Former overstayer wants to visit Cayman

| 10/07/2018

I have a friend who, 13 years ago, when he was 19, was “deported” because his employer held his passport and when he asked immigration for more time they informed him that he had overstayed (it wasn’t more than three months). Immigration then allowed him to stay one more week. He didn’t serve any jail time and did not have to pay any fines.

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He now wants to visit the island. I called immigration twice to find out what he needs to do. One person said he is not allowed back ever and another official in enforcement advised me it wouldn’t be an issue for him to visit since he didn’t commit a major crime and had been gone for so long. I was told there was an application online (which I didn’t find) to start the process. When I tried to get this application at the enforcement office, I was told that my friend has to write a letter to the chief immigration officer. Could you find out if he can come back to Cayman and what the correct procedure is?

Auntie’s answer: I checked with the Department of Immigration (DOI) but since they don’t have a name to check, they cannot specifically say whether your friend was actually deported or just placed on their warning circular.

However, a DOI official was still able to offer advice. If your friend was not deported from Cayman and was never charged or dealt with administratively, there is a way to return.

He would have to obtain written permission to enter Cayman from the chief immigration officer (CIO) or designate, explaining what happened 13 years ago. “The reasons they have given for the said offence being committed would be investigated and they would then receive a written response from us,” the official said.

One other thing to note is that if your friend is from a country for which a visa is required to visit Cayman, the letter from the CIO would not waive that requirement and he would need to meet whatever stipulations are necessary to get the visa issued.

For reference, the immigration department website is here.

Address the letter to:

Chief Immigration Officer
Department of Immigration
P.O. Box 1098
Grand Cayman  KY1-1102

Be sure to include a clear return address.

Category: Ask Auntie, Immigration Questions

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