Over 760 people in PR limbo

| 30/08/2016 | 97 Comments
Cayman News Service

Cayman Islands Department of Immigration

(CNS): As government holds onto the completed Ritch report meant to help it address the legal hurdle it encountered regarding the points system associated with the permanent residency application process, the immigration department has released the latest numbers on outstanding applications. As of the end of July, there are now 765 people awaiting a decision regarding their residency situation. Over 291 of those applications date back to late 2013 and 2014, meaning that they have now all been resident here for over ten years. Government will now face significant problems if it goes on to refuse their applications in the future.

According to the statistics, there are 60 outstanding applications from 2013 and 231 from 2014. There are also 292 from 2015, some of which will also have reached a full ten years of residency. So far this year there have been another 182 applications.

After the current government changed the law to remove the seven-year term limit in October of 2013, it paved the way for all work permit holders to stay for up to nine years and then make an application for PR. The goal was to remove the key employee barrier on the road to Caymanian status for foreign residents but make the permanent residency applications more difficult, making that the gateway where government could choose which overseas workers it was willing to let stay and go on to apply for status.

But the aim was to make the decision before these applicants had completed ten full years of residency – the line in the sand that the UK and many legal experts believe is the period after which no one can be fairly deported.

The premier, who has responsibility for immigration, said during the last Legislative Assembly meeting that government now had the report from local attorney David Ritch. His review was supposed to address the legal issues identified by the chief justice after applicants who were refused PR took their cases to the Grand Court.

Alden McLaughlin had stated that government needed to consider the findings of the report carefully, but government has not made any decisions and the report remains under wraps. FOI requests relating to it have been declined on the basis that it is privileged legal advice.

The premier is expected to address the issue when the parliament next meets. Although no official date has yet been set for the Legislative Assembly to meet, it is expected to convene at the end of September or the beginning of November.

There have been no PR applications granted since September 2013 but most applicants have been allowed to remain on the island continuing to have ‘permission to work’ permits renewed. But as each month passes, the number of foreign nationals passing a full ten years of residency increases, leaving a growing number of applicants that are likely to be granted permanent residency regardless of their circumstances and bound to stir up more local controversy over the issue of immigration.

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Category: Laws, Local News, Politics

Comments (97)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Would be interesting to know the nationalities of the applicants. I don’t get why US citizens would want PR, unless they are multimillionaires, the same goes for Canada and the UK citizens.
    It is very expensive to raise a family here, even if both parents are gainfully employed; there is no financial security should someone get seriously ill.

    Single people of young age (under 45) might benefit financially from PR, after that you are at the mercy of having a job.

    People from Latin America and Eastern Europe don’t make enough money and mostly in service/labor field, therefore (if I understand it correctly) don’t qualify as they can’t possibly buy a properly by making min. wage.

    The other thing is that pollution in this country (The Dump, mosquito control) is not conducive to healthy lives. The chance of ending up with cancer and other degenerative disorders is quite high.

    So I am a bit puzzled and curious who those PR seekers are.

    I might be missing something, but I would rather get PR in Saint Barthélemy.

    • Anonymous says:

      All very valid points and where contributing factors to withdrawing my PR application. How do I go about claiming a refund for PR Fees paid ? Immigration front desks just says “leave a letter in the drop box and we will get back to you” …. no reply yet and don’t expect one any time soon. Anyone know the best way to seek a refund for PR fees paid in early 2014 ?

      CNS: The question of refunds was addressed by Auntie here: Refund when withdrawing PR application
      If that doesn’t answer your question you could send her a follow-up question.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hey Alden – you still believe people naturally roll themselves over?

  3. Anonymous says:

    The incompetence of this can’t all be laid on Alden’s feet – he doesn’t do the day to day operations, but certainly he should have known about this before it got to this point and demanded resolution.
    It really makes me wonder why we even need politicians, when they clearer have no power.
    Every day we are reading about the unnecessary waste that is caused by/in government. Money that could be used in so many more productive ways. It makes me want to scream – surely things can’t be this difficult. Situations like this is not allowed to happen in the private sector where there are checks and balances.

