Government has instituted an amnesty protecting overstayers from prosecution with immediate effect.
It comes as uncertainty in coordinating air-bridge and evacuation flights continues in Cayman, according to a Customs and Border Control statement Thursday.
The amnesty will remain in effect until further notice.
The statement said estimates indicate that several hundred expats are currently residing in the Cayman Islands without permission to remain.
“The amnesty is intended to reflect the spirit of compassion and humanitarianism which underpins the Government’s approach to policies in response to COVID-19,” the statement said.
It is intended to remove “fear of prosecution” as a potential barrier to making urgent arrangements for departure from the islands “via special evacuation flights or other airlift coordinated opportunities” for those who have overstayed their time or who are otherwise in Cayman illegally, the statement said.
The highest amounts of overstayers, the statement said, come from Jamaica, the Philippines, US, Honduras, UK, India and Canada.
Under section 101 of the Customs and Border Control Law 2018, the statement said, the director of CBC has powers to remove certain individuals who are unlawfully in the islands, where those persons are not Caymanian, a permanent resident, a work-permit holder, nor the holder of a Residency and Employment Rights Certificate or a Residency Certificate for Persons of Independent Means, or a holder of a student visa.
However, the CBC is urging those who now fall into the overstayers category to contact the emergency travel hotline at 244-3333 or via email at [email protected].