An amendment to the Immigration Regulations published in an Extraordinary Gazette supplement changes the point system for qualifying for permanent residency.
Leader of Government Business Kurt Tibbetts spoke about the changes in the Legislative Assembly Wednesday.
‘It was also recognised that the points system by which applicants for the grant of Permanent Residence are assessed was unfair and disadvantaged applicants with lower incomes,’ he said. ‘The Points System has been revised to create a more level playing field for all persons seeking permanent residence in the Islands.
‘In order to allow the Caymanian Status & Permanent Residency Board to proceed with the processing of the many outstanding applications for permanent residency the revised Points System has already been approved by Cabinet and gazetted,’ he said.
As with the old regulations, the new regulations require the applicant to score a minimum of 100 points to receive permanent residence. However, the new regulations have a possible maximum score of 205 points, while the maximum in the current regulations is 200 points.
Five points have been added to the section headed Knowledge/Experience in the new regulations. Previously, his section offered a maximum of 20 points, taking into consideration five different criteria as a whole. Now the section offers a maximum of 25 points, with applicants being able to score up to 15 points for their work experience in their field, up to 10 points for their degree programme qualifications and/or professional/postgraduate qualifications, and up to 10 points for being a skilled tradesman.
The section headed ‘Funds and salary’ has been decreased from 40 points maximum to 20 points. However, the section, which takes into account investment in property in the Cayman Islands and investment in a local company under the heading Financial Assessment offers a maximum of 20 points under the new regulations whereas there were no points assigned to the section in the old regulations.
The section under the old regulations headed Close Caymanian Connections has been changed to Possessing Close Caymanian Connections and decreased 20 points in value, from 60 points to 40 points. Those with parents, a child or a spouse that is Caymanian score 40 points, while those with siblings or grandparents that are Caymanian score 20 points.
There is also a new section of the regulations under the heading General, which takes into consideration the desirability of granting permanent residency to applicants of different backgrounds and from different geographical locations.
Points under this section are awarded to applicants whose nationals make up less than 20 per cent of the total number of work permits in effect at the time. Applicants whose nationality make up 16 to 19 per cent of the work permit labour force get 5 points; those whose nationality make up 11-15 per cent of the work permit labour force get 10 points; those whose nationality make up 6-10 per cent of the work permit labour force get 15 points; and those whose nationality make up five per cent or less of the work permit labour force get 20 points.
The maximum points for other sections remain the same under the new regulations as they were under the old ones.
‘Occupation’, which takes into account skills needed in the Cayman Islands, has a maximum 20 points; ‘Skills’, which takes into consideration the level of skill required to do the applicant’s job, offers a maximum 20 points; ‘Contribution to the Community’, which deals with the applicant’s involvement in the community, offers a maximum 20 points; and ‘History/Culture’ test offers one point for each correct answer, up to a maximum of 20 points.
As with the previous regulations, up to 100 points can be deducted for character and health, for criminal convictions and suffering from communicable diseases.
Other points can be deducted in unlimited amounts for other mitigating factors. The Caymanian Status and Permanent Residency Board also reserves the right to refuse the grant of a Permanent Residence application on the basis that it would be ‘contrary and not conducive to the public interest’ to do so.