    Where on earth is the accountability? And I bet no one is going to lose their jobs over this one. Oh wait – maybe another one to be placed on required leave – seeing as how those issues are also resolved quickly and efficiently!!!!

    I truly feel sorry for the competent and efficient gov’t workers that are mixed in with the bunch of useless ones. You all deserve a reward – because I know you are out there.

  4. Anonymous says:

    If this country doesn’t welcome you then why do you want to live here? Don’t lose your ties with your mother country.

    • Anonymous says:

      Because in the real world you have to work hard and there is competition. In Cayman you can take the foot of the gas, swim in a small pond and extract the extra pay on offer for having to work in the place. And, of course, it is a step to status, which has the great benefit you can leave and still have other people work to make easy money for you.

  5. Anonymous says:

    PR is not a priority. Caymanians out of work while work permits are soaring is the real issue and should be the priority.

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually PR is very much a priority. You want to see more Caymanians out of work? Let the expatriate community feel shafted enough to all up and leave and take those businesses elsewhere.

      • Anonymous says:

        Or ineptly stall the pile of PR applications so long that scores of unworthy achieve PR grant by right, despite their shortcomings. Fewer jobs for Caymanians plus the elevated potential for social services drain on the territory…courtesy of the dawdling short-sightedness of the PPM brain trust.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I am tired of listening to these whining people who think they deserve residency because they have lived here for 10 years.. I came here KNOWING that I will be rolled off after 9 years. Furthermore, I KNEW that during that 9 years I could be kicked out of a job if a suitable Caymanian applicant applied for my position. KNOWING these things I was smart saved my money and was always ready to leave. I just don’t understand why all of the sudden people are reacting to the rules they KNEW about? People like this give expats a bad name.

    • Anonymous says:

      What rules are you talking about? Most of these people obeyed due process – most were even key employees before the government realized it’d be more profitable to abolish that and set a 9 year limit so they could earn more application fees under the slim guise of making it the applicant’s choice to apply.. The rules have been adhered to and that’s the point! What’s worse is that the extra 15 points for preferred roles is rubbish! Nobody & i mean absolutely nobody who has applied has factored in receiving this points and are awaiting the discretion of the immigration dept and gov who are pretending to consider a further change which doesn’t affect ANYONE! As for coming here and working to save money and go home – fair play to you! You don’;t want to be a resident and are here for purely financial gain.. No worries! Why bother reading the article if it doesn’t affect you? You have a choice to read it.. you have a choice to leave.. the applicants had earned the choice to apply… Now they have no choice but to sit for 3 years in limbo!

    • Anonymous says:

      If you came here knowing you would be rolled after 9 years, then you must have moved after October 2013, when the path to PR was changed, so you have only been here 3 years.

      Those seeking PR came here long before you, and before they changed the rules, so they are reacting to rules they DID NOT KNOW about when they came.

      Typical Jonny come lately attitude

    • Anonymous says:

      Caymunian pretending to be an expat. Trollolololol.

      • Anonymous says:

        I am a proud Canadian. A great County.

        I have come here as a guest and don’t believe I am entitled to live here forever. Everybody complains about Caymanian entitlement attitude. Maybe expats should look in the mirror

  7. Anonymous says:

    No one should be eligible for PR, that is the simplest solution.

    • Anonymous says:

      Especially those who have done nothing to earn it. Like a lot of the Caymanian people.

      • Anonymous says:

        Ha, you would really like to be able to decide that. Will never happen so go take your pill.

        • Anonymous says:

          Don’t worry yourself brother.Keep taking the pills. No one will decide this or any other important thing as long as Caymanians keep depending on Caymanians to do leadership type stuff. Its OK with us expats. Stay here, make money, have a good life or go there make money, have a good life, Same thing for us. You?

  8. Anonymous says:

    We don’t need the fiasco of 2003. Government need to clarify the immigration status of persons that are here from 1960 – 1979 if any without status then from 1980 – 1999 then from 2000 to present. If the past government had gone about the status issue this way in 2003 all of this mayhem, chaos and soon to be anarchy would have been avoided. Government need to stop people from jumping ahead of the line the way the do at everything in Cayman now. If jumping a head is the norm then please send back from the many good people that left in the 1970’s and 80’s and mid 90’s because government would not give them status. Many sch

    • Anonymous says:

      We already have the fiasco of 2003, but now potentially much, much worse. The authorities seem to have failed to keep track of many of the dependents of the 2003 grant recipients and many others, and is treating them as Caymanian even though they may not be.

