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Number of PR deferrals growing

| 08/08/2017 | 63 Comments

(CNS): Government officials have now considered over 100 permanent residency applications from the backlog of paperwork after specially trained administrators were brought in last month to assist the members of the Caymanian Status and Permanent Residency Board. But despite the acceleration in reviewing applications, more than one-third of them have been deferred, which means the immigration staff and board members are not making enough progress to address what has become a serious legal problem for government.

As immigration administrators and board members are meeting as often as possible to deal solely with the mountain of aging applications, the fact that 39 out of the 108 already considered, or 36%, have been deferred gives an indication that reducing the pile when applications are so outdated is going to present an extra challenge.

Despite some local attorneys and other pundits pointing out that adhering to strict chronological order of applications was always going to present a problem, the immigration ministry has insisted that it will deal with the backlog according to when applications were submitted. This means that the board and admin support staff are dealing with applications that are all more than three years old and so are very likely to need updating.

So far since the work resumed in May, the board and staff have approved 26 permanent residency applications and refused 32 applicants. Another four were not considered because they were submitted after the nine-year cutoff and seven are understood to have been withdrawn by the applicants themselves.

This means that over the last three months only 69 applications have been dealt with from a backlog that is understood to have reached well over 1,000. Even with the accelerated pace due to the new hands on deck, the need to defer decisions on more than one-third of the applications that will then have to be reconsidered based on updated information means it could still be some 10 years before the backlog is cleared.

The government is stuck between a rock and a hard place on the PR problem. Many Caymanians feel there should be a moratorium on any permanent residence approvals until local unemployment, underemployment and workplace barriers to promotion are addressed. However, many employers, who are also Caymanian, are becoming increasingly frustrated by the uncertainty and disruption that the PR situation is causing to the workforce.

Both the Chamber of Commerce and the Cayman Islands Tourism Association are concerned over the issue not only because of the uncertainty surrounding long-term work-permit holders waiting to learn their fate but also due to fears of a mass exodus at the end of this year ahead of changes to the pension law.

As overseas workers will no longer be able to cash out their pensions next year if they leave the island, there are concerns that as many as 2,500 workers could leave Cayman by the end of 2017 in order to access the cash that they and their employers have paid into pension funds. Given the limited choice employees have about the compulsory pensions and the lacklustre performance of the funds, many overseas employees who have been paying in for a number of years would opt to leave the island while they can still access the cash.

While government believes any pension-fuelled exodus will leave room for unemployed Caymanians to get work, the private sector is less certain that there will be enough willing or able local workers to fill the vacancies that this combination of PR uncertainty and the closure of the pension cash window leaves.

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Category: Local News

Comments (63)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The main reason why there is a reliance on expats in the Cayman financial services sector is because so many Caymanians cannot be employed to do the work undertaken by expats. Either the Caymanian has been let down by the Cayman education system or they are lazy. The hardworking Caymanian will always find work here and they will be successful, but there are too many Caymanian children with potential that are simply lost between the ages of 11 to 16.

    In general, international businesses that have offices in Cayman maintain a comparatively small work-force here compared to the main financial hubs around the world. This means that each employee needs to deliver very quickly after joining. Office managers do not have time to teach basic communication skills – oral/literary skills, or inter-personal manners/etiquette…….. these must be instilled from 11 onwards by the education system and home parenting. Managers are more than willing to teach the business to people with the right attitude and basic communication skills, but they don’t have time to act as the high school English teacher or mother/father.

    If the CI Govt. addresses a number of recurring social issues prevalent in the Cayman community and bolsters support for teachers in maintaining classroom discipline, this country may in 5 to 10 years start producing more young people capable of one day filling roles currently occupied by expats.

    India and China produce millions of intelligent, hardworking young people every year, very few of whom grew up living in an environment of equivalent standard to Cayman. More importantly though they worked hard, had respect for their teachers and had parents willing to nurture them and encourage learning.

    Key point … Cayman will continue to need expats in the financial services sector until the Cayman Govt addresses on-going social issues and education….




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    • Anonymous says:

      Bravo – Well said!




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    • Anonymous says:

      Typical. I have been told that there is simply no incentive for an expat to train a Caymanian. This person was incredulous when telling me this. ‘Why would I? I came here to make money!’ Not shy or apologetic about it at all. ‘No time to be mother/father’…like mentoring isn’t a fundamental skill that all senior professionals should have and take seriously. And for every person for whom purely money is the motive, they should have 8 years to make that money, and then leave. No one is going to barge their way into this country.




