Two PR grants made under new rules

| 16/05/2017 | 28 Comments

(CNS): Two applicants who applied for permanent residency after the government changed the law in October 2013 have become the first people granted the right to live in Cayman under the new rules. After more than three years of problems relating to the point system used to assess who gets to stay and who doesn’t, Mark Edmunds and Derek Larner, who both work in finance and who took legal action, have achieve their goal at the direction of the court. The news was revealed by their attorneys in an update to many other people waiting on a decision.

There are believed to be as many a 1,000 people who have applied since October 2013 waiting to have their applications considered and it is not clear how these grants of PR will impact all of those waiting who have not turned to the courts for redress. But government has said recently that it is trying to get the process back on track, after it announced changes to the point system to try to address the findings of the court that this system is arbitrary and unfair.

Nick Joseph from the local law firm HSM, which is representing a significant number of PR applicants, was upbeat on Friday when he sent out email correspondence about the grants made on Thursday.

“This is an extremely positive development, and confirms that whatever barriers may have stood in the way of processing applications made since 25 October, 2013 have now been removed,” he said, adding that the firm had recently met with senior immigration officials and they were hopeful that the processing of applications will commence in earnest.

“We have written to the authorities for an indication of anticipated timing and they have responded by return that the department will commence processing of other applications very shortly,” he added.

But it is not clear what that means. The government has used the terms “soon” and “shortly” on several occasions over the last few months, but other than these two case, which were already before the courts, no one else has been given PR yet.

In his email update, Joseph said that others should benefit from the actions of those who were prepared to make their legal cases but he warned that challenges remain for the hundreds of other applicants, some of whom have been waiting more than three years for their case to be considered.

He wrote that there would still be technical, evidential, administrative and legal difficulties ahead for applicants, but the firm was still working to get applications heard as quickly and smoothly as possible, as he urged people with compelling reasons to get applications pushed up the queue to get into touch.

The PR issue has been one that has plagued this administration since it first took office and were faced with the dilemma of the Term Limit Exemption Permit (TLEP) issue left over from the previous United Democratic Party government. (Read more here).

When he became premier and responsible for immigration policy, Alden McLaughlin made the decision to eliminate the seven-year term limit, which acted as a barrier to PR applications, and allow all work permit holders to remain in Cayman for at least nine years if they chose, giving them all a chance to apply for PR.

The aim was to then process applications quickly but make it more challenging to achieve residency, and those who failed would be required to leave and not return for at least 12 months, avoiding the key ten-year mark. This was the time period identified by the experts at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as the point where applicants denied the right to reside after living here full-time for ten years would have a legitimate legal claim.

But exactly the opposite has happened, as there are now hundreds of PR applicants from all professions and socio-economic backgrounds that have already reached or will soon reach ten years, all of whom will have legal grounds to make a successful legal challenge and get PR rights via the courts.

With just nine days to go before Cayman goes to the polls, the many issues relating to the PR problem will be something the next administration will now have to deal with.

However, despite draconian calls for deportation from some quarters, no group of politicians will be able to tackle this without granting residency rights to most of the current applicants, regardless of their stated policy aims, as the law and ultimately the UK will not allow the deportation of anyone who has resided here lawfully for ten years or more.

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Category: Local News, Policy, Politics

Comments (28)

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  1. Yat says:

    Many have already left

  2. Anonymous says:

    Everyone who gets to 10 years will be allowed to stay, CIG can do nothing about it.

  3. Anonymous says:

    This is great news but wtf are people heading into?
    Permanency in a dog burning, grand theft auto, gangsta shoot out play park?
    I opted to take my pension and run, I had more than enough to put in for residency but then I had had more than enough of obstruction, indecision, inaction and jumping through hoops like a performing dog who will get the blame for everything.
    I still have investments on the Island, I will be happier when they are sold but until then, it is a tax free income without the headache of living there.
    There is life after Cayman, the door didn’t hit me on the ass either.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am faced with a similar question but I have to wonder. Am I better to take my pension and run or hang out another year or two and join the class action suit that is coming?

