Unclear whether children are Caymanian

| 30/01/2017

Are my children Caymanian? I have two children born in 2012 and 2016 in Cayman. I, the father, got status in 2002 on the basis of residency, and my children both have Cayman passports and Cayman birth certificates. My wife is a foreigner with permanent residency with the right to work because she is married to me. I have been told my children need a stamp in their passport acknowledging their ‘right to be Caymanian’. This means more paperwork and more fees. I am not sure what their immigration status is, or if they have to do anything when they are 18. I have called immigration but can’t reach a live person and the website guidance does not make it clear.

Auntie’s answer: The Department of Immigration official who addressed your question wanted first to point out that the information presented cannot be specific to your circumstances since there would be a number of factors that need to be considered in determining whether someone is Caymanian or has the right to be Caymanian.

Therefore, in general terms, you need to look at is Section 21 of the Immigration Law (2015 Revision), which defines “Caymanian as of right” for a child as one “(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his parents was Caymanian otherwise than by descent; or (c) acquiring the status of Caymanian under section 21 of the repealed Immigration Law (2003 Revision) or under any earlier law conferring the same or similar rights”.

In addition, you asked what needs to be done once your children turn 18. This is addressed in Section 21 (9) which sets out that before reaching age 24, a person may apply to the Caymanian Status and Permanent Residency Board for the right to be Caymanian who:

“(a) has attained the age of seventeen years;

(b) has Caymanian status which 
(i) will expire when he attains the age of eighteen years; or
(ii) has expired upon his having attained the age of eighteen 
years; and

(c) has been legally and ordinarily resident in the Islands for at least 
five out of the seven years immediately preceding the date of the application”.

I also want to add that the official recommends that you consult with an attorney or an immigration service provider for more specific advice. If you cannot afford an attorney, the Legal Befrienders service is provided free through the Family Resource Centre. Here is a link to more information on the service.

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


Category: Ask Auntie, Immigration Questions

Comments (22)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    He says that he has status but doesn’t he still need to be Naturalized to be a Caymanian?

  2. KK says:

    Hi there! If you traveled to the Cayman Islands as a visitor and gave birth is the baby a caymanian? Thx

    Auntie: No, the child would not be Caymanian.

  3. V says:

    If you have to ask these questions you know there is something very wrong with this system.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I advise that you sort it asap because they may run into issues once they’re older. Both of my parents are Caymanian. My grandparents on both sides were also born and raised in the Cayman Islands and born of Caymanian parents. It wasn’t until I was in the process of purchasing our first home, it was brought to my attention that I was not considered Caymanian.

    On my birth certificate, it shows that my mother was born in Jamaica. At the time of her birth my grandfather, a seaman, along with my grandmother was in Jamaica at the time of her birth. My mother had to seek Cayman Status Acknowledgment from Immigration. And even though she has this I still had to apply for the same. I was told that me having a Caymanian passport and being born here to Caymanian parents does not make me Caymanian, according to Immigration anyway. Me having a birth certificate stating that my mother resided in the Cayman Islands at the time of my birth, my grandparents marriage and birth certificates and DNA results from my father wasn’t enough proof either.

    Good luck!

    • Anonymous says:

      Unfortunately immigration are right. They are just following the law. Glad you got it sorted.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The wonderful Mr Steve in all his attorney wisdom has determined that jamaican children residing in Jamaica but born to Caymanian fathers have full rights as Caymanians and are entitled to full benifits of being Caymanian

    • Anonymous says:

      Except they may not be Caymanian.

      • Anonymous says:

        They are Caymanian in the eyes of the court.. ask Mr Steve And ask him if he is afraid for his country of the burden that could be imposed if the Jamaican Babies knew the CIG owed them

        • Anonymous says:

          Respectfully, it is of little concern what the Court says if it is not considering the immigration law. That law is the sole arbiter of who is and who is not a Caymanian. The court can of course decide these issues but must apply the law in doing so.

  6. GR says:

    Pay the $50 each and apply for a s20 certificate whereby Immigration confirms that your children are Caymanian. This will save hassles in later years when they need to prove that they are Caymanian

    • Anonymous says:

      Good advice, except there is no need to pay $50.00 unless you are claiming your children are Caymanian by entitlement.

  7. Anonymous says:

    They were born to at least one Caymanian parent. The fact they were born in Cayman is actually not relevant to whether they are Caymanian or not. If you were married to the mother on the dates of birth, and were settled in Cayman, then the children are Caymanian as of Right. No fee is required or payable in order to seek and obtain the acknowledgement stamp in these circumstances. Fees are only due if the applicant is seeking acknowledgement on the basis that they are Caymanian by Entitlement, not if they are Caymanian as of Right. It seems the wife does not have Permanent Residency but rather a 7 year RERC (which should be renewed every 7 years). She can apply for status when she has been married to you for 7 years. If you were not married to the mother on the date of birth, other considerations may apply.

    Persons who are Caymanian by Right (as opposed to Caymanian by entitlement) do not lose their status on their 18th birthday and so do not need to apply for continuation. They are Caymanian for life.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is not the case as I was born to a Caymanian father and my ‘non caymanian’ mother was married to my father prior to me existing whatsoever and I had to apply for a continuation. Although the laws may have changed yet again recently. I am a child of the 80s.

  8. Anonymous says:

    What a mess this country got itself into. and W H Y????????????

  9. Anonymous says:

    Kayman in mind is not kayman on paper It is strange to say that my children that were raised in caymen for 99% of there lives are not kaymanian yet they have all the defects of true kaymani They are lazy, say funny words,, eat nasty food and generally are rude teeth suckers and feel they are entitled to everything… I am only on earth to give and serve them..whats even worse when they visit the real world people have no idea what they are saying because they dont speak english …Regrets you bet

  10. Anonymous says:

    Is it not ironic that one has to engage legal counsel to find out if they are really Caymanian when they were born to at least one Caymanian parent in the Cayman islands, issued with a Caymanian passport and Cayman birth certificate. Crazy system.

    • Anonymous says:

      Was the parent settled in Cayman and are they in fact the parent are the two relevant questions that immigration needs to be satisfied of before ruling on the question.

    • Anonymous says:

      Also , what countries take your belonger rights ( as both a Cayman passport & birth certificate holder ) from you on attaining 18 years of age, if you do not qualify under this system for ‘The right to be’ ? Most countries both acknowledge & accept being born in-country as citizenship of subject country , affording all the civil rights that title extends.

    • Anonymous says:

      That is a mouthful.