Maintaining Caymanian status if living abroad

| 20/08/2017

In your column on Maintaining the right to be Caymanian, you state: “However, if you go overseas for no more than six months in a row for such things as education, health, vacation or business, you will still be considered a resident.”
1) Are you saying that if I were to travel to Cayman every six months, I would maintain my status?
2) What if I worked overseas but travelled to Grand Cayman every six months. Then, would I maintain my status?

Auntie’s answer: The column you reference answers a question about how much time must be spent on island every five years to maintain Caymanian status and if a biennial visit would suffice. Basically, the answer was that it wouldn’t. It seems like you are looking at how you might be able to circumvent the residency requirement, that you will not in fact be living in Cayman.

A very helpful (and extremely patient) official with the Department of Immigration confirmed that the answers to both of your questions is “no”, and explained, “Under the loss provisions of Section 27(1) of the Immigration Law (2015 Revision), a holder of the right to be Caymanian (granted by the Caymanian Status and Permanent Residency Board), may lose the right to be Caymanian where the holder has ordinarily resided outside the Islands for a period of five years and can no longer be said to be settled in the Islands.

“The information quoted by the person asking the question is simply the definition of ‘legally and ordinarily resident’ and is used to determine whether or not a person has met certain residency requirements, for example, meeting the eight-year residency requirement for applying for permanent residence. In doing so, certain absences from Island, such as temporary absences for education, health, etc are not considered a break. This definition does not apply to the loss provision for Caymanian status.”

In addition, the official pointed out that the burden of proof is on the applicant to show that despite residing off-island for five years he or she is still a resident in Cayman. Returning to Cayman every six months for whatever limited period of time you are considering would not be enough to pass that residence test.

I would imagine that if you are living and working in another country you would be a legal resident there, which would preclude you also being resident in Cayman.

At the very least, all of this coming and going would be bound to raise a red flag at immigration here. The official noted that in the end it would be “a matter for the Caymanian Status and Permanent Residency Board to determine”.

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


Category: Ask Auntie, Immigration Questions

Comments (18)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    What about a person who has RENOUNCED all other citizenships other than Caymanian? Does that person become stateless as a result of this draconian provision?

    Other nationalities generally retain their right to CITIZENSHIP and even to VOTE in their country of birth (or naturalization) regardless of their residence worldwide for the rest of their lives. This will not hold up under (UDHR/UNHCR) which Cayman is subject to.

    When will the first court test of this occur, as I know of several people with Caymanian Status who have no other nationality, but due to economic reasons have had to relocate more or less permanently!

    • Anonymous says:

      Caymanian is not a Citizenship. It is a status. You cannot just be Caymanian. By Definition you must be (for example) a British Overseas Territories Citizen AND Caymanian or Jamaican AND Caymanian or American AND Caymanian or British AND Caymanian. Ceasing to be Caymanian does not mean you cease to have your citizenship!

  2. Acon says:

    The best explanation i ever recieved of “ordinary residency” is a simple question… Do you still have an underwear drawer there? I.e have you maintained a very personal and normal life in the country you are claiming you reside in? If you dont have a stash of undies… in all likelyhood you dont normally or ordinarily reside there… its a very simple indicator and obviously doesnt fit all circumstances.

  3. Anonymous says:

    One of the best things about status is that you can live elsewhere while get others to make you easy money in the Cayman economy. It is a common misconception that people want status to stay, when they want status allows them to leave.

    • John Lin says:

      And you have proof of this or is this just your guess?
      Name some names please.
      I have many friends who have Caymanian status and they most certainly live in the Cayman Islands.

      • Anonymous says:

        What an inane comment. Some do want to stay. But many like to go and status lets them do that without having to turn off the easy money tap.

        • Anonymous says:

          Then immigration should look into this and remove those rights. Ppl who are fly by night Caymanians acquire status by living in the Cayman Islands for x number of years living and working in the prime of their years. Then open a business, leave the island and let the money flow out of the country.

          Cut that loophole out. If ppl are only on status by the length of time and are no longer ordinarily resident should have the status revoked. The ones that acquired status by parentage should be allowed to keep their Caymanian status and never allowed to lose their rights.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Who’s going to care if no one reports it. I know someone with status and went away for 7 years and came back and still has it. if no one reports it, who cares.

    • Anonymous says:

      And immigration does not know? Are you suggesting they do not know, which would make them incompetent, or that we have to tell them things they already know before they will do anything?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Why does Cayman make this so complicated. Every time I see one of these explanations all I can think of is “that’s a stupid way to run things.”

    • Ray Charlez says:

      In the US do you not have to reside there for x amount of time to maintain your Green Card? I guess it is not stupid because of the Country. Bottom line every country have their own rules stop trying to change mine. You know what to do id you do not like it. Hit the road jack as Ray Chaeles would say.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I understood that if status was granted by cabinet, then there are no residency requirements. Another anomaly where the laws are not applied equally.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are correct and it causes havoc, particularly since people who have long left and have no connection to Cayman (other than a possibly unlawful cabinet status grant) are fronting or otherwise owning local businesses, and exporting all the profits. The whole purpose and intention of controls on ownership to ensure that local people had some benefit has been betrayed.

      • Anonymous says:

        How can one be fronting when one has status? One of the best advantages of status is to set up a nice little income stream and then move home.