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