The changes rectify what was found by the courts to be the arbitrary and unfair awarding of points for the type of jobs that applicants hold by giving everyone 15 points for their job but more points for years of experience in their profession.
McLaughlin stated that the new regulations addressed the issues raised by the court in the Hutchinson-Green case, which stalled the process of considering applications in the summer of 2015.
The premier said that Cabinet had approved revised regulations, “which address the concerns by allowing for a resumption of processing of applications by the board and the chief immigration officer”.
“Pending appeals will also need to be dealt with by the Immigration Appeals Tribunal. We undertook to amend the regulations to get the Permanent Residency (PR) application going again, and we have now done so,” he added..
The long-awaited amendments are a direct result of the legal challenges raised in the court about the arbitrary nature of the point system. But almost no applications for permanent residency have been considered by the PR board since the end of 2013 following the changes to the law itself that essentially abolished the controversial seven-year rollover.
Those changes paved the way for every person who comes to the Cayman Islands to work on a permit the chance to remain long enough to be entitled to apply for residency – removing the key employee status that had previously been required to allow permit holders to stay past the seven-year term limit.
However, it’s reported that the local government has been advised by the UK that ten years is the latest point that it could deny people residency rights for any reason, and speculation has mounted that refusing PR to people who have lived here without interruption for more than ten years would result in successful legal challenges.
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