The definitive guide to living and working in the Cayman Islands
May 26, 2015
Passports & Visas
Last updated: 13th January 2015
In this section we give detailed information on the complicated process of obtaining a first passport for a child born in the Cayman Islands to an overseas national. We also explain in detail how to obtain or renew a passport for yourself or your children while living in Cayman whether you are an American, Australian, British, Canadian or Caymanian national. We also discuss how to get a US visa if you are the holder of a non American passport and how Jamaica's can get a visa to travel to the Cayman Islands.
VISA & PASSPORTS
Visas for Cayman
Nationals of the United States of America, Canada, the United Kingdom and most countries within the British Commonwealth do not require visas to enter the Cayman Islands. Various other countries are also exempted but, for example, citizens of Jamaica, Colombia, Honduras and Saudi Arabia currently require visas before being admitted into the Islands. You can check out the following website for detailed visa information (in relation to the Cayman Islands) and to see if you will require a visa: www.immigration.gov.ky. Where visas are required, they must be sought and obtained prior to travel.
There is a dedicated visa office within the dept of Immigration in Grand Cayman (Tel: (345) 949 8344 ext 2 and then ext 5 or email: email@example.com) as well as one in Kingston, Jamaica (Tel: (876) 906 7866/5336 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org); La Ceiba, Honduras (Tel: (504) 2440 1015 or email: email@example.com) and French Harbour in the Bay Islands, Honduras (Tel: (504) 2455 7723). For all other countries, you will need to contact the British Embassy or British Consulate nearest you. To find a consulate nearest you visit: www.gov.uk/government/world/organisations.
Entry for Visitors/Tourists to the Cayman Islands
We are often asked how many days, as a visitor, one can stay in the Cayman Islands. Under the law a person that has no other basis to enter the Cayman Islands (i.e. a Work Permit) and with no right to residence may be admitted as visitors for up to a total of six months, with extensions permissible thereafter. However, the reality (except for residential property owners) is very different! The norm is that someone arrives in Cayman and is given 30 days to stay. If they want to stay longer then they have to go to the Department of Immigration (before their time runs out), fill out an extension form and pay CI$50 for the first extension and CI$100 for all further extensions. Whether or not an extension is granted will depend on a multitude of factors including importantly whether or not the visitor is able to demonstrate an ability to support themselves without working.
However, if they are coming in for six months over the winter, like many of our returning 'snow birds' do, then they can and do get a six month stamp. For this they must show the entry officer their return ticket, a very recent bank or investment statement showing that they have sufficient funds to support themselves without seeking work and a hotel/condo reservation or a lease. This paperwork is looked at very discreetly and returned to the visitor. It is not kept and none of the information is recorded.
Special provisions are now in place for persons who own a home (which would include an apartment or condo) in the Cayman Islands. Through the Immigration (Landing of Persons) Directions, 2014, the Cabinet of the Cayman Islands Government, by directions published on 12 December, have indicated that Immigration Officers are expected to land any person who is not a prohibited immigrant as a visitor for 6 months where it can be demonstrated that he or she owns a home in the Islands where they, and any other person accompanying them, will reside for the duration of the stay, provided all can support themselves without needing to work.
If you are looking to travel to the US as a non-American passport holder with an EU member passport then you must register online at least three days before travel via the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA). Once approved, you are allowed to travel to the US for up to two years without re-registering. The website is https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov. However, the intention of ESTA is for EU residents living in EU countries to use this system and not for EU residents living in the Cayman Islands.
Visas for the US & Elsewhere
Because of its closeness to Cayman the US is invariably where people are evacuated to during a hurricane or a medical emergency. In these instances when a chartered, non-commercial flight is being used, the Visa Waiver Programme does not apply. Therefore, we strongly advise you to get a US visa BEFORE you move to the Cayman Islands. Getting a visa once in Cayman involves the applicant travelling to Jamaica to appear at the embassy in person for an interview and to provide biometric data.