  4. Anonymous says:

    This sounds like it is all going according to plan. Each successive government has been able to refuse to give PR and hold back those people from their rights. Now the next government is going to be faced with having to grant status to these 900 people as they will all be past the time limit for status and due.

    This was the government’s plan, to force the next gov/people in power to be the ones raged at for giving a new round of status grants. Thing is they will have no choice.

    If the government had simply followed the rules this would be a non issue instead it will be the one that breaks whoever wins the election.

  5. No bueno says:

    Uh oh

  6. Ani says:

    CIG about $100k down on legal costs so far in respect of only 2 applicants without even the question of their damages being addressed as yet. Imagine CIG’s liability if the other 900 decide to commence proceedings as this seems the only way that Immigration will deal with any PR applications. Once again no-one will be held accountable for this fiasco. .

    • Anonymous says:

      Immigration had better announce some more grants in the coming days, or more lawsuits are inevitable. A policy of we do nothing unless you sue us is not going to be good for Cayman.

  7. Anonymous says:

    These longterm residents being denied their legitimate human right to a legal path to citizenship have every right to sue the government. Like the grifter that always seems to shirk to the washroom when the restaurant bill comes, know that the PPM consciously abandoned their 4 year term with a big unpaid tab to settle. Fully aware and advised that this moment would transpire, they ordered the second bottle of Latour, the lobster Napoleon, and the Bananas Foster. Shame on them.

    • Anonymous says:

      They also have a right to reclaim all work permit equivalency fees as they are illegal discrimination against settled residents on the basis of their national origin.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Hardly regular grants…… they were forced grants through the courts. Not everyone has the money to hire HSM! Very misleading news!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Derek has done so much for the kids of Cayman. If anyone deserved a positive outcome, he did.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Hardly surprising.

  11. Anonymous says:

    when someone comes into another Country and can Sue to get to stay in that Country, that is taken it to the limit. If They don’t like the rules here why don’t they just leave and go back home.

    • Anonymous says:

      The only party that didn’t as you say “play by the rules” was your own government. Now they are facing the consequences of their inaction. More to follow.

      • Cheech n Chong says:

        The work permit fees need to go higher. Skilled work permit holders make a shit load of money, pay for that along the way. No more Foreclosed homes / properties of Caymanians up for grabs. My Country is too small for your fairies anyhow. Caymanians need to get up off their damn asses and demand change to everything that has been accomadating every damn nationalty that sets they ungrateful asses on these shores. Only accomadating those credit cards/ cash at the cash registers.

    • Anonymous says:

      They like the rules. They just want them applied. Blame the government.

    • Dazed and Confused. says:

      Oh for God sake. They were not suing to get PR!!! They brought claims to ensure their PR claims were considered in a reasonable period.

      Plenty of countries have immigration courts/ tribunals were people can protect their rights to stay in that country. This is nothing new and in that respects Cayman is not special.

      • Cheech n Chong says:

        “Cayman isnt that special” not to the frekkin expats, but Cayman is more than Special… Thats why they dont wanna leave here you ungrateful asses.
        Like it or Leave

    • Anonymous says:

      They do like the rules here. They abided by them, invested substantially, assimilated into the community and paid substantial fees. Having done so they simply asked that they be followed.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sure , I’m sure you could do there job no problem . Someone has already stated that one of the guys does a lot of work with caymanian children , pray tell what has been your contribution for YOUR Caymanians recently ? As a country you should be welcoming people that make a financial and social contribution to the fabric of society. Easier to do nothing and bitch and moan about expats tho eh ?

    • frangipani says:

      that’s past the limited, my child.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you had any understanding of law you would know that this is standard in normal countries..

    • Paul says:

      Because this isn’t about the rules being applied. It’s about the rules NOT being applied when people have done all that was asked of them. Unless you’re actually talking about “Sue” who wants to stay here, in which case maybe you’ve got a point…

    • Anonymous says:

      Because the rules have changed many times since these guys have been here. It seems to me they the are happy to play by the rules they signed up for a decade ago.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ummm it’s your government that doesn’t like the rules….or follow them.

  12. Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. says:

    Wait and see if the road is cleared after the upcoming elections. It is a political hot potato!

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