Is a seaman allowed to apply for an RERC?

| 01/05/2019

I will be applying for Residency and Employment Rights Certificate as the spouse of a returning Caymanian. My question is that I work at sea as a seaman for about three weeks to a month at a time and then I am with my wife for the same time. How would this affect my application? I have read that you can’t be away from your spouse for a certain number of times and this could affect me when applying after seven years of marriage for Cayman status.

Ask Auntie, CNS Local Life, Caymanian status

Auntie’s answer: When applying for an RERC, there are limits to how long you can be off-island; specifically, you are required to be “legally and ordinarily resident” in Cayman except for time abroad of six consecutive months or less for such reasons as education, health or business.

Since you said your work as a seaman keeps you away for about a month at a time, and then you are back on Cayman with your wife for another month then, yes, you should be able to apply for an RERC since your absences are clearly due to business.

In addition, as part of that application, there is a list of factors that must be considered when the chief immigration officer or Caymanian Status and Permanent Residency Board assesses an application for RERC, including whether the marriage is stable.

On your question about applying for Caymanian status based on marriage, however, one of the eligibility requirements is that the applicant cannot live apart from his spouse for “an aggregate period of three months” out of the seven years before submitting the application if the marriage was on or after 1 January 2004, which appears to apply to you.

But that doesn’t mean you are not eligible. A Department of Immigration official explained that when, after seven years of marriage, you apply for the right to be Caymanian on the grounds of marriage, since you are a seaman, the decision on whether to grant that right would be at the discretion of the Caymanian Status and Permanent Residency Board.

While I am in no position to say how immigration would decide on your application, it seems to me that if the members of the board assess your situation as a seaman in a stable marriage, you should have a reasonable case for being granted Caymanian status.

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Comments (2)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    How about applied and received RERC and is overseas for educational purposes. How does that affect the ability to apply for status?

    Auntie: First you have to apply for naturalisation; after that you can apply for the right to be Caymanian. Here is a link to a previous column explaining the process for both. Specific to your question, under the requirement to be “legally and ordinarily resident” in the Cayman Islands, there is an exception for absences of six months or less for the purposes of education, which should apply to you.

  2. sophie says:

    Right after one who applied for caymanian status can take a vacation about three months ?or the person has to be here during the proceess?