The majority of respondents to a cayCompass.com poll said they supported a rollover term limit of 10 years for expatriates living in the Cayman Islands.
The question posed to readers was: “Do you support the recommendation for a 10-year rollover, with all foreigners able to apply for PR between their 7th and 8th year?”
Of the 634 people who responded to the poll, more than half – 51.1 per cent – said they supported the proposed measure completely. Another 25.9 per cent said they supported the 10-year rollover but did not think all permit holders should be able to apply for permanent residence.
Of the respondents, 12.4 per cent did not support a 10-year rollover, while nearly a tenth – 9.2 per cent – said they wanted to see the seven-year rollover term limit retained and supported all foreigners being able to apply for permanent residence.
In the poll comments, a supporter of the 10-year limit wrote: “This is a very fair system in my opinion. The key is to set the standards for permanent residence points system at a level that allows those whose expertise and talents are needed and in short supply here, who have invested in property here and who have done service in the community to stay, while sending the others off for a year (assuming they want to come back).”
Another reader who supported the 10-year limit proposal had some reservations. “I do support it, but people should still have to meet certain requirements prior to being granted PR. If after 10 years, you have not, then it’s your own fault. Ten years is plenty of time to show your commitment to Cayman and that you think of it as home.”
Another supporter responded: “Everyone should be given the chance to apply for PR, regardless of just their employment status,” while another wrote: “The more foreigners the merrier.” Some respondents were not so welcoming toward foreigners, however. One reader wrote: “I support a new legislation that would give all foreigners seven years to live and work in the Cayman Islands, then after this seven years, they would have to leave these Cayman Islands permanently. It is not in the best interest of these Cayman Islands to allow foreigners to continue to become PR [permanent residents]. This is dangerous for these Cayman Islands. The Cayman Islands are now becoming over populated, now at over 50,000 with no end in sight, this is very dangerous for the native people (like myself) and these islands.”
The same reader called for the Immigration Department to “take control of this serious problem” and for the Cayman islands government to stop the import of all foreign workers and to deport all foreign workers who the writer said was “stealing the Caymanian resources, money, land and culture”.
Another reader who opposed the 10-year rollover wrote: “Expats enjoy beach condos and high salaries while Caymanians suffer. Their presence here only benefits themselves, we should be making it harder for them to come here, not easier.”
A reader who also voted against the 10-year policy said: “I think a law should be in effect where all workers who come here should have a maximum time allowed of 10 years and the job they come to do cannot be changed as persons are allowed to do now. Then they have to return home to their own countries. That way they can choose to spend 10 years of their life here or choose not to and someone else will fill the spot. Cayman cannot permit all or most who come here to obtain status. There are Caymanians being left in the dust and falling through the cracks in the system as it is.”
A reader who preferred to see the seven-year limit retained said: “The seven year rollover was fine. The only people that have a problem with it are the ones who would not be able to qualify for key employee. In my opinion, if they cannot qualify for that, then there is no reason for them to be here.”
“The policy is missing incentives,” wrote another opponent to the 10-year limit. “There should be a special exemption to companies who are willing to pay government a considerable amount of money to keep their employee on island and an exemption for those companies that have more than 50 per cent of their staff Caymanian and a certain number is supervisory and managerial positions.”
One respondent said: “Just get rid of it now! It has done what is was intended to do, which was get rid of all Jamaicans, so now we can start over building or perfect population of wealthy and cultured individuals.”
Next week’s poll question:
Will you watch the Olympics?
Yes, I’ll be glued to the TV for every televised event.
Yes, but only the events where people from my country are taking part.
Yes, but only now and again.
No, I’m not interested in it.
No, it’s boring.