Honduran National Asks Court To Set Aside Her PR Refusal

The content originally appeared on: Cayman Compass

According to A Notice of Originating Motion stamped by the Grand Court on June 14, 2024, Norna Zanola Johnson Hurlston, a Honduran national living in the Cayman Islands with her Caymanian child, is asking the Court for the order to set aside the decision of the Immigration Appeals Tribunal refusing her a Permanent Residence and a Residency and Employment Rights Certificate (the “Decision”).  Johnson Hurlston argues that the matter should be reheard by the Immigration Appeals Tribunal because the Decision was unreasonable, not in accordance with the law and amounts to a breach of natural justice.  Further, Johnson Hurlston argues that immigration officials should have considered her right to private and family life under the Bill of Rights of the Cayman Constitution and not just how many points she scored in the points system.

Johnson Hurlston’s background is that she has resided in the Cayman Islands since 2013 and is the primary carer of her 12-year-old son. 

In June 2022, she applied for Permanent Residence and a Residency and Employment Rights Certificate (“RERC”).

In the Decision dated September 18, 2023, the Director of Workforce Opportunities & Residency Cayman rejected her application for the RERC.

The Decision stated as follows:

In considering an application for permanent residence under subsection (1), the Director of WORC upon applying the criteria set out in the points system shall grant permanent residence to all applicants attaining one hundred and ten points or more.

In this particular case, the total score attained is 103.00 points.

However, Johnson Hurlston argued that the Director of Workforce Opportunities & Residency Cayman failed to consider her right to private and family life under Section 9 of the Bill of Rights and, therefore, amounted to an error of law.

She argued further that the Decision was unreasonable because the Director should have deferred the Decision until after the Privy Council reached a conclusion about the incompatibility of Cayman immigration rules with Section 9 of the Bill of Rights.

Having considered Johnson Hurlston’s position, the Immigration Appeals Tribunal sided with the Workforce Opportunities & Residency Cayman Director. 

The Tribunal said:

Notwithstanding the conclusion reached by immigration authorities, Johnson Hurlston maintains that it was unreasonable, an error in law and a breach of natural justice.

Johnson Hurlston added: “… a policy should have been devised so that in circumstances where an applicant for PR had established a prima facie Section 9 BOR right, but had not obtained 110 points, the application could have been deferred pending the decision in Buray & D’Souza and any change in the Law.”

Johnson Hurlston now awaits the Court’s decision whether or not to order that her case be reheard in accordance with the law.