Latest PR lawsuit based on three-year wait

| 18/07/2017 | 88 Comments

(CNS): A leading veterinarian and professor from St Matthew’s University is the latest person to file for judicial review in the courts as a result of the excessive delay on a decision regarding an application for permanent residency. Dr Samantha Shields, whose two children were born in the Cayman Islands, applied for residency in September 2014, almost three years ago, but she and her family, like hundreds of others, are still awaiting a decision.

The suit, filed just over a week ago, is one of a growing number of actions against the government’s chief immigration officer and the Caymanian Status and Permanent Residency Board that are now awaiting a hearing  in the Grand Court, a result of government’s bungled attempts to modify the PR application process.

Shield’s complaint is very similar to those that have preceded it. She is looking for an immediate decision on her application, for government to cover the costs of the application, as well as interest on the fee it has been holding for the last three years, plus her legal costs. She also claiming damages as a result of the delay and the “unwarranted stress that she and her family have suffered as a result of having to wait over 33 months for a decision to be reached”.

Since the board began considering applications again in May this year, only 43 applications out of an estimated 1,000 have been reviewed. The board stopped considering applications in the latter part of 2013 because its members had not been advised how to allocate points for occupations, an issue that the court was later to find arbitrary and unfair.

Following the long-awaited but still secret Ritch Report on the issue, the government made a decision earlier this year to award every job the same number of points. However, questions have been raised about why it took government so long to make such a minor adjustment and, more importantly, what else is contained in the Ritch Report which caused government to fight tooth and nail to keep a lid on the document.

Most people believe that the report concludes that changes to immigration policy which eliminated the seven-year rollover will lead to an inevitable granting of PR to everyone who stays long enough. The seven-year rollover, which was also controversial, acted as a barrier to prevent many work permit holders from staying long enough in Cayman to reach the eight year eligibility mark to apply for residency.

Removing that barrier has paved the way for everyone on a permit to apply, and unless the board hears applications expeditiously, legal experts believe that anyone who has been ordinarily resident for ten years will, regardless of points, be entitled to get PR based on time if they challenge a refusal through the courts.

This has stoked fears in the local community of a mass grant of permanent residency rights to foreign workers, who will be able to go on and get Caymanian status, reminiscent of the controversial 3,000+ status grants of 2003, which, 14 years on, is still resented by many Caymanians.

To allay such fears, last month Premier Alden McLaughlin said there would be no mass grants of any residency rights, and despite the backlog, he said the applications would be reviewed carefully and those who do not qualify will be refused.

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Category: Policy, Politics

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  1. Anonymous says:

    @3:52 I guess it’s possible you are a Caymanian, after all even back in the day we had a bunch of “We sick Boss?”‘s running around.

    Anyway, I’ll answer your question my way – so buckle up.

    A self-respecting Caymanian would not have penned your words but something more along the lines of;

    “We need to train, educate and ensure we are producing our own qualified vets / professionals…”

    This should be our long-term aim rather than the current playbook of permanently importing professionals and skilled people in what is obviously a limited jurisdiction – in terms of space, population and opportunities.

    The problem with most people is a lack of vision which results in bad decision-making (e.g. the great beachfront property fire sale of a few decades ago).

    Our current immigration policy is nothing but a repeat of the aforementioned collective misstep and we will live to regret in the same way and once again find ourselves watching from the sidelines.

    *Btw, make no mistake, the vast majority of CNS contributors wouldn’t give a damn if that was to occur and I couldn’t care less for their opinion of my perspective.
    Let it be known I am fully aware of my immediate surroundings.*

    Unfortunately, most people’s concept of time is limited to their expected existence but that is evidence of a basic thinker.

    Whodatis is no basic thinker – but you and anyone else is free to remain as such.

    When one considers the stats, geography and desire, it is only sensible to significantly alter the rate of permanent immigration to the Cayman Islands. If that requires an era of a largely transient workforce then so be it.

    We can use that same period to optimise our native population regardless of how long it takes.

    After all, how long is forever? That is how long will last the impact of whatever we ultimately decide.

    I could end by once again referencing the galaxy difference in ratio, stakes, and respective reaction to immigration when we compare Cayman to any larger western country – but hopefully we’re at least snart enough to appreciate without elaboration.

    ** As for threats from foreign professionals / our industries re “job security” – I say call their BULLSHIT BLUFF!
    (They’ll talk that talk but at the end of the day will sweat bullets of relief for even a limited contract of employment.)

