Caymanians outraged over need to prove status

| 18/04/2018 | 229 Comments

(CNS): The immigration department has issued a statement aiming to clarify the situation for people who are Caymanian by right through descent who have to acquire a letter from immigration proving that fact. However, the statement leaves several questions unanswered and has done little to address the outrage local people are feeling about what they see as challenges to their heritage. The government has also said nothing at all about its policy plans going forward on this issue and the related questions surrounding the status of people often described as “ghost Caymanians”.

“Acknowledgment letters are so-called because they offer official proof that a person is Caymanian, whether ‘by right’, ‘by entitlement’ or under other conditions of the Immigration Law. The need for such proof is created where the status is acquired automatically by law rather than grant, and generates no subsequent documentation,” immigration officials said in a release.

They said people could apply for formal acknowledgement in the form of a letter from the immigration department.

The situation has infuriated people, who have been burning up talk-show phone lines and venting that frustration all over social media. It arises because local people born in the Cayman Islands to a Caymanian parent after 1977 have no paperwork to prove they are Caymanian by right.

People who acquire Caymanian status via long-term residency, marriage or Cabinet and other grants receive documentation, but many adult ‘heritage’ Caymanians whose right comes through descent do not necessarily have official means to prove that. The problem is compounded because people who are not necessarily Caymanian can hold a local passport and historically there have been anomalies on the voter register, so even voter ID cards are not a sure-fire way of proving status.

This has led to an increasing number of employers making local people acquire a letter of proof from immigration from applicants who are Caymanian by right, which has created significant anger and resentment. However, the situation is believed to stem from threats of, and in some cases actual, prosecution of employers who have hired people without a work permit whom they believed to be local but turned out not to be Caymanian.

In the statement, immigration officials said it was not always practical for people to produce the documentation necessary to prove Caymanian status every time they need to do so, which is why the department believes the letter solves the problem. But applicants must produce copies of relevant documentation proving that they satisfy the requirements in order to get the letter and passport stamp. This generally means that people seeking the ‘proof of status’ letter will need to produce their own birth certificate as well as one or both of their Caymanian parents, which is not always easy.

Officials also said that where necessary, an affidavit proving that the applicant’s local parents were domiciled in the Cayman Islands at the time of birth needs to be counter-signed by a notary public or a justice of the peace. They confirmed that Caymanians by right do not need to pay a fee but those who have acquired status by entitlement will need to pay the fee of $50 if they want a letter, and that there is no deadline for people to apply for the letter.

However, local people have been expressing their condemnation of the issue and fear that this is yet another attack on the rights of local people and another barrier to the recruitment of local people. Speaking in the Legislative Assembly last month, Premier Alden McLaughlin said the issue was forming part of the overhaul of the immigration law but he was unable to tell the Legislative Assembly when a solution would be adopted.

“This one is very difficult,” he said, adding that he has been in wide discussions about this because locals cannot rely on their birth certificate alone or even a passport as proof. “We have to try to devise a means of easily and simply being able to determine the status of a person,” he said, pointing to the current burdensome process to access the certificate from the chief immigration officer.

The issue is raising considerable questions about future government policy going forward when it comes to the issue of status and being Caymanian.

CNS submitted questions to the immigration department about the proposed future policies and asked about speculation that the authorities are under pressure from the UK to address questions about the rights of children born here to legal residents, but we are awaiting a response.

Additional information on the acknowledgment process, including required documents and definitions of “by right”, “by entitlement” and the continuation of entitlement, is available from the Department of Immigration website.

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Category: Local News

Comments (229)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The Cayman Islands Passport says British Overseas Territory Citizen however it also states place of birth. When you get your first Cayman Islands Passport you have to provide documentation to show you’re a Caymanian, so what’s the problem now? The problem is that damn effed up Immigration Law, is the answer.

  2. Anonymous says:

    In my view what has contributed to this mess (if it hasn’t caused it), is the stupid Immigration Law that has been revised about 5 or 6 times now. No one should be issued a Cayman Islands Passport prior to obtaining Status! As it stands I believe, one can obtain a CI Passport after Naturalization which is total madness. An individual cannot obtain the passport, for example, in the US, prior to becoming a citizen with all the benefits of same. Only here I’ve heard of persons having a Cayman Passport but can’t vote. This is a total mess!!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    This is the icing on the damn cake!!!! The present day Govt should be ashamed of themselves for bringing such a stupid requirement. It’s just another way of pushing Caymanians out of the work force altogether and turning to crime to feed themselves and their families. They have no respect for Caymanians but need to remember Election isn’t that far away so make plans to go sit in your mansions here or overseas!!! THIS IS TOTAL DISRESPECT TO US CAYMANIANS, LET’S GET A SENSIBLE PETITION STARTED!!!!

    A fifth generation Caymanian!!!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    You have to appreciate the humans ability to imagine. These people truly believe a invisible ghost is going to curse all of us if two consenting adults are wed.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Oh behave yourself. That is your opinion. Perhaps if you humbled yourself a little, God would make Himself known to you.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Just wondering…. have all those temporary Passports that I hear were given out in the 1970’s to non-Caymanians have come to light???

  6. Anonymous says:

    You made it tough to be a Caymanian. You want to keep the driftwood out. All understandable. But if you want to have the government recognize you on your say so just because you went to school with the officer or you are cousins or their daddy knew your daddy, you can forget it. All kinds of people will get in because of who they know. On the other hand, why is there no friggin list.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The Law requires a list to be maintained by the Chief Immigration Officer “under the direction of Cabinet.” Ask them!

