The premier of Cayman Islands, Alden McLaughlin, has clarified that the next round of changes to the Islands’ immigration law will focus on high net worth individuals seeking the right to live in the country without working all performing any other gainful activity.
Denying plans of overhauling the immigration law or making further significant changes to the policy, the premier said that the government plans to introduce new changes via modifications in processes and regulations, and is likely to avoid making amendments to the law.
Referring to the work permit system, the Premier opined that efficiencies would improve upon identification of a private partner for development of an online work permit system. The decision to reinstate caregivers’ certificate, according to the Premier, was the last major change made to the immigration law of the country.
Currently, the government is in the process of identifying a private sector player that will be tasked to shoulder bulk of the work permit process on the Internet. This move is expected to improve transparency and improve coordination with the National Workforce Development Agency. This move is expected to speed up the decision-making process, minimize reliance on volunteer boards, and improve monitoring of business staffing in big firms.
Once the shift to the online process is completed, the Government plans to modernize its manual and discretionary system to deal with immigrants seeking the right to work in the Islands.
Speaking about increased focus on wealthy individuals who want to reside in Cayman, the Premier stated that the immigration rules will be modified to make it easier for such individuals to live in the country. However, he clarified that the government, unlike its predecessor, is not open to the idea of selling residency rights or permanent residence statuses to wealthy individuals.
Instead, Cayman authorities intend to focus on ways to make it easier for investors and individuals who own property in the country to visit and reside for long durations. The new policy is expected to remove immigration issues for wealthy investors and property owners who don’t intend to work in the Islands or establish and manage a business in the country. The policy changes will focus on those who want to visit the islands for holidays or to enjoy post-retirement life.
The government’s approach is motivated primarily by the potential positive impact of entry of wealthy individuals on the country’s economy. Investors and wealthy property owners are expected to boost expenditure and consumption without affecting the prospects of native residents.
The Premier indicated that the government was open to the idea of making minor amendments to accommodate wealthy investors who shall reside in the Islands, and be serviced by local businesses and establishments run by the local population. Such investors, according to the Premier, will not compete with local commercial establishments, but will, instead, boost their business prospects.
Claiming that the country is in a good place, the Premier admitted that the local unemployment situation is a worrying issue. The shift in immigration policies towards wealthy immigrants and utilization of online technology to improve the efficiency of management of country’s immigration mechanism are expected to help the government address the issue of high local unemployment.
Source: Cayman News ServiceGeneral Information: Contact us to receive more information about this article.
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