    The benefits of being a Caymanian are ridiculously rare and this is the hidden hand of our collective immigrants.
    They’ll never fully acknowledge or break it down to a Caymanian – and in many respects it is difficult to explain – nevertheless, it is what it is and they are dying to get it…forever.

    If only Cayman could fully appreciate how coveted we truly are – the problem would be solved overnight.

    Lastly, I guarantee you, every nation from which our PR’s originate would be doing all of the above and more were they in our shoes.

    – Whodatis

    • Anonymous says:

      If there weren’t several billion people in the world, you wouldn’t have any expats at all. They are a tiny sliver of a sliver because most expats would rather be expats somewhere else. The 25000 you have, most of whom don’t plan to stay, generate directly or indirectly most of the money that funds the place. Look at the islands that have only tourism. A lot of those people leave if they can because you can’t eat beach sand, just like Cayman 50 years ago. BTW there was no fire sale of beach land, i personally know It was expensive in 1970 because I shopped for it. There were three little condo developments on SMB at the time and miles of empty beach. There was one crappy grocery store that would run out of food a day or two before the next boat arrived. My first visit they were down to roots and tins of smoked oysters the day we arrived. Feel free to go back to that, we regular visitors can manage, but many of you will end up being expats somewhere else like it or not, and not in finance or law.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yet another wizard peddling the notion that Cayman cannot survive outside the current set of circumstances.

        Please go fly a kite somewhere.

        The entire world is embracing change and even u-turns at this very moment.

        Nevertheless, western arrogance dictates success in that regard is limiting to their group.

        Nothing changes when it comes to certain people.

        Anyway, you are talking to a fearless one on this occasion.
        Try again.

        – Who

      • Anonymous says:

        Re: “If there weren’t several billion people in the world, you wouldn’t have any expats at all. They are a tiny sliver of a sliver because most expats would rather be expats somewhere else. …”

        Yet you made sure you were a part of said sliver of a sliver.

        Lol, you people are just too much.
        The blind arrogance…

        – Whodatis

    • Anonymous says:

      76% caymanians do not have higher education, so lets hire these people as executives. This will bring our country forward for sure

    • Anonymous says:

      You still have not answered…..probably because you cannot without accepting the truth of it….the question posed by 7:22. Whether or not your rambling discourse makes sense, the fact of the matter is you were asked for a simple answer and you replied with verbal contortions.

      • Anonymous says:

        I have answered.

        Whether or not you like the answer is your personal problem my friend.

        – Whodatis

    • Rum Runner says:

      I agree with your intentions however you are wrong if you think other countries shut the door. They should but they don’t. All over the first world middle class and working class peoples are being screwed by their mass immigration loving governments. Alden is the same as Merkel who is the same as Cameron.

      • Anonymous says:

        Valid point.

        However, no other jurisdictions have immigration stats comparable to Cayman – not by long shot.

        – Whodatis

    • Rick Gees says:

      I am came across this website by chance a few months ago and stated reading about Cayman and Immigration problems. Cayman Immigration issues are a tricky one. On one hand expats want to enjoy the cayman lifestyle and some then try to get status, but then the cayman people enjoy a tax free haven and in a way live off of the expats via the work permit fees .

      I believe the Cayman people should by all means protect their culture , I would not like to live in an island where a foreign culture will soon change that

      I think these expats wanting to be Caymanian will enjoy having duel citizenship I think the cayman government should make them renounce their first citizenship and giving up that right only then you will see if they really want to be Caymanian.

      Maybe its best for these new PR applicants to pay special income taxes for a certain number of years and after that is paid then they are granted status and not subject to further taxes. They should work and pay for their status and prove that they want to be Caymanian. Some of these Expats in my view are looking for an easy route.

      These are just my suggestions

  2. Anonymous says:

    A new clause needs to be implemented at stating that any challenges to the application process automatically denies approval of the application.

    • Anonymous says:

      You mean the “process” whereby people’s money is taken and no service (in this case, actually processing the application) is provide? In most other countries, that is know as fraud.

    • Slacker says:

      No lawsuit waiting to happen with that suggestion…..

  3. Anonymous says:

    As a new immigrant to Cayman, I just want to know why expats are so hated? Do Caymanians not go overseas for education, jobs, and betterment of their personal situations? How many Caymanians have their children in US? It is an open world, and people of all nations are trying to find something to get ahead, whether here, America, Europe or wherever. People should work together for the betterment of all people. I am trying to hire Caymanians, 20 year olds who have never worked refuse entry level jobs and pay because they are “Caymanian”. But the local companies fine to pay phillipinos or Jamaicans $4 an hour. Who has the elitism or racism?
    Pay proper wage regardless and employ he employable

    It is a beautiful country with ,many wonderful people, and that is why people want to come. Work together and keep it a special place. Don’t become what so many claim to be fighting

    • Anonymous says:

      welcome to wonderland….

