Caregivers may get rollover exemption

A proposal that would
exempt certain types of domestic helpers from Cayman’s seven-year term limit on
residence for foreign workers is likely to be considered this week by the
Legislative Assembly, the Caymanian Compass has learned.

The Immigration
(Amendment) (No. 2) Bill, 2010 would create a special certificate category for
domestic workers who act as nurses, nannies, or in some other care-giving
capacity for an elderly, handicapped or sick person.

The certificate would
allow individuals to remain in the Cayman
Islands for a further five years beyond the expiration of their
final work permit – as long as they remain in the employ of the same family and
care for the same individual or individuals listed on the Certificate of
Specialist Caregivers, as it is called in the bill.

Currently, Cayman Islands
Immigration Law requires all foreign workers to depart the Islands for at least a year following seven years of
continuous residence here, unless those workers obtain key employee status –
which allows them to stay long enough to apply for permanent residence.

The Certificate of
Specialist Caregivers would not allow an individual who holds it to apply for
permanent residence under sections 29 and 30 of the Immigration Law. The bill
states that the certificate – which could allow a foreign worker to remain in
Cayman up to 12 years or more consecutively – shall be deemed “not to be legal
and ordinary residence for the purposes of sections 29 and 30” [of the
Immigration Law].

The certificate can be
obtained, according to the bill, via application to the Work Permit Board or the
Chief Immigration Officer at any time during the course of the caregiver’s final
work permit, or within a year after the expiration of that final work permit –
if the person had already left the Islands
following the permit’s expiration.

In order to make such an
application, the caregiver would have to have been employed as a nurse, nanny or
other care-giving capacity for at least three years prior to making the
application. The caregiver would also have to demonstrate that he or she is in good
health.

A fee would be payable
upon successful application for the caregivers certificate, according to the
bill.

The certificate can be
renewed at the option of the person’s employer, but that application for renewal
would not be successful if the caregiver ceases to work for their current
employer; or if the person being cared for dies, ceases to be sick or ceases to
be handicapped. The Work Permit Board or Chief Immigration Officer would also
have some discretion available in awarding a certificate renewal.

If an application for
renewal of the Certificate of Specialist Caregivers is not successful and is not
appealed, the caregiver would have to leave the Islands for at least a year – as is standard for all
foreign workers whose work permits have expired.  

 

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