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  2. Blue Man says:

    If only 69 applicants have been responded to in the last 3 months, I suggest the PR board put in some overtime hours. Whether you like it or not, expats provide a significant amount of fuel to the economy and do jobs that Caymanians are either not qualified to do or too prideful to be seen doing. Or perhaps, an expat got to the job first. If Caymanians can live in the States, Canada, the U.K and more, surely the people from those and other countries have the right to live here too. Those governments understand that selling the country as an internationally welcoming place to live, is what brings money in. Tourism is temporary, residency is permanent. The problem is, and will always be, the Caymanian culture of ignorance, apathy, and hate for anything or one different. When hateful, ignorant people continue to enter office, issues like this are bound to arise.




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  3. Anonymous says:

    I am sooo sick and tired of hearing about this subject. It has been drummed into every day article. We don’t care. Cancel them all. Send them home. Those that sue are not the type of people who should live here. They the ones you say ‘they will cut off the hands that fed them’. I hope karma comes to them in a big way. You got what you wanted PR be happy and live your life. Stop hinnering over money that you want your grubby little hands on when you have your cup overflowing already.




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  4. Anonymous says:

    Take your money now and run Expats. No point crying over spilt milk later when you get kicked out of Cayman later for whatever reason. PR is not an option. You not welcome by the local community to stay so why insist on it. It only causes resentment. Don’t fight this fight. Give up and go home.




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    • Anonymous says:

      And the sooner the US can kick out Caymans from using their education, their shopping malls, and taking their tourist dollars, the faster we can end this terrible one way relationship. It’s like dealing with teenager who keeps on wanting to leave their home and rules, but doesn’t want to lose the security or nice goodies of the US. Just go and be independent and stop bothering people. You have had a good run with consuming US products, but you should go on by yourself now, we are sick of dealing with you.




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      • Anonymous says:

        You forgot all the offshore accounts that will be coming back to the US very soon if they keep up their attitude.




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        • Anonymous says:

          Oh please no offshore accounts will go to US. They not a tax free jurisdiction. It is why every Tom, Dick and Harry wants to be in Cayman. To be Tax free!!




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      • Happy420 says:

        Trump wants every Immigrent/expat out of the US, even the Native American Indians. See how much all of you expats helped them. Keep ya yankee dolla get to scooting but across the Caribbean Sea.




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  5. Anonymous says:

    Please follow Bahamas and Bermuda footsteps Cayman Islands Govt. why dont you take lessons from them regarding IMMIGRATION. I know they would be happy to help. Sorry you dont have the know how !




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    • Anonymous says:

      Yeh, that’s right. Both governments completely bankrupt because they screwed around with their expat populations and both places have yet to fully recover.




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  6. Anonymous says:

    Those that are purportedly tempted to cash out eight year pensions of say, $100k, are not likely to be PR candidates. Those sound more like paycheck to paycheck permit holders. Successful PR Applicants must have already demonstrated financial security, property, and resources – the property component alone is in excess of $100k. The relative affluence, net contributions, and motivators of these two groups couldn’t be more different. Despite what many speech-slurred Rooster-trolls might want to think, qualifying for PR – even under the old rules – was and remains difficult. We should fully welcome those that have earned the privilege to qualify one day for BOTC Naturalisation, and eventually, CI Status. CI Immigration should analyze their pace and see (as we can all see) that more staff are going to be necessary to work through this backlog asap – in advance of the lawsuits, costs, interest, awards, we’d rather not pay out.




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  7. Braaaaaaad says:

    I’ll tell you why these deferrals are occurring, they are up to the sneaky tricks again, asking for backdated letters and other impossible follow up info.They are moving the goalposts around as the game is being played yet again.
    I’ll take my day in court, as they keep providing legal issues that support my case.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe they’re making sure you didn’t pad your application with lies or temporary window dressing.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Applications aren’t supposed to go to any decision makers until Immigration staff have verified that the file is in full and proper order and they have a checklist for this. It’s only because they’re doing them chronologically that this is happening. Otherwise the files that are ready would be at the top of the list and the time spent dealing with those would be available to bring the other applications up to scratch. But then you’d have people who applied after their friends and colleagues getting an answer before them. The Government can’t win here. Everyone just has to sit tight. As an aside I don’t know why it’s never occurred to applicants that if they hadn’t stormed the country in their many thousands over the past 40 years, giving our leaders and civil servants not enough time to evolve additional body parts and computers for brains, this wouldn’t be the situation it is. You wants to stay, you waits for your verdict and continue working in the meantime (and if you’re smart, bolstering and updating your application while you’re at it). Honestly…




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    • Anonymous says:

      Indeed! That is what they are doing. It has happened to me personally. They came asking for information after I would have submitted my documents years ago. I will definitely take my day in court too. They are ridiculous!




