Global citizen idea still not detailed

| 07/10/2020 | 113 Comments

(CNS): Plans to create a special category of visitor that would, government hopes, inject much needed life into the COVID-hit tourism sector have yet to be explained, but Premier Alden McLaughlin said Friday that the Global Citizenship Concierge Programme is in the final stages of approval. The broad idea is to allow overseas visitors to conduct overseas business here remotely, while they inject money into the local economy.

The aim of the Ministry of Tourism initiative is for the Cayman Islands to welcome “high net worth individuals”, otherwise known as rich people, who are global professionals with the flexibility to work remotely and who want to get away from countries where COVID-19 is continuing to spread.

McLaughlin has said that it is aimed at eligible professionals and families that can support themselves during their time here, are willing to quarantine under the current regulations and intend to enjoy a longer stay than a usual visitor while carrying on their own commercial affairs.

Speaking at the COVID-19 briefing last week, the premier said that these guests would not be allowed to earn citizenship but would experience “the Caymankind lifestyle found only in the Cayman Islands”. Noting that the programme is in the final stages of government approval, he said that “an announcement pertaining to the GCCP will be provided once the programme details have been finalised”.

It is not clear how long these ‘working’ guests would be allowed to stay, how it will be promoted and marketed and who exactly would qualify. But a proposed application process, which has not been confirmed, would require a minimum income of US$100,000 for individuals, $150,000 for couples and $180,000 for families, and the visitors would need health insurance that is valid here.

Global remote working has attracted some interest for those who are able and want to get away from the virus. Some Caribbean destinations have already passed laws to pave the way for these nomadic professionals to enter. But so far there are no figures on what sort of numbers Cayman could expect to attract.

The premier has said that to introduce the programme here Cayman will need to make minor amendments the Immigration Law. But there is no sign of an amendment bill yet for the next session of the Legislative Assembly, which starts on 14 October.

CNS has submitted questions to the Department of Tourism and we have been told that a release about the programme was due this week.


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Category: Business, Tourism

Comments (113)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The cig proving they are scared their pockets won’t be as full as usual.

    • Jeremiah Goodwin says:

      Mr. Premier, don’t. E rushing to let people in or to open the borders too hastily. Yes there is need to feed those who are already fat and want to. Be fatter, and yes Tourism is down and subsidies is the order of the day. when you start increasing the number of migrants you also increase the possibility of more people bringing in and transmitting the virus, every flight recently has brought at least one with the virus. More haste less speed sir, look at whT is happening in the anamas today October 9, 2020 total lockdown all types of business place bar none. No free movement and why, local people cavorting and drinking in large numbers Nd specifically opening of bkrders too soon . Do we want or need this to happen here

      Wether the weather be fine or whether the weather be not, whether the weather be cold or whether the weather be hot, let’s whether the weather whatever the weather or will be around tfor the weather

    • Anonymous says:

      So where is the updated budget showing what the trade-offs will be from all this extra spending? Hundreds of millions taken out of pensions and 30 million deficit a month.

      Once the money runs out what’s the plan?

      The correction is going to be harsh and the politicians are not being honest and telling you what it entails…

      Everyone is going to get an Econ 101 lesson soon when the money runs out

  2. Anonymous says:

    Rich people. Double edged sword. You loved them and you hate them.

    • Anonymous says:

      More importantly, you CANNOT live without them (dare to try and see where the country ends up)

    • Anonymous says:

      You want their money, but not people themselves, always finding wrongs in them.

      • Anonymous says:

        Ironically, these “people” have a history of extracting all the benefits Caribbean islands have to offer while segregating and discriminating against local populations they found there.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Headline should’ve read “Global citizen program not a good idea”!

