Are non-Caymanian minors allowed to work here?

| 03/01/2017

I have received these two similar questions:
1. We are getting mixed answers to our query about whether a non-Caymanian teenager can work in Cayman. We’d love to see your response upon investigation. If I am between 15 and 18 years old, am I allowed to work for money if my parents:
– are on a work permit, or
– have permanent residency, or
– are naturalised and have a BOTC passport, or
– have Cayman status?

2. I am a permanent residency holder. Is my 14 year old, who is in high school and added as my dependant, allowed to work a couple hours on a weekend in a store?

Auntie’s answer: The answer to both questions is no, and what follows are the reasons why, as explained by a Department of Immigration official.

The immigration status of the parents is actually not relevant because if the person who wants to work is under 18 and living in Cayman then he or she will be here as a dependant. If the parents have a Residency and Employment Rights Certificate (RERC) then the child can be added as a dependant and the same applies for a work-permit holder. The important stipulation, the official pointed out, is “that does not confer any rights on the child to be able to work”.

If the young person is attending school on a student visa, he or she is also not allowed to work, though there might be “a very limited exemption for students if they are required to do an internship or similar in the course of their studying”.

To be absolutely clear, Section 41 of the Immigration Law (2015 Revision) states “no person shall carry on gainful occupation in the Islands unless –

(a) he is Caymanian;
(b) he has acquired permanent residence with a right to work under this or any earlier law;
(c) he has acquired the right to reside and to work in the Islands as a result of the issue of a Residency and Employment Rights Certificate;
(ca) he is authorised to do so by a visitor’s work visa granted under this Law;
(d) he is authorised to do so by a work permit granted under this or any earlier law; or
(e) he is a person entitled to work under any other provision of this Law”.

One other thing: As a general policy, work permits are not issued to minors, that is, anyone under the age of 18.

The law mentioned in this column can be found on the CNS Library

Category: Ask Auntie, Immigration Questions

Comments (20)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    While it may say no, businesses are providing work experience for expat kids left right and centre whether paid or unpaid. As a Caymanian returning from school I would have gladly taken an unpaid opportunity just to get my foot in the door. Working/volunteering to get any experience is absolutely invaluable.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Cayman law is stupid.

  3. Apprentice says:

    So if the teenager is working for free getting work or skill experience then it’s ok?
    The key word is presumably “gainful”

    To be absolutely clear, Section 41 of the Immigration Law (2015 Revision) states “no person shall carry on gainful occupation in the Islands unless –

  4. Anonymous says:

    expat children are not allowed to work because they may be taking away from a local child

  5. Matt says:

    only men allowed then “he”

  6. Anonymous says:

    Does this include voluntary work? Perhaps work experience for a 14year old school child, where nominal travel expenses are paid?

  7. Anonymous says:

    I guess that means I can’t babysit anymore…
    Wonder if I could be arrested for all the times I already have?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Simple no no

  9. Anonymous says:

    And they are willing to work from an early age! What a difference!

    • Annonymous says:

      Who could really think all Caymanian children are lazy and don’t wish to work!

      The post earlier about expats kids are not allowed to work, because they would be taking jobs from Caymanian children etc could be so or not so.

      If that were the case… all countries have laws in place that they feel, is in the best interest of their country, like it or not.

      I bet if you check out the laws of many other countries with regards to this, it would be pretty much the same.

      Some Caymanian’s are lazy and feel entitled, but the exact same can be said for a percentage of every other nationality as well. Just as all… nationalities have hard working competent people.

      Why are we always bashing each other?! For goodness sake try to get along, life is short.

      Being hateful and negative about something so trivial, is nothing short of lunacy…especially in the face of the many other serious issues, we are facing on these islands.

      If you want change, lobby for change. Surely that can be done without the “expat… local…bashing”.

      Healthy, happy and prosperous new year to all!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Sweet, more illegal discrimination of permanently resident children on the basis of their national origin. Put it on the shelf with breach their right to a free primary and secondary education.

    • Anonymous says:

      Its not illegal if the law prevents it. Brexit and Trump’s election as POTUS have finally put to rest the myth that this so-called discrimination is indigenous to Cayman. If you have a right to free education in your own country, why aren’t you taking advantage of it? It seems you have disadvantaged yourself by moving to a country where the law clearly prevents it. Why complain about something that was in existence when you moved here? I worked in the UK and paid my taxes and once made a remark about how I didn’t have to pay taxes back home….I was to told to f*ck off back there by my coworkers who said I wasn’t really British. So do like the rest of us, build a bridge and get over it. Find a country that will offer free education and move there.

      • Anonymous says:

        Such discrimination is illegal because if it breaches Caymans human rights obligations. But you are clearly a post-factualist.

    • Anonymous says:

      There is no discrimination in education on the basis of national origin.

      • Anonymous says:

        Try getting a free school place if you are not Caymanian. That is the breach.

        • Anonymous says:

          You confuse nationality and national origin. All Caymanians are entitled to free education, without regard to national origin.

  11. Anonymous says:

    If either of the parents of the child are Caymanian (have Cayman status – naturalisation and a Cayman passport are not relevant) and the child has been legally and ordinarily resident in Cayman for at least a year, then the child is likely to be eligible to be acknowledged as being Caymanian by entitlement. An application needs to be made to the Chief Immigration Officer. The process is easy and it takes only 14 days to obtain confirmation.

    • Anonymous says:

      14 days?! You are joking – when we tried to get our sons status continued before his 18th birthday (both parents had status) & the process took almost a year!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        Acknowledgement of a Child and Continuation on turning 18 are not the same thing. The law expressly requires acknowledgements to be processed within 14 days. It is silent as to how long continuation applications should take.