Rich are target of immigration changes

| 06/04/2015 | 43 Comments
Cayman News Service

Alden McLaughlin, Cayman Islands Premier

(CNS): Wealthy individuals who own property and want to live in the Cayman Islands or spend more time here without working will be the focus of the next round of legislative changes to the immigration law, the premier has said. The bulk of the changes impacting work permits will be dealt with via changes in the process and regulations, he explained, rather than in policy or legal amendments.

Alden McLaughlin said that efficiencies regarding the work permit system will come once a private sector partner is found during the current tender process for the development of an online system, but his government is also focusing on ways to encourage the rich to spend more time here.

McLaughlin said that, following the changes to reinstate a caregivers certificate, the government had no more plans to overhaul the immigration law or, indeed, make any significant changes to the policy direction. Future changes to improve and make the work permit system more efficient would come via changes to the process now, he said, rather than major policy changes.

What legislative amendments there will be, he said, will focus on wealthy or rich individuals who want to spend more time in Cayman enjoying their property by making it easier for them to live here.

Denying that a policy to make it easier for wealthy property owners to reside here was similar to those promoted by the former UDP administration, the premier told CNS that his government was “never going to sell statuses or residency rights”.

Government’s goal, he said, was to find ways to make it easier for those that own property to spend more time here without having immigration problems. He made it clear this was about investors and property owners who do not wish to work here or run businesses but who want to be able to come and enjoy their holiday or retirement homes more easily.

“We want to make Cayman even more attractive to wealthier people who already have or want to buy property here to enjoy it and even live here without working,” he said, adding that this would have a positive impact on the economy as they would be spending and consuming without impacting the workplace.  “What’s not to like about that?” the premier asked rhetorically.

McLaughlin said this was a positive policy as it would see wealthy residents investing and spending without competing commercially with the local population but would instead be serviced by local businesses. He pointed out that the Cayman Islands was the kind of place that wealthy investors wanted to come to and that government would make some minor amendments to the immigration law to accommodate those type of visitors.

Positive about the future as the PPM government approaches the mid-term of the administration, McLaughlin said, “Cayman is in a good place.” However, he accepted that his government had to address the local unemployment situation, and where that connected with immigration issues would be the focus of changes to improve the immigration process with the planned investment in online technology.

Government is currently going through a tender process to find a private sector partner that will help transfer the bulk of the work permit process online, creating more transparency and coordination with the National Workforce Development Agency. The PPM has always stated that it wants to take a more administrative approach to permit decisions, removing the dependency on volunteer boards for granting or refusing permit applications and monitoring business staffing plans in larger firms.

Once the online process begins, it will be the regulations rather than the law which will need to be amended to help modernize what is currently a cumbersome manual, discretionary system that was designed to deal with a fraction of the more than 20,000 foreign workers and residents with the right to work that immigration currently deals with.

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Category: Politics

Comments (43)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Cayman = Frustration at the highest level for expats. We are not wanted here so why do we stay? There are many other nice if not nicer beaches out there…I would like to see the day that ALL expats just leave.

  2. Driftwood says:

    A rich man may not enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Ergo Cayman is not heaven. The truth is out!!!

  3. FaJesus says:

    When will this government do something for the people that have parents, brothers and sisters with Caymanian status. Some of these folks have been ordinarily resident for over 15+ years. They have not been regularized and are given a mere 40 points toward residency. These are the brothers, sisters, and family friends of Cayman people and have been a part of this community for years. Some went to school with us and grew up with us. It is time.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Target may not be the best word for this headline – more like benefit of immigration reform!

  5. Anonymous says:

    For all of you who criticize others for their spelling or grammar errors, get over it! The individuals are just writing from their hearts. Often we are so passionate about what we are saying that errors happen. Also many individuals learned English as a second language, and may not be perfect on the subtleties of the English language. Everyone should have a voice, even if it is not a grammatically correct post.

  6. Thor says:

    So let’s see if your idea makes sense mr. Premier. Let’s say you get 10 rich house hold of say a family of four. That would equate to 40 people on island. Now let’s say they purchase property of $1m. Government gets stamp duty fee of $75,000 plus what ever they pay for their visiting fee. Now let’s say these 40 people goes to fosters and purchase groceries they are technically paying only for 10 households, same goes for petrol, movie nights, etc..on the other hand let’s say you grant permits for 20,000 migrant workers at $600 per person that’s $12,000,000 guaranteed every year to government up front! Now let’s say these 20,000 people need to rent at $500 per month that’s another $10,000,000 injected into the economy and to landlords and this doesn’t include electricity, water, food and the list goes on.

