Just one out of the 10 permanent residence applications considered by the Caymanian Status and Permanent Residency Board Thursday received approval, according to government officials.

Five applicants seeking the right to remain in Cayman for the rest of their lives were denied residency status and two other applicants withdrew their papers, board chairman Waide DaCosta said in a press release issued by the government Ministry of Immigration.

Two other applications were deferred pending the delivery of further information from the applicants.

These permanent residence applications were the first to be reviewed by the board, barring cases that involved court challenges, in about two-and-a-half years.

“The early number should serve to assure the public that permanent residence applications are being carefully considered and that there will be no mass grants,” Premier Alden McLaughlin said. “Only those applications that meet the requirements in legislation are being approved.”

Mr. McLaughlin’s comments appeared to refer to remarks contained in an online petition circulating the islands since last week that asked the premier to “defer any further mass grants” of residence applications until jobs could be found for 1,200 unemployed Caymanian workers and 600 or so school leavers.

Although the petition stated it would seek a referendum question on the issue, fewer than 400 people had signed it by Friday evening.

The 10 residence applications considered by the board Thursday were “among the first” filed following the change in the islands’ Immigration Law that made permanent residence more difficult to obtain.

“The board takes their role very seriously and their goal is to consider the applications as quickly as possible, while ensuring that each is properly reviewed and given the consideration it deserves,” Ministry of Immigration Chief Officer Wesley Howell said.

Somewhere between 900 and 1,000 applicants have been waiting for word on their residence applications – some of which were filed as early as October 2013 – as technical legal difficulties plagued the government’s approval system.

Two applicants under the current law were granted residence in May after filing lawsuits against the government over the three-year delays in hearing their cases.

It was argued by attorneys representing both of those men that many residence applicants had well more than the 110 points required for approval of their bids, even with ongoing legal questions regarding how points should be awarded for things like occupations.

Residence applicants who have been denied may appeal decisions of the Caymanian Status and Permanent Residency Board to the Immigration Appeals Tribunal and, ultimately to the Grand Court, if they feel aggrieved. However, those individuals will not be allowed to continue working in Cayman while those appeals are processed, according to the 2013 version of the Immigration Law.

***This story has been updated from the original.***

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  1. I do believe the Premier and his cabinet, and the Permanent Residency and Status Board know exactly what time it is.
    The people of Cayman are “Vexed” because of the over-run population of expatriates. It don’t make sense of me trying to put it in any softer tones; because there is none. Big changes have to be made and adhered to because Caymanians are fed up with this over populace of people. Situations are so bad that Caymanians cannot get the opportunity to see the doctor, dentist, or even get their kids in school and don’t even mention the department of Needs Assessment; that is silver-lined with expatriates seeking assistance. So why are we going to give more expatriates residency and status. The invasion of expatriates have caused every doctor dentist, eye clinic appointment to be set back for six months to a year. That is not good, and people are up set, because these persons are stacking up our system and will not use the private system.
    On top of all this Caymanian children, school leavers, graduates, cannot get a job. Changes in the way we do things must happen, because Caymanians have decided that every person who is responsible for selling out this country will be exposed. Besides this there are hundreds of expatriate people on the island who do not have job. These people are walking around all day looking work and they are on a work permit. The Immigration is to blame for this, because when these applications are presented, a more thorough investigation must be done to prove there is work for the applicant. Big changes are needed, and if it is not, then those in authority is not doing a good job.

  2. Now this is very very sad and unbelievable that someone who are trying to help 1,200 unemployed Caymanians by the way of a petition an all the signatures can be got is fewer than 400 . Where are these unemployed Caymanians heads ,? They must have them in a joint or a bottle of rum . You go Alden the Islands needs people who wants to work .

        • I thought you said that in one of your comments.

          No need to question how much I know. I never stated I know everything. I just express my point of view, my personal opinion, in a nice, as possible, manner.

          Can you imagine if we all thought the same and nobody was questioning our believes? We have been significantly brainwashed by media, marketing, advertising etc. to believe what we believe.