    • Hubert says:

      Headline should have read “Global citizen program not good for Cayman but great for Bermuda & Barbados”.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Our cost of living is much higher than other Caribbean destinations, but we do have good COVID policy barriers, and as a result, now enjoy personal liberties worth paying more for. Let’s not compromise our collective local health, mobility and freedoms, in an effort to bring in more penny-pinching skimpers that Caymankind doesn’t honestly celebrate. There are already established mechanisms to relocate here, for those that want to do so. The hurdles aren’t set very high.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Hundreds of thousands of wealthy wintering snowbird seniors are rethinking their 6 month southern USA plans, even with many owning properties there. We’re so late to this party, we’ve almost missed the boat on them. DoT, even with the gift horse of Covid-19, fundamentally, doesn’t understand the dynamics of seasonal travel in the Tourism industry, and by default rejects our preferred guest market share to other jurisdictions that can barely cater to them. So blindly confident in their own stupid.

  6. Anonymous says:

    have they ever thought this could work the other way too?….
    as in people not having to be in cayman to do business in cayman???

    • Anonymous says:

      Which they are already doing and will put a serious dent in govts future expected work permit revenue.

      • Hubert says:

        Some law firms based in Cayman, have already determined they don’t need to have a full force on Island to do legal work here. Oh the wonders of the virtual world.

        • Anonymous says:

          And now with 6 months of virtual home working its not just law firms. That financial services sector that the government is so dependent on has had a compulsory trial in seeing if it matters where its employees are. My own firm is starting to ask questions about why we need to have a full team based here when no one cares – or even knows – where someone dialling into a Zoom meeting or engaging with clients through e mail actually is. And where the staff dont even go into our office naymore but work from home. When professional salaries are lower elsewhere and where we dont have to pay between $10K and $30K per head work permits along with 6 figure annual business registration fees driven by our headcount here. Reality is we could cut our office here by2/3rds in staffing, and no one would notice any difference other than the bottom line would improve immensely.

        • Anonymous says:

          Precisely. You don’t even have to be in Cayman to pay your utility bill monthly , you could be in Timbuktu. All the high street law / accounting firms here moved offshore en-mass after Ivan to allow remote working ability to continue revenue , with remote offices. Has CIG been wearing blinders since 2004?
          Those companies staff have letter heads and email header/ footer addresses and contact info that reads a South Church St / Camana Bay address , but the individual is actually in Dublin , Sydney or Wellington, to name just a few. The loss of revenue for Guvmnt’ must be huge, when those employees were on permits with employer paying giant sized proffessional fees. They no longer have a permit , their job description reads ‘ Consultant’.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am pretty sure they have based on the welcoming committee once you land. You know, putting a stick in your nose, putting you in solitary confinement for 16 days. And threatening prison time if you dare poke your head outside. Sure makes leaving easy but coming back not so much.

  7. Anonymous says:

    “the Caymankind lifestyle found only in the Cayman Islands”

    That’s pretty insightful! Seriously, where do we get these politicians from?! Will nobody stand up and run against this lot?

  8. Anonymous says:

    The definition of HNW i.e. $100k, is this the annual income? If yes, this is the salary of an average person in financial services. Hardly HNW.

    • JD says:

      I agree that $100k annual income shouldn’t be labelled as HNW. I would still welcome someone with that range of income as they could support themselves and spend a decent amount of money on local goods and services. I think they could also spread the word and cause more people to consider Cayman as a full time residence once normalcy returns.

    • Anonymous says:

      Usually considered to be at least $1 million in net liquid assets.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Wow, are you saying that we should welcome everyone with “Caymankind” so that that we can recognize them for the money the put into the economy to help Government pay for NAU?

    We Caymanians don’t want you to come here to help Government pay for NAU. We want to get to the point where we can eliminate NAU, not give more money to Government to promote it.

    Caymanians need a slice of the pie and not the crumbs that you have scraped off your plate. We don’t need your money to promote and support poverty. You cannot expect Caymankind from us if that is your intent.

    For the record, this Caymanian has worked hard all his life, I hold an MBA and own my own business. I welcome everyone here with Caymankind and I have no objection for anyone that comes here to earn a living and understanding that they should do their best to assimilate into our culture and society but when you come here for the wrong reasons or to downgrade my people then I go on the defensive in support of my people and my islands.

