The relevant Immigration Board has to be satisfied that the worker has sufficient income available to adequately support any dependants. Currently, the Board would expect to see a minimum household income in the region of CI$3,500 for one dependant to be included, with an increase of CI$500 for each additional dependant.
This is a guideline only. In every case, the character, reputation and health of your dependants is taken into consideration, as well as whether you can comfortably afford to feed, house, educate and maintain them in the Islands. The possibility is that you will be granted a work permit, but your children will not be allowed to accompany you if your income is considered insufficient. For a complete breakdown of the immigration rules for children born in or residing in Cayman to expatriates, please see Cayman Parent which has an extensive section on this subject.
Each year a fee of CI$250 will be collected for each dependant of a worker in the unskilled category and CI$500 for each dependant of a worker in the skilled category. It appears to be open to the employer and the employee to agree between them who will pay for this as it does not constitute part of the Work Permit fee. A non-refundable fee of CI$200 per person is also collected for repatriation. Either you or your employer can submit the letter applying for your spouse or children to be a dependant on your work permit, but your employer must submit a letter indicating the number of hours per week you work, your monthly income and any other benefits you receive. If each parent is working, then both employers must provide a letter. If your family members are not added as dependants, then they can only stay here as temporary visitors. Please also note that only the following can be dependants of a work permit holder: spouses, children (including step and adopted child/children), grandchildren, parents, step-parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters (including half-brothers and half-sisters). This means that girlfriends, boyfriends and fiancées cannot be listed as dependants on a person’s Work Permit. However, the Cayman Islands now (generally) recognises legally married same sex spouses as dependants.
As the situation stands right now, if a girlfriend or boyfriend comes to the Island without their own work permit, they will be allowed in as a visitor and in all likelihood will be given only 30 days to stay. It would help their case if they arrived at the airport with a letter from their ‘sponsor’ (the permit holder) which says that they will be supported while they are here. If they come in with this letter they might be given a total of three to six months to stay. Stays of longer than six months in any calendar year by any person classed as a visitor are unlikely to be permitted.
Dependant Children over 18 Years
Dependant children of work permit holders can only remain on a parent’s work permit after the age of 18 if they are a) in full time tertiary education or b) in special circumstances (such as the child is unable, for medical or other exceptional reasons, to maintain themselves).
Should your child turn 18 before they finish secondary school, the Immigration authorities will usually allow your child to remain in Cayman, although not formally as a dependant on your work permit, until they complete their secondary education. However, if your child chooses not to go on to university or college, and they want to continue living in the Cayman Islands, then their only option may be to try and get a work permit. At this point they are competing with every Caymanian and Permanent Resident school leaver who will have precedence over them, placing them at distinct disadvantage in seeking job opportunities.
There are a number of rules around children of Permanent Residents who are over the age of 18.
Work Experience for Expat Kids
Children of work permit holders cannot accept paid work experience without having their own work permit, and an unqualified 16-20 year old is unlikely to ever be granted a work permit. However, there is nothing in the law to prevent expatriate children from accepting unpaid internships if they have been resourceful enough to go out and find work in their school holidays!
In fact all children, expat or Caymanian, should be encouraged to seek work experience as soon as they are over the age of 16. It not only keeps them busy, but it teaches them the value of money and to have a good work ethic–invaluable tools for life! If a work permit is obtained for an expatriate child, no work permit fee will be charged by the CI Government.