    • Rick says:

      Caymanians now getting a taste of their own Meds

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    • Anonymous says:

      The Immigration Law requires the Chief Immigration Officer to maintain a list “under the direction of Cabinet.” Perhaps Caninet can explain why it seems there is no list.

      • Al Catraz says:

        Well there isn’t a list. So here we are. Whatever the reason might be, it is irrelevant to the fact that Caymanians insist, as is certainly their right, on reserving certain rights and privileges to Caymanians.

        That’s all well and fine.

        But if you are going to do that, then you have to be able to prove you are Caymanian in order to have those rights enforced.

        I can’t see why this is upsetting to anyone. If it is, then it would have been a good thing to think about before calling on the government to crack down on employment of non-Caymanians without work permits.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Just for the fun of it. Poking really,,,,,, if you look at the cayman compass today of the pictures at the meals for wheels gala……how many locals you see?.. uh huh
    Expats ……supporting the local population…… we should get rid of the expats for sure. Because the locals always take care of each other..cough cough

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  8. Anonymous says:

    How about this. Just stop with The Who is and isn’t caymanians. Who cares. We are all just people living on the planet earth. We’re Earthlings………..isn’t that enough. Live together and support one another. That’s all that should matter. People love talking about the U.S. vs North Korea or Russia, this country against that. Trump and his ridiculous border wall. If everyone stopped with the b.s. the world would be a better place. I’m from the United States.
    But I call Cayman my home. I’m here because I love this place and all the people on it. It gets really old with the caymanians this and that…..expat this, Jamaican that. It’s time to get over it all. Can’t we all just get a long??? Earth kind.

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  9. Wooster the Rooster says:

    Too many old timers marrying hot young Latino or Phillipino ladies and upsetting the gene pool.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    What is a Caymanian? My passport says BOTC. SOB’s

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    • Anonymous says:

      Someone who possesses the Right to be Caymanian, formally known as Caymanian Status, wjhether by right or by grant.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The rules are different depending on whether you are a Hufflepuff, Slytherin, Raveclaw or Gryffindor. And then it further depends on whether you are pure blood, mudblood or full muggle.

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  11. #Blown-Away says:

    HOLD ON HERE… What are we saying? The Immagration/Govt have the time, money and audacity to hammer Born Caymanians who have Cayman Birth Certs and Cayman Passports to PROVE that they are Caymanian – when instead they should be FOCUSED on the LARGE NUMBER OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS we now have here in Cayman. Those that are being brought to our shores by the Jamaica Drug Smugglers((Who Immigraion DOES NOT have ANY RECORD of)) and those that have been FALSELY/FRAUDULENTLY CLAIMED AS FAMILY DEPENDENTS by those who have been issued Caymanian Status/Citizenship.

    Can someone please explain.

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    • Zombie Jesus says:

      A Caymanian Passport doesn’t prove anything, it only shows that you are a BOTC Citizen and that can be obtain in a myriad of ways and if you were born outside of a certain timeframe then doesn’t prove anytime either.

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      • #Blown-Away says:

        Zombie Jesus. I can see why you call yourself Zombie. FYI. In the immigration system of the Cayman islands, you are not issued a passport unless certified by all credentials at the time of issuance of the passport that you were born to local Caymanians or legally certified foreign Caymanians. So therefore why NOW the need to hammer those with already issued passports? Again… In contrast with the large number of ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS why is the CI government /immigration not focusing on the illegals instead of those with Caymanians BCs and passports?

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        • Anonymous says:

          You are simply wrong. Cayman passports are issued to all manner of people, and thousands of them are not Caymanians.

    • Anonymous says:

      Make them prove by DNA

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  12. Anonymous says:

    Britain is now putting this issue right.
    Strange how all of a sudden its very important to become part of Britain when CIG sold out all your land and public space to the Americans. No British banks on the main street, they are Canadian. Visiting Brits feel like 2nd rate citizens, “America First” or Canada first which ever way you want to look at it. Disgrace.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    Who are the people who have cayman passports but not the right to work? How does that happen?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Because expats are born here and are still here on their 10th birthday.
      Because anyone with PR can get naturalized a year after it is issued.
      Because anyone born here to a PR holder is automatically a BOTC (but not Caymanian).

      …lots of reasons…

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      • Anonymous says:

        Most frustrating reason is the failure of Government to apply rollover to thousands of expatriates, including in the the civil service, despite the fact they stand no chance of even qualifying for PR.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    CNS I have been told by someone in Immigration that there is NO FEE legislated for this but that they decided to charge CI$50. Is it possible for you to verify this by asking where in the Regulations/Immigration fee schedule can we see this fee in print. Also can you please publish what form are we supposed to fill out for this acknowledgement as a letter is not sufficient, as I have been told by Immigration

    CNS: I’ll pass this onto Auntie.

    • Zombie Jesus says:

      You are paying a processing/application fee. The Acknowledgement itself doesn’t have a fee attached to it, or at least that is my understanding of it.

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      • Anonymous says:

        There is a fee, but only if you are seeking acknowledgement that you are Caymanian by entitlement. There is no fee if you are claiming that you are Caymanian by birth/right. All set out on page 25 of the Immigration regulations (2018 Revision).

  15. Anonymous says:

    So should I gather that this BS is one that the new Human Resources Department came up with to help Caymanians who are unemployed??? Asking for a friend. Dwl

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