Saturday 31 October, 2020

Cayman: Overstayer amnesty is coming to a close

The Overstayer Amnesty that was granted to visitors who overstayed due to COVID-19 and work permit holders who lost their jobs due to the pandemic, will come to an end on October 31. 

The Amnesty implemented in April allowed persons who remained in Cayman due to COVID-19 measures, to stay without fear of prosecution. 

Customs and Border Control (CBC) and Workforce Opportunities and Residency Cayman (WORC) are encouraging persons who have overstayed due to COVID-19 to take the necessary steps to get regularised before it ends.

On October 1 2020, CBC counters will open and the new online system will launch whereby visitors can apply and pay for extensions. To avoid congestion by appearing in person to the office, CBC is advising that visitors already scheduled to depart the island before October 31 do not need seek an extension before leaving. 

Additionally, those persons whose work permits have been cancelled, or will not be renewed, are advised to take advantage of suitable repatriation flights offered by Cayman Airways or British Airways and to make the necessary reservations directly with either carrier. Cayman Airways will add extra flights to Miami, Kingston, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic should the need arise.

WORC’s Compliance Unit reminds the public that anyone found to be working without a valid work permit or working outside their permit terms may be subject to fines or prosecution. WORC is currently processing all application types and employers are responsible for ensuring all necessary documentation is up to date and written approval granted before the employee commences work.

Long term visitors who are home owners and would like to remain for an additional period can make an appointment with CBC, or apply using the online process.

If your term limit has expired and you are not able to apply for permanent residency, you will need to make arrangements to depart the island on a repatriation flight and leave the island for a period of one year before trying to obtain another work permit.

Once the amnesty expires on October 31, CBC will increase their compliance checks and those found to be in breach of the law may be subject to fines and or prosecution.  

The extensions counter will resume with regular opening hours starting October 1, Monday through Friday between 8:30 am and 4:00 pm. Walk-ins will be accepted but booking appointments and using the online system are encouraged. 

Contact 244 3318 or email Caymanvisas@gov.ky  for questions or to book appointments. Visit www.cbc.gov.ky to use the online system.

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