      On top of that now comes about 3000 people with pending PR applications (once dependents are taken into account) most of whom may be legally incapable of being denied.

      Any accountability?

  9. Anonymous says:

    We can only wonder what flawed political strategy was behind the cruel, rude, and inhumane stalling of these hundreds of applications concerning thousands of anxious residents. Alden has now assured that most of the emotionally and financially abused applicants have drifted into the 10+ yr human right of abode zone – including marginal applications which ought to have been denied years ago. How did this overt and deviant political obstruction help Cayman?!? Why did the public pay salaries to an idle Dept for 4 yrs?!? Answers Mr McLaughlin…

    • Diogenes says:

      Because a substantial proportion of the voting roll would punish them for granting PR to a sizeable number of people – and given the scoring system all those applying must have a belief that they have at least a fair shot – but lacks either the understanding to see that doing nothing will result in 100% of the applicants getting it in due course (after the next election), or simply doesn’t believe that the 10 year rule will actually apply (until the first successful court case, when the howls will begin). Conversely if the court or the UK government imposes PR under the 10 year principle, they can tell those same voters its not their decision.

      Not a flawed political strategy at all – an entirely rational if completely ruthless one that is not in the interests of the country but is in their narrow political interest of the PPM.

  10. Anon says:

    We were going to apply but we saw our application as throwing money away because of the current situation with PR applications. So, we decided that it was time to leave instead. Best decision ever!

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh please. It’s easy to type anything and make any sort of remark. While I do feel the the process to permanent residency should be much clearer and define, I hate when people take a stupid attitude like yours. The very fact that we have thousands of people on work permits and thousands applying for the right to stay, over the years, says something.

      If Cayman was so terrible as claimed by those who don’t get their way, why in the world does the numbers keep climbing???

      It just proves a point that many locals repeat. Many come for the money, but few care.

      • Anonymous says:

        I read and reread the posters comment and can see no mention whatsoever of how bad Cayman is.

        What I see is someone who (like me) loves Cayman dearly and wants to stay, but (like me) see that the current work permit process and associated costs and investment required in order to be considered, is way too risky when there is no way of knowing whether your application will be processed and approved or not. I refuse to (like others I know) invest a few hundred thousand in investments and jump all the other hoops required to apply, if there is no guarantee of approval. I could end up (like others I know) with a beautiful home in Cayman that I could not live in and now had to sell; and no money of my own in the country I come from, having invested it all into Cayman.

        Flawed logic.

        • Anonymous says:

          Agree except that the process should be so transparent that you know in advance of applying if you are likely to succeed or not. If you (or I) don’t meet the criteria, we know where we stand. Likewise if we do, well that is clear and would, in my view encourage more investment because the system would be clear. Like you I am not sure I want to buy property here when I cannot see whether its going to get through or whether we are in for another surprise. One thing is sure, as many have said, if they don’t sort it out they will get sued.

          • Anonymous says:

            That is exactly the point I was making – no investment without a guarantee – too risky – if the process was transparent as you say, then we would all know where we stand. However, perhaps if you think about it the current and previous messy methods purely guarantee income for the CIG so perhaps that’s why it always has to be so controversial and confusing – so that everybody applies and pays the fees regardless? However, when you think about it, if they are doing this, false economy because of all the people and admin involved to process (nor not as the case seems to be) everything!

            So glad I rolled over and came back – I would have been one of these people!

    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman is not for everyone!!

    • anonymous says:

      It is horses for courses to be honest. I invested in the Islands, bought several properties over the years and contributed to society. I have decided against PR and moved away, a lot of people may be disappointed to hear that the world didn’t end when I left Cayman. The transition was easy, I still have my properties rented and maintain links with the Islands to furnish a few good holidays a year. The PR indecision and general attitude of the Nationalistic xenophobes contributed to my decision and it has worked out better than expected.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Those people dont have a vote, so the government of the day doesn’t make it a priority. There is nothing honourable about our politicians but they award themselves the title for life. Perhaps a class action suit will get some attention on the world stage.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m one of some 10,000 of 18,000 “new” Caymanian voters since 2004 who will not vote for ongoing stupidity in 2017. So needlessly rude and ignorant to deliberately obstruct these patient applicants. Worse, it will result in PR approvals for those that should have been rolled years ago. So dumb.

