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Permanent residents forced to wait months to change job titles

Permanent residents who have lost jobs in the tourism industry and are seeking employment in other fields are facing months of delays in changing their job titles because of immigration rules.

Letter: Permanent residents and work permit fees

In effect, government is saying: “We will reluctantly let you in through the front door while Uncle Europe is looking from across the pond. But once you are inside, we will find an excuse to unceremoniously ease you out through the back door.”

$1.9 million deception trial continues

Trial continued in Grand Court on Friday for Judith Francia Douglas, who has pleaded not guilty to obtaining more than $1.9 million from an American man by falsely representing that the money was required for him to get permanent residence, status and a Caymanian passport.

Residence/status ‘scam’ trial begins

Trial began in Grand Court on Thursday for a woman accused of obtaining more than $1.9 million by deception in what Crown counsel Toyin Salako called a “scam” involving permanent residence and Caymanian status.

Reminder to secure travel documents before hurricane season

The Passport and Corporate Services Office is urging residents to ensure that their official documents are updated and secure as hurricane season nears.

EDITORIAL – Welcoming our newest residents

Allow us to officially (and very belatedly) welcome the Cayman Islands’ 708 new permanent residents. Congratulations are in order, and perhaps a bottle of celebratory champagne.

More than 60 percent of residency denials appealed

More than 200 applicants for permanent residence who were denied that immigration status since 2017 have filed challenges to those decisions, according to records obtained by a Cayman Compass Freedom of Information request.

EDITORIAL – Dilly-dallying and bureaucratic delays at Immigration

How long does it take to stamp a passport? Five seconds? Maybe 10 seconds, if you fumble the pages? How about six months?

Immigration faces legal challenge over lengthy bureaucratic delays

It is taking the Cayman Islands Immigration Department up to six months to stamp the passport of a Caymanian status or permanent residence recipient, if that person won their permission to remain in Cayman following an appeal to the Immigration Appeals Tribunal, court papers filed last week allege.

More than 1,000 cases of permanent residency decided

Cayman Islands immigration officials have dealt with more than 1,000 applications for permanent residence since last June, clearing most of the backlogged applicants who had been waiting years for a decision regarding their legal status.

‘Ritch report’ makes ministry poor

An immigration consultancy report, penned at a cost of $312,000 and kept from public view, put the government Ministry of Home Affairs over budget during the year it was commissioned, according to an evaluation done by Cayman’s auditor general.

EDITORIAL – ‘No one is so deaf as he who will not listen’

Cayman must not close its mind to outside ideas or outsiders who are able and willing to contribute to the well-being of these islands. They are a resource far too valuable to turn away.

2017 editorials: The Compass’s voice on significant issues

Today we feature highlights from some of what we consider to be the most compelling and important editorials that appeared in the Cayman Compass in 2017, dealing with some of the most pressing matters facing our country.

The permanent residence predicament

The year 2017 began with nearly 1,000 people waiting for rulings on their permanent residence applications and no visible effort on the part of the Cayman Islands government to deal with those matters.

Cayman seeks new work permit regime

The Cayman Islands government is taking its first tangible step toward creating a new “human resources” agency that will take over some of the work permit services now provided by the Immigration Department.

Immigration halfway through permanent residence backlog

Cayman Islands immigration authorities have dealt with just more than half of all outstanding applications for permanent residence, according to figures released Tuesday by the Immigration Department.

Thousands receive ‘right to be Caymanian’ since 2009

More than 3,700 people have received grants of Caymanian status via either the naturalization (citizenship) process or through marriage to a Caymanian since January 2009, according to records presented to the Legislative Assembly by Premier Alden McLaughlin last week.

Governor to expedite citizenship bids

Recent permanent residence grantees who have waited more than 15 months to receive that immigration status may now apply immediately for naturalization as a British Overseas Territories citizen.

Backlog of permanent residency cases grows by nearly 10 percent

The number of backlogged applications for permanent residence in the Cayman Islands grew by 9.2 percent over a two-week period in late September and early October, despite the efforts of immigration officials to reduce that number, the Cayman Compass has learned.

EDITORIAL – A fresh start possible for Immigration

The new immigration chief must have the expertise, talent and drive to drag the immigration department out of its current difficulties and shape it into the efficient and effective government service that Cayman expects and deserves.

Denied PR applicants start filing appeals

At least five people who were denied permanent resident status within the past two months have filed appeals against those decisions, the Cayman Compass can reveal.

Government gets through 15 months of permanent residence backlog

Thanks largely to marathon hearings that started on July 31, the Cayman Islands Immigration Department has finished considering the vast majority of backlogged permanent residence applications filed between October 2013 and December 2014.

The children of ‘ghosts’ haunt Cayman immigration

A group of people sometimes referred to as “Ghost Caymanians” are now spawning a second generation that Cayman Islands Immigration Law has little, if any, means to address, legal experts warn.

Former PR board chair ‘not a proponent’ of residency system

The former head of the Cayman Islands government board tasked with approving Caymanian status and permanent residence applications said in a statement last week that he was “not a proponent” of the 2013 system that granted residence to non-Caymanian applicants.

