The Customs and Border Control (Amendment) Bill and the Immigration (Transition) (Amendment) Bill recently passed, opening up the path to a vaccine mandate for certain non-Caymanian categories in the Cayman Islands.
Who Will Be Impacted by the Vaccine Mandate
Our Immigration Team at CML can guide you through the new legislation but here is a synopsis of who will be impacted:
- Employees renewing or being granted new work permits, including temporary ones.
- When amending work permits to add dependents
- Those applying for or renewing student visas
- People who are legally and ordinarily resident in the islands for at least eight years, including those applying for permanent residence
- Those applying for Residency Certificates for Persons of Independent Means (those investing at least $2milion in developed real estate), and holders of this certificate who are applying for permanent residence.
- Surviving or former spouses or civil partners and adult dependents of holders of Residency Certificates for Persons of Independent means or holders of Certificate of Permanent Residence for Persons of Independent Means, who are applying for such a certificate/permanent residency in their own right.
- Those applying for Certificates of Direct Investment (which required an investment of at least $1 million in an employment-generating business), and surviving/former spouse or civil partner applying for such a certificate in their own right
- Holders of Residency Certificates (Substantial Business Presence), which refers to owners of at least 10% of a business on island
- Spouses, civil partners, and dependents of people holding Residency Certificates for Persons of Independent Means and Certificates of Direct Investment
- Those receiving entry permits from Cabinet
If you are new to the Cayman Islands or about to arrive and you have been unable to receive a vaccination program in your country, under the new rules an unvaccinated person arriving with unvaccinated dependents will be asked to sign a declaration stating they will complete an approved vaccine course within 40 days of arrival. Failure to do so may result in the cancellation of the work permit. At the time of writing the Cayman Islands Government offers an approved vacation program free of charge, the schedule can be found here.
There are exemptions for those who can provide a medical certificate that a vaccine would be detrimental to their health or the health of a dependent. The final decision on an exemption will be made by the government’s medical officer of health.
If you already have permanent residency but need to make a change in your annual declaration you are not mandated to be vaccinated. However, if you are just starting the application process you will.
If you are ready to apply for Cayman Status, you do not need to be vaccinated.
At the best of times, anything to do with immigration can cause a headache. CML offers a comprehensive advisory service to ensure that everything goes smoothly. Our team has over 20 years of experience reviewing Cayman Immigration Law.
If you want an immigration partner that understands your business or family’s needs and won’t let you down contact us today for a free consultation.