Acquisition of the Right to be a Caymanian
Any person who has been naturalised as a British Overseas Territories Citizen (BOTC) by virtue of his or her connection with the Islands may, upon satisfying various residency requirements (being resident for 15 years or be naturalised for five years, whichever happens sooner), apply for the Right to be Caymanian.
Persons who have been married to a Caymanian for seven years, can also apply for the Right to be Caymanian. The surviving spouse of a Caymanian can apply for the Right to be Caymanian as long as they had been married for seven years and fulfil the other criteria. A person who is the child of a Caymanian, no matter the basis on which the parent became Caymanian, is generally considered a Caymanian if he/she is born subsequent to their parent becoming a Caymanian as of Right. Persons who can prove that they are the child or grandchild of a Caymanian who was born in the Islands can also apply to become Caymanian on the grounds of descent. The Cabinet may, in exceptional circumstances, grant the Right to be Caymanian to up to four persons in any year.
Any individual who acquired the Right to be Caymanian can lose that right if they move away from the Cayman Islands for more than five years (other than if they are away for medical or education purposes) and if they are convicted of an offence which was made possible by, facilitated by or connected with the grant of the Right to be Caymanian.
When a Permanent Resident is granted Caymanian Status the spouse and children of that new Caymanian must have their immigration status ‘regularised’ within 45 days. In effect, the spouse/children can no longer be deemed the dependants of a PR holder when the person is now a Caymanian!
A person who is newly married to a Caymanian needs to apply to the Caymanian Status and Permanent Residency Board for a Residency and Employment Rights Certificate as the Spouse of a Caymanian (RERC), which allows them to remain and work in any occupation and the certificate remains valid for as long as the marriage remains stable.
In the instance where the former spouse of a Caymanian is the mother/father of a Caymanian child, they will usually be allowed to remain (subject to various approvals) and be permitted to work in the Cayman Islands until the children complete their education or reach their 24th birthday, whichever happens sooner.