Here’s some info on the new policy of a “Visitor’s Work Visa” that has just been implemented by immigration last month. This new facility will allow certain visitors to the Islands to engage in commercial activities without a work permit for a period not exceeding five calendar days.
To be eligible for a Visitor’s Work Visa a person must –
- Be employed full time by a company, individual or institution outside the Cayman Islands
- Be coming to the Islands for the purpose of engaging in commercial activity with one or more persons or licensed business entities in the Islands for no more than five calendar days and be formally sponsored by that person or business entity by way of an invitation letter
- Be proposing to engage in a commercial activity that would otherwise require a work permit
- Be eligible for the grant of a work permit (in other words, not be barred from the grant of a work permit on the basis of an expired term limit)
- Be ineligible for one of the activities listed in Regulation 11 of the Immigration Regulations
- Possess a valid visa for the Cayman Islands if required
- Not be a ‘professional employee’ as defined in the Immigration Law. ¹
- Not have held a Visitor’s Work Visa for the same sponsor or sponsors in the same calendar month.
¹’Professional employee’ is defined as meaning a person qualified as a lawyer, accountant, medical professional, architect, surveyor, teacher, minister of religion or a person qualified in any other occupation that may be prescribed. Note – no other occupations have been prescribed.
- No less than 24 hours prior to the proposed arrival of a visitor being sponsored by a local person or business entity, that person or entity must send to the Department of Immigration a standard form letter confirming their sponsorship. Where the visitor is being sponsored by more than one person or entity, each must provide a letter of sponsorship. The letter(s) of sponsorship must be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The standard form letter of sponsorship is available from the Department of Immigration website under “Form Finder”.
- Visitors and their local sponsors seeking to use this facility should note that a Visitor’s Work Visa may not be extended or renewed unless the Chief Immigration Officer is satisfied that there are exceptional circumstances and only then for a further five calendar days after which the holder must leave the Islands. To apply for an extension of a Visitor’s Work Visa a request must be made in writing to the Chief Immigration Officer prior to the expiration of the first Visitor’s Work Visa and the request must be accompanied by an administrative filing fee of CI$100.
A person granted a Visitor’s Work Visa is entitled to engage in commercial activity only with his sponsor or sponsors. Also, the holder of a Visitor’s Work Visa or a prospective employer is not permitted to apply for a work permit whilst in the Islands.
Refusal of a Visitor’s Work Visa
An application for a Visitor’s Work Visa may be refused if –
(i) the applicant is required to have and does not possess a valid entry visa;
(ii) the Department of Immigration has not received a letter or letters of sponsorship in the required form from the person or business entity in the Islands in respect of the applicant;
(iii) the applicant is a prohibited immigrant;
(iv) in the opinion of an Immigration Officer the sponsorship of the applicant is not genuine;
(v) in the opinion of an Immigration Officer the applicant’s presence in the Islands is not conducive to the public good.