Revoked work permit leads to court action

Woman, eight months pregnant, ordered to leave

An ex parte application for leave to apply for judicial review with relation to the Work Permit Board and the Immigration Department has been filed in relation to a woman who had her key employee status application denied and her work permit revoked.

The woman, Victoria Croft-McManus, was also ordered to vacate the Cayman Islands, failing which she would be removed by the Immigration Department, the application states. This order was made despite Mrs. Croft-McManus being 8 months pregnant at the time and prohibited from travelling on medical grounds.

The application was filed by Mrs. Croft-McManus as the second plaintiff and Androgroup Ltd., for whom she was employed as an IT network administrator, as the first plaintiff.

According to the application for leave to apply for judicial review, on 23 June, 2009, the Work Permit Board made a decision to ‘revoke, amend, render null and void or otherwise change its decision in respect to the renewal of a work permit for Mrs. Croft-McManus. That permit, the application states, had been previously approved by the Work Permit Board to commence on 19 June, 2009, and expire on 14 June, 2010. The granting of the permit was published on the Immigration Department’s website, was paid for, and Mrs. Croft-McManus’ passport was stamped in accordance with the 14 June, 2010 expiration date of the work permit.

As a result of the communicating at all times prior to 23 June that Mrs. Croft-McManus’ work permit was valid until 14 June, 2010, the plaintiffs claim there was a legitimate expectation that she would legally be able to work for Androgroup until that time.

The application claims that the decision of the Work Permit Board to reject the application for key employee status with regard to Mrs. Croft-McManus was ‘unreasonable and/or irrational in all the circumstances’ and that the decisions of the Work Permit Board were contrary to the Immigration Law and the principles of Natural Justice.

In addition, the application states it was ‘unreasonable and unfair’ to direct Mrs. Croft-McManus to vacate the Cayman Islands when she was eight months pregnant. Mrs. Croft-McManus gave birth just weeks after the Work Permit Board’s decision.

The application seeks several forms of relief, including an order to quash the Work Permit Board’s 23 June decision to revoke Mrs. Croft-McManus’s work permit; an order to quash the Work Permit Board’s decision to reject Mrs. Croft-McManus’s application for key employee status with Androgroup; an order to quash the decision of the Work Permit Board to order Mrs. Croft-McManus to vacate the Cayman Islands; and an order to compel the Work Permit Board to provide full and detailed reasons for its decisions with respect to Mrs. Croft-McManus.

The plaintiffs also seek an order to allow Mrs. Croft-McManus to continue to work by operation of law and reside in the Cayman Islands until the determination of the application for leave to apply for judicial review.

Just last week, Mrs. Croft-McManus was given a two-month extension in her passport by the Immigration Department, Alan Roffey, chief executive of Androgroup said Friday.

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