We have been reliably told that the process of filling out the application form and setting up an appointment at the US Embassy in Jamaica can be complicated and frustrating. You can try and do it yourself by following the link here: http://kingston.usembassy.gov but there are numerous people that can help walk you through the process; travel agents such as Cayman Travel, Travel Pros and Cayman 123 Travel are well-versed in the process. See the Travel chapter for their contact info. You can also use the dedicated services of a visa expert such as ConsulTech Ltd (Tel: (345) 945 2223 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org), who can also help you with the process of applying for visas to other countries.
More information on getting a passport for a child born in the Cayman Islands can be found in the Having a Baby section.
The Portfolio of Internal and External Affairs of the Cayman Islands Government and the Office of the Governor have assembled contact details for the local consular representatives of all countries that are represented in Cayman. See the end of this page for a list of those representatives. If you want help applying for a new passport you can contact ConsulTech Ltd (Tel: (345) 945 2223 or email: email@example.com), who are based in the Barnett Building just off the CNB roundabout in George Town. They have been helping an increasing number of people to gain new passports for the UK, US, Cayman, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, to name a few
The US Consular Agency has offices in the Smith Road Centre, Suite 202B, 150 Smith Road, Tel: (345) 945 8173. They are open Monday through Friday 8am-2pm and are closed all Cayman and US holidays. They assist with passports and emergency services for US citizens only. You may leave a message or visit the office for enquiries; however, assistance in completing any application requires an appointment. US Visitor Visas are not a function of the Consular Agency and are managed through the US Embassy in Kingston, Jamaica. At this time, only online visa applications are accepted through http://kingston.usembassy.gov.
Details for registering a child (born to a US citizen) and for getting a passport are below:
Registering a Child Born in the Cayman Islands to a US Citizen Parent
If you are a US citizen who recently had a child in the Cayman Islands, you should apply for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad. Contact the Consular Agency to schedule an appointment by phone Tel: (345) 945 8173 or email: CaymanACS@state.gov. Complete the on-line DS-11 Passport Application available at: https://pptform.state.gov/ and the DS-2029 Consular Report of Birth Abroad of an American Citizen Application available at: http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/156216.pdf. All forms must be fully completed and brought along to the appointment with your child, both parents as well as the original birth certificate.
The following original documents should be presented and must have been valid at the time of your child's birth. Notarized copies are not accepted:
> Evidence of the parent(s) current US citizenship (e.g. a valid US passport).
> Your child's official Cayman Islands birth certificate issued by the Registrar of Births.
> Your marriage certificate, if applicable.
> If either parent was previously married then evidence of marriage dissolution must be presented.
> Proof of the US citizen parent(s) physical presence in the US for a total of five years, two of which must be after age 14 (if married); 365 continuous days for single mothers; any physical presence when both parents are US citizens. Proof may include passports, official college transcripts, tax documents, medical records, employment records, etc.
> Fees are paid by credit card (cards accepted: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and Diners) or debit cards (i.e. debit cards displaying the Visa or MasterCard logo). The Consular Agency does not accept cash, bank drafts, money orders or personal checks.
Application forms for British passports (renewals or new passports) can be downloaded from www.gov.uk/overseas-passports along with a list of what needs to be submitted. Applications must be couriered to Her Majesty’s Passport Office, OVS-D, Millburngate House, Millburngate, Durham DH97 1PA, England. Payment must be made by credit card; make sure to fill out a credit card authorisation form and send it back with your application. The cost of a standard adult’s passport (as of July 2014) is £102.86 and a child’s passport costs £110.86. This includes the courier fee to send the new passport back to you. Processing is supposed to take about six weeks but in 2014 the processing time averaged three months, so plan well in advance. One complication is that they now require that you also send all current passports that you hold to them along with the UK passport that needs renewing. This change can obviously have serious consequences in the event of an emergency or a hurricane evacuation.
NB: The Cayman Islands Passport Office no longer handles UK passports, however, applications for British Overseas Territories Citizen passports will still be processed by the Cayman Islands Passport Office.
passports (also called a British Overseas Territories Citizen passport)
are processed at the Passport & Corporate Services office (Tel:
(345) 244 2274) located on the 2nd floor of Sussex House, 128 Elgin
Avenue (next to Immigration). They are open Monday-Friday 8.30am-4pm.
