New rules planned to curb sham marriages

| 18/06/2024 | 32 Comments
sham marriage, Cayman News Service

(CNS): In a move the Cayman Islands Government has described as “upholding the sanctity” of marriage and civil partnerships, Cabinet has approved the drafting of new immigration regulations. Officials said the Immigration (Arrangements of Convenience) Regulations 2024, which aim to prevent sham marriages, show that government is committed to ensuring marriages or civil partnerships are entered into “sincerely and not exploited for ulterior motives”.

In a press release issued Friday, the government outlined the changes it hopes will curb efforts to circumvent immigration laws or to receive other benefits. Currently, the Marriage Act (2010 Revision) and Civil Partnership Act (2020) lack explicit provisions addressing marriages of convenience. The new rules are aimed at enhancing scrutiny, creating a clear and standardised reporting framework and addressing legislative gaps, making it easier for WORC officers to respond to suspicious reports swiftly.

Border Control Minister Dwayne Seymour said the measures aim to ensure that marriages and civil partnerships are based on genuine relationships and not exploited for convenience. “We are committed to maintaining the integrity of our marital system and protecting the rights and responsibilities that come with it,” he said.

Cabinet’s approval marks the beginning of the legislative drafting process, which will involve consultation with relevant stakeholders and the public. These new regulations will ultimately enhance WORC’s prosecution capabilities against officials who fail to report suspicions, which is presently challenging due to the absence of prescribed reporting procedures.

The streamlined process will enable more efficient handling of cases, ensuring that genuine marriages are protected while preventing abuse, officials stated. Outlining the proposed new rules, the ministry said the legislation would empower officials to scrutinise intended marriages or civil partnerships more rigorously by mandating the collection of more information from couples intending to marry, ensuring that all unions are entered into with genuine intent.

The rules will establish a clear legal framework for officials to report any suspicions that may arise during their interactions with intended couples. This aims to ensure that any potential concerns are documented and addressed in a timely manner, officials said.

To ensure consistency and reliability, the regulations will standardise reporting for all suspicions related to marriages or civil partnerships of convenience and address potential gaps in the current legislation regarding the prescribed form and manner for reporting suspicions.

“By defining clear guidelines, the new regulations will provide officials with the necessary tools to act appropriately,” officials added.

According to figures released by WORC, in 2022 its enforcement unit investigated 175 sham marriage reports and 114 cases resulted in “adverse findings”.

The new rules will likely help in the fight against fake marriages and what the previous labour minister Chris Saunders said was Caymanians selling their birthright.

However, the government has still not rolled out any new regulations or changes to the law to deal with the even bigger problems relating to the permanent residency points system or to enable the government to better control the number of work permits being granted.

According to the latest figures from WORC, there were a record-breaking 37,437 valid work permits as of mid-April.


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Category: Laws, Politics

Comments (32)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    wonder how this will address all the very young, barely legal caymanian girls being preyed upon by jamaican men in the late 20’s and 30’s. Get them pregnant immediately is their motto. “Me haffi breed that right away”

  2. ANON says:

    When are we going to address the Caymanian men who father children by their domestic helpers? Often time abandoning them. What rights do they have and how can they receive support in having their father’s accept responsibility.
    When are we going to discuss that?
    Maybe we should check with the DG and see what he has to say about that topic.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    What about Public Transportation? Did they or did they not partner with Barbados? Bermuda?

    Who will ensure that these alleged partnerships are based on genuine intent to create Public Transportation System in Cayman and not exploited for political reasons?

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    • Anonymous says:

      LOL 🤣
      TheBest Comment award! 🏆
      Pray what you preach!

