What is the status regarding work permit or permanent residency holders who have been convicted and sentenced in Cayman, upon their exit from Northward? There was a number of cases last year. Will they need to leave Cayman once they are out of prison or are they free to stay (e.g. if they are a PR holder or on someone else’s work permit)?
Auntie’s answer: While I received a response to this query from the Immigration Department, there is one caveat. As with all issues relating to work permits, permanent residency and the like, each case is different and the department will make its decision based on the individual merits of the case.
With that out of the way, I can tell you that this situation is addressed in the Immigration Law (2015 Revision).
If a work permit holder is convicted of a crime, Section 48(10)(e) says that the Chief Immigration Officer may refuse or revoke the grant or renewal of the permit on the grounds that the individual has been “convicted of an offence in the Islands or elsewhere, or has been fined by an immigration officer of the rank of Assistant Chief Immigration Officer or above”.
If the individual has obtained permanent residency due to being married to a Caymanian or to someone who was granted a Residency and Employment Rights Certificate, Section 33(1) says that person will lose those rights if he or she falls within the provisions of Section 38, which are set out for permanent residency holders. There are many provisions in that section but the relevant ones are where (1)(c) “he has been convicted of an offence against the laws of the Islands” or (1)(d) “he has been convicted of an offence under the laws of another country, the nature of which offence would, in the opinion of the Board or the Chief Immigration officer, make his continued presence in the Islands contrary to the public interest”.
So, if someone is convicted of a crime, the Immigration Department can certainly decide to revoke their work permit or permanent residency, meaning it would be time for that person to pack his or her bags.
The law mentioned in this column can be found on the CNS Library