Family distraught over helper being rolled over

| 03/04/2016

Our amazing helper is being rolled over in June and has been with us for a long time. Our children will be devastated when she has to leave as they have grown very attached to her and she wants to stay. Is there anything we can do so she can stay? My husband has a government job working long hours and nights and I work a busy full-time job so we rely on her tremendously. Your advice would be greatly appreciated.

Auntie’s answer: All legal issues aside, this clearly is a very difficult situation you and your family are facing. Considering the seriousness of your question, I brought it right to the Department of Immigration for an official clarification.

And I first want to say that I know many people (including myself) have been frustrated both by trying to get information from the department and the speed (or lack thereof) with which responses are forthcoming. Therefore, I feel compelled to give the department credit for not only getting me the information I requested but also providing it within about a week.

Unfortunately, none of that will help you in your plight. The immigration official who addressed your question explained that while there are exemptions for people who have reached or exceeded their term limit of nine years, none of those seems to apply to you.

Here is the full Immigration Law; the exemptions to which I refer are listed under Section 52.

The official explained that the law also provides for a Certificate for Specialist Caregiver (SSC), which if granted, would enable someone to work beyond the nine-year limit. One of the conditions for that category is that the worker will care for a “sick person, elderly person or person with a disability”, but she pointed out that that option does not seem available to you.

I am no expert on immigration matters and could only suggest you might want to seek the advice of an immigration lawyer (see list of law firms on the Cayman Islands Law Society website) just to cover all your bases. As the immigration official noted, “The advice provided is general advice and is based on the particular facts and information provided above. Each case will have its own individual circumstances and similar scenarios may yield a different outcome based on the particular facts and circumstances of that matter.”

By all means, explore your options and seek other opinions but at this point, I fear that your helper may have to leave in June.


Category: Ask Auntie, Immigration Questions

Comments (6)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I have read this migration process and I am very confident I would replace this employee if this person is interested I can be contacted

  2. Anonymous says:

    You’ll find out that in life ANY worker can be replaced so get another if you have to but this idea that our immigration laws have to bend and break based on an individual’s ‘feelings’ is just out of control.

    Otherwise, if you can keep the employees you love why can’t I ask immigration to get rid of foreign co-workers making my life a living hell?

    Just because YOU (and church references hmm) feel you shouldn’t have to change employees should not be our problem but good luck with replacement, good think Jamaica and Philipines have millions to chose from

    • Anonymous says:


    • Anonymous says:

      What on earth is the point in releasing the bird in the cage that they all love and have become attached to for one in the bush that could prove to be a total disaster? That is not even starting to consider the rigmarole and costs and very extensive and unnecessary adjustments for the family. Laws are only good where they serve a purpose and in this case the law very clearly DOES NOT serve a purpose. But try telling the beloved folks at our wonderful Immigration Department that.

  3. Anonymous says:

    there is not much it can be done now but if the reason for trying to keep that person in your home is strong enough, well consider that a year goes by fairly quick, once gone, she will be able to return.

    In the mean time get a new helper, that wont be as close to you as this one (you never know) but will solve your practical issues. Facilitate a smart device to the one that has to leave with video chat capabilities and foot the bill. Being communicated can eased the process of separation for both parties and after 9 years, she probably deserves a long vacation.
    moving forward, and as an advise for anyone in the same situation, before the 7 year terms expire stop requesting a work permit for someone you really want to keep. send them home for 6 months and bring them back, as easy as that. is way shorter.

    in case you wonder, I have several employees that has become important part of our business and we have done both, several times.

    • Anonymous says:

      Please do not give immigration advice. Anyone following what you just told them would be sorely disappointed. Leaving for 6 months does not reset term limits. Better advice would be to pay them pension and health insurance, a decent wage, encourage/assist them in buying a small home and then help them apply for PR.