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  8. AlanP says:

    I believe that closer to the end of this year CIG would have no choice, but 1) Amend Pension Law with the “grandfather clause” 2) there would be mass status grants.
    Wait and see. Affluent Caymanians, those who stand to lose when rental and RE sale markets crash (among many other), would not allow this to happen.
    Just imagine how much 2,500 expats spend locally. Someone has to swallow the loss of money. Or make sure it doesn’t happen.




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  9. Leave Expats pension alone says:

    Repeal the Pension Law. CIG has no business in ex-pat pension outcomes. You are not suppose to be governing the expats money that they have saved with their employers. Your business is to think about us Caymanians and our future including our pensions. You went a little bit too far when you poked your nose in the expats pension/savings. This movement only makes you look jealous and bad-minded. Whatever an expat work and saved for his old age should be given to him/her whenever their Term Limit comes to an end or whenever they are leaving the island. I am still wondering, which clueless politician came up with this idea to interfere with expats pension and why did the rest of you buy-in to that devious act.




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    • Anonymous says:

      It will be repealed, but only after the disaster. They have the forethought of a pet rock.




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    • AlanP says:

      It doesn’t have to be repealed. Laws without a “grandfather clause” applied prospectively by default. The CI Pension Law has no grandfather clause, therefore it must be applied prospectively. Retroactive application is generally prohibited.
      But in a country where accounts officer, Account Officer and Accounting Officer are 3 different categories of jobs, forgetting about “grandfather clause” is not surprising.
      If someone challenges the application of this Pension Law in court, they would win.




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      • V says:

        This will most certainly happen. All this is a ploy to get some expats to leave.




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        • Anonymous says:

          90 % of expats workers in Cayman Is,. will leave and go home when they retire if they have permanent residency or don’t have it. I have spoken to many and they all said they will be going home when they retire, they don’t want to retire here for they don’t really like it here, they are only here for the money. They only want Cayman status so they won’t have to pay for work permit. Those that won’t wait and sue should be deported. For they don’t mean these Islands any good.




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          • Rhett says:

            AMEN! That is what I hear. They try to make as much as they can, giving little back, to retire early in the States, etc. Why brag about it?




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          • A says:

            I think your interpretation is misguided. I would say that most people enjoy their time here. The reason most will not retire in Cayman is that it will simply be to expensive. Hospitals, rehab facilities for the elderly and not Caymans strong suit. As folks get older and have a fixed income they with move to the most convenient place. Caymanians should look to retire to cheaper country’s with better services as well.




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            • Anonymous says:

              Exactly what I will be doing…Caymanians seem to think we would all love to hang around wasting our dollars on an outrageously priced health system, paying top dollar for everything. No, I will take it to a place with better healthcare and cheaper to live so it lasts longer.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Only a thief would see nothing wrong with taking some one else’s money.




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    • Anon says:

      Too late. And people are going. We left and mine is cashing out this Sept. I feel bad for any expat staying. You will not see your money ever again, mark my words and get while you can.

      The banks do not allow you to keep your account open if you don’t prove you live and work in Cayman, this just happened to us, despite having funds in account. The pension companies will start stipulating soon that you can only collect your pension through a small amount of registered funds in UK, Canada or US, or in a local Cayman account. ( Which will be closed since you no longer live there) so, what happens to all those people with funds that cannot do the very limited options above? Say bye bye to your savings and watch as CI gov takes it all to cover the cost of the huge pension problem they have which will start imminently in the civil service. I’m not trying to scare anyone here, but seriously, watch this space or get out with your money before December . I’ve heard this from both lawyers and accountants and there are loopholes that can be used to allow this to happen, and very very easily.




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  10. Guilty as charged says:

    If you let them all stay you will find wages and jobs freeze up, property to the moon, increased infrastructure costs, trafiic congestion and longer wait queues at George Town Hospital.




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    • Anonymous says:

      You will also find less jobs, more poverty and resulting crime. If you think the financial sector would keep those jobs here, you are mistaken, they will offshore them to cheaper places. Its already happening…and the pension law with people leaving will only encourage this further..




