Crammer class offered for PR culture test

| 26/03/2015

(CNS): The local college has teamed up the immigration department to offer a course to applicants for permanent residency to cram for the mandatory History and Culture Test, which can account for up to 20 of the 120 points people now need to achieve the right to live and work in Cayman and ultimately apply for status. Those due to take the test as part of their PR application can study for what is now a much more rigorous test independently, but from 1 April they can register for the new course at the University of the Cayman Islands.

The four-week course will take place at the weekends, taught by UCCI lecturers Dr Livingston Smith and Dr Christopher Williams. It will cost CI$200.

With test questions covering everything from local politics to the players in the local arts scene, the course will help applicants learn more about the history and culture that has shaped the country they want to make their new home

“This initiative is historic,” said Acting Chief Immigration Officer Bruce Smith about the first collaborative project between immigration and the college. “We are grateful to the UCCI leadership for their assistance with this undertaking.”

UCCI President Roy Bodden was elated that immigration contacted them to be part of this initiative.

“The University College of the Cayman Islands is pleased to have been asked to participate in the preparation for new Caymanians. We look forward to offering instruction in the History and Culture of the Cayman Islands. As President of the University College, I can record that we have already discussed that the presentations will be robust, interactive and thoroughly enlightening. Our instructors are ready for the challenge and we look forward to a mutually beneficial exercise,” he said.

The Department of Immigration recommends that applicants take advantage of this opportunity but it is entirely up to PR applicants. The UCCI will provide the DoI with the list of persons who have completed the course to help them schedule their tests dates, as the law only allows one re-scheduling of a set appointment. Officials said that all of those who are currently applying for PR who take the course will be given a test date before the end of July.

The immigration department is also giving those who sat the HCT on 31 January the option to re-sit. No explanation was given why, though there has been mounting speculation about ongoing problems with the test. Since the overhaul of the PR process to make it more difficult, after the PPM government effectively removed the roll-over barrier and key employee status, the test has been plagued with problems, from inaccurate questions and answers and scheduling problems.

The following list of study materials have now been accepted for the course as relevant to the test and they are available at the UCCI bookstore:

Bodden, J.A., The Cayman Islands in Transition: The Politics, History and Sociology of a Changing Society (ISBN-13:978-9766373221)

Craton, Michael and the New History Committee (2003): Founded Upon the Seas: A History of the Cayman Islands and Their People (Kingston: Ian Randle Publishers, ISBN-10:0972935835)

Goring, Kevin (2008) Caymanian Expressions: A collection of sayings and phrases used in the Cayman Islands (Grand Cayman: Gapseed Publishing)

Kieran, Brian: The Lawless Caymanas – A Story of Slavery, Freedom and The West India Regiment (ISBN 9768012900)

All applicants are reminded to visit DoI Website to obtain information on PR application and any other relevant details. Those who do not need to re-sit the test from January should advise the DoI in writing.

Cayman News Service

UCCI President Roy Bodden (centre) and Acting Chief Immigration Officer Bruce Smith (centre,
right) sign the Memorandum of Agreement for the partnering to provide Permanent Residency
seekers another option in preparing for the History and Culture Test. Present on the occasion
are (l-r): Immigration Boards Administration Executive Manager Regina Jackson, Immigration
Training and Development Manager Jenifer Gager-Sterling, UCCI Dean of Studies Dr. J.D.
Mosley-Matchett, Assistant Professor of History and Sociology Christopher Williams, Ph.D.,
Ministry of Home Affairs Assistant Chief Officer Michael Ebanks, Dean of Administration Perry
George and Director of Student Services Mitch Ebanks (Photo by Bina Mani)

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Comments (1)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I’d argue that arbitrary memorization of the answers to the random trivial test questions does not make for a better Permanent Resident – it only favors those that have access to previous test questions, or pocket money and leisure time to take this course. We should scrap this exercise altogether and put another 20 points towards evidence of meaningful community service. Kind hearted people make for better friends, coworkers, and neighbors – and they’ll have your back in a crisis. Who wouldn’t want more of those kind of people?