Missed the deadline for permanent residency application

| 29/03/2016

I am a civil servant who has worked here for 10 years now under government contract. When I made the decision to apply for permanent residency, which is a very big life decision, I was four months past the period allowed to apply. I was told that at this time I have lost my right to apply and now because of how the law is written I am unable to apply in the future. I am just wondering if there are others in my position and how to remedy the situation to be allowed to apply for residency?

Auntie’s answer: I first attempted to navigate the immigration department website in hopes of finding the answer, but it quickly became apparent that I would need outside assistance so I went straight to the source and contacted the department.

I do not have good news for you.

While there have been changes to the application process for permanent residency, there has always been a deadline for applying. Under the most recent revision to the Immigration Law, once someone has lived in Cayman (“been ordinarily resident” as immigration says) for at least eight years, he or she can apply to become a permanent resident, and, as you have suggested yourself, the application needs to be submitted before you reach nine years.

A department spokesperson said this: “It is true that a person who has been legally and ordinarily resident in the islands for more than nine years cannot apply for the grant of permanent residence. This limitation is imposed by section 30(1) of the Immigration Law (2015 Revision) which states as follows:

“…Any person who has been, and is legally and ordinarily resident in the Islands for a period of at least eight years but not more than nine years, other than (and here they list categories of those who can’t apply, which I believe do not pertain to you), … may apply in the prescribed form and manner to the Board or the Chief Immigration Officer for permission for himself, his spouse and his dependants, if any, to reside permanently in the Islands.”

There apparently is no right of appeal or any other remedy if you miss the deadline. As to other government employees contacting the department with an issue similar to yours, the answer came back that they did not know of any.

And that is the official line. If you feel you have a legitimate case to be allowed to apply, consult with a law firm that has immigration lawyers. You can look through the list of firms on the Cayman Islands Law Society website to find one. Any lawyer with extensive experience dealing with the immigration department should be able to advise you on any possible appeal.


Category: Ask Auntie

Comments (16)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Don’t worry, I know of several people in the immigration department in the US who have been looking in horror at how Caymans are treating US citizens, and I know they are sick of of Caymans not reciprocating several historical laws with the US that allowed their survival with many families in the past century. One good turn deserves another and with Trump as the new President, you caymanians can forget about enjoying dual citizenship with the US, or using Miami to shop, we have had enough of free loading parasitic countries like your self. Enjoy Cuba/Iran/Russia/China being your sole trading partner in the future when all the US tax dollars come back to the US.

    • Anonymous says:

      You conveniently forget that record numbers of US citizens are giving up their US passports because the US taxes its citizens based on citizenship and not location, in effect taxing other jurisdictions unfairly. You also forget that all those ‘shoppers’ in Miami are paying state sales taxes and contributing to the GDP somethimg that the IRS is unlikely to want to give up. Billions of dollars are spent by foreigners in the US every year.

      • Anonymous says:

        The US is a trillion dollar economy, we can do without a few billion that are spent from foreigners to the hundreds of billions that are stolen or transferred by “inversion” to the Caribbean. Enjoy your poverty just around the corner because the common US worker is sick of being stuck with the bill. You are about to lose about 1/3 of your GDP, maybe you will lose more as the tax rate in the US comes down to about 15%.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why should US citizens be treated more favourably than UK citizens who also have no reciprocal rights?

    • Anonymous says:

      Well said!!
      Couldn’t agree more with you.

      Payback can be a b!tch sometimes, you know… 😉

  2. Knot S Smart says:

    I guess that you are one of the lucky ones. As far as I hear Govt is just taking everybody’s money and not giving them residency… In our neck of the woods its called stealing from the unfortunate…

  3. Anonymous says:

    The traditional way of dealing with this is to find an immigration official with some land for sale and agree to pay 120% of the market value for it. Then watch as your application goes through the process like a hot knife through butter.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Surely it didn’t take you all that extra time to decide if you wanted PR? I would have thought that by the time you reached the 7 year mark you would known what you wanted to do? Deadlines are in place for a reason and must be respected. Sorry but your delay says a lot about your organizational skills and well – hope you have a plan B for exiting!

    • Anonymous says:

      There were several attempts through the Government email system to inform persons who may be on contract with CI Govt to look into residency. There was much PR on this in 2013. So not sure why now your contract may not be renewing you are scrambling and I am not quite understanding why you should be treated any different than the private sector? Seems to me you are only considering it now as a last resort. Don’t blame Immigration for that one Bobo blame yourself!

    • Anonymous says:

      “Deadlines are in place for a reason and must be respected” – I love it. You have either just got to the Cayman Isles or you really believe your own rubbish. The immigration department is the worst of all examples when it comes to deadlines.

      Please preach this to all local contractors, employees who cannot keep time in any shape or form and any delivery made on island.

      Organizational skills? Don’t criticize someone for delaying when the immigration law was changed as frequently as it did in previous years! I know plenty of people who made the decision to pursue pr but after the constant changing of criteria, in organization and delay, they have just given up.

      They are all in other jurisdictions now.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Could this person, based on residency here as a contract employee apply for status after 15 years?

    • Anonymous says:

      Guess what is happening here is that most folks are afraid to ask for information at Immigration, and don’t even try seeing The Chief Mr Bruce. There are so many folks who complain of being humiliated by one when asking for directions or to see the Chief. I have heard of folks leaving there in tears. This is something that certainly need to be looked into. When a Civil Servant don’t have a good heart for the Public then they should get lost in the system somewhere where they don’t have to deal with people.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s exactly what I was thinking. A civil service employee on a contract has not had to jump through the hoops each year to renew a permit like the rest of us.
      How does that work?

  6. Anonymous says:

    There was a well publicized 3 month opportunity for civil servants and anyone who had been in Cayman for more than 9 years to apply for PR when the Law changed on 26 October, 2013. Since then it has been widely publicized that you have to apply before you have been here for 9 years. There was plenty of fair opportunity. That the applicant missed it is regrettable – but not immigration’s fault.

  7. Anonymous says:

    The way to remedy the situation , is to have applied before the deadline. That is why its called a ‘deadline’……

  8. Anonymous says:

    It’s more likely that the Immigration Department missed their chance to give you the boot – like they have been doing with hundreds of stalled PR applications. You will get as many discouraging opinions as people you may ask at Immigration, but the fact remains that after 10 years you have a legitimate UN HRC Naturalisation claim you can make for BOTC Status and a Cayman Islands Passport. Holding this Passport does not automatically confer Caymanian Status, Right to Vote, or Right of Abode in the UK – it just means you can no longer be rolled out of the Cayman Islands. You will need a lawyer. If you are successful, you can wait the prescribed period and then apply for Caymanian Status and UK Naturalisation if you wish – like everyone else that goes through the process. Roll-over was originally introduced to prevent people from getting to where you already have qualified. This is exactly why Immigration Boards need to deal with the PR application backlog.