    • Nunya says:

      Welcome – the biggest issue is that Caymanians are constantly having to hear things like the only thing wrong with Cayman is Caymanians. This type of attitude towards us is had to get over and we feel and see demonstrations of many of these feelings towards us too often.

      I have many friends that are expacts and they are wonderful people – but the ones that come here and treat the people like dirt on their shoes taint the ones that don’t do that.

      This issue is also not unique to Cayman if you think of Brexit and the fact that Trump was voted in – you can see the issues with migration from globalisation causes ill feelings the world over.

    • Anonymous says:

      You realized all of those negative qualities of Caymanians yet failed to pick up on how Caymanians are so hated by many expats?

      Clearly you are biased yourself…or perhaps just full of it.

      • Anonymous says:

        Why do you need to be negative? There is no biased… I could care less where people are from, I care if you are good person, treat people well, and have and give value to everyone’s society.
        Look for the good and maybe you will get ahead. Those expats that hate are not worth my time or yours. Focus on those that are here that are good. If you think no expat is good, you have deeper issues

  4. Anonymous says:

    Get rid of the boards and let the Immigration staff grant or refuse the work permits and PR, after all, that is why there is an Immigration.

    You have people sitting on the boards making these decisions who only care to help certain individuals and really don’t care about getting the job done.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree completely. This whole process is being slowed down by the board which ultimately only counts up points like the immigration department. If the board is required to perform this function they should be working five days a week. It should be the employed professionals that deal with this process.

    • Anonymous says:

      i wonder how many of these lawsuits are by lawyers or wealthy individuals rather than individuals with lower salaries?

      • Anonymous says:

        Did you not know that this is Cayman? Justice is available, sometimes, to those that can afford it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Quite agree. The Board is there to frustrate or block people their cronies dislike, to fast-track those who are in favour, and generally to frustrate what is an unpopular, though legal requirement. Very little is ever “granted” in cayman without partiality being involved. And the people on the Boards love it – the influence they wield!

      Of course the process should be based purely on the facts, just following the regulations within the Law. Then it’s just a pure administrative process, carried out by impartial administrators. So why not ask your government why a Board must sit in judgement on all of this?

  5. Anonymous says:

    3.52 is making a good point. There are fewer and fewer roles of economic value for an increasing tranche of the underclass in the information age. How we deal with that section of society is a big challenge in the 21st century.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Anybody now how long you have to wait for a green card or residency in other developing countries. Why isn’t there a outcry there? For a green card you can wait anywhere from 1 to 6 years.

    • Anonymous says:

      The US is not subject to the international human rights standards that apply in Cayman. So the comparison is irrelevant.

      • Anonymous says:

        They are part of the UN and therefore still subject so shutup

        • Anonymous says:

          Not a UN issue, dummy, its an ECHR issue. Hey monkey you better not climb that tree any more.

          • Anonymous says:


            – Who

            • Jotnar says:

              BS. Membership of the Council of Europe, and the Human Rights Act 1998 mean the ECHR will still apply even after Brexit. I know Brexit is one of your hobby horses, but do try and understand the issues before pontificating.

            • Anonymous says:

              Who is climbing the tree with that one. How embarrassing.

            • rollin says:

              You are such a delightful fool

              -who cares?

            • Anonymous says:

              Oops, silly me – there i was thinking there was some coherence within the UK’s view of their European connection.

              Poor arrogant fools, actually expected an a la carte experience post Brexit vote.

              Very entertaining to see the EU officials sending the UK negotiators packing tail-tucked back over the channel after every discussion.

              That country would do themselves a huge favour if they finally realize it is no longer 1957 – perhaps the last year Britain was “Great”.

              – Who

              * Btw, I would LOVE to witness you all explaining the raised points to the typical Brexit voter, lol!

              • Anonymous says:

                He just cannot every admit to being wrong. Although the incoherence in this little ramble is impressive. He really does seem to think the ECHR is somehow linked to the EU.

          • Anonymous says:

            CNS this comment @3.57pm, is racist, and derogatory and should be removed.

