Premier dismisses status delay concerns

| 09/06/2020 | 43 Comments
Cayman News Service

(CNS): A growing number of long-term residents here are worried they could miss the chance to vote next year because of delays in the Caymanian status application process due to the pandemic. However, the concerns have been dismissed by the premier. The Caymanian Status and Permanent Residency Board has not met since the COVID-19 lockdown began, even via Zoom, because much of the work this board does depends on paper files that are not accessible.

As a result, people who made applications to become Caymanian, after being residents for the requisite 15 years, before the coronavirus struck are now worried that their cases may not be heard in time for them to register to vote, as would have been the case if the virus had not shut everything down.

With the election now set for May, and given the time lag between voter registration and making it on to the actual electoral roll, these new Caymanians will need to register to vote before the end of the year. And while that may be six months away, people remain concern that a backlog could develop if this board remains unable to meet, in which case they might well miss the deadline .

But McLaughlin dismissed the issue at Friday’s COVID-19 briefing, stating that there was still plenty of time.

“I think fears about missing the deadline for registering for the election are a bit exaggerated,” he said, noting that it was still almost a year away. “There will be multiple opportunities between now and then to register.”

However, McLaughlin said that government is working on getting the boards up and running and he was aware of the concerns people had over the delay in hearing status cases. But premier said there were many millions of dollars in outstanding PR fees, which he urged people to pay, noting that applicants will not get status if those fees are not paid.

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Category: 2021 General Elections, Elections, Politics

Comments (43)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Love the pic for this post, it’s perfect! Lol

  2. Anonymous says:

    Won’t be any delays, Alden and Jonjon will be rising in on their donkeys right on time.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Quite clearly the people screaming to vote haven’t taken the time to familiarize themselves with the options available on the ballot over the years.

  4. Res Ipsa Loquitur says:

    Premier Alden McLaughlin cannot be trusted. His track record of double speak and embellishments is an open record look at his attitude and promises regarding the cruise berthing facility which was based on lies from day one.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I will be renouncing my status in a short while. Was so proud to have it before, but now, I am ashamed. I am very sad about this, but the government here is absolutely out of control.
    Thank God I did not go for naturalisation. There is nothing natural about living in a Police State.
    I will miss my many Caymanian and expat friends.
    Fare thee well.

    • Anonymous says:

      9.08pm Have to be naturalised before receiving status?

      • complicated says:

        No. The complicated system leads to cases of 1) naturalized with no status, 2) status with no naturalization, 3) both status and naturalization, 4) neither status nor naturalization. (And that’s just on the Cayman Islands side, not talking about full British passports.) It’s hard to conclude that the deliberate complication is for any other purpose than to keep newcomers from gaining the right to vote for as long as possible. Also, my understanding is that even when you finally get status and naturalization, you cannot run for office if you were not born here. Again, every attempt they can think of to keep newcomers from having influence.

        • Anonymous says:

          @ 9.10 Yeah, because the current excuse for a government would be run out of town!

        • Anonymous says:

          “you cannot run for office if you were not born here”. Not strictly true. You can run if not born here, but a) will have to have resided here for the last 15 years and not spent more than 400 days outside the country in the last 7 years b) have a parent or grandparent born here and c) not be eligible or renounced rights to any other nationality. But you are right on the spirit of it – better be born and bred, or if like many Caymanians born in a foreign hospital, come from generational stock.

    • Anonymous says:

      Please go and don’t come back.

    • Anonymous says:

      You received your status before being naturalized? Clearly that was done under the table. Definitely don’t need people like you here, see ya!

      CNS: You can be given status without being naturalised if you get it by being married to a Caymanian or granted it by Cabinet. I don’t know off-hand if there are other ways but I suspect there are.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Private sector boards have been a disaster for years. Shut these boards down now. Do we really need 10 people to decide whether someone who has been living in cayman for 10 years should be granted the right to be Caymanian or permanent residence.

    • Anonymous says:

      No, but we do need someone to decide whether someone who has been here 9 years should be granted PR, and if here for 15 years, status – and simply being here the prescribed time is not the only consideration.

    • Anonymous says:

      @ 8.36. We need to give 10 Caymanians a big salary and pension.

  7. Muppet Hunter says:

    Classic photo CNS. I wonder if Kermit T. Frog or his proxy will be on the ballot next year. He’s got my vote!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Hi Ho! Puppet Smasher

  9. Anonymous says:

    LEAVE! While you still can.

