From fiscal year 2009 to the present day the Cayman Islands Immigration Department collected nearly seventy million dollars in permanent residency fees.
This works out to roughlynine and a half million dollars per year.
There are, however, still those who owe outstanding balances to the Immigration department.That amount is estimated to be in the $2.7 million dollar range, or less than five percent of the overall monies collected since 2009. Moreover, many of these fees owed are from people that are no longer living in the Cayman Islands. Is it also from folksthat have had their permanent residency revoked in years past. The current head of immigrationstated that the department was still actively pursuing those monies from persons that owe and stressed that the unpaid fees represent a very small portion compared to what they generate per year.
Of the monies generated by immigration, work permit fees are by far the biggest portions of the total collected sum.These monies make up roughly $60.4 million dollars of the Immigration Department’s earnings. Permanent residence with the right to work fees, on the other hand, made upsubstantially less. A decade ago the Immigration Department recorded $33.4 million in revenue. This means immigration-related revenues based on fees charged by the government have gone up roughly 167%. The Immigration Department’s earningslast year covered the entire budget of the CI police department, fire rescue, immigration, 911 emergency services, hazard management and the entire prisonsystem’s expenses.
Though the aforementioned is good news; uncollected permanent residence fees still pose a problem andmany of the yet unpaid debts are considered uncollectable.This means that people who have left the Cayman Islands many years ago owe them. Back then the workers holding permanent resident status might not realize they actually had to pay for their own fees(these are the exact same amount as a work permit fees for the jobs they held). The confusion here is partly due to the fact that the immigration law requires businesses employing work permit holders to pay those annual fees for the workers. Moreover, It doesn’t mandate the same fees to be paid once workers received PR status. Businesses may make it their policy to pay permanent residence fees on behalf of their workers but many do not.
Several years back, the CI Government enacted changes to the law that, in effect, allowed government to rescind permanent residency based on non-payment of the required yearly fees. Once PR status has been revoked, then, an applicant cannot reapply for it. The Cayman Islands granting of these permanent resident statuses have dropped to a net zero figure within the lastthree years.
Over 800 expats have applied for permanent resident status in the Cayman Islands since 2013 and not one of them have been awarded that status. Another disturbing trend is that 11 people who have applied for residency after working here more than eight years were refused permanent residency and at least one person has given up on their permanent residence application entirely. The CI government has done little to remedy this situation and it is the hope of many in these islands that the next government-elect will take this issue to task and resolve those whose status’ are “in limbo”. Once this has happened one could reasonable expect these already-substantial immigration department earnings to grow.
John has been working as an agent with ERA Cayman Islands for 8+ years specialising in high-end real estate, hospitality and property management. Formerly of Vail, Colorado; John has set down his roots in Grand Cayman. John holds a degree in business law from the University of Saint Thomas.