  12. Knot S Smart says:

    I think the real reason they are being held up is because they did not know the name of the person who made the best cassava cake in Bodden Town in 1948, the person in West Bay whose stew turtle was the best in 1958, and how many fish Mr Sam caught on April 1st, 1965…

  13. Dan says:

    Amazes me that 3 years of going around the mulberry bush that Gov’t employees are not required by law to clear up this… If I sat around for 3 years not doing what was required I would no longer have a job. What exactly are they doing that it takes this long to look at someone’s application and make an intelligent decision. Commmmme onnnnn mannnnnnnn, pull your heads out of your butts and get to work to clear some of these up…

    • Anonymous says:

      They are required by law. They just ignore it and there is no accountability.

      • Anonymous says:

        I would say that if it is good enough for cig to ignore the law, it is good enough for 750 people to remain and refuse to leave.

    • SSM345 says:

      I imagine if a Senior Government Official was to take a spur of the moment tour around said Government Department like that chap from Dubai did the other day that we might find the answer as to why nothing has been done…?

  14. Anonymous says:

    In answer to the statement about many mouths to feed as this is truly more likely 3 to 4 thousand people in limbo ..these people have proven that they are able to feed these mouths while paying for forced private schooling, expensive but useless medical care and a forced pension fund which may or may not be transferable when they leave.. Don’t get me started on police clearance and medicals every 6 months for each one of the 780 plus all the while government sits on a ~$15 million interest free loan? They made it harder to get PR.. 90% of these people have sought legal advice before applying so would need to be pretty daft to tie up this amount of cash without being sure to get the required points. What do you think happens to the price of a Caymanian’s home when 780 plus condos and houses come up for sale (mostly higher end in order to satisfy the local investment requirements of the same PR system)? I’m telling you straight up they will not increase in value… And who is going to buy the homes being built all over the island when there is that much negative buying sentiment and no good reason to commit that amount of capital? Not me bobo!

  15. Anonymous says:

    There is no longer any excuse for this. It is incompetence and arrogance in the extreme.

    • Anonymous says:

      The honorable thing would be for Alden to admit his errors and willingly resign and appoint a PPM successor – but since his Cabinet is a conspiracy of incompetence, his ego bigger than the moon, and cronies all merrily feed at the trough, nothing will happen.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes he should resign, but he has some incredibly capable and competent persons in his cabinet. Wayne and Marco are amongst the best leaders Cayman has ever seen.

        • Anonymous says:

          Give me a break! Wayne and Marco are in it for the same as the rest – themselves and their over inflated egos

  16. Anonymous says:

    This government almost makes you want to re-elect KeKe. He was awful but not as awful as this PPM “progressive” party.

  17. Anonymous says:

    CNS. can you find out how many status grants or right to reside have been given out since the same 2013 for people who are claiming through caymanian family or other avenues apart from the residency route?

    CNS: I’ll pass the question onto Auntie (Ask Auntie). I can’t promise she’ll get an answer but she can try.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Is there anyone even still working at immigration, thought they were all on required leave.

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually all those on required leave (and that’s a lot) have been sub-contracted to help out from home and paid by the hour on top of their salary.

      • Jotnar says:

        Some of them are even helping out poor fishermen who drift here and cannot find anywhere to stay because they have not landed legally. Now that’s service above and beyond.

  19. Anonymous says:

    You can tell that it really hurts you expats that what you think really doesn’t matter, so shut up or get out. (I personally like the get out option)

    • Anonymous says:

      Caymankind at its best.

    • Anonymous says:

      What I think is why don’t you get your heroic Leader of the Opposition to issue another 800 status grants – at least on this occasion it will be backed up by ample paperwork and not personal whim.Problem solved!.

    • Anonymous says:

      5.01am I see from the “likes” that even your fellow Neanderthals don’t agree with your rabid xenophobia (hatred of foreigners, as you won’t understand this word).

