Rollover recommendations echo PPM plan

Recommendations issued last week by government’s Term Limit Review Committee on the Cayman Islands’ seven-year residency term limit for foreign workers match almost exactly proposals made a year ago by opposition party members.  

Opposition Leader Alden McLaughlin, whose June 2011 proposal was a significant departure on the term limit stance previously taken by his People’s Progressive Movement party, said Saturday that he was pleased with the committee’s recommendations.  

“If there are no surprises [in the committee’s 100-plus page recommendation document], this may very well be one of those issues that government and opposition agree on,” Mr. McLaughlin said Saturday. “It’s basically our plan, so it’s difficult for me to demur.”  

The proposals made by the review committee – led by Deputy United Democratic Party Chairwoman Sherri Bodden-Cowan – have not been accepted by Cabinet members. Premier McKeeva Bush said he wished to obtain more feedback from the public on the matter before bringing it to Cabinet.  

Anyone interested in the plan was asked to provide comments on the committee’s report within 30 days of 15 June. Comments were asked to be sent to the e-mail address [email protected] 

Two key provisions under Mr. McLaughlin’s 2011 plan were the repeal of the current seven-year term limit on residence for foreign workers and the elimination of key employee status designations that allow those individuals to stay long enough in Cayman to apply for permanent residence.  

Mr. McLaughlin said the pair of rules under the current Immigration Law combined to create a “laissez-faire system that hopes natural attrition and employer choice will limit the number of people that 
stay here”.  

“There should be a general provision, which provides that all persons on work permit are entitled to apply for permanent residence after they have lived in the Cayman Islands for eight years and that they must do so by year 10 if they wish to remain in the Cayman Islands beyond that point,” Mr. McLaughlin suggested.  

What the Term Limit Review Committee ended up recommending was the elimination of key employee status altogether and the increase of the term limit on residence from seven to 10 years. Applications for permanent residence – the right to stay in Cayman for the rest of one’s life – must be made between the seventh and eighth year of residence in the Islands, according 
to the committee’s proposal.  

Mr. McLaughlin admitted that the creation of the key employee provision within the Immigration Law had been a “major mistake”.  

The committee also suggested that the government revise the government points system to “ensure it meets current government economic and social objectives”. Right now, any applicant for permanent residence must achieve at least 100 points, according to the scale government uses.  

Mr. McLaughlin said, the way the scale is structured, it is almost impossible for someone who does not own property or have another significant investment in Cayman to obtain permanent residence, unless they are married to a Caymanian.  

“We should not set the bar for permanent residence so high that only professional and managerial persons can ever hope to achieve it,” he said. “Nor should we set it so low that 
just about anyone will qualify. 

“It’s social engineering … for the government to set criteria, or qualifications, you want persons who stay here long term to have. That 
ought not to amount only to money.”  

Mr. McLaughlin said the key to determining success or failure of that system would depend on how the requirements for permanent residence were set up under the new immigration regime.  

“You don’t want a system where the goal for PR is changing constantly,” he said.  

“It all depends on how effective and efficient the implementation of 
this is.”

Read the report of the Term Limit Review Committee by clicking here.

Alden McLaughlin Cayman Islands

Mr. McLaughlin

McKeeva Bush Cayman Islands

Mr. Bush


  1. McLaughlin is another one, trying to benefit from immigration politics.
    I have one question for the PPM supporters why are there 3,000 people unemployed and why has Alden McLaughlin not addressed the issue and led a campaign or petition to put Caymanians back to work?
    Are people so naive and brainwashed now a days that even when they are jobless, homeless, and lost all dignity that they still pledge allegiance to these political bigots who care only about getting themselves elected?

  2. The Caymanians living in their own country are now poverty stricken, jobless, homeless and powerless, thanks to the UDP government. Heard on the Radio Cayman Talk Today show where a lady charity worker reported Caymanians living with no running water! no food, using a water hose to share, water for dishwashig, baths, etc.We have now gone back to the stone age! ‘BACKWARDS AND NOT FORWARD
    What is the PPM or the UDP doing to address this disgraced poverty in our midst.
    Frankly no one has any business voting for Alden, McKeeva, Ezzard, Arden, Tony, Kurt, Julie, Rolston, CG, Eugene, or any other legislator to be re-elected in this country.
    They are all responsible for the lowest state of poverty introduced to the people of the Cayman Islands , people who have lost it all to government, who allow rich developers like Dart and Ryan to receive huge concessions SUCKING THE COUNTRY DRY of its financial resources to fill their own coffers.
    The country has been abandoned both socially and economically.Georgetown the capital has now moved to Caymana Bay!
    Who will rebuild George town?

    Caymanians you better wake up and take your head out of the sand.
    We have a do nothing government
    A do nothing opposition
    a do nothing governor
    and a do nothing RCIP Comm of police

    We are screwed!

  3. The roll over policy has nothing to do with these Caymanians out of work.

    The Caymanians you speak of are blue collar workers.
    They are not accountants, lawyers, and hedge fund administrators. Those Caymanians have all the work they want.

    They are the people who work construction, maintenance, and other very blue collar jobs.

