Update on permanent residency question

| 29/08/2019
Ask Auntie, CNS Local Life, Caymanian status

(Auntie): Since publishing a column earlier this week about a husband who wanted to wait past his term limit to apply for permanent residency, I have received additional information from a local immigration lawyer and am therefore updating the original response. The question was: “My term limit is coming up but my wife still has several years. I’d like to apply for PR, but ideally I’d wait until after my own term limit. Am I able to continue working as a dependent of my wife until I’m ready to apply for PR? Basically, it comes down to buying a less than ideal property vs buying our dream home.”

In offering his advice, the lawyer first pointed out that there is no longer a nine-year cap on applying for permanent residency; the Immigration (Transition) Law, 2018, repealed the earlier versions of the law.

The relevant part of the new law, Section 37(1), says: “Any person who has been, and is legally and ordinarily resident in the Islands for a period of at least eight years other than (in the situations listed) may apply in the prescribed form and manner to the (Caymanian Status and Permanent Residency) Board or the Director of (Workforce Opportunities and Residency Cayman) for permission for himself or herself, his or her spouse and his or her dependants, if any, to reside permanently in the Islands.”

For the husband who asked the question, this means he can either apply for PR, apply to renew his work permit to run alongside that of his wife’s according to Section 66(10), provided he satisfies the criteria, or be rolled over, the lawyer explained.

Section 66 deals with term limits and the lawyer said the part referenced “permits a person to work past their term limit in limited circumstances. However, if one spouse is coming up to rollover and the other spouse is five years away, they can continue to obtain work permits past their term limit and those will run alongside the other spouse’s. However, if their spouse’s work permit is rejected or they don’t have a work permit, then that individual cannot get a work permit.”

Then, when it comes to applying for permanent residency, if the wife in this situation gets PR, then the husband who has been here past his nine-year term limit can do one of two things. He can either apply for PR based on his own residence, even if it has been longer than nine years, or he can apply based on his marriage.

I hope this additional information helps.

The law mentioned above can be found on the CNS Library

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Comments (2)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Does the OP read the news in Cayman? Why does he want to stay?

    There are so many other great places for expats in the world, Cayman is not one of them. Caymanians are not even welcome in their own country.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Auntie. Madness that the authorities do not know the law they operate.