Passports cost CI$75 for a child and CI$100 for an adult. The processing
time is usually two weeks but an express service is available for an
additional fee. Passport application forms can be downloaded here along with a list of required documentation.
The Canadian Consulate is located on the 1st Floor, Landmark Square, 64 Earth Close, off West Bay Road near The Strand Shopping Centre (Tel: (345) 949 9400 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org). They are open Monday-Thursday 10am-1pm. They offer consular assistance for Canadians who are travelling, working or living in the Cayman Islands. These services include assistance with obtaining Canadian citizenship for children born in the Cayman Islands to Canadian parents, passports and any emergency services. Application forms for Canadian passports can be collected from the Consulate or downloaded online from www.pptc.gc.ca. The Consulate can review your application before you send it to the High Commission of Canada in Kingston, Jamaica. The processing time is 15-20 business days.
Canadians travelling or living abroad can register at www.travel.gc.ca/register, it is a useful free service during Hurricane season or for any emergencies. For non-Canadians who wish to visit, study or work in Canada, you will find information as well as online application forms at www.jamaica.gc.ca.
Registering a child born in the Cayman Islands to a Canadian parent
The Canadian Consulate can give you an application form for Canadian citizenship or you can download it online (www.cic.gc.ca). They can help you to
review your application before you courier it to the High Commission of Canada
in Kingston, 3 West King's House Road, Kingston 10, Jamaica (Tel: (876) 926 1500,
Fax: (876) 733 3493 or Email: email@example.com). The processing time is 9-12 days.
To obtain an Australian passport for a child born in the Cayman Islands to at least one Australian national the process is long and complicated. The steps are as follows:
1) The first thing you need to do is obtain an Australian Citizenship certificate for your child. Fill out form #118 on http://www.citizenship.gov.au/citizenshipwizard and courier it to the High Commission in Ottawa. The address for the High Commission can be found on http://www.canada.embassy.gov.au/otwa/contact.html. This process should take 10 days.
2) Once you have the Australian Citizenship certificate you need to fill out an Australian Passport Overseas Application. Details on the process can be read on and then the application form can be filled in online and then printed.
NB: a) Make sure the application is printed on A4 sized paper.
b) The Australian passport office will contact you regarding your application prior to processing so make sure all relevant contact information is correct.
3) Once you have filled out the Australian Overseas Passport Application form, and have all the accompanying documents and signed photographs, you need to lodge the application in person. There is no other way to lodge the application other than by the Australian parent delivering it in person!
To do this you must contact the Chicago Consulate-General. The Chicago Consulate-General arranges to be in Miami for one day each month where they will receive applications in person. They wait until they have been contacted by enough people then they nominate a day. (Please note it used to be the Atlanta Consulate General that did this).
Unfortunately it is very difficult, if not impossible, to travel with your child to lodge this application. Your baby would need to have a travel document called a Document of Identity. However, US Customs and Border Protection stipulate that to travel through the US you need a visa and to obtain a visa you need a passport!
NB: When looking for information on the internet it will tell you that the High Commission in Ottawa is the main point of contact for Australian nationals overseas. The "local" Australian mission is in Trinidad & Tobago. It is possible to travel to Canada without a visa, and you can probably travel to Trinidad via Jamaica. However, although it is not obvious, the Australian missions in the US seem to be the most helpful.
You can lodge the application at any of the Australian missions on the following list (check as they are not all missions and always call before you plan to go as some have different requirements - for example in Trinidad they asked for extra paperwork).
Finally, please note this is the process for your child's FIRST passport only. Subsequent passport applications can be couriered for renewal and you do not have to appear in person.
Passports for Other Nationalities
The Portfolio of Internal and External Affairs of the Cayman Islands Government and the Office of the Governor have assembled contact details for the consular representatives of the following countries:
Martin Richter, Tel: (345) 945 1325 or 925 4559
Ms Juliette Gooding - Honorary Consul, Tel: (345) