  XXXX

    • Anonymous says:

      So they can end upbeing a drain on our Social Services dept? No thank you! Send um home!

      • Anonymous says:

        How is someone employed full time as a domestic helper or nanny a drain on the social services?!

        • Anonymous says:

          They will become a drain on the state when the employer no longer wants them, because now that this Nanny has PR or status, they are no longer willing to work for the pittance many of them get paid for a job that is 24 hours, 6.5 days a week!  

          • Anonymous says:

            So you actually think that someone is going to spend 9 years being a nanny in the hopes of getting PR so that they can quit the job and go on the dole? You seriously think that is the plan these people have? 

    • Well tickle me pink says:

      Let me ask you this, would you rather not be the one that your baby feels 'attached' to??   What a sorry state of affairs that so many here seem to think it is a must to have domestic help (the numbers of work permits for it are staggering).  Laziness, pure and simple, and a damning indictment of society today, and certainly not just in Cayman, but we seem to have welcomed this attitude with open arms.   First world problems i suppose. 

  3. Anonymous says:

    If I can't hire the staff I want there is no way I am ever going to hire someone I don't want.

    • And says:

      And it just so happens that the staff you dont want are Caymanians ? I suggest you setup business elsewhere then because PPM is cleaning house, and its about time!


    • Anonymous says:

      That is your priviledge, but if you think you can keep importing slave labour from distant countries, thereby avoiding having to pay a living wage to locals there is a surprise in store for you! the Chickens are coming home to roost! Better put another lock on your house!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Dear people in charge,

    We expats Personally dont care about being rolled over.

    Since we are skilled people and have been listening to your chatter for years we have known about our manditory vacation for some time.

    AND Have been planning for it

    The problem is our children cant be left home by themselves for a year with the best babysitters all going at the same time.

    We know and love you and realise you are all making foolish mistakes.

    Back home we hear our children allways say when I turn 18 I am moving out usually that means that by the time they are 19 they will be costing us even more that when they lived at home.

    Our 1 year vacation will be very upsetting because when we come back in one year what a mess we will have to clean up.

    • Anonymous says:

      Now that is a post I respect! Like you said; you have been planning for this 1 year absence from the Island! A year goes by very quickly. Since you anticipate that you have to clean up a mess when you come back, just imagine how happy we will be to see that you are back! How could we ever have imagined being able to manage without you! Enjoy your one year sabbatical!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Guessing Paul and Mervyn will be there aas the latest PPM/C4C converts to promote this crap..

    • Anonymous says:

      Many of us are totally perplexed by Mervin & Pauls behavior! If the March were to be stopped now, Govt. would realize hat divide & conquer works well!

  6. Anonymous says:

    So dissapointed in Mervyn and Paul…waiting to see what position in government they will be rewarded with fortheir compliance…We are right back to UDP vs PPM …C4C really took us for a ride…Shame on them!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Many (former?) supporters are wondering the same, or perhaps for the next of kin?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Alden will push this thru because he is arrogant and the ppm is weak who follow like sheep. None have the courage to stand up for us. Nobody can say how this bill benefits Caymanians

  8. Anonymous says:

    Please note the meetings start at 7pm.

    CNS Note: The meeting tonight in West Bay will begin at 7pm but Thursday night's meeting in George Town is scheduled for 7-30pm.

  9. Anonymous says:

    If these persons get to keep working until their PR application and any appeal is heard – then what's all the joke about helping Caymanians.

    • Anonymous says:

      Unemployed, disenfranchised or under remunerated Caymanians would like to know!

  10. Anonymous says:

    I will stay home and watch TV, I will get more truth from that than going to the town hall.  So disappointed in Paul and Mervin.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you read the bill you’d probably realise you should be disappointed in Ezzard and Arden. It’s a shame how they a purposfully misleading people whoput their trust in them.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Let's see if any of the politicians show up or if they just send out the civil servants.


    Folks this is a done deal. There is no return they have the votes for it and like it or not Alden is as stubborn, if not more stubborn, than McKeeva.

    Cayman we are screwed!!!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Unfortunately you are probably right! However, this no reason to avoid the march! Come out and join in, lets show the Govt. how many people (Voters) they ar pissing off!

  12. Anonymous says:

    The more I read these stories and the proposed changes to the law the more confused I get. 

    I am faced with two impending options:

    1) PR – which is expensive and risky – despite being no burden on society here for the past 8 years and having worked for the same employer for the entire time, all the while supporting myself just fine – it appears that I will not have enough points to get PR

    2) Leave for one year then return and start a fresh 9 years. 


    I am confused about what PR gets me that leaving for a year doesn't. Can anyone explain?

    PR allows me to stay instead of leave for a year. Longer term though, what is the difference? Is there any? What do I gain access to with a designation of PR that I wouldn't have access to upon my return from the 1 year break? I am still subject to work permits if and when I get PR right? So, same as if I left and came back. 

    Why would I spend all the money and take the risk of still being declined? To gain what (other than the ability to stay for that one year)? 

    I hope that someone can explain it because I feel like I'm missing a big piece of the puzzle. 


    • Anonymous says:

      From an employer's perspective, it probably means trying to outsource the job off island or making do for a year until the individual can re-apply.  What is will not mean is that there will be any more willingness to hire locally.  As far as new hires are concerned, whereas we used to explain the PR system positively to encourage potential long-term hires, now I think it is better just to be up front and go for staff who want to work for 5 years or 6 years and pocket as much cash as possible and leave.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you for your insight! We wish more people would hear your thoughts! you are proposing the solution that suits everyone!

  13. Anonymous says:

    So they get 45 days to apply for PR -and after they apply do they have to leave until they get an answer, or do they keep working until they get results?

    • Anonymous says:

      Hey who cares about the 45 days ..we still get WOL.YOu really think Immigration is going to meet during Christmas to determine who gets what? Come on, .you people don't understand we, TLEPS, as we are called have rights and one of those is to stay here and get permanent residency. We have done our time, our employers who by the way are mostly Caymanians support us and now the PR should be given to us.

      • Anonymous says:

        Entitlement Culture? Much?


        (and bollocks anyway – all anyone possibly earned (and they have not) is a right to apply).

    • Anonymous says:

      With a decently drafted human rights challenge, none of these people will need to leave for the next three to four years.