Will I lose Caymanian status if overseas for more than a year?

| 23/04/2019

Can I travel to Cayman once a year for a week at a time and maintain status? Or once every 2-3 years? Does that work?

Ask Auntie, CNS Local Life, Caymanian status

Auntie’s answer: The law is very clear on your question, but to be sure, I asked an official at Workforce Opportunities and Residency Cayman (WORC), formerly the Department of Immigration.

Under the Immigration (Transition) Law 2018, Section 33 covers “Revocation of right to be Caymanian”. Specifically, Section 33(1) says, “The right to be Caymanian granted by the (Caymanian Status and Permanent Residency Board) may be revoked – (b) 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.”

That law also says to be considered a legal and ordinary resident of the Cayman Islands, a person must maintain an uninterrupted presence here so that this is considered your “normal place of abode” except that absences of six months or less for such reasons as health and education are acceptable. If you are away for more than six consecutive months but less than a year, that “shall raise the presumption that there has been a break in residence”. And “absences abroad for twelve consecutive months or more shall constitute a break in residence”.

The WORC official added, however, that the decision on how those absences affect your status is at the discretion of the Caymanian Status and Permanent Residency Board, but if I were you, I would not take that chance.

The law mentioned above can be found on the CNS Library

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Comments (9)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Since this question comes up every so often, maybe WORC should investigate travel records and actively check whether ppl are breaking this law and then report to DCI. It only seems logical.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Don’t worry, the big bonus of status is that you can go back to civilization but have people earn easy money for you in Cayman. Status lets you leave.

  3. Anonymous says:

    What if you are also naturalized and carry aa BOTC passport?

    • Anonymous says:

      Irrelevant. Naturalization and a passport provide no right to be in Cayman.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Fair enough answer Auntie, but does anyone actually check. Many status recipients have been away for years and are still the “Caymanian” partner in businesses. Words on paper. That is the reality of what most of our laws are.