September 23, 2020

Statement by the Hon. Premier and Minister of Finance, Tourism & Development on Term Limit Review for Legislative Assembly on 15th June 2012

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Madam Speaker, I am pleased to report that the Term Limit Review Committee has concluded their work and has prepared a report containing a number of recommendations on the way forward, as it relates to term limits on work permits.  This is commonly called the “roll over” policy.

Madam Speaker, you will be aware that in September 2011, Cabinet appointed the Term Limit Review Committee (TLRC), consisting of 19 members of society as well as Immigration Officials.  Their specific terms of reference were to:

Review the term limit provisions of the Immigration Law (2011 Revision) in respect to:

The effectiveness of the current term limit provisions with regard to their purpose; and

The effects of the current provisions on the economic and social interests of the Islands, and

Submit a report containing recommendations to the Cabinet within one hundred and eighty days from 20th September 2011.

Madam Speaker the Term Limit Review Committee (TLRC) have presented a number of specific recommendations.

They are:

1. Continue to support a fixed-term policy which will require a legitimate break in stay for long-term residents who are unable to qualify for the right to permanently reside under the criteria in place at the time.

2. Abolish the key employee mechanism on the ground that it creates an unsatisfactory and artificial vetting system for long-term residents which is effectively controlled by employers and is unfair to employees.

3. Allow all workers to apply for the right to reside permanently in the islands, between year 7 and 8.

4. Revise the current permanent resident points system to ensure that it meets current Government economic and social objectives.

5. Set a fixed term limit of 10 years that if a person has not obtained the right to permanently reside they will have to leave the jurisdiction for a minimum of not less than one year.

6. Implement the already developed Employer Accreditation System.

7. Implement term limits for Government employees to ensure there is a level playing field.

8. Ensure that the Department of Immigration receives sufficient funding to attract and hire sufficiently well-qualified personnel to carry out its duties.

9. Ensure the public are properly educated about the Government’s overall immigration strategy for the long-term settlement of eligible non-nationals whilst at the same time promoting the training and upward mobility of Caymanians

10. Ensure new third country nationals arriving to the work in the Islands are fully aware of the fixed-term policy and the criteria which the Islands set in order to establish long-term residency.

11. Ensure that long-term residents taking a break in stay understand that such a break will be considered a legal break in their legal and ordinary residence and will disallow the right to apply to permanently reside until they once again attain the qualifying period should they return.

12. Settle on a limit policy for the long run which provides certainty and predictability for employer and employee and which avoids the uncertainty of constantly moving goalposts.

Madam Speaker, although the Term Limit Review Report has not yet been accepted by Cabinet, Cabinet is desirous of further input and feedback from the Public on the recommendations of the Committee, so that when it is discussed in Cabinet for acceptance, we would have had the benefit of greater input from the public. Madam Speaker, given the high profile nature of this subject and to ensure openness and transparency within my Government, I am tabling this report today in order to provide the public with an opportunity to review and provide comments.

Madam Speaker, you will see that the report calls for a National Population Growth Strategy which has been discussed for years.  I have therefore asked the Term Limit Review Committee (TLRC) to produce a draft National Population Growth Strategy that will set out

·      The minimum size of the population and the required annual growth;

·      Skill sets and expertise that are required, with relevant quotas once those needs are fulfilled; and

·      Projected demographic mix of the population.

We will of course provide the Term Limit Review Committee (TLRC) with access to the additional expertise required to develop such a report at least some of which exists in-house.

Madam Speaker I am tabling the report so that the public can review and provide their comments within the next 30 days. Comments on the report can be sent to [email protected].

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the Chair of the Term Limit Review Committee (TLRC) Mrs. Sherri Bodden-Cowen MBE and all members of the Team for all of their hard work and dedication to the people of the Cayman Islands and look forward to presenting a National Population Growth Strategy to the country in the coming months.

 

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