Monday, September 28, 2015 11:00 AM
The law firm Ritch & Conolly has been retained to assist the Cayman Islands government in analyzing both the current permanent residence points system and the PR appeals process which, in one of the cases Chief Justice Smellie ruled on, involved an application that was filed in 2006.
The firm’s senior partner David Ritch is a former chairman of the government’s Work Permit Board and was one of the government’s key advisers in the establishment of the territory’s current Immigration Law, which introduced the term limit or “rollover” policy for non-Caymanian workers.
The premier described the review as a “forward-looking exercise” aimed at reviewing the lawfulness and fairness of any decision related to current applications for permanent residence and appeals involving PR applications. The review seeks to provide advice to government in these matters “on an urgent basis,” the premier’s office said.
The statement alluded to the possibility that the review could result in further delays of current permanent residence applications, hundreds of which have been pending since government changed the Immigration Law in October 2013. At last count, more than 400 individuals had applied for PR status since Oct. 26, 2013 when legal changes introducing the new permanent residence points system took effect. To date, only applications that had some technical difficulties, such as those that were filed too late, have been dealt with, according to the Immigration Department.
“The government is cognizant of the need to have all outstanding applications and appeals dealt with in a timely manner,” the premier’s statement read.
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