PR, Status denied very rarely

Cayman Islands immigration-related boards denied grants of Caymanian Status or permanent residence nearly 14 per cent of the time since the start of 2012.  

That’s according to figures produced by the Immigration Department through March 2013. The numbers don’t necessarily indicate that grants of residency and status are approved the other 86 per cent of the time, since a number of applications are deferred or delayed for various reasons.  

Between January 2012 and March 2013, immigration data show there were 2,537 applications for permanent residence, the right to reside in Cayman for the rest of one’s life, and Caymanian status, the Cayman Islands equivalent of ‘belonger status’ or local citizenship. During the same period a total of 353 of those applications were outright refused.  

The highest rate of refusal occurred in the last quarter of 2012, when 131 out of 679 applications were turned down. The lowest rate of refusal happened in the third quarter of 2012, when just nine per cent of those applications were refused.  

The latest figures available from the Immigration Department, for January through March, show 459 permanent residence and Caymanian status applications were received. Sixty-five of those applications were refused, while another 54 were delayed.  

The total number approved is difficult to determine exactly, because some of the delayed applications may have been heard again in the same quarter and so counted twice. However, even if all 54 were heard twice in the same period, it would appear that more than 275 applications were granted in the one three month period.  

There are actually a number of different types of permanent residence and Caymanian status awarded by the immigration boards. The vast majority of those statuses awarded between January and March can be broken down into five categories; residency based on marriage to a Caymanian, residency based on eight-plus years in the Islands, variation of a permanent resident’s status, Caymanian status based on naturalisation and Caymanian status based on marriage.  

The type of application most often refused by the Caymanian Status and Permanent Residency Board during the first quarter were residency applications for those who had stayed in Cayman for eight-plus years. Those refusals accounted for 34 per cent of all the applications turned down during the period.  

Backlog clearing  

The huge backlog of permanent residence applications that plagued the Cayman Islands in the years following 2004’s Hurricane Ivan now seems to have nearly disappeared.  

According to immigration records, in 2007 there were more than 3,500 people working in the country “by operation of the law” – which means they were awaiting decisions on permanent residence applications or on appeals of work permits that had been denied.  

By 31 March of this year, less than 600 people were being afforded that status.  

The newspaper reported figures on permanent residence grants between September 2008 and November 2011 as well.  

The majority of the residence grants between September 2008 and thus far in November 2011 went to spouses of Caymanians (1,558). Those applications are rarely declined, having been approved more than 80 per cent of the time since September 2008.  

Applications for permanent residence from foreign individuals who worked in Cayman for eight years and applied in their own right to stay here were declined 60 per cent of the time between September 2008 and November 2011. According to Immigration Department figures, 1,414 people were granted permanent residence as a result of those applications, and 2,099 were refused during the period.  

The overall number of applications for permanent residence declined sharply between July 2009 and November 2011, when compared to applications made between September 2008 and June 2009.  

Comparatively few people of independent means, including wealthy retirees, have applied for grants of residence. According to immigration figures, a total of 68 people of independent means have been granted residence within the past three years and another seven wealthy retirees have been granted leave to remain.  

Fewer than 50 people in the past three years have been approved to legally reside here as the dependant of a Caymanian; it is not clear whether that figure includes children. A total of 333 people were granted the right to remain and work as a dependant of a permanent resident-holder.  

Cayman Islands Immigration

Immigration-related boards have denied grants of Caymanian Status or permanent residency. – Photo: File


  1. This is one area that will be watched closely by the people of the Cayman Islands. First and foremost the immigration department and the newly appointed government need to realize and accept that Cayman Islands has a serious problem where these Permanent resident and status grants are concerned.
    Yes you have people living here for 10 and 20 years, but what have they contributed, beside just being here. Every week their earnings are sent to other countries, they have no home, no property, no family that they are living with, no business and does not contribute or involved with giving a day free to community service. This island is too small to be just handing out Residence and Status to people who just want to use the island as a stepping stone to make money to send elsewhere. This is exactly why the Social Service Department is in serious trouble. Park one day and count the many EXPATRIATE PERMANENT RESIDENT AND STATUS holders, young and old who are being cared for by this department. Why should the Government have to take care of you if you spent 20 years here and sent away all of your money? NO. It should not go so.
    Further more check the churches. Some of these persons who have been granted Permanent residence and Status are opening up churches in their kitchens and washrooms, then bringing in Pastors who definitely does not pay for a work permit. PPM Government you are in now, and have gotten what you wanted. It is time you run this country with an iron fist. Permanent Residence and Status Board you definitely need to pull up your socks. Too many persons are slipping under the radar in your decisions.
    Last but by no way the least. CAYMAN ISLANDS GOVERNMENT NEED INVESTIGATE AND CLOSE DOWN ALL OF THESE CHURCHES. 95% of them are doing illegal business and need to be seriously investigated.

  2. I suspect one reason so few wealthy people are moving here is the cost, 25,000. There is also a hefty application fee. Non-refundable of course.

    Another is the high level of crime. Who wants to feel targeted and unsafe?

    We welcome tourists who spend money here without taking jobs. Why not welcome long term tourists the same way.
    Instead if someone wants to stay here more than 3 months, without working, they are given a hard time by immigration.

    How about a new class of visitor, the long term visitor?
    One could stay in the Cayman Islands for 11 months a year. You would have to leave for one month every year, perhaps not all continuously.
    Working would be grounds for immediate deportation.

    No need to invest in a home here, rent if you want to.
    Must prove one has enough money to not need to work, say 100,000 in the bank minimum and re-prove this every year indefinitely.

  3. Hunter, I get what you’re saying about people being there for a long time while sending their money home, But can you really blame them, why would anyone invest their money locally when they know they will be kicked off the island soon. If they didn’t send money home they wouldn’t have anything to go back to, this is most likely the biggest reason people who come to Cayman to work are reluctant to buy a home. I do agree with you that Social Services should not have to take care of people who sent all their money home. I’d think that being able to provide for one’s self would be a prerequisite to get Permanent Residence.

    As for the Non Refundable Application Fee and 25,000 cost LongTermResident mentions, I basically think that is simply all about money but as he also mentions is seems ridiculous to treat people who want to stay and can afford to support themselves without working like trash. You’d think that these type of folks would be welcomed with open arms since the only thing they do is spend money, hell if you buy a home in Cayman and can afford to support yourself without working you are still looked at like some kind of a drain on the economy, when all you do is enjoy the island, shop at fosters, Pay your Mortgage, home owners insurance not to mention CUC, tell me how that’s a drain on Cayman. The idea of a Long Term Visitor is a good idea in my opinion. Having a 100K in the bank is more than enough to support yourself for a year. I don’t think the number even needs to be that high as long as the person can show that they can support themselves, They may have 60 or 70 K in the bank which is still plenty or they may have an income from a business they own or even remote job that’s located in their home country that generates a decent income. These things should all be taken into consideration, instead what you get is a what are you doing here why don’t you go back where you came from attitude like you are taking away from them..

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