    • Anonymous says:

      @5:01 – Another “Keyboard Warrior” – fearless behind the anonymity of a computer. Bravery at its best!

    • Anonymous says:

      And we can tell it hurts you that we are here. Newsflash. We are here forever. Might not be me personally. But expats will always be here. You cannot survive on your own..

      • A true Caymanian says:

        3:03 my friend, we survived long before you knew of Cayman. You’re one of many, that came here, not knowing the story, just the glory.

        • A true Caymanian says:

          All i can say is, the Lord knew what he was doing, when he created the Cayman Islands !! A life saver, for the world.

    • Anonymous says:

      5.01-the gay invasion is going to stop right by your door…

    • anonymous says:

      It doesn’t hurt me, I am sat elsewhere in a country where I can live cheaply from the rent from my properties in Cayman. Once my year is up, I will come back and resume employment.
      Once the end is in sight and the Offshore finance starts packing up due to increased costs and bureaucracy, I will then call it a day. Until then, thanks for the easy money and lack of competition.

  20. Foreign Devil says:

    If we send those 760 people away they will have to be replaced by 760 fresh new work permit holders, the country and economy is growing ferociously at this time, we need all hands on deck.
    We do not need to waste time and money fighting these people thru the courts, anybody who has been anywhere ten years and hasn’t been jailed for any reason should be allowed to become a citizen of the place where they live.

    • Anonymous says:

      Please don’t bring common sense and obvious scenarios to this debate. We are less than a year from an election and a heated and non-sensical ant-expat tirades will be the order of the day for the next eight months,

    • Anonymous says:

      You are do right Foreign Devil tell that to Donald Trump also….

  21. Anonymous says:

    The effect is thousands more cabinet status grants including to a number of wholly undeserving persons. Take that PPM.

  22. Anonymous says:

    760 plus multiply by 2.7 dependants each. Lots of new mouths to feed

    • Anonymous says:

      Do you realize that they have been feeding themselves while paying taxes and sending their kids to private schools? While Caymanians are living off of those taxes. The only trouble with Cayman is that it is full of Caymanians.

      • Anonymous says:

        Downright lazy ones, who just want to jack people up for money to buy drugs. You can see them everyday heading to the assessment office.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yep – keep insulting the “Caymanians” – isn’t this the status that expats are fighting so hard to become. Many “Caymanians” these days come by plane not pain!
        I love the insults on Caymanians when that’s what all the status grants will create – more Caymanians.
        So I ask all you new Caymanians – now that you have crossed over (the ultimate goal right?) how do you like being called lazy?

      • Nunya says:

        So the only thing wrong with America is that it is full of Americans and the only thing wrong with Canada is that it is full of Canadians and the only thing wrong with England is that it is full of……

        Or is the only thing wrong with your statement is that it is full of sh..!!

  23. SKEPTICAL says:

    If you looked up “procrastination” in the dictionary, there would be a photo of the members of the PPM government. They are learning the lesson that if you hold on to a baby too long, it is eventually bound to scream.

    • SSM345 says:

      The photo would have far more people than the just the PPM, probably Caymans entire Government since 1960 – 2016.

  24. Anonymous says:

    as an expat…..this treatment only reinforces my ambition to take over this place….

    • Anonymous says:

      We need the lol button back for this one – too funny! you have 11 dislikes so somewhere across the island 11 people without a sense of humor are freaking out and saying I knew it!

  25. Anonymous says:

    after 2 years on hold it will be a brave/stupid government that turns them down……….yay for expats….we are 760 people closer to taking over!

    • Anonymous says:

      How stupid can a government be to deny those qualified people who just want to live here and spend in our economy, instead of allowing a wholesale invasion of economic dependents who take and breed more of their own kind to bankrupt social services.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps we can hire the anti gay lawyer coming in from the U.S.?

  27. Anonymous says:

    PPM rolled me over last time around and they’ll roll you over too

  28. Anonymous says:

    ppm never intended on doing anything with this issue…….

  29. Anonymous says:

    time for a class action to be taken against government……..it’s the only way they will learn…..

