Maintaining the right to be Caymanian

| 13/06/2016

What is the minimum amount of time required to reside on island every five years to maintain the right to be Caymanian? Can several visits every two years be sufficient if the person has a job overseas?

Auntie’s answer: The Immigration Law (see the complete law here) seems pretty clear on this point, and from what I understand, you cannot simply visit every two years to maintain your status.

Specifically, the law says that the right to be Caymanian granted by the Caymanian Status & Permanent Residency Board may be lost under a few difference scenarios.  The one pertinent to your question is “where the holder has ordinarily resided outside the Islands for a period of five years and can no longer be said to be settled in the Islands”.

See the Revocation (of the Right to be a Caymanian) page of the Department of Immigration.

For a person living in Cayman, the law defines legal and ordinary residence as “a person’s uninterrupted voluntary physical presence in the Islands for a period of time without legal impediment (other than a tourist visitor or transit passenger) during which period the Islands are regarded as his normal place of abode…”.

However, if you go overseas for no more than six months in a row for such things as education, health, vacation or business, you will still be considered a resident.

If you are away for more than six months but less than one year you “shall raise the presumption that there has been a break in residence”.

And, finally, “absences abroad for 12 consecutive months or more shall constitute a break in residence”.

But, as I am far from an expert on these matters, I would recommend you contact the Department of Immigration (949-8344) for further clarification or find an immigration consultant.

Category: Ask Auntie, Immigration Questions

Comments (9)

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  1. Soldier Crab says:

    In reply to 16/06/2016 at 1.36:

    It all depends upon what your surname and that of your foreign-born children is…………

    If you (or they) have a well-known ‘Caymanian’ surname then you probably won’t have a problem: anyone showing up at the airport with ‘Ebanks’ in their U.S./Jamaican/whatever passport will probably be assumed to be a Caymanian who just hasn’t taken the trouble to get a BOTC passport.

    If you or they don’t; e.g. you are a female and you and your children have taken your husbands surname………….

    as they say in the movies: good luck with that one!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I read the law and I’m a bit confused. Does this mean that if I received my status due to a parent being Caymanian and I reside outside of the islands for more than 5/7 years then I lose my right to be Caymanian or to hold Cayman status? Or have I completely misunderstood?

    • Anonymous says:

      In short possibly yes – unless you were born Caymanian. If you were not born Caymanian, did you apply to continue your status at age 18?

      • Anonymous says:

        Status application was continued after I turned 18 and now reside outside of the Cayman Islands. Not for school, but for work/life and return for holidays occasionally.

        Should I be concerned? Can I pass the right to be Caymanian to my foreign born children?

        • Anonymous says:

          It will likely depend on you being settled in Cayman at the time of their birth. If you were not, I am afraid they may not be Caymanian. See section 21 of the Immigration Law.

          • Anonymous says:

            Section 21 says:

            21. In this Part-
            “Caymanian as of right” means a child-
            (a) born on or after the 1st January, 2004 whether in or outside the
            Islands, at the date of whose birth at least one of his parents was
            settled in the Islands and was Caymanian;
            (b) born outside the Islands, after the 1st January, 2004, at the date of
            whose birth at least one of his parents was Caymanian otherwise
            than by descent; or

            I understand 21(b) to mean that I can pass on ‘Caymanian as of right’ 4:40 did I interpret this incorrectly?

  3. "Joliet" Jake Blues says:

    Has anyone ever had their status revoked for this

    • Anonymous says:

      That would require the immigration law to be followed. We do not do that.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes. in the past 10 years about 22 persons have lost it. But only because someone in Immigration had an ax to grind with them along with a few spiteful Caymanians.