          So I love opinions that challenge my believes and make me say “I never thought about it this way'”.

  3. Twyla…

    Very well said….and a great commentary from the Caymanian point of view.

    If more of your local countrymen would be as vocal, intelligent and courageous as you are in stating their case…and getting their point of view across…they would get more out of their own country.

    It is a fact of life….you have to fight for what you get ….no one owes or gives you anything….and the less you are willing to fight for….the less you will get.

    You are completely correct in saying that when things are so out of balance…someone in authority isn’t doing their job but….that line of authority leads up to the elected politicians/representatives ….it stops there….not at the level of civil servant officials whose job it is to administrate and enforce existing laws and regulations.

    If we are both honest about the issue….Caymanians wish to be friends with their elected officials….they don’t want to rock the boat, step on toes…or make enemies.

    But to get what one needs and wants…it is absolutely necessary to be able to hold the persons who are responsible….responsible and that calls for some unpleasantness at times.

    You cannot make omeletes without breaking eggs.

    Encourage your people to grow some cojones and hold their elected representatives accountable for looking after their own people.

    If they cannot do this….they will continue to be led around by the nose by those very same people in authority who pretend to work for them but are playing both sides of the fence for their own benefits.

    And leading them to believe otherwise.

  4. Ricardo and Twyla,
    You both have hit the nail on the head with the lssue with the Government and Caymanians . But look at how many people have touched that thumbs down button to dispute our comments , but no one has the mind about them to comment and say why they disagree with us . Really shows the people’s mindset .

    Some Caymanians we need to wake up , because if we don’t everyone else would walk all over us and eat our meals .

  5. Most expats don’t feel that they can comment on stories like this. After all, we have families, jobs, and rely on the Government (and Caymanian employers) to renew our work permits on a yearly basis. Speaking out is a “no-no.” But I’ll take a stab at it. Enough is enough.

    We pay the same import duties, stamp duties, etc. as Caymanians do. We abide by the same laws as Caymanians do. We pay to register our vehicles, buy health insurance, volunteer, and contribute to the local economy. Can we vote? Hah! Will we ever be able to vote? Of course not.

    But Cayman is a great place, and we can live with that. All we ask is to have a clear and concise understanding of what it takes to live here without a clock hanging over our heads counting down the days until we must uproot our families and leave the island. The Government has decided to functionally stop processing PR grants. Expats understand the Immigration Law and abide by it. The Government created the rules–it just won’t follow them.

    An individual commenting above used the phrase “it doesn’t make sense to put it in any softer tones” when discussing the expat situation. I agree. So if we’re going to be blunt, what has been the engine that has powered the “Cayman Miracle” over the last couple of decades? Immigration. You can go all the way back to Dart if you’d like, and follow through to all of the countless professionals which have pumped money into this island over the last 20 years. This has improved the quality of life, infrastructure, and services of Cayman. And, certainly, the quality of life of those expats which have lived here. But listen to the rhetoric of the last election; listen to the comments on articles like this. You’d think expats were the root of all evil!

    What do we hear from Caymanians (and the Government)? “No more work permits until all Caymanians are employed!” There are already laws on the books which state that all positions must be advertised and offered to Caymanians first. Only if there is not a qualified Caymanian applicant can an expat get the job. Fine. But it’s patently absurd to say that a work permit for, say, a doctor, lawyer, software engineer, or accountant (all occupations of which there are shortages at present time) cannot be issued because there are unemployed Caymanians. Personally, I don’t want someone who isn’t trained as a doctor performing surgery on my child. However, it would appear that there is a certain segment of the population who does–as long as the person performing the surgery is Caymanian.

    The Government’s overly protective business regime is also a problem. Goods are overpriced in Cayman (the price of gasoline has been halved on the world markets over the last year–do prices decline in Cayman? Of course not!), even after considering duty and additional transport costs. The quality of service is also low compared to other countries. This is what happens when a Government artificially limits competition so that only certain individuals can start a business that transacts with locals.

