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Annual Work Permit Grants FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions about Annual Work Permit Grants FAQs.
How long can I work in the Islands on a work permit?

The term limit for workers is now 9 years, unless otherwise indicated

Persons employed in certain occupations in the fund administration and reinsurance industries – 10 years for those with a 10 year permit prior to the recent changes on 28 October, 2013

Click here for more information in relation to term limits. Note: the term limits referred to above can be exceeded in cases where the person is married to another worker. Click here for further details.

How long can a work permit be granted for at a time?
Depending on the term limits referred to above, a work permit is generally issued for periods up to three years at the discretion of the relevant Board or the Chief Immigration Officer. The Board or the Chief Immigration Officer may, again subject to the term limit provisions, however, grant a work permit for a period of up to -
  • five years to domestic helpers, teachers, doctors, nurses, ministers of religion
  • five years to workers for positions authorised by the Board in a Business Staffing Plan Certificate
What are the English Language requirements?

If a prospective employee is not a national of an English speaking country they will be required to take an English language test before their arrival in the Islands.  Click here to find out more about the standard English language testing accepted by the Cayman Islands Department of Immigration. Results of the prospective employee’s English language testing must be submitted with the work permit application documentation.

If prospective employees are found not to possess a sufficient knowledge of the English language the work permit application may be refused.

How do I apply for an annual work permit?
A person who seeks to be self-employed or a prospective employer of any person may apply for the grant of a work permit to the Work Permit Board, the Chief Immigration Officer or, if the employer has a Business Staffing Plan, the Business Staffing Plan Board. Where the application is in respect of employment in Cayman Brac and Little Cayman the application is made to the Cayman Brac and Little Cayman Immigration Board in Cayman Brac. With respect to self-employment a work permit can only be issued in exceptional circumstances.
What will the Board take into account when considering an application?
The Immigration Law sets out a number of matters that the Board and the Chief Immigration Officer must take into account in relation to the employer, the employee, and the general interests of the Territory when considering an application for the grant of a work permit. To see details, click here.
What must I provide when applying for an annual work permit?
In order to help us process your application as quickly as possible, please click here for Guidelines to help you make your application.
Is it possible to have a dependant included on a work permit?
Yes. If a work permit is approved, any dependants listed on the application may, at the discretion of the Board, be included. It is also possible to apply during the currency of a work permit to add or remove dependants. Click here for guidance notes on how to apply.
Is it possible to work for more than one employer on a work permit?
If it is clear on the application that the work permit is to be shared by two or more employers, then this will be taken into account by the Chief Immigration Officer. It is also possible to apply for an amendment to the work permit during its currency to add or remove an employer. Click here for guidance notes on how to apply.
If my employer has applied for a renewal of my work permit before the expiry of my existing work permit may I continue to work whilst awaiting the outcome of the decision on the application?
Yes. Provided the employer applied for the renewal of the work permit before the expiry of the existing work permit you may continue to work for the same employer on the same terms and conditions until the outcome of the application (and any subsequent appeal to the Immigration Appeals Tribunal) is known. But if the renewal application is submitted after the expiry of the existing work permit then you may not continue to work whilst awaiting the outcome of the application.
How much does an annual Work Permit cost?
Click here to find out the cost of an annual work permit.
For ten year work permits, what are the prescribed occupations and industries?
From 19 October 2012 certain occupations within the fund administration and reinsurance industries are eligible for ten year work permits and a ten year term limit without having to become a key employee. The occupations are as follows: • Managing Director • Chief Executive Officer • General Manager • Vice President • Chief Financial Officer • Chief Operating Officer • Chief Underwriting Officer • Chief Actuary • Chief Reinsurance Underwriter • Director, Fund Services • Director, Client Services • Fund Administration Manager (Fund & Investment) • Manager, Fund Services A ten year work permit may be issued for the full ten years from the outset without any need for renewals. Certain support staff in the fund administration and reinsurance industries are also eligible for the waiver of annual work permit fees for a period of five years (but not a ten year term limit) starting from the person’s first arrival in the Islands. Note: where a worker is already employed in the Islands in either of these industries and in one of the occupations listed below the exemption from annual work permit fees will only apply to permits granted or renewed after 19 October 2012 and the waiver will only continue until the worker has been resident in the Islands for a period of five years. The occupations eligible for this limited waiver of annual work permit fees are as follows – • Executive Administrative Assistant • Personal Assistant • Senior Administrative Assistant • Executive Secretary