Editorial for October 29: Those with PR should pay fees

While the Cayman Islands is
struggling to get out of a quagmire of debt we have learned that the Government
is owed around $1.7 million by hundreds of folk who have been given permanent
residence.

That tidbit of information came out
of an immigration meeting held for the public in West Bay earlier this week.

While $1.7 million may be a drop in
the projected $30-plus million operating budget as of June 2011, who knows what
other money is ‘missing’. (And who knows exactly how much our budget deficit
really is.)

The good news is that the $1.7
million is down from the outstanding balance of $2.5 million found to be
missing in March this year.

While some employers agree to pay
yearly permanent residency fees for their employees, it is incumbent on the
person receiving permanent residency to ensure that he or she is within the
law.

For those who have any doubt about
what they owe, simply look on Government’s Immigration website where the annual
fees are clearly indicated.

Ignorance, as they say, is no
excuse to break the law.

An attorney told those in
attendance at the West Bay meeting that she has one client who is in arrears
$17,000 because she didn’t appreciate at the time she received PR status that
she would still have to pay a yearly fee to be here and work.

We have to wonder why someone would
assume that they can come and work in the Cayman Islands without paying for
that right. It’s one of the ways our Government makes its money. Anyone who has
lived here for any amount of time as an expat should know that.

Those who snub their nose at the
law can have their immigration status revoked, as well they should.

There will be other public
immigration meetings held in various districts in the next week.

We urge you to attend.

It’s tidbits of information like
the lack of permanent residency fees that come out of these meetings and let us
know what’s going on in Cayman.

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