I have been on island for the past 9 1/2 years and currently married to a Caymanian for four years. I received my RERC (Residency and Employment Rights Certificate) in 2015, which will expire in 2022. We have no kids together. My wife and I are having marital problems and she wants a divorce. My question is: Seeing that I have not applied for PR at the nine-year term limit, can I still apply for PR if I get a divorce? I was told that I was too late with the filing and may have to leave the island and reapply for a work permit and start the process all over. Is there any other avenue to get PR for men like me? I am gainfully employed and have the designated points for PR.
Auntie’s answer: What you were told about starting over to be eligible to apply for permanent residence is correct. An official with the Department of Immigration explained that the answer is in the law.
Section 30(1) of the Immigration Law (2015 Revision) says, “Any person who has been legally and ordinarily resident in the Islands for a period of at least eight years but not more than nine years” may apply to be granted PR. You clearly fall under that restriction.
The only way forward is as you describe. The official said that if you get divorced and then apply for and are granted a work permit, the date of that new permit restarts your PR clock, as it were. That means you would then get another nine years on the island and could apply for PR after eight years have passed.