            CNS: If I deleted every derogatory comment by ‘Anonymous’ in response to another ‘Anonymous’ there wouldn’t be any comments. In this case they were arguing about which human rights are applicable in getting a green card in America. The identity, race or nationality of anyone in this thread is not known. The bit I think you are taking exception to is referrring to an old saying: “The higher the monkey climbs the tree, the more of his butt you’ll see.” The saying is generally used about people climbing the ladder of success, whose mistakes, lack of integrity, attitude, etc, are then more obvious.

            So it’s use here is unusual but I think the writer is saying that the other person has over-reached his knowledge on the topic in hand. I allowed it because I did not see it as racist and without more persuasion, I still don’t.

        • Anonymous says:

          Sorry dude, we in the US have our own bill of rights and the UN has nothing to do with it. Unlike the EU, our rights do not include the right to other people’s money without their consent.

    • Anonymous says:

      The United States has neither our constitution nor our Bill of Rights. What they do and how they do it is irrelevant.

      • Anonymous says:

        Quit generally referring to our constitution and BoR. Where have either of these documents been definitively breached? Nowhere.

        • Anonymous says:

          When you take a person’s money in return for promising to perform a service (processing an application) and then fail to perform that service, that is generally referred to as fraud. Is that a definitive enough breach for you?

        • Anonymous says:

          Clause 19 of our Bill of Rights entitled Lawful Adminisrative Action. Read it. Understand it. Then get your check-book out.

    • Anonymous says:

      We recently applied for a green card in the US and it took 8 months.

    • Anonymous says:

      They usually tell you wait times up front. You can choose to do it or not

  7. Anonymous says:

    3:52 is nothing but veiled racism.

    It takes a special kind of hate-filled soul to craft such despicable sentiments.

    Eff’ you and the dying horse you rode in on.

    May I remind you, the people you are lambasting are the very ones that formed this island community to which you, your supporters, and the professional in question all decided to emigrate to…clearly with hopes to remain forever.

    Yours is the mindset that brought about and endured; segregation, western slave society, the holocaust, genocide, reservations, dispossession, etc.

    I trust your children are wise enough to detest and ultimately reject your disgusting being.

    The only thing more disgusting than your post is the anonymous support garnered.

    Yet people wonder why Cayman is increasingly divided.
    Our influx of closet racists are contributingly greatly thereto.

    I am fully cognizant of my usage of the term and I do so without apology.
    The technical hair-splitting wont cut it any longer.
    No one hates another “nationality” in the ways we observe daily here on CNS.

    This is all very familiar and if you feel any type of way as you read these words then yes – I am calling YOU a RACIST.

    • Anonymous says:

      So, 1:13, are you saying 3:52’s comment is not true?

      • Anonymous says:

        Sorry, I don’t negotiate with racists.

        Kindly go away.

        – Who

        • Anonymous says:

          I’ll take that as a “oops, can’t answer that one without embarrassing myself”.

          • Anonymous says:

            You are obviously the poster that committed the “economical” misstep on the previous post.

            I see you’re trying to get your getback on this one.

            – Who


            • Anonymous says:

              I don’t understand your post, ” Who”, about “economical” misstep (sic). I’m the original poster at 3:52 that you projectile vomited over with your usual racism stuff. I noticed that you presumed I was a foreigner (no Caymanian could have posted that racist comment!!). I would still like to know if you think the point I was making in my original post was true……yes or no?? Try to answer it simply without bringing in racism, Tony Blair, Trump or the Chagos islanders. True or not? Yes or no?

        • Anonymous says:

          Hey pot, it’s kettle here.

    • Anonymous says:

      Please explain to the Caymanian people the correlation between the mass importation of poverty, the lack of available public services, the lack of opportunity for young Caymanians and the cost of living. I need a laugh.

      You plainly are devoid of any understanding of legitimate immigration controls, or our economy.

      Please tell me I am wrong, but please use Math in doing so. Calculators are allowed. I want you to have every opportunity.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are right. Lots of racists on this island, but you must recognize that plenty of them are Caymanian. “I Am Caymanian Where are my Rights” facebook page and the 3000 + followers is a perfect example of hate filled racism…. sad but true. Its an endless cycle. Don’t see it getting any better unfortunately.

      • Symbiosis says:

        That website And don’t forget the secretive petition that Caymanians were circulating about blocking PR applications in an effort to encourage unemployed locals to get hired first. Locals in my work whispering about the petition. If you believe in it so much raise your hand and stand by what you believe in. But oh you have Phillipino and Jamaican helpers? Mmm talking out two sides of mouth. Common disease here. But I guess that helpers don’t fit the category of “foreigners” and you already know they have little chance of getting PR because you pay them a meagre monthly wage.

