The Permanent Residency Points System changes recommended
GRAND CAYMAN, Cayman Islands - A review committee is recommending to Government that the Permanent Residency Points System be revamped to focus more closely on the economic, social and cultural needs of the Cayman Islands.
The new system would allow applicants to determine for themselves their likelihood of being granted Permanent Residency by using the Points System and ensures that applicants have sufficient income and earning potential to support themselves and their families. It also allows Government to select Permanent Residents who have the skills and experience in occupations that are needed in the Cayman Islands in the short and long terms.
"It is certainly going to be more difficult to get Permanent Residency under the new regime; more difficult than it was than under the old regime," said Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin.
The revised Points System would use data from the annual Labour Force Survey, the National Census and work permit statistics to determine the ratio of Caymanians to non-Caymanians in the workforce. Points would be awarded based on the occupation in which the applicant is working at the time of applications submission. Those who are unemployed when submitting their application would receive no points. Applicants will get additional points if their occupation is designated as one that is needed for the advancement of the national, economic, cultural or social objectives on a long-term basis. As the country evolves, it is recommended that Government adjust the desired occupations and that a list of priority occupations be gazetted to ensure transparency.
The "skills" category in the current system should be dropped, the committee recommends, and replaced by “Education, Training and Experience”. Points would be allocated based on the level of academic or technical training received, the length of education or training and its degree of difficulty. The committee suggests that the higher the level of education, the increased likelihood that the applicant would be able to continually obtain gainful employment and maintain himself and his dependents.
The revised Points System keeps into play the finances of an applicant. The formula takes into account total investment made by the applicant, debt ratio and average monthly income. No points would be awarded if the applicant has total investments of less than CI$50,000 for the last five years. Maximum points would be awarded to applicants that have invested more than $500,000 over the past five years. The Committee also recommends that points should be awarded based on the actual amount of personal funds invested rather than on the basis of funds subject to a mortgage.
Applicants would also have to have sufficient regular income to provide for himself and his dependent’s healthcare, education, accommodation and maintenance. No credit would be given in respect to pension contributions because that is not viewed as a liquid asset and pension funds fluctuate based on the financial market at any given time.
One of the most abused categories under the current Points System is that of community contribution whereby applicants join service clubs shortly before making application for PR solely to receive points. The revised system clarifies priority areas and sets minimum levels of service to the community. Applicants who demonstrate active involvement in the training and employment of Caymanians and the rehabilitation and mentoring of offenders would get higher points.
Applicants will also be tested on their knowledge of Cayman’s history, traditions, customs and current events. The questions will be randomly selected from a bank of 300-400 questions to reduce the likelihood of questions being copied and circulated. Under the new Points system, the requirement for references has been removed.
Also being removed are the points given for being married to a Caymanian because those who are, already receive considerable benefits under Immigration legislation. They will still be eligible to apply for PR, but will be assessed on the same level as all applicants. PR applicants who have Caymanian grandchildren will not be awarded special points.
A new category is “Age Distribution”. The Committee reckons that age diversity and balance of community is relevant with respect to national productivity. It said there should be an appropriate balance with respect to age in the labour market so that the long-term sustainability of labour supply to the Islands is assured.
The new system also strives to maintain a vibrant and diverse community, which is made up of a balance of nationalities instead of domination by only a few foreign nationalities. Under the current Points System, the awarding of points in this category is discretionary and should be changed, the Committee recommended.
Points can be deducted in the new system for particular reasons, usually relating to character or health of the applicant.
For further information contact: Tammie Chisholm - OTP