    • Anonymous says:

      Many Caymanians don’t have the skill or the education to get in the making money line. The current state of Caymanian run education means that it will be many more generations of left behind Caymanians. There are jobs here and everywhere that require skill and a good work ethic to get and to hold. These jobs are for the ones who can do it and do it from Cayman. Not for the unemployable that live off Cayman Government. If you really want to support your people than work on making the education system functional.

      • Anonymous says:

        Unfortunately, until we turn education over to the private sector things will not change in Cayman. Politicians don’t give a damn about educating the youth. They prefer to keep Caymanians dumb and uneducated so that they can throw them a few dollars or a new fridge at election time and for the rest of the time they have the NAU tit for them to suck from..

        I hope that one day we will have a government with the balls to understand that we have lost the plot with education.

        We need to put the schools out to tender and demand certain results from the private sector organizations that will run them. Give them a five year renewable contract if students are meeting the requirements set out for them. We already have the buildings and the students. What we don’t have is commitment or knowledge coming from the Government on how to run schools. We should also invest in the already set up local trade schools to develop those who are more mechanically inclined.

        If this program is put in place, I believe that within 10 years NAU would be reduced to a very small part of the country’s budget..

        Let’s see if any MLA has the guts to put this in their manifesto..

  10. Big G Croszan says:

    Why is the government adding to our woes, more free loaders global citizens don’t make laugh some of these folks need to go home now. Stop draining our economy and pillaging and raping our environment. pure foolishness

  11. ( ͡ ͡° ͜ ʖ ͡ ͡°) says:

    Get rid of the DUMP before introducing Global Citizenship Concierge Programme.
    People are not dumb to throw themselves into its toxic stench.
    Only Caymanians appear to believe the Dump’s leachate could be safely added to morning coffee and its contents spread over a sandwich.

    Global Citizenship Concierge Programme is in fact a “Greenwashing” – unfounded, misleading and inflated claims about ‘paradise’ credentials of Grand Cayman.

    • Big Bobo says:

      The DUMP will never go. Part of our heritage and one day will be a giant mountain.

      • Anonymous says:

        In this case:

        #1 Grand Cayman will remain the toxic land it is now. It will get worse.
        #2 Grand Cayman is misrepresented by DoT as “paradise”. It may be COVID safe, but detrimental to one’s health. Cayman is Not an environmentally pristine location that can be called Paradise.
        #3 Cayman is not KIND, not to its own residents, not to potential visitors. Subjecting people to health hazards is not kind.
        #4 CIG demonstrates indifference, willful disregard for health and safety of its residents and visitors.

        Here is the link to 2016 CNS article: Dumps pose lung dangers to nearby residents
        https://caymannewsservice.com/2016/05/dumps-pose-lung-dangers-to-nearby-residents/

        Lastly, while majority of the comments concerned with what they will get from those with money, you need to ask yourself, what do you have to give to those with money, so they will come.

        Remember, that “Thousands of people in Cayman live within three miles of the dump”. And CIG has a nerve to promote itself as a safe and kind place to live and work. Safety has many meanings. Location that guarantees to be COVID free, but silent on other health hazards is not safe.

    • Anonymous says:

      There is not enough intelligence in all of CIG to fix the dump, or the education system, the traffic, Cayman airways, the Turtle farm or any Caymanian run train wreck. You have right now the best that they can do. It’s all downhill from here.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I am not sure if this is needed but the fact that their is no plan is nothing new. The government has be caught flat footed since the beginning of Covid.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Bad idea. Anyone with an exempt Co can get a TBL in 5 days with express service. A temp work permit can follow in 48 hours. So why reinvent the wheel?

    • Anonymous says:

      Because in 6 months time you will then have to go through the full process to get the TWP converted if you want to stay? Because you have to pay a whopping WP fee?

      • Anonymous says:

        And 30,000 people have done that with no problem. It fundamentally works.

        • Anonymous says:

          People who are mobile will simply go to where they are treated best.

          Right now that’s not the Cayman Islands.