    But wait….isn’t the current government trying to start those type of blue collar jobs? The cruise ship dock, the Esterly Tibbets highway extension, every dart project, the shetty hospital, the dump move, the ship berthing facility in east end….Should I go on??!!! THOSE projects would give these people jobs. Many of these jobs, would be permanent.

    Yet….there are protesters galore, stopping these projects. So it’s Caymanians putting Caymanians out of work. It has absolutely nothing to do with any roll over policy what so ever.

    Don’t blame the government. It’s not their fault. Don’t blame the expats. It’s not their fault, either. Blame the Caymanians that you see protesting these jobs projects.

    When you see them protesting by the road. Most of them already have jobs. So they don’t care if they keep those that don’t have jobs, without work. As long as that highway isn’t built. As long as that dump isn’t moved. As long as that dock isn’t built.

    The roll over policy isn’t the cause and effect you all want it to be.

  4. Very sensitive topic, don’t want to argue to much, just wanted to put a note regarding white collar jobs:

    Important to understand that white collar jobs (accountants / lawyers / hedge fund administrators) not only attract expats to come to Cayman Islands, but also largely exist in Cayman Islands because they can attract expats. Don’t forget about pretty high additional charges employer has to pay to hire expat. Which means, that there already exists strong bias towards hiring locals – which is reasonable. If you try to make bias even larger, making much harder for employers to higher people they want to hire, my bet is that more jobs will be just shifted to other tax heaven jurisdictions, and less will be filled with caymanians. Majority of companies working in this field are international and if they see increasing cost of hiring decreasing qualification of candidates – they will just downsize local offices, shifting workplaces to Bermuda / Isle of Man / Any-other-low-tax-area.

    In my opinion, there is not much can be done by adjusting work permit rules – it is already gives reasonable advantage to caymanians. Government should work on bridging the gap between expectations employers have and skills of unemployed caymanians.

    I don’t believe that any employer will choose expat, willing to pay 10,000 a year more (plus relocation costs) if comparable local candidate is available.

    Everything above is mostly about white-collars.

    If you get to less professional jobs, there is a different set of problems which I don’t have many ideas about. I would say that the main problem is that Cayman Islands are higher developed country, which requires higher salaries to support average expected lifestyle. When employees come from poorer countries, willing to accept lower standards of living (like six people living in one bedroom apartment) and thus cheaper to employers even with work permit fees on top – that’s when it becomes problem. Increasing work permit fee could be a solution, but this might entail consequences like making Cayman Islands more expensive for tourists.
    No easy answers here.

  5. Big Beard which Caymanian lawyers are you talking about and accountants? I serve you notice that there are over l3 lawyers that were refused articles in these rich lawfirms allowed to do business in Cayman. Also there are Caymanian CPA’s with Masters degrees who have no criminal record and are being refused a job in the financial industry.
    The problem? They are Caymanian and the Pirates you Big Beard seem to be the peg Leg of the group, continue to deny that Caymanians are being disenfranchised and discriminated against not only by Government’s work permit schemes that scam us out of jobs but also by the local and foreign crooked employers who look for not only cheap foreign labor but also pay top dollar to their friends they promised a job at the time of their own recruitment to their managerial post?????!

  6. Liverpool, I have been hearing about these 13 Law School graduates that have not been able to find work for quite a while now I believe this story has been around since last year. Are you sure they still have not found work ? If not wouldn’t it be a good idea for them to open their options to positions outside of Cayman to get more experience in the field?

    About the Rich Law Firms you say that refused them work and are allowed to do business in Cayman, Are these all foreign owned Law Firms or are there also Caymanian Owned Law Firms and have these Firms also denied them work. I regularly read the Want-Ads in Cayman out of curiosity and I seldom see any entry level positions in Law Firms if any at all they seem to be looking for people with experience not fresh out of school, so why not go abroad and get some real world experience which means you can return to Cayman with experience to go with your education and a much stronger portfolio, the same for CPA’s

    It’s rough out there sometimes people have to step outside of their comfort zone to succeed.

  7. If the PPM supporters think that Alden McLaughlin or Ezzard miller will be their savior like the US did when they drank the Obama juice in 2008, you are mistaken!

    You will have more problems!
    Watch Alden McLaughlin’s LIPS!

  8. BaBa Boom, excellent analogy using the US Obama fairy tale. Everyone here was running around expecting the US to turn into paradise when Obama took office. But when reality sank in people started to realize that a politician is a politician and the thing they are most skilled at and want most is to win the election by any means necessary so they will say what they think the masses want to hear such as the whole taxing only the rich promise. Lucky for Obama the previous administration screwed up so badly that they practically gave him the job, I don’t believe he’s accomplished much towards all the promises he made but I still think he’ll get elected again because the stigma from all the mistakes his opposition made is still around. I think the same thing will happen in Cayman and Bush will win again mostly because of the way the opposition is handling themselves. They really need to make people think they have viable alternatives instead of just bashing the UDP at every turn. But hey you never know. You mike just see Alden in office next year doing the same thing Bush is doing, just putting a different twist on it. As for Ezzard, I don’t think he’ll get elected but I would like to see him try running the country with his ideals and getting along with the UK folks.