      • ( ͡ ͡° ͜ ʖ ͡ ͡°) says:

        Hypocrisy at its finest

        3d paragraph of the article:
        “…to ensure that marriages and civil partnerships 👰‍♀️🤵‍♀️are based on genuine relationships and not exploited for convenience…”

        8:19 am comment:
        “…ensure these alleged partnerships 🤝are based on genuine intent to create Public Transportation System in Cayman and not exploited for political reasons”

  4. When the shoes fits says:

    Caymanians selling their birthright by marriage of convenience.
    But what about the Caymanians (in government) selling the birthright to wealthy foreign individuals that can buy citizenship? What about the Caymanians selling land and properties to foreigners who don’t even live here, causing the resident Caymanians unable to afford entry level property. Is the real issue with the sham marriages that the “new citizens” through marriage are not of a $$ value that matches the $$ value of those buying citizenship?
    It’s a 15 year wait for those that are genuinely committed to the island. Equalize the rules and make it 7 years for anyone trying to attain citizenship, be it through living here as a full-time resident, marriage or significant payment.

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  5. Elvis says:

    I was asked to photograph a wedding by a friend for a girl who couldn’t really afford a professional photographer. I offered to assist. She was so beautiful and excited. This guy turned up laughing and smiling with his friend and obviously had not attraction to the girl. I felt sick to my stomach.
    After the wedding I said ok stand with your back to the ocean as it’s a nice sunset and a big smile. I was met with “me nah smile ok” i said come on your wife is so beautiful big smile. Him and his friend burst out laughing. “ yuh nah herm me” mi nah smile jus tek di pic nuh” leaving the poor girl clearly embarrassed. I felt so bad for her. I told the lady please don’t call me for any of these scam weddings I feel like reporting him to the authorities already. I’ll never forget that day. Poor girl

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  6. anon says:

    Thanks, Parliamentarians. Now please create and pass a law addressing Paternity Fraud that will include a fine and jail time. Some of these women are too bold with no shame. Thanks.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    ha ha ha…wa they ga do..go into bedroom make sure they doing it the marriage way?! lol….i wouldnt be surprised if this dont show up on the tonight’s show…

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  8. Anonymous says:

    free solution…ban marraiges….the world will be a happier place.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.

    Tell Big Brother everything.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    hello lawsuits!?

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  11. Anonymous says:

    cayman has one of the highest divorce rates in the world….sham marraiges are the norm around here

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  12. Anonymous says:

    Ironically, it’s Caymanian men – many of them married – that go out and dangle their status like a hook on a line, specifically for the purpose of attracting a new disadvantaged mate. Why not make it a crime to spend withheld child support payments on sex tourism, brass jewellery, pimped cars, and VIP bottle service? This country of values, Christianity, and all…

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  13. Anonymous says:

    Sham marriages. Offenders should see the inside of a prison, followed by deportation.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Good idea, but deport these offending Caymanians to where? Honduras? Filipines? Jamaica?

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      • Anonymous says:

        …yes, back to thier “real” home…

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      • Anonymous says:

        Yes. You just have to revoke their status first – which is quite easy given that so many of them were granted status and are from those countries in the first place.

  14. Anonymous says:

    What is so hard about section 70 of the Immigration (Transition) Act:

    Marriages and civil partnerships of convenience

    70. (1) A person who enters into a marriage of convenience or a civil partnership of convenience commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of ten thousand dollars and to imprisonment for one year.

    Despite government telling us they have identified hundreds, where are the prosecutions?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Our parliamentarians, civil servants, and policing agencies can’t read the very agreements and subject matter they are tasked with enforcing. Negligent institutionalised illiteracy should be paired with penalties as well.

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      • Anonymous says:

        THIS sparks an excellent idea. All elected officials must pass a test of minimal competency.
        Having any sort of education is NOT enough.
        Even having such a test in order to be able to run for office should be required!

    • Anonymous says:

      We are a land of Laws with no enforcement. They come up with new Laws to make it look like they are doing something.

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      • Anonymous says:

        So very true. We have the mechanisms to deal with these marriages but oh no. They want more regulations. Damn nonsense

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    • Anonymous says:

      They can identify them; they just can’t prove it.

      Sort of the usual around these parts.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Well said.

  15. Anonymous says:

    IN Dwayne the Rock Seymour WE TRUST!!! Tanks Rock!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Honorable Rip Van Winkle Seymour has woke up and now is getting all these things straitened out!
      We are blessed to have such an astute government.

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