          Other geographies in the region are offering easier, faster, cheaper methods and most importantly making people feel like they’re welcome.

          I suppose time will tell but my guess is that the current maladroit CIG will not be viewed kindly by history

  14. Anonymous says:

    The only thing this will do is increase demand and lower supply, specifically in the rental property market. Not to mention adding stress to an already frustrating traffic problem.

    So few people would see any economic benefit from this plan and it would only worsen the voting public’s opinion of the government and further strain relationships with the existing expat community (which is already poor).

    Any plan that doesn’t help the average, working-class Caymanian is a bad one.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Supposedly Barbados has over 1,000 new residents from their program and Bermuda is in the hundreds.

    That is quite a few rented condos and additional spending in the economy.

    We are still trying to figure the details out. How hard can this actually be?

    • Anonymous says:

      And both places are open to tourist as well…..What does that tell you?

      We could too!

    • Anonymous says:

      Because ALden and Dr.Lee rely on paranoia and promoting fear in the threat of Covid, with no forward long term plan by CIG. using unfounded predictions lacking any basis of proof. You now read and see places like Bermuda having success with all their hard work in getting the economy back on track by making it easier to visit and stay . It is not easy, even by their own admission but at least they have shown a marked increase in the jump starting of their tourism industry , Barbados also as mentioned. Cayman meanwhile is waiting for a vaccine to magically appear . No sane person would come here and spend 14 days locked up with their family , doesn’t matter how high their net worth is.

      • Anonymous says:

        And yet the demand exceeds our capacity.

      • Anonymous says:

        Its not quarantine that’s the problem, its dealing with Traveltime or whatever the latest name they are using is. How can you expect a system like this to work when you spend 2 hours on the phone waiting for a travel time staff member , only to have them immediately hang up when the call goes through? Or when after another long wait you do get through, they tell you that they cannot give any advice on whether they will be authorising ANY flights after October because they plan to change the policy at the end of October, but don’t know what they will change it to? Or if you are going to fly in October, that they cannot confirm your flight until a few days before? And we want people to plan to move here to live long term but without being able to give them the basic information to plan for it? LOL.

  16. Anonymous says:

    That’s Cayman Enterprise City finished

  17. Anonymous says:

    Guess what? I do this now with no concerns other than limiting my visits to less than 6 months in a year, and frankly, that is more than enough time in Cayman. Do you actually think your “high net worth” visitors aren’t conducting their overseas businesses as usual when they are in Cayman? All your visitors do this right now whether they are rich or just keeping up with their job back home. That’s what the internet and the telephone are for. Why would anyone sign up to pay for what they can do for free with no problem right now? This will only be of interest to the penny stock brokers and crypto currency salesmen looking to make it harder for the SEC and the FBI to track them. Your politicians are such suckers.

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly. I still wonder if anyone in the CIG has ever met a “high net worth person”. The machinations of CIG group think makes lemmings look like intelligent decision makers.

      I have to wonder if they have anyone to bounce these stupid ideas off of. Maybe they do if they read the comment section of CNS – LOL. They would seem more credible if they would do it in private before throwing it out in the open public.

      Nothing but a clown car of stupid ideas.

      • Anonymous says:

        Unlike anyone else on island, Government actually listens to and believes our realtors, especially those who say what it wants to hear in their ridiculous online reports boosting Cayman like it’s Manhattan or Mayfair. These are uneducated former cocktail waiters, folks, who hustle and spit and fight for every deal in their tiny, overcrowded market. Lying comes as naturally to them as believing those lies does to Government.

        • Anonymous says:

          Bravo Sir, Madam. Quite possibly the best description of ( some of )the CIREBA members and association ever voiced. When you consider the average real world sales commission is anywhere from 2 to 7 %, it’s been a cash cow for all of them here fo so long , flogging 7 mile condos over and over like a revolving door swinging and getting a giant sales commission each time. Need to add a former Policeman to the list though.

