Can I stay in Cayman as a tourist after reaching my term limit?

| 04/07/2019

I am going to roll over soon. I’m just wondering if I could stay more than two weeks here in the island just to explore Cayman without working. Is that possible?

Ask Auntie, CNS Local Life, Caymanian status

Auntie’s answer: This question came in as a recent comment on a column from last year (see Remaining in Cayman after quitting work). As the issue is time sensitive I have been trying to get the necessary information as quickly as possible. While I was able to find out the path to an extension, I was also trying to offer some clarity on immigration questions in general, between the newly created Workforce Opportunities and Residency Cayman (WORC) and Customs and Border Control (CBC). Normally, I would keep at it until I was completely successful but, as I said, it seems you need an answer relatively quickly, and since I do not know the actual date your final work permit expires, I didn’t want to leave you hanging.

So, I will first tell you that, according to CBC, you are allowed to ask for one extension of your time here of up to four weeks. And after that you will not be granted any further extensions.

That is the straightforward part of the answer. Now things get a bit murky. I tried to figure out whether WORC or CBC is responsible for processing an application for extending your stay at the end of your final permit. I have been told by WORC that questions relating to extensions should be directed to CBC. I have also been told by CBC that work permit related matters are handled entirely through WORC. To me, your question seems to straddle both, which is why I have been trying to get clarification.

But, it does seem that this answer lies with CBC. If you are looking for the appropriate form (BC10 – Application for a Visitors Extension), you can still find it on the old Department of Immigration website (which says it is in “transition to WORC”, and not the new WORC website, which is still pretty bare); however, the link will take you to the CBC website.

Confused? I know I am. I do not blame the hardworking staff members of each department who have been patiently answering my many queries, one of which is who does what exactly? (I’m still working on that one.) At the very least, the changes do not seem to have been properly publicised, to explain how the areas of responsibility have shifted in some cases and been absorbed in others.

In your specific case, I recommend you download the form I mentioned and take that to CBC. As for any other queries, I will still try to clarify which department handles what. Then again, maybe it is just me and everything is perfectly clear. If that is the case, I would welcome any and all help in explaining it to me.

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Comments (2)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    “You are allowed to ask for one extension of your time here of up to four weeks. And after that, you will not be granted any further extensions.” This is a new rule. You used to be able to stay 2-3 months. After living and working here for 7+ years, it’s draconian to expect people to do this.

    As for the visitor extension. The 4 weeks is granted on that basis so out you go at that point. I was told that if I came back as a visitor and stay up to 6 months (I wanted to come back and enjoy/explore the island too). When I did, it was awful at the airport. They were asking me suspiciously why I was back and after going through 3 people, eventually (and kindly I might add) let me through for 3 months. It was quite scary. For a moment I was wondering if they’d send me home. Then the awful visits to beg for extensions where again, you are eyed with suspicion by mostly unfriendly counter staff. Hate it.

  2. Anonymous says:

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