  10. Anonymous says:

    the concern re status applications is why do I have to pay another years PR fee because the board depends on paper files….

    seriously – ever heard of electronic copies, email and zoom – too lazy to bother and who cares anyways, that’s the truth more likely

    i guess like a WP fee i can claim a refund once approved – right? No chance

    • Anonymous says:

      It is a if they took our constitution and totally ignored it, along with all other concepts of fair treatment and good governance. Oh wait, that is exactly what they are doing.

    • Anonymous says:

      15 years plus 1 day on island and you will have to pay one more year of your annual permit/residency fee so your status application gets processed. No refund even if it’s approved three weeks later.

      • Anonymous says:

        Usually not lawful, but standard operating procedure. Delay, and then impose a fine based on governments own delay. Madness.

    • Doodlebug says:

      Paper files “not accessible”. What a joke. What’s to stop someone going and getting them from the empty office.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Another government liability rush.

  12. Tony says:

    And not one Caymanian will give a flying f#ck.

    • Anonymous says:

      I would like my wife to be able to vote, and she needs her application processed before she can register.

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually all Caymanians who care about democracy, human rights, and the rule of law, do. Since Mr. Howell is in charge of immigration and elections this will all get fixed fast though, right?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Rather than stoking misplaced panic, it would be more constructive to describe to Caymanians how easy it is to actually process the voter registration (minutes), and how long it takes for the quarterly Gazetting of names and interval. Early 2021 is when it starts getting tight.

    • Anonymous says:

      For many civil servants and others who have been in Cayman for 14 years (or 15 by early next year) the only way to become Caymanian is first to get naturalized. Once you are naturalized you can apply for status.

      If you cannot get naturalized and then apply for and get status all within the next 9 months, you ain’t voting, no matter how how fast and efficient the registration process is.

      • Anonymous says:

        We all know an applicant has to have been Naturalized for years before being eligible to apply again for CI Status. If applicant didn’t get Naturalisation paper work in before Covid hit, that’s on them.

        • Anonymous says:

          Actually an applicant does not need to be naturalized for years. They just have to have been resident in Cayman for 15 years and be naturalized. It is therefore entirely possible and lawful to apply for status the day after being naturalized.

          Spouses of Caymanians do not have to get naturalized at all. Bizarre but true.

          • Anonymous says:

            Actually I don’t think that is correct. You can naturalize a year after being granted PR as I did. You need to be naturalized to apply for status. Also people need to understand that naturalization is a UK run process and status is a CIG run process. The CIG has made such a mess of this whole thing over the last 30 years. I have status my wife is waiting on hers. My first child is a BOTC then will have to claim status at 18. My second child is Caymanian with absolutely no paperwork to prove that given that having a Cayman passport is from naturalization not status. Gong show and a licence to print money for immigration attorneys and consultants.

            • Anonymous says:

              I think you are in a mess and need professional help, seriously. Your second child may well not be Caymanian, and your first child should not wait until 18.

            • clear as mud says:

              If you have been married to a Caymanian for more than 7 years, you can obtain status, without being naturalised.I got status 10 years ago, and am still not naturalised.

  14. Anonymous says:

    The Premier is wrong on this and the Governor and Ombudsman should sit up right now and take note. For many months it has not been possible to apply for naturalization or status. Even once you apply, it take many months for it to be granted. Only once granted can you register to vote. Because of the delays and refusals to accept applications, there is a real risk that hundreds of people who may otherwise qualify will not be able to do so in time.

    • Anonymous says:

      What is all this fuss about. You only become a 2nd class Caymanian. Only country in the Commonwealth which has 2 classes of citizenship. 1st class = right to run for elected office. 2nd class = no right to run for Elected office. 21st century apartheid. FCO needs to wake up.

    • Anonymous says:

      They are fully aware how ill administered WORC is. This department has created a lot of stress in processing work permits so do you think that they will not be worse with status grants? Hopefully the new Director will be interested in seeing this vital department work well.

    • Anonymous says:

      This Department should have been reported for maladministration a long time ago. They create so many problems in dealing with anything related to expats forgetting that dealing with expats is their business.

      • Anonymous says:

        It has been reported numerous times. It’s descent into lawlessness is well documented. Nothing is ever done, except the forced retirement/resignation of some of those who tried to stand up and stop it.

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