Citizenship application process eased

Applications for British overseas territories citizenship in the Cayman Islands just got easier.

However, applicants for citizenship status will have to pay all relevant fees up front, some of which will not be refunded if the citizenship application is not successful.

Previously, applicants for citizenship had to appear four times in the government administration building before becoming naturalized and receiving Cayman Islands passports.

Now, only two visits are required; the first to submit the application and the second to take part in the citizenship pledge ceremony, if successful.

The six- to seven-month application process has now been reduced to about three months, Deputy Governor Franz Manderson said.

The full fee for naturalization is $825 for adults and $450 for children. If an application is not successful, the government will retain $200 from the initial payment for the “application fee.” The remainder will be refunded.

“I asked my staff to re-engineer the [citizenship application] process to make it more customer-friendly and to process applications in a reasonable time frame,” Mr. Manderson said. “It was achieved by simplifying the application form, using the Internet and removing unnecessary bureaucracy.”

In addition to the new application forms, which can be accessed on line at www.odg.gov.ky, completed application forms can be placed in a drop box in the government administration building foyer during business hours Monday through Friday.

The government accepts only checks and bank drafts submitted for payment on the applications and certified copies of all relevant documents are needed, save for an applicant’s police record and travel history.

Changes to the British overseas territories citizenship applications took effect March 28.

British overseas territories citizenship can be applied for as early as one year from an individual’s award of permanent residence by the Cayman Islands government. It the only citizenship that can be conferred on residents of the Cayman Islands, and it is separate from the application for and award of Caymanian status.

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