    I know of 4 different families, all with significant investments in Cayman, that have decided to leave the island in the last 6 months. The anti-expat rhetoric and Government’s blatant disregard for its own Immigration Law are the primary reason why. After all, who wants to keep putting down roots and investing their hard earned money only to be a treated like a second class citizen and be told that they must follow the law but the Government doesn’t have to? To all those who wish the expats would leave, I say: Be careful what you wish for.

    • Mr Granger ,
      I have read your letter comment and understands where you’re coming from, but try and understand if the shoe was on the other foot, and you were the Caymanian , I think that you would be writing and saying the same words that , Ms Vargas and Mr Tatum and myself has said .
      Please don’t tell me that Government can’t an shouldn’t do more to protect the rights of Caymanians , that’s what we’re saying .

      • I agree the government should protect the rights of Caymanians. Hopefully that goes without saying. I’m merely stating that they have an obligation to protect the rights of expats as well. And I don’t think those two goals are mutually exclusive.

        As far as the “shoe being on the other foot,” well, I have been there. In my home country I competed against countless immigrants who were allowed to start business and apply for the same jobs that I did. My solution to that situation was to work hard and make sure that myself and my business was competitive. I didn’t ask the government to give me special protection.

  6. I see why and who is thumbing the comments down . I think that people who are not Citizens of the Country where they reside should be very careful how they engage in political issues, I think it is stated on Immigration Documents as you enter the Islands..

    • You don’t like what I have to say, so you post what amounts to a threat? Well, I do understand the Immigration Law and its associated documentation. You do not appear to. There is a provision that states that a Work Permit or Status grant can be revoked for “subversive” political activity. If posting a comment on a news site about Immigration is considered “subversive” and grounds for deportation, then your vision of Cayman is no better than that of a two-bit, third world dictatorship. In such countries, people do indeed have to be “very careful” about what they say.

      I for one believe in the free and open exchange of ideas. That includes hearing and respecting the viewpoints of those that I do not agree with.

  7. Mr Granger may I say you comments make very good sense indeed. For anyone to suggest that all thumbs down are those of expats is a racial remark. Ironically I note your first remarks attracted thirty thumbs up and no thumbs down. Were they from expats as well.
    Over the years the island has chosen to expand but for whom and at what expense. It is now too late to change our minds. A lot more development is coming a long and unless we all breed like rabbits many more work permits will be required. Government needs project the future effect of the mammoth projects. If you include Dart, Ironwood, Beachbay and the many subdivisions by my estimate we are heading for a population by 2005 if not before of 100,000. Thus government needs plan a larger infrastructure .
    However the main thrust of my article is that the island needs plan for a larger invasion of expats like it or not. A lack of planning over the past thirty or more years can be put firmly at the feet of consecutive governments in particularly during the Bush years.
    Having said all that I enjoyed the way of life 40 years ago where there was a considerable intermingling of the populous than there is today. Life was a lot more enjoyable and the almighty dollar did not reign.

  8. Mr Granger , talking about your rights in Cayman islands , when I came there 65 years ago it took me long time and many years of very hard work before I got my rights, are you prepared to do that .

  9. My comments are advice for Caymanians to hold their political representatives responsible and accountable…and not blame outside influences for their lack of opportunities in Cayman…..therefore my comments are not and not meant to be anti-expatriate in any way.

    The ‘thumbs-down’ disagreements are obviously from a number of expatriates who disagree with anything that will strengthen the Caymanian people and make them more competitive….against….them.

    That core of people are happy to enforce the stereotype that Caymanians are so inferior to them in every way that the country needs them more than it needs its own people.

    THAT type of expatriate foreigner is the one driving the anti-expatriate sentiments in Cayman and might very well be the type of people Cayman just does not need.

    I honestly couldn’t care less who agrees with me or not….I’m excercising my right to an opinion and expressing that opinion, regardless of who likes it or not.

    And, btw…there are probably more Caymanians who disagree with me than there are expatriates…..and again, the same applies to them.

    I simply don’t give a toss.