Immigration shake-up: PR Chairman Waide DaCosta replaced

The Cayman Islands government appointed new leadership to the Caymanian Status and Permanent Residency Board amid a slew of changes to immigration-related governing bodies Wednesday.

Immigration demonstrates ‘blatant lack of respect’ for FOI law

A “blatant lack of respect for the laws of the Cayman Islands” was revealed in the Immigration Department’s response to an open records request for documents that took more than a year to process.

Good news

Today's editorial cartoon

Big increase in residency approvals

Nearly 80 percent of the permanent residence applications heard last week were approved by government officials. According to the Cayman Islands Immigration Department, 27 residency applications were granted between Aug. 7 and Aug. 10; five applications were denied.

Immigration denies 12 of 13 permanent residence cases

An administrative review of permanent residence applications by the Cayman Islands Immigration Department that took place over two days last week ended with 12 out of 13 people being denied that status.

Premier: New hires to speed permanent residence process

Six new employees are being brought in to speed up the processing of more than 1,000 permanent residence applications, Immigration Minister and Cayman Islands Premier Alden McLaughlin said Friday.

More than 1,100 applicants await residency hearings

Before the Cayman Islands government began hearing backlogged permanent residence applications last month, more than 1,100 people had applied for that status, according to figures obtained via open records.

Permanent residence applications: 8 approved, 10 denied

Eight permanent residence applications have been approved since May and 10 have been denied, according to figures released Friday by the Cayman Islands government.

Immigration faces five legal challenges in past month

Two new judicial review applications seeking damages over delays in the Cayman Islands government’s processing of permanent residence applications are among at least five legal challenges against the Immigration Department and/or immigration-related boards in the past month.

Residency cases from 2013 ready for hearings

Cayman Islands residents who applied to live in the British territory permanently nearly four years ago were advised this week that their applications would soon be reviewed.

Law firm: Permanent residence solution not ‘immediate’

Hundreds of permanent residence seekers who have been waiting for years to learn whether they will be granted that status are unlikely to receive word for many months, according to local immigration advisers. The newly formed Ministry of Immigration announced last week that the Caymanian Status and Permanent Residency Board would start hearing applications sometime this week.

‘Invisible hand’ preventing PR progress, law firm alleges

An "invisible hand" appears to be blocking attempts to address years-long delays involving hundreds of applicants for permanent residence in the Cayman Islands, as the processing of the applications has again "stagnated," according to attorneys from a local law firm.

Premier: We must ‘sort out’ immigration

Premier Alden McLaughlin said Tuesday that the Cayman Islands must "sort out" the British territory’s immigration problems during his second term as the government’s leader.

EDITORIAL – Reviewing the campaign and the candidates

The choices that voters make on Wednesday will have substantial consequences for the country and its inhabitants for the next four years and beyond. The campaign may be thought of as a sort of game. The election, on the other hand, is unmistakably real.

Immigration, permanent residence: Time bomb continues to tick

Three-and-a-half years and three lawsuits later, the Cayman Islands government has granted a total of two people permanent residence out of close to 1,000 applications filed under the current Immigration Law.

EDITORIAL – Immigration: Time to ‘reframe’ the issue

Beginning today and for the remainder of this week, we will devote the front page of the Compass to a single issue of paramount importance to the well-being of these islands.

First residency applications approved under new Immigration Law

Under threat of legal action, the first two permanent residence applications filed under the current iteration of the Cayman Islands Immigration Law were approved this week, the Cayman Compass has learned.

EDITORIAL – e-Government gets ‘police clearance’

Today’s front page contains a welcome development from government – Cayman Islands residents can now apply online for police clearance certificates, potentially cutting in half the number of in-person visits needed to obtain these documents required by immigration officials, as well as some employers and businesses.

Permanent residence delays ‘classic case of mismanagement’

Two Newlands independent political candidates alleged Friday that the Progressives government’s mismanagement led to delays in hearing hundreds of permanent residence applications, delays the candidates said were “playing with people’s lives.”

Third court challenge filed over permanent residency delay

A Cayman Islands insolvency accountant is the third person to file a legal challenge over government’s three-and-a-half year delay in considering his application for permanent residence.

EDITORIAL – The Ritch Report: The parting of the Red Bay candidates

Elections are about choices. Choices are about contrast. And in this election – where candidates’ views tend to overlap on the vast majority of issues, here is a topic where, between two candidates, there could not be a greater contrast.

Premier: Progressives will bring more PR changes if elected

If re-elected, Premier Alden McLaughlin said, his Progressives government in its first year will make more “significant” changes again to the system that awards permanent residence to non-Caymanians.

Bodden Town East candidates discuss array of issues

Permanent residence applications, an emergency response center, education and gay rights were some of the topics facing Bodden Town East candidates at a candidates forum arranged by the Chamber of Commerce last Wednesday.

Information chief ‘surprised’ at governor’s decision

Acting Information Commissioner Jan Liebaers said he was not consulted about Governor Helen Kilpatrick’s decision to quash the release of a $312,000 taxpayer-funded consultant’s report.

