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