Returning to Cayman after being rolled over

| 08/06/2017

Ask Auntie, CNS Local Life, Caymanian statusI will be leaving shortly on rollover. Can you tell me what the rules are on visiting Cayman during my 12-month absence period? If I want to come back and visit friends, what are the rules? Also, if I wanted to come back and work in my former office for, say, one week every quarter, would this be allowed?

Auntie’s answer: The Immigration Law (2015 Revision) addresses these issues, and an official with the Department of Immigration helped to explain the relevant part, Section 52(1), which says: “Upon the expiration of his term limit, the worker shall leave the Islands and neither the Board nor the Chief Immigration Officer shall grant or renew a work permit for him until he has ceased to hold a work permit for not less than one year after he has left the Islands.”

What that means is that a person may come back to Cayman to visit, but they will be landed as a visitor and therefore subject to any requirements under the law that apply to visitors, such as visas. More importantly, for your question, is that the person cannot be granted a work permit until he or she has ceased to hold a work permit for at least one year after leaving the island.

There is one other point for you to think about. The official stressed that in order for the clock to start ticking for their one-year wait, the person must have ceased to hold a work permit. As an example of this timing, say that someone’s work permit and term limit expire 1 September 2017 but his last day of work is 15 August and he leaves the island 16 August. In that case, unless the employer cancels the work permit, the countdown of the one year doesn’t start until the permit expires on 1 September, even though he left the Islands on 16 August.

To clarify that a bit further, the official offered a theoretical example to illustrate: A work permit holder leaves the Cayman Islands on 1 June 2017, six months prior to the expiration his work permit/rollover (31 December 2017) but the employer doesn’t cancel the work permit with immigration. The employer then submits another work permit on 1 June 2018, a year later, to employ the worker. However, because the permit was never cancelled, the worker won’t be eligible for another work permit until 31 December 2018.

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Category: Ask Auntie, Immigration Questions

Comments (22)

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  1. Pranz says:

    Can i fly after a day of my work permit expired?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Yep I have a friend that got caught with the permit expiry. Her employer never cancelled it and she returned ONE DAY too soon because she didn’t know they hadn’t cancelled it as they promised. She should have 7 more years but immigration is making her leave.
    Now what!!?!?!?!

    • Anonymous says:

      You can cancel your own work permit. It’s called taking an initiative. Don’t rely on other people to do things for you. It’s your life. Take responsibility for it.

    • Money HOG says:

      …Stay away. Simple.

  3. REB says:

    This is the wild wild west here! Anything goes Here…. just look and talk smart and you can get away with anything!

    • Money HOG says:

      Like most foreigners they ‘look’ the part….while most locals try to ‘act’ the part…its a mess from both spectrum’s here.

    • Anonymous says:

      You mean like the people who leave on a supposed rollover but then continue to visit the Islands, stay in their own home and work, meet customers etc during that one year of supposed absence? Yes REB, you are right that it certainly is the wild west and people have no idea of the things that go on, how people play the system and how they disadvantage Caymanians. Immigration Enforcement need to up their game on these types of abuses.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I thought the whole idea was to create a break in residency of at least one year. Certainly an individual visiting during that break would fail to fulfill that obligation. I suspect that what will happen is that until such time as he or she stays away for at least one year , they will be unable return on a work permit. This break in residency was intended to avoid having persons applying for status or Permanent Residency based on many years of continuously living on islands If immigration is not going to enforce this one year break in residency ,and allow visits during what is intended to be “Stay away time”, then it serves no purpose in having it on the books.

    • Anonymous says:

      So if that person is a home owner here you would disallow them from checking on their home a few times a year? Would you leave a major investment unattended for that long?

    • Anonymous says:

      You cannot hold a work permit for one year but it doesn’t mean you can’t visit – that would contravene your rights to travel and live freely.

    • Anonymous says:

      Very well said.

    • Anonymous says:

      A visitor can hardly be considered resident.
      Can they bring in a fee that covers long stays by in-laws?
      A mother in-law permit that I have to (or forget to) apply for.

    • Anonymous says:

      My understanding on the matter is you are allowed to visit but if you visit too often or for an extended period of time the Chief Immigration officer can add time to the 1 year policy. Example you come visit for 2 months, you may have to be off Island for 14 months before being granted a new permit.

      Can Auntie confirm this?

  5. Anonymous says:


    Are immigration really suggesting to you that someone can come to Cayman on vacation, be here for much of their year away, and then expect to get a work permit 12 months after their last having never really ceased to be resident here for a year?

    The human rights and enforcement consequences of such a stance would be dramatic.

    • Anonymous says:

      11:57 – try reading the response again. Clearly you don’t understand it.

      • Anonymous says:

        I suggest you read the response of anonymous at 2.28am who plainly understands the issues and least as well as me, and seemingly much better than you.

      • Anonymous says:

        Let me put this in terms you might understand:

        “Dear Judge

        I first came to the Caymanian Islands when I was 19 years old. Although I am a Guatemalan citizen, I grew up in France and the United States of America, spending 7 years in each. I do not speak Spanish. Guatemala is the only country I am entitled to live in, and I have not been there since I was 3 years old.

        I worked in the tourism industry for 9 years and ceased working for a year due to rollover. After my work permit ended Immigration kindly let me stay for 3 weeks while I ” got my affairs in order” and left Cayman for 5 weeks to spend the summer with some friends in California. I returned to Cayman for a month, staying in my apartment, before going on a 3 month cycling tour of 5 European countries. I then came back, and as I owned my apartment, Immigration kindly admitted me as a tourist for 6 months. I then went on a sailing vacation for 5 weeks while my permit was in for renewal. When it was granted, one year and one day after my last term limit, I immediately came back. 11 years have now passed since then. I fell pregnant and 7 years ago my child was born here. My son knows no other home. His father was a tourist and I have no contact with him.

        Two years ago Immigration refused to renew my permit saying I had to leave. Where am I supposed to go? My child knows no other home. He considers himself to be Caymanian. I am destitute having not been allowed to work while my appeal went through the IAT. All my friends and (now limited) assets are here.

        Please tell these fascist bastards that now that I have been here for 21 years (most of my life) and knowing no other home for that entire period that it is not possible as a matter of basic human rights considerations to force my removal at this stage. It is not like I have been hiding or committed any crimes.

        While I am at it, can you please order them to pay me the $100,000 of income I have been deprived of over the last 2 years?”


        • Money HOG says:

          Fatherless youth of a nobody cares Guatemalan girl in Cayman….Well he soon be a criminal in these streets too – you watch.

          • Anonymous says:

            Yes – but all because immigration allowed her back as a visitor for more than a few days during her rollover period.

        • Anonymous says:

          Multiculturalism only works when he or she that migrates understands they are subject to assimilation and demonstrates a willingness to contribute to the betterment of their new place of stay “which has or may come into their possession by way of the good will of the natural born 4th / 5th /6th generations of these Cayman Islands, whom has instructed the governing bodies that such maybe granted onto one. providing! they are fit to be among us”. “which means we were before them” and shall remain. History cannot be undone.. As far as your investment? its just that. Buying land guarantees you nothing here. Cash in and leave. My 13 year old son’s space in his own country will not be traded for the likes of you. For those of you that cannot comprehend the above? WE WILL VERY SOON HAVE A FORMAT FOR YOU.

        • Anonymous says:

          You failed to properly understand and manage your circumstances given the available information. Why should any nation make an exception because of your lack of personal responsibility? You made certain choices with full knowledge of the likely outcomes and now expect special consideration when you should have been planning for your future like a responsible adult. Good luck with that matter, Hun.