Does government keep tally of Caymanian staff?

| 08/08/2019

When they compile public sector statistics, how do they know if people are Caymanian? From what I have read, there is no central record, and being born here or having a Cayman passport means nothing.

Ask Auntie, CNS Local Life, Caymanian status

Auntie’s answer: This question came as a comment on a recent CNS story on the increasing number of public sector workers, which included a breakdown of how many are Caymanian. Your query actually touches on two distinct subjects: whether the civil service keeps records on which staff members are Caymanian and the relative importance of being born in Cayman and/or possessing a Cayman passport.

Deputy Governor Franz Manderson, as head of the civil service, addressed both issues, but I will start with your main question about knowing which employees are Caymanian. The quick answer is that the civil service does indeed keep records on this, hence the most recent annual government human resources report stating that more than 72% of public sector workers are Caymanian. If there were no records, this information would not be available.

Mr Manderson also detailed the process by which it is determined if someone is Caymanian. If a person was born in Cayman before 27 March 1997, he explained that they would be asked to show either their Cayman passport or a birth certificate. For anyone born after that date, they are requested to provide a Cayman birth certificate as well as the birth certificate of their Cayman parent.

If the person was not born in Cayman, then they need to provide a status letter from immigration (now Workforce Opportunities and Residency Cayman) or a certificate of Caymanian status.

Now, as to your opinion that being born in Cayman or having a Cayman passport “means nothing”, Mr Manderson had a lot to say. First of all, he explained that if someone is issued with a Cayman passport, it means they are a British Overseas Territories Citizen (BOTC). “Given the fact that Cayman is not an independent country and is a territory of the UK, our citizenship is governed by the British Nationality Act (BNA). Our local immigration laws define who is a Caymanian.”

He added that Cayman’s laws make it clear that anyone born here after 27 March 1977 must have at least one parent who was a Caymanian at the time of their birth for them to become Caymanian, as mentioned above. In that scenario, that person would also be a BOTC.

Mr Manderson then explained the most common way the BNA allows for acquisition of BOTC is when someone is resident in Cayman for more than five years and free from any immigration time restriction for one year.

“Those who qualify can apply to be naturalised as a BOTC and be issued a Cayman passport. This means that holders of permanent residence can also obtain a Cayman passport,” he said, and then added, “So I cannot agree with the statement that ‘being born here or having a Cayman passport means nothing’.”

I take his point since people who are granted permanent residency must live here for nine years and then wait an additional year to apply to be naturalised, after which they can be issued a BOTC passport. (Five years after that or once completing 15 years here, whichever comes first, then qualifies someone to apply for a grant of Caymanian status.) The process requires a commitment to Cayman and longevity, which is far from being a “nothing” accomplishment.

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Category: Ask Auntie, Civil Service Questions

Comments (6)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Lots of people have Cayman Passports without being Caymanian. Lots of people born overseas are just as Caymanian (from birth) as people born here. Where you are born is most often not a consideration, only where your parents were settled when you were born. Where your parents were born is also most often not a consideration. Lots of people born here are not Caymanian. Lots of Caymanians are ineligible for Cayman Passports. Lots of Caymanians cease to be Caymanian when they turn 18. Some apply for continuation, others do not bother. Not sure those in powers that be understand this. Many people who are not Caymanian are being treated as if they are. These are facts.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Seriously? It is clear that the requirements placed on people by WORC to prove they are Caymanian, and the requirements of the DG for people to prove they are Caymanian, are very different. If the private sector needs WORC to certify people are Caymanian, and place of birth is indeed not relevant to WORC for anyone under 40, why does government not have to follow the same rules?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Auntie, I became Caymanian as a child, lost that status when I turned 18 and applied for continuation. A lawyer told me it was good I applied for continuation because had I not, I would not be Caymanian anymore. Friends in the same position did not apply for continuation and nothing has happened to them. The whole system is in chaos and where they were born is not a consideration.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your friends are not Caymanian, but the civil service either does not know that, or does not care.

      • Anonymous says:

        Essentially those friends are living and working illegally in Cayman. Whatever happened to the immigration enforcement division?

        • Anonymous says:

          How can immigration enforcement, or anyone, do anything, if their bosses tell them not to?