    So mr. Premier it’s clear to me it is more profitable for government and our economy to grant work permits than to just give the country away to wealthy. Look what happened to the rich guy on seven mile beach. Also, as fact most wealthy people brings their own non perishables do personal items to the island as they consider cayman is just too expensive when compared to other jurisdictions so only the minimum is spent here.

    • Anonymous says:

      and how in the world could Cayman support 20,000 more people, there is absolutely no infrastructure to support that? Are there 20,000 jobs that Caymanians want to give up? where are the 20,000 $500 a month apartments?

      • Thor says:

        You have over 20,000 people on permit on island already. All that would be required is to renew their permits and the good thing is that these people have already aclamated into society and we know who they are instead of the wealthy hopefuls. $500 is the bear minimum for rent i.e. Minimum wagers say @ $125 per week. Obviously the higher the rent the more money is going into the economy. It’s reality of what is factual and not some dream if they build it they will come and stay.

        • Kitty says:

          Is there numbers to see what sector these jobs are in? We talk about permit numbers but are these good quality jobs? How about the great savior the Enterprise Zone. Do we have public numbers published to see how many companies are operating there? How many employees/average staff size per business, Caymanians hired by companies?

      • Anonymous says:

        I would hazard a guess that it would depend on how many of them where worthless, lazy, uneducated wanna be gangstas and how many were responsible, hard working,law abiding people.

  7. Political Concubine says:

    If copying UDP strategies and polices puts us in good place then why in the world do we need you or the PPM Alden Lets cut out the middlemen Cayman it will cost whole lot of grief and money.

    • Anonymous says:

      No surprise if we consider the possibility that all politicians are controlled by small group, the so-called elite. As long as voters are brainwashed to believe there are differences in members of the political parties or C4C then we’ll see the policies continued for those on control and poor voters keep giving the greedy Caymanian MLAs, party/team members their little time in LA or chance to own their own little business…….. if only the Jamaicans hadn’t also been brainwashed and are now part of the blind Caymanian voters

  8. JTB says:

    It’s very worrying that Alden apparently thinks the work permit and PR system is basically OK. How many PR applications are currently backed up? How is that deliberately impossible quiz doing? How many valuable, productive people are leaving the island because of the uncertainty and insecurity that this system creates?

  9. Anonymous says:

    All the government needs to do is listen to the Realtors and CIREBA members – they’ll tell you what their customers have been asking for for decades. Then CIG can find a way to accommodate these fine people for a fee. Extended visitor permits should be available for purchase by qualified registered individuals via an online payment system that can be topped up like a parking meter. We should make it as easy and welcoming as possible for these folks to stay as long as they like.

    • Anonymous says:

      When I purchased my home in 2005 the rule was invest 180k in real estate get involved, open a business, make friends, be of good character and leave for 1 day every 6 months. and cayman will be welcoming to you
      It is load of crap
      Nothing could be farther from the truth
      except for the friends I have made
      I hate Cayman and it is

      • Anonymous says:

        You have either made up the rules to be what you imagined them to be, or took legal advice from a realtor. Either way, no sympathy from me. I too have invested in Cayman, played by the rules, and love every aspect of it.

        • Anonymous says:

          your lying and have met no locals, you must live in condo on SMB
          Remember when you were allowed up to 6 months stay if you owned a home and then they (immigration officer ) adjusted it to whatever they felt like
          Usually 30 days then go pay $100 for another 30 days

        • Anonymous says:

          And I bet you enjoyed the lets tax expats proposal from 2 years ago

      • Anonymous says:

        Nonsense, there was never any such scheme. Troll.

        • Anonymous says:

          the resident magazine that is given out to all new suckers at the airport
          2004,2005 2006 spewing the same lies about what is required to live in cayman. shove that in your troll As*

      • Jerry Molitor says:

        We bought in 1996 and payed about $15,000 for residency without the right to work. Expensive, yes, but it has worked well for us over the last 20 years. We have never had a problem at immigration, but we alway claim what we bring with us and pay the duty if it exceeds our allowance.

      • Anonymous says:

        What age are you dude?

