Naturalisation and applying for Caymanian status

| 23/01/2017

I have permanent residence and am hoping eventually to be granted Caymanian status. Do I need to be naturalised to get status and/or would it make the process quicker?

Auntie’s answer: If you are only interested in a one-word reply, the simple answer is “yes”, you must be naturalised before applying for Caymanian status. If you would like a more detailed explanation, please read on.

A Department of Immigration official patiently described the ins and outs of the process. For starters, “If a person has been granted permanent residency on the basis of eight-plus years residency, they may apply for naturalisation after they have held PR for one year.”

If the application is successful, you can then apply for Caymanian status after being naturalised for five years or if you have been legally resident in the Cayman Islands for 15 years.

What that means is, after receiving naturalisation, “an individual may apply for Caymanian status if they have been legally resident on Island for 15 years, or held their naturalisation for a minimum of five years, whichever comes first”.

The wording of that explanation takes into account the possibility that someone applies for PR right after reaching the eight-year residence requirement, and that application gets approved within a few months.

In that scenario, the person can apply for naturalisation after the requisite one-year wait and be eligible to apply for Caymanian status five years after that. If you add everything up, that would be more like 14 years instead of 15 years.

I know I do not need to say it, but I will: At this point, the odds of anyone getting their application for PR approved in only a few months seems more along the lines of when we might all witness a pig taking wing. Therefore, I feel safe saying you should operate under the 15-year rule.

One other thing, if you are British citizen, that doesn’t afford you any shortcuts. You still have to be naturalised before applying to be granted Caymanian status.

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Category: Ask Auntie, Immigration Questions

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