    • Anonymous says:

      @10:40 pm……same here. I work while in Cayman and travel elsewhere to spend my vacation dollars in places that are open and welcoming tourists…..like Bermuda 🇧🇲

  18. Anonymous says:

    classic ppm….6 months later and will have is a ‘soon-come’ plan….

  19. Anonymous says:

    Who really believes that this is any different from a work permit? This is just an easier way of getting into the country..Look how many have already come in and transitioned through the economic zone in order to get permanent residency.

    These islands are not for us anymore. They are for the highest bidder of the most corrupt government we have already had.

    • Anonymous says:

      These islands are not for you anymore because you don’t and won’t put any work into it. Those who work hard and take responsibility for themselves earn it. Those who only complain that others work too hard don’t. Whine and cry for the rest of your life. It is your only skill. Hard working Caymanians still have it good.

  20. Furriners Float Us & Driftwood Drifts says:

    Will these potential global citizens realize the uniqueness of living the CaymanKind lifestyle involves ultimately being labelled as driftwood?

    • Anonymous says:

      I hope so. I am also driftwood and proud of it. There will always be those who seek to bring themselves up by taking others down everywhere in the world. Being driftwood is much better in my eyes than being ignorant. Look at your donkey loven Health minister.

    • Anonymous says:

      They will be so rare that the moniker should be unicorns.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Why would anyone want to be stuck here?

  22. Anonymous says:

    #noplanalden strikes again

  23. Anonymous says:

    Have you heard about the 15 October BA fiasco at government? Now that responsibility for it has changed hands to Cayman Airways, nobody has a clue who’s coming in on it and who isn’t.

    Well done CIG: you had a department that seemed to be running well, Travel Time, and you shut it down and transferred the work to a bunch of incompetents.

  24. Anonymous says:

    i hope no loopholes will be intentionally left open whereby they can work the system to legally force PR or Status.

  25. Uh, no thanks says:

    Dragging their feet- other islands opening – pinning some monetary dreams on this while the rest of the world is moving at warp speed. Oh, and please, tell all these rich hipsters that for the opportunity to work here – you will be imprisoned for 16 days and pay over $3000 for it. Hope no one wastes much time on this. You will be lucky to meet anyone that will do this.
    This sounds like a Monty Python movie in a way.

    • Anonymous says:

      EXcept a Monty Python movie has a plan , a script and a plot , with a Director holding a megaphone that might have flowers in it , but the bloke has everyone on-cue.

  26. Anonymous says:

    I dont believe any us health insurance is acceptable in cayman. travel health insurance will have to be purchased. The so-called rich people i don’t see putting all their money in the cayman islands. we are on shaky grounds here.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Lot of companies gonna save on office rent and work permits next year.

  28. Anonymous says:

    LOOK at what Bermuda is doing. Stop all these other “let’s see what we can dream up” ideas…the wealthy, the resort bubble, the 500 day quarantine. Open up the borders. A pretest before. A test at the airport. A 4 day test. An 8 day test. A 14 day test.
    Masks in highly traffic areas. Social distance when needed. Sanitize. OPEN and Economy really moving.

    • Anonymous says:

      CIG is too ignorant to try what works anywhere else. Your stuck with what they can come up with by themselves. Those who are untrustworthy themselves will never be able to trust anyone else.

    • Anonymous says:

      Been saying this for months….WHY are we not doing the same?

  29. Anonymous says:

    This just another way for expats to get permanent residency in a less expensive way, similar to the small fee they have to pay for permanent residence if they are in the Economic Zone..

    CNS have you checked out that loophole as yet? Yep, I believe the permit cost is like $1300 dollars no matter what field you are in and that is what you pay as your yearly fee as a permanent resident once you reach the year to apply..Check it out if you don’t believe me..Surprised that Roy hasn’t flagged that yet for more income from work permit fees..

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s less than $1,300. Just sayin…..

    • Concerned says:

      And right there is the kind of welcome a person can expect from ‘Caymankind’
      How about recognising the money those people will put into the economy to help the Government pay for NAU and other Cayman benefits.