  30. Anonymous says:

    almost there ppm…..just another 8 months and you will have spent a whole term avoiding the real big decisions…….just like port, dump, civil service reform……etc….

    • Anonymous says:

      Is it that hard for you to believe that the Progressives government has in fact been working diligently on all of these ‘real big decisions’, and they’re as big as they are because they’ve been ignored for so long and take a very long time to fix? People have forgotten how quickly Cayman boomed in population and sophistication… The government has been, and will continue to be playing catch-up for years no matter who is in power! This is the truth – I know of what I speak. Change governments now and you guarantee even further delay with solving these issues. You have in office the politicians people always say they want – devoted to the public good, confident enough to do things properly, wise enough to do them slowly and correctly the first time, and not interested in illicit gains. Why can’t you and so many others accept that the problem is not the politicians, the problem is the problems! And you by not understanding that, are just another problem!

      • Anonymous says:

        Perhaps then the Progressives need to communicate more about their strategy. Silence is not golden!

        • The Truth says:

          I agree with you, and Alden looks arrogant by not being more forthcoming about the challenges we face. Some statesmanship would go a long way and he’s not half bad at it when he tries. There is still the business of government to get on with though, and it’s a tough business while these big projects are in train and the gears have to keep turning regardless. One day they get flambeed for not bringing pot here quickly enough when it could result in flights originating in Cayman being designated for extra screening at airports all around the world (in response to public opinion), the next it’s for taking time to modify the dock proposal to do less environmental damage and seeking cruise company financing so that Cayman gets the best of both worlds (in response to public opinion), the next it’s for having consulted an eminent professional to fix an immigration system that was flawed long before 2013 and only introduced in 2003 and taking the time to study his recommendations and chart a proper, fair course forward (which affects thousands of people). They may not have the time for a media strategy; in fact I know they don’t. Brexit came out of nowhere. We will be completely overrun by iguanas and other pests in just a couple of years if nothing is done. Zika threatens every unborn child in the country. Our banks will struggle to operate without corresponding banks in major jurisdictions. Heck, a few months ago we were running out of US dollars! People, wake up to the fact that the world is in a state of madness and turmoil right now, Cayman has been storing up problems for itself over the years that have come home to roost, and your government is hard at work looking after you and trying to fix them with all the resources it can find! Roads are being built, the tires are being bought, Cayman Airways is receiving a brand new fleet that will open up new routes, improve your shopping trips and the airline’s financials; the list of accomplishments and projects is in fact endless; so is the list of problems not yet resolved and urgently, earnestly being worked on! That’s just the way it is right now. It’s so easy to leave these vitriolic, uninformed comments. People have no idea what goes on in that building on their behalf. They will be reminded come election time what the Progressives have done for them and are still doing for them, and if the Progressives are not returned to office to carry on with the tasks that are too big for any one term of any government no matter how good that government is, well as Kurt said a few years ago about the constitution they wanted to get to give Caymanians more control over their affairs (that the electorate voted for), they will go home to their gardens and weep, and Cayman will be worse for it. Please, don’t help that to happen!

          • Anonymous says:

            All agreed. This is a well thought out summary of the vast issues facing government today. It’s just not as simple as people posting here would like to think.

            • Anonymous says:

              From reading most of these posts one would think these people have no other place to go. If it was me I would have left long ago. I would not stick around this long waiting on permanent residence- maybe!!

            • The Truth says:

              Then ask yourself how many of the commentators make risky things happen successfully at lightning speed in their professional and personal lives…I bet you the answer is close to zero. They take their sweet time, and they’re only dealing with their own reputation and maybe that of a client. Not a whole populace. What a joke these comments are. Government is serious business – EVERYTHING that can and does befoul these islands ends up in that building. Any government has more priorities than the chattering classes do – many more. They don’t have the luxury of choosing what to care about.

          • Anonymous says:

            The scary thing is that these types of mistakes will cause people to run and vote the other way – which is worse.
            But should we have to decide and pick the lesser of 2 evils? It’s very sad.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t go assuming that these items are all being avoided. Someone called from off island recently and mentioned that they had been told by one of our major retailers that the dock is coming. Just because it’s not being done in plain sight doesn’t mean anything. Although it makes me sick to think this is the case.

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