The majority of voters in a caycompass.com online poll voted to get rid of the seven-year residential term limit for expatriates.
In the poll, 286 voters, or 57.9 per cent of the 494 respondents voted to eliminate the rollover.
“You would have to live in a cave, oblivious to the facts that this inane policy has done nothing positive for Cayman. This policy is nothing more than ugly discrimination disguised in a pretty dress,” said one respondent who was not in favour of the rollover.
Another wrote: “Rollover is not needed, people know from the onset that they cannot stay forever and that renewals are not automatic, but knowing that you do not have to go home after seven years will lead to more people investing in Cayman.”
A voter who was also opposed to the rollover and wanted to get rid of it said: “If the intention was to reduce the number of permanent residency or status applications, then rather than mandating a term limit, change the PR/status criteria. Besides that, just because someone applies for PR or status, does not mean that they have to get it.
“It is an application, and just like any other applications, can be denied with or without just cause.”
Another reader responded: “Both party leaders have finally concluded that the term limit policy is damaging the socio-economic well-being of our country; therefore, get the necessary legislation before parliament to repeal it. By the way, this could also show leadership/statesmanship and example of bipartisan legislative efforts rather than using this to score political points and accuse each side of inferred motives. Who cares?”
Some readers, however, said they were happy with the rollover. A total of 84 voters, or 17 per cent of the respondents, want to keep it exactly as it is.
One of those respondents said the rollover should stay as it is, but that the requirement to train Caymanians to replace work permit holders should be more strictly enforced.
Another supporter of the seven-year term limit wrote: “The rollover isn’t about jobs, it’s about mass status grants. More than seven years in a country without security of tenure is unlikely to pass the ‘smell test’ in London or Strasburg and we’ll end up back where we were – mass status grants. So, unless that’s what you want, keep the rollover as is.”
Other readers went with the option of relaxing the term limit a bit, but keeping the rollover policy, with 80 readers, or 16.2 per cent of the voters, going for that alternative.
“Give people to the right to work indefinitely. The ones that would like to change their status to a permanent resident can apply through the appropriate channels,” said one reader who voted for this option.
Another said: “Treat every renewal case as a separate entity and give consideration to letting those who are here for the benefit of the country, stay longer without hassle, i.e. police, teachers, nurses, etc.”
Another reader stated: “I like the idea of getting rid of the key employee provisions and allowing anyone who stays here at least eight years to apply for permanent residence. If they get it, they stay. If they don’t, they go for at least one year.”
“It should have been kept as originally issued with ability to relax on an as need be case. The key-employee status is more detrimental to the growth and upward mobility of Caymanians in the work force than this is,” said another voter who wanted the rollover policy to be slightly amended.
One of the options of the poll answers to the question: “What do you think should be done with the rollover policy, was “Reduce the term limit even more.” Thirty-one respondents, or 6.3 per cent, supported this option, with one reader stating that people from other countries should not be working in Cayman.
Another responded: “It’s too long; too many caymanians [are] qualified to do the jobs but because of the private sectors not wanting to hire Caymanians is why we have work permits still ongoing. I think Immigration needs to stop letting companies pass when qualified caymanians are applying and being interviewed.”
Next week’s poll question:
What recently proposed government project do you support the most?
Cayman Enterprise City
Dr. Shetty’s hospital
The Dart Group deal with government
The George Town oil refinery
East End sea port
None of the above