When working doesn’t need a work permit

| 21/08/2018

I’m the spouse of a work permit holder. I have some work for an overseas company which I can do from home. What’s the legal position for me to do so? Am I expected to get a work permit (they have no physical presence in Cayman)?

Advance ChevroletAuntie’s answer: Your particular circumstances apparently are not specifically dealt with in the law, but a Department of Immigration (DOI) official was able to offer advice.

The view of the department is that “a work permit is not required where a person legally resident in the Islands is being paid to work for an employer overseas because there is no connection to the jurisdiction except for the physical presence of the person”, the official explained.

However, anyone considering working as you describe is not allowed to enter into any contracts with entities or individuals in the Cayman Islands.

Just in case, though, it might be a good idea to ask the department to confirm that the work you are considering would not require a work permit. To check on this you can email immigration at imm-wpe@gov.ky.


Category: Ask Auntie, Immigration Questions

Comments (13)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Does this mean they do not need to comply with the Trade and Business Licensing Law or the Pensions Law? Who regulates the foreign employer when it comes to overtime, vacation pay, and things like minimum wage?

    • Anonymous says:

      Must be those laws can be ignored too (as long as you are not Caymanian or have no work permit).

    • Anonymous says:

      T&B is for doing business on island…company is overseas.

      • Anonymous says:

        If it has an employe working here, it is operating here. If it is paying someone resident here for work conducted here, it must pay pension and ensure the person has health insurance. It must also have a work permit authorizing their gainful occupation in the Islands. That is of course only what the law says.

        • Anonymous says:

          Sounds to me like the person would be self employed (consulting). In other words no employees.

      • Anonymous says:

        So no need to obey labor laws or pensions legislation either even though working in Cayman?

      • Anonymous says:

        So if a foreign accounting firm employs expatriate accountants in Cayman to do audit sign off for NYSE traded entities then they do not need to have a local employer, do not need to consider compliance with the LCCL requirements, do not need to have any permits, do not need to comply with pensions or health insurance legislation and can conduct themselves entirely free from any regulation whatsoever?

        Anyone tell Dan Scott? He could save millions.

        • Anonymous says:

          Dude. Dan Scott audits funds domiciled in Cayman which by law are required to be audited by a Cayman audit firm. No foreign audit firm is going to set up shop in this place to do audits here if they didn’t have to. It’s expensive. This is the reason all the big firms located here make use of low cost offshore resources in India (or other low cost jurisdictions) to whatever extent possible.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Ummm…so why does everyone in the offshore economy need work permits? They are not working for customers here. This answer from immigration makes no sense and is directly contrary to the provisions making it clear that engaging in gainful occupation in the Islands requires a work permit.

    Did the law change?

    • Anonymous says:

      The Law has not changed. Anyone who is not Caymanian needs a work permit or other express exemption or alternative permission if seeking to engage in gainful occupation. Anyone following the view of Immigration on this issue risks committing an offense under multiple aspects of Cayman legislation and should consult with a lawyer before acting in reliance on it.

      • Anonymous says:

        Alden should be asked to explain why a department under his own ministry appears to be advising people that it is OK to act contrary to fundamental aspects of Cayman Islands law – unless of course it is not contrary to Cayman Islands Law – in which case the Caymanian people have been delsional since 1971.

    • Anonymous says:

      What you talkin’ bout Wilson? They are working for customers with interests in Cayman. The offshore industry services companies registered and operating in Cayman. If you set up a Company with a local presence then these laws rightfully apply. In the instance in the question, the person is contracting out services for an overseas company. It has no relation to anything in Cayman and they aren’t paid by a Cayman entity. As such, no pension or similar laws should, or do, apply.

      • Anonymous says:

        …but they do apply, and immigration or you professing otherwise does not change that.