      • Anonymous says:

        Except a great many people benefitting from NAU ain’t from these parts. The mass importation of poverty continues and we wonder where the money is going. The benefits available for Caymanians continue to diminish.

    • Hubert says:

      Just adopt the exact program that Bermuda has word for word in policy. Has worked successfully now for 3 months. Not that difficult. We can learn from others although we are a brilliant people.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Ummm, we already have the program. It’s called a work permit.

    • Mike Jones says:

      Did you actually read this article? This is for remote workers doing business that has nothing to do with Cayman and does not take a job from Caymanians. All they need is a laptop, Internet connection, and a phone and they can do their job from anywhere in the world. Why not do it on Seven Mile Beach is the government’s thought.

      • Anonymous says:

        You misunderstand the work permit system. Hundreds of people are already here on work permits working for overseas employers and clients.

      • Anonymous says:

        One simple reason : They can do it in 1,000 other places with less hassle than it takes here when all Cayman has to offer is seeing a stingray eat a piece of Squid. Those places also happen to have beaches, mountain views, rain forests and a golf course that costs $65.00 to push your cart about. Petrol is $ 3.00 a gallon. A 1 kg pack of prime steak is $15.00. Broadband Internet is pennies compared to Cayman. HEalthcare is most likely free or 85% national health subsidized . CHidrens education and health care is free .Cayman is just too expensive and too much of a headache .

    • Anonymous says:

      This one is cheaper..

      • Anonymous says:

        Meanwhile we have been turning away people with $20,000 work permits who We’re willing to quarantine but are are now settled and working remotely elsewhere, and will not be renewing those permits. Brilliant!

    • Anonymous says:

      I see your train of thought but unfortunately it shows a really big problem…..

      The GOL more commonly referred to as a wukk permit is for expatriates to fill a position locally which CANNOT reasonably be filled by a Caymanian.

      This is something wholly different, it is permitting persons to come here and work remotely on their jobs over there (wherever they came from) NOT to work here on local jobs.

      Now about the GOL, if only we could get EVERYONE to understand and follow the laws………

      • Anonymous says:

        Many people are here with work permits permitting them to work for people overseas. It is the basis of our “exempt” economy.

      • Anonymous says:

        I can work for say ABC (Dublin) Ltd who are the administrators of Cayman Funds…but now I don’t have to pay taxes, or a work permit or live in Dublin.

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly! Why complicate it?

    • Anonymous says:

      No, we visitors don’t need no steenking permit to run our businesses back home. We are all doing it everyday.

      • Anonymous says:

        What you describe is a crime. Good luck getting paid through a local bank.

        • Anonymous says:

          I think you miss the point. Visitors can call, email, handle some work duties through the internet and most people are doing this with nothing but a iPad and/or a iPhone. A visitor can log onto his bank – pay his credit card off and keep sashaying to the Barefoot Man. This is happening everywhere, everyday, and isn’t a new idea for really anyone.

          • Anonymous says:

            I understand the point. There is a difference between visiting here and keeping in touch with the office, and living here and directing the office. The latter requires various permissions.

            • Anonymous says:

              Not to belabor the point but: I know many people who own their own business and they do just that for weeks on end. The office visit comes once a month or every other month – but if you have the staff and a phone – why can’t that happen? Is that illegal in CI? I can’t see how.

              • Anonymous says:

                The Trade and Business Licensing Law and Immigration ((Transition) Law both make it an offense (unless authorized).

              • Anonymous says:

                It actually is illegal, cause we so special here. You need a work permit to work here if you do not have status…

                • Anonymous says:

                  thank you both. I didn’t know that was a crime. Not really sure why it should be – the criminals will be putting money into the economy while taking nothing away from anyone. But alas, what do I know?

                  • Anonymous says:

                    Because it is how our immigration and tax system works. And it does work, including for hundreds in the exempt economy.

    • Big Bobo says:

      Bermuda has it figured out. Why can we not figure it out?

    • Anonymous says:

      Yup. just waive the advertising and get on with it, at a special fee if you want! The systems are all in place, and generally work. Just get on with it!

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