        Numb nuts who started the petition should have said “stop New work permits”. The PR applicants already have jobs…..#1 of the 100 criteria to allow that person to apply for PR. But guess what that would not work either because work permit fees are a revenue stream for your government ~ money they rely on to issue all those student scholarships to the kids of the very people trying to block the work permits and PR applicants.

        Tired of Caymanians pulling the “poor us” card. They have the world at their fingertips, the island is probably one of the most developed islands in Caribbean (maybe thanks to foreigners) it’s safe it’s clean healthcare is top notch (guess due to the foreigners again), its economy is stable the infrastructure is pretty good for a speck in the ocean.

        It has so many possibilities to succeed as a socio economic example of co-habiting but the ignorant blinkered minority will continue to worm their way in only to cause long term problems for its own people down the line.

    • Anonymous says:

      Perhaps you should sign all your work Who. Then you can’t be accused of playing the deniability game.

  8. McCarthur says:

    3.52 and 6.31 that just how Hitler thought and the holcaust began – idiots!

    • Anonymous says:

      Odd to see someone upholding Godwin’s Law so readily calling others “idiots”.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah that’s exactly how it should probably have someone read the history of the “holcaust” to you…IDIOT!

    • Anonymous says:

      Trying to link Hitler to the posters’ comments is an exercise in false equivalencies and trivializes the horrors of the racist extermination policies behind the Holocaust.

  9. wawa says:

    3.52pm you are one hundred percent right.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Hey Alden. How long does it take to decide if someone like this has enough points in YOUR system? Probably 10 minutes. So why 3 years and counting? Are you going to write the checks from your personal account? If you are not accountable, who is?

    • Anonymous says:

      actually each section takes a while to review!

      • Anonymous says:

        They’ve had 3 years to review almost all those sections but they have apparently done nothing. It would only take 5 minutes then to review an old application now and simply add on the occupation points. They could have given zero points for occupation and approved those who still had enough points but they chose to do nothing. This crisis was entirely avoidable.

        • Anonymous says:

          Do like other parts of the world, like Saudi Arabia, and others , don’t give status period. Here make a exception by marriage (after 7 years) or by father/mother only. Then it won’t be all of the bleeding the Country.

  11. Anonymous says:

    We need more bright people in this island, the sort of well educated professionals that are applying for PR, and less of the neglected, badly behaved and therefore poorly performing school kids that are the product of random unprotected sex among certain of our lower socioeconomic Caymanians and foreign workmen or domestics and which are resulting in us having a bunch of riff-raff running around causing problems and of course making more babies and creating a vicious circle of an ever expanding underclass which will one day sink us.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah…because wealthy professionals never have reckless sex resulting in pregnancy. LOL! There are 6 flights a day to Miami for a reason…and it ain’t just tourism, my friend!

    • Anonymous says:

      Please all the bright people need to now pay income tax on these exorbitant salaries they make on the back of Caymanians. Guess until the politicians grow enough balls to pass a income tax law we will be stuck in the present mess. You really think it is fair that you make 1 million a year tax free yet you can not support the youth sports programs with a $5.00 raffle ticket? Stay in your gated communities as it crumbles around you. Money is the root of all evil!

      • Anonymous says:

        The love of money is the root of all evil, if you are going to throw out quotes… And I guarantee it is the wealthy buying a significant portion of those raffle tickets and supporting the charity dinners. Sadly, in many cases, the local indigenous population is barely represented at volunteer charitable events… Think before you go off half cocked, you only add to the perception of significant ignorance in the population. Perhaps you are just jealous and feel a certain level of entitlement…

      • Anonymous says:


      • Widowmaker says:

        When have they been $5.00?

      • Anonymous says:

        Tax those making over a quarter of a millions yearly, only.

    • Anonymous says:

      Back in the eighties with half the population, things was a lot better. everyone had a job, no one was losing their homes and is was very little crime. so why do we need all these expats here , taking the good jobs and bringing poor people with crime and all the road traffic.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Wow, I waited 3.5 years for my application to be heard after applying for PR back in 2004. I wonder if I have a claim?

    • Anonymous says:

      Me too?

    • Anonymous says:

      That was before the definition of a reasonable period of time was defined during the BOT case in Aruba last year I’m afraid..

    • Anonymous says:

      3;50 pm, there goes another that only wants to bleed this country, you don’t really want to be Caymanian. Ask what you can do to help this country, DON”T ask what this country can do to help for you.

      • Anonymous says:

        I think you are right that many don’t want to be Caymanian. But why don’t you want their money? How are they bleeding you?

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