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s right on top of high utilities food & gas bills not to mention air fairs water bills & restaurants we should get another fee out of them rich people
      and stick it to them any other way we can come up with.
      you are a DA

      • Driftwood says:

        What’s an air fair?

      • Anonymous says:

        Right now it’s a 6 month stamp (if you qualify), a 6 month extension is $50 and a half day wasted down at Immigration purgatory…”now serving B16″…it should all be online for those that qualify, that’s all.

        • Anonymous says:

          Almost true its at the discretion of officer when you land usually a little time then you must go down and PAY and SIT for 5 hours and then be treated like Sh*T by someone that cant understand what 400k euros is
          I think they may think its Jamaican$
          Anyways its that discretion part that makes immigration officials think they are gods

          I do like how the headline reads “target rich people” We already feel like targets by most wanna bees

  10. Anonymous says:

    This is a good policy to have. There is no downside to having residents that contribute to the local economy but don’t compete for jobs. It would be fantastic if it could be broadened to apply to remote workers as well – people who bring their job with them and invest payroll from onshore companies into the Cayman economy. Seems like there is a real opportunity there. I’d also like to see the temporary work permit rules for visiting business people simplified. After all they are the lifeblood of our economy.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Allowing some restricted specific high value work would be more sensible. It would encourage “snow geese” to contribute to the economy when otherwise the present regime would bar them.

    • Anonymous says:

      Any type of work will make a vacation home owner happy
      We are on vacation for the most part but just cant sit and do noting that is not how we afforded 2 homes
      and its not for the money just something to do
      Your locals might just learn a new skill

  12. Anonymous says:

    This is a smart move 1 thing smarter is if you own a home (Not Land )you can WORK and live like a normal person.
    Person Must own home for over 1 year before they are allowed to work
    The person can also come and go as they please.
    This will cause tons of economic activity.
    And show who really likes Cayman

    Furthermore 10 years ago those whom owned homes in Cayman were supposed to be able to stay a long time without trouble and encouraged to invest, join the church, donate time, teach, breed with your people.
    ( What a BAD investment its been)
    Now some of us fear immigration just for wanting to enjoy our homes.
    We get the 3ed degree, questioned all the time.
    Treated like crap because we own 2 homes….and can afford to come an go

  13. Anonymous says:

    Really, you want more rich people to come to Cayman? Do you really think a rich person who has a choice would put their money hear…let me begin by saying, why???? Our crime is over the top, so many secrets kept until someone who has the “balls” to bring it to light, then all hell breaks out, expensive living, medical care is questioned, not that there is to much of a difference in other places, but cayman is way to small for all these type of problems…sorry we are no different then Jamaica now accept more expensive, smaller and less to do!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      my God!!! you need to check, and recheck your typing before you hit POST!!! HERE not “hear”, questionable would be a much more appropriate word than “questioned”, too, instead of “to” (in both instances), than instead of “then”, and……except instead of “accept”

      No wonder people come here and think we are all idiots, with that kind of vocabulary slaughtering taking place. Take it as constructive criticism. If you get offended and want to continue at that level…go right ahead, but for your sake I suggest you make an effort to improve (we all can :))

      • Bling Man says:

        Well nobody is perfek.

      • Anonymous says:

        12:39 i didn’t think the posts was a spell check test…sometimes when one types they don’t look at their spelling, funny that you have so much time to check every word’s spelling is correct. That is funny in itself. I don’t think people think we are idiots just because some spelling is off on a post. I think they will think we are idiots when kids get out of school and can’t write correctly, read correctly or even file in alphabetical order. I think we are all idiots when we try to cover things up, i think we are all idiots when we take and take the police’s excuse on the high crime we have, i think we are all idiots to vote in the people we do and keep voting them in…..the list is endless!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        website don’t work properly it not just the spelling and you start a sentence with a small letter My God not my God

      • Anonymous says:

        I think before you start breaking down some else’s grammer you need to check yours…..the last time I checked a capital is suppose to be the first letter attached to the word of the start of a sentence. my God!!!! Nope its My God!!! and honestly to use the Lord’s name this way is worse than someone spelling words wrong on a blog…get a life 12:39pm

    • Sam says:

      agree. Not until the health and environmental hazard from the Dump completely eliminated should any sane person invest in real property here. How many uncounted small dumps on this island that are loaded with arsenic? Read “Ten year land poison saga plagues family”and all comments. Real Estate professionals must have a waver for a buyer to sign about Heath hazards of the landfill.

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