Government have announced they will start work next week processing the backlog of Permanent Residency applications.
And they’ve drafted in university graduates to help speed up the process.
Caymanian Status and Permanent Residency Board Chairman, Waide DaCosta, advised that the CSPR Board will review all outstanding and recent permanent residency applications filed under the current 2013 Immigration Law in the order in which they were received. The intention is to process them as quickly as practical while ensuring that each application is given proper consideration.
Ministry of Immigration Wesley Howell, noted that a plan of action has been implemented to overcome various human resources and other challenges, to ensure that the processing of applications can move forward.
Mr. Howell says Department of Immigration officials will begin contacting applicants as early as this week, if additional information is needed to process their application.
“I would sincerely like to thank Mr. DaCosta and the Department of Immigration for working through the challenges; and the forthcoming efforts by him and his board to resolve the issue of application backlog,” he states. “I also want particularly thank Mr. DaCosta for adding the PR considerations to his already heavy board agenda and for assisting in getting the Administrators up to speed.”
The 2013 law authorised Administrators to consider and decide on PR applications and once the knowledge transfer to this cadre of Administrators is complete the consideration of applications will be further improved. Compliance checks will help ensure that decisions made are sound and fair.
“I would also like to thank all of the applicants, their families and their employers for their patience during this time,” Mr. Howell explains. “I want to reassure them that we are working hard to resolve this matter.”
At the beginning of his second term as the government’s leader, the Premier and Minister for Immigration, Alden McLaughlin, raised the issue as a top priority for the new government.
“I am pleased the CSPR Board and Immigration leaders have stepped up to the challenge, and together have developed a plan for resolution that looks to guarantee a high level of speed and efficiency in dealing with applications going forward,” Mr. McLaughlin said.
Meanwhile Nicolas Joseph of HSM Office laid out the current status of PR applications for his clients. His message, in short, was that he saw no new progress despite assurances from government. For those with the means and the wherewithal, it is time to take the matter to the courts, he wrote last week.
“Although clear utterances have been made that applications are being progressed, and even that requests for updates are being sent out, we have seen no actual evidence of this. Indeed, for reasons that we do not know, it appears clear that no actual progress is being made in relation to anyone’s applications,” Mr. Joseph wrote.
Mr. Joseph did not mince words in the message to PR applicants. “We have repeatedly impressed on the authorities (and for some time) that for many of you the delays have long crossed the line as to what we consider to be lawful. Absent a sense of compulsion there is a concern (and now every indication) that delays (and their consequences to you) will continue.”
“You (and where relevant your employers and/or your families) are suffering the impact of the ongoing delays to varying degrees,” he said.
He argues that the delays are not just hurting families, but damaging Cayman’s broader economy. “Some have children crossing important threshold ages, while others cannot progress in your careers.
“Others of you are managing or are employed in businesses who now sadly are placing personnel in other jurisdictions in direct response to the circumstances, and expansion opportunities in Cayman are being lost.”
“We simply do not know what the basis for any ongoing (or even – for strong candidates, past) delays is,” Mr. Joseph said. “Of course, a number of you applied as long ago as the latter part of 2013. We have no clear indication of timing and after now years of assurances that the wait would soon be over have unfortunately not come to fruition.”
Beyond that, he explained, there’s no guarantee that government and Cayman’s elected leaders will not try to change the system again, creating further delays.