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      • V says:

        Jobs and money move to the most accommodating places.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Why would they offshore them when their business model makes them millions?
        For the sake of one middle manager who gets to come here and get a car and a house? You think the MD’s in London or wherever really care about the CIG rolling over some mid level person? If other places were cheaper they would have offshored them already and as you state its already happening. So the banks leaving are already going no matter the PR law. If they are leaving why encourage more people to stay? Why would there be less jobs? Those expats could be replaced if needed by either a) training a local or b) paying out another work permit. Spare me the skilled expat I have seen many people come here and build a career from nothing. The pension law was a silly idea, however only those to whom the money matters will leave at the lower level of the labour market. This PR does nothing for the working Caymanian other than reduce his lifestyle.




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        • Anonymous says:

          Not sure where you work, but where I do they are shoveling more and more office work to places like India, Philippine’s, Eastern Europe…the number crunchers there cost less than half what they do here…job numbers will go down. Only front end staff will be left eventually.Suggest you and CIG wake up and smell the roses




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          • Anonymous says:

            If jobs are being shoved off to India then what’s the point of allowing even more people to stay?




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    • Anonymous says:

      When I go to the Govt hospital I never see any expats, and I seem to be one of the very few paying for my treatment.




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    • Anonymous says:

      You are not ignorant because you can’t understand how the world works around you, your ignorant because you don’t want to know.




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  11. "Anonymousir" says:

    goodbye CAYMANIANS … hello EXPATS




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  12. Anonymous says:

    The pension law needs to be changed back…in my humble opinion 90% of the local unemployed are unemployable and CIG has to admit that and deal with it. It’s a myth to think otherwise.




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  13. Anonymous says:

    I think a more appropriate headline ” is over 100 PR applications processed” . Obviously the immigration staff are doing a much better job that the Board. I understand that the applications are being deferred to allow for applicants to supply complete or updated information. Surely that can’t be a bad thing.




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  14. I regret to say that the 2,500 people leaving the island this year is a reasonable number. This can be quantified by the high number of places for rent now compared to a year ago, and also the fact that places are not selling the way they were a year ago. This is particularly true in the Seven Mile Beach Corridor. The Golden Goose might be killed unless people in power wake up and smell the flowers. The pension situation and the PR situation is going to have a major economic impact in 2018 with much lower rents and lower real estate values throughout Grand Cayman.




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    • Guilty as charged says:

      Lower rents and lower real estate is a problem why? a young caymanian can get on the ladder if that happens.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Only if they can work 8.32. If 2500 expats leave that is a lot of supermarket jobs gone, nannies, and spending. Even banks and so on would probably not need so many people. More unemployment and lower wages will be the result.




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        • Anonymous says:

          If 2500 expats leave how will that be more unemployment? You mean there would be less demand for goods and services and therefore people laid off. The new unemployed wouldn’t go and do the jobs that the initial 2500 did?

          Aside from this if people are required and they can’t be found they can be sourced elsewhere. Everyone is replaceable and people are commodities. The big end of town knows this. Wages may have to rise to attract people if there is a labour shortage. The 2500 might be big remitters of their salaries anyway so the spending shortfall might not even be great.




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        • Anonymous says:

          A lot less drug trade




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    • Anonymous says:

      Clearly you don’t understand the rental market right now! Try to find a 2 or 3 bed on SMB corridor…and more hotels coming on stream in the months ahead! Supply is constrained and demand is high.




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      • Absolute nonsense 10:44. Wake up and take a look at Ecay rentals. Well over a 100 rentals now available in SMB Corridor. Get your facts right man. In my complex alone there are 5 units available, some of which have been for rent since April.




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      • Anon says:

        Hotels are irrelevant in this scenario. No one is talking about visitors on vacation. But rentals and housing market will be bad starting early next year, with PR issues and Exodus of people = less rentals needed and expats being very very cautious about any investment in Cayman. When it’s clear CI gov are doing everything to get rid of expats, why would you want to?




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  15. Anonymous says:

    Alden no matter what your mama say you aren’t especially smart and you really screwed the pooch here…how about manning up. Either document your policy of giving away the country to foreign influences (work permits and status for everyone) or consider perhaps the law makers before you knew the long term effects of various immigration policies. Marco is gone and Roy is deluded in believing he advanced due to his ability….again..not particularly gifted. With the rights you are giving to a litigious group of ungrateful people…you have already changed our culture.




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    • Anonymous says:

      did you actually read the article 9.54? There is no giveaway going on, more like a throw away…My family too will be leaving before year end..getting my pension out asap.




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  16. Anonymous says:

    If the epic USA has a 5 year policy for Work Permits with their vast resources, why are we doubling that? With Cayman’s limited resources it should be less than 5 years and at best equal.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Most people finally get to stay in the US and become citizens, generally in their 9th-11th year, so that should be less here, right? If your logic is followed..




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