Part III – Right to be Caymanian
Right to be Caymanian by ‘automatic acquisition’
Section 20(d) of the Immigration Law, 2003 provides that a person is deemed to possess the right to be Caymanian if he has obtained the right by automatic acquisition. It is proposed that the words ‘automatic acquisition’ be replaced by the words ‘by entitlement’.
Acknowledgement of the right to be Caymanian
It is proposed that a person who believes that he possesses the right to be Caymanian may apply to the Chief Immigration Officer for the formal acknowledgement of that right in his passport. Whilst the need for the acknowledgment for the right to be Caymanian has always been recognized there was no statutory authority for the practice. The Chief Immigration Officer is also to be given the power to cancel the passport acknowledgement in cases where by application of law a person loses his right to be Caymanian. There will also be a right of appeal to the Caymanian Status & Permanent Residency Board in respect of the Chief Immigration Officer’s decision.
Application for the right to be Caymanian on the basis of marriage to a Caymanian
It is proposed that the existing section 22(5) of the law be re-drafted to clarify how any period of time that an applicant and their spouse have been apart is to be calculated. Rather than giving examples of every circumstance that is an exception, the Board will now have wider discretion to make the determination as to which absences should be taken into account.
Application for the right to be Caymanian by the surviving spouse of a Caymanian
It is proposed that the existing section 22(6) of the law be re-drafted to insert a provision for persons who are living apart generally as opposed to under a decree of a competent court or under a deed of separation. This recognises that few married couples live apart under a formal separation whereas many couples are simply living apart because the marriage has irretrievably broken down but they have not taken formal steps to dissolve the marriage.