Immigration recently released new statistical update information. The Caymanian Compass have covered the full release, but I have summarised some of the main points that may be of interest.
- For the first time in more than a year, the number of work permits – including government contract holders and those working in Cayman under operation of the law – rose above 20,000 people.
- According to immigration records, the number of work permits held in the Cayman Islands went from 18,828 in March 2011 to 20,309 last March, an increase of about 8 per cent.
- Government contract figures for non-Caymanian workers remained virtually unchanged during the first part of this year. Temporary [six-month] work permits also stayed about the same.
- The number of individuals working as an operation of the law – awaiting decisions on permanent residence or appeals of work permit refusals – dropped to below 1,000 people for the first time in more than five years.
- In 2008, there were nearly 3,300 people in Cayman awaiting decisions on their various immigration applications. As of 31 March, 2012, that number had fallen to 902.
- At least 712 of the estimated 2,350 non-Caymanian workers this year who will reach their seven-year limit on residence workers applied to extend their stay in the Cayman Islands beyond the normal seven-year term limit on residency set forth in the Immigration Law.
- Term Limit Exemption Permits granted for under-skilled labourers were the most common worker category to be awarded a rollover reprieve, with 259 being awarded exemption permits. Service workers were the next most common worker category granted, with a total of 160 exemption permits given.