Justice’s ruling on ‘Ritch Report’ appealed

The Cayman Islands Information Commissioner’s Office will appeal a January ruling by the chief justice which essentially ordered that a lengthy, $312,000 consultant’s report evaluating permanent residence issues be withheld from public view.

Immigration to schedule dates for PR applications

Although no specific dates were provided as of press time Monday, the Cayman Islands Immigration Department indicated it is setting a staggered schedule to begin hearing more than 900 applications for permanent residence.

Permanent residence delays affect divorce proceedings

Delays in processing permanent residence applications are affecting other Cayman Islands court matters, in addition to the two legal challenges filed last year, the Cayman Compass has learned.

EDITORIAL – It may be easier to get PR; we will see if it’s...

Last week, the country received word that Cabinet had finally made long-awaited, and long-overdue, changes to Cayman Islands immigration regulations, in response to critical flaws in the permanent residence system that had been highlighted more than three years ago.

Law firm: Changes to residency system ‘largely cosmetic’

The Cayman Islands law firm at the center of two high-profile court challenges to the local Immigration Law said Thursday that Cabinet-approved changes to...

Beyond the permanent residence limbo

Further to your article of last Friday regarding the challenges faced by those applying for permanent residence, I write to offer a small correction and some perspective on the wider immigration debate.

Permanent residence challenge put off until summer

An accountant who filed a court challenge over how long it took the government to hear his application for permanent residence is likely to have his case heard sometime in June or July. Bradley Carpenter’s judicial review hearing is now listed for “the first open date after May 26.”

Permanent residence: Lives in limbo

A delay of more than three years in processing permanent residence applications has left more than 900 people, plus an unknown number of their dependents, in limbo.

EDITORIAL – PR ‘point system’: Butchers, 11 points; Surgeons, 8 points

While the government’s decision to value the occupation of cleaver-wielding butcher above scalpel-wielding surgeon may appear anomalous to the ordinary person on the street, within the context of Cayman’s embattled points system, it’s anything but an anomaly.

Permanent residence legal challenge granted court hearing

A legal challenge to Cayman’s permanent residence grant system has been allowed to proceed to a full hearing before the Grand Court. A hearing date had not been set as of Friday afternoon.

EDITORIAL – The immigration announcement that did not happen

As we have stated previously, we believe that the permanent residence issue is a human rights issue and a good governance issue with embarrassing international implications, not to mention considerable financial exposure, for these islands.

EDITORIAL – Haunted house: ‘Ghost Caymanians’ and PR limbo

Just about everyone in the Cayman Islands has heard stories about duppies. Some may actually believe in them, too. We can assure you that yes, here in Cayman, “ghosts” do walk among us … But not in the supernatural sense.

Government holds $11 million in residence application fees

More than $11.2 million has been collected since October 2013 from permanent residence applicants in the Cayman Islands, according to records obtained by the Cayman Compass under the Freedom of Information Law.

Permanent residence applications

Permanent residence applications — our editorial cartoon

EDITORIAL — Year in review

Today we are featuring excerpts from some of the most interesting, compelling and entertaining editorials that have appeared in the Cayman Compass in 2016, on some of the most important issues facing our country.

FOI Commissioner turns to court to obtain ‘Ritch Report’

The Cayman Islands Information Commissioner’s Office can now be added to the list of those taking legal action against government over various issues related to the granting of permanent resident status.

Governor’s statement on permanent residence issues

Governor Helen Kilpatrick made the following comments Tuesday regarding the permanent residence issues:

Premier claims release of ‘Ritch Report’ on immigration not in public interest

Cayman Islands Premier Alden McLaughlin, citing a never-before-used section of the Freedom of Information Law.

EDITORIAL – Permanent residence: The premier’s deepening quagmire

Premier Alden McLaughlin and his Progressives government spent $312,000 of taxpayers’ money to commission a report on a subject — the Cayman Islands’ permanent residence system — that affects every person living in, or thinking about moving to, this country. And he does not want you to read a word of it.

EDITORIAL – Permanent residence: Financial executive takes case to court

We cannot imagine the premier will be able to maintain his silence much longer on permanent residence applications. It will be the courts that will force him to obey the very laws that he and his government enacted.

Deadline passes for permanent residence FOI challenge

An immigration consultant’s report presented to government earlier this year which was the subject of an open records request by the Cayman Compass had not been given to the information commissioner’s office by the deadline of Friday, Dec. 2.

EDITORIAL: One PR applicant speaks out – We should listen

The Progressives legislators themselves created this permanent residence quagmire when they passed the immigration law, setting out specific requirements for people to obtain PR, inviting them to apply – and then refusing to follow the very law they wrote, approved and enacted.

Stuck in PR limbo

While my issues and worries may not be of any material concern to the political administration or Cayman constituents, it is because of their legislative commitment in October 2013 that my family is now in a position of grave uncertainty with regards to our careers, our ability to earn a livelihood … and the education of our children.

Permanent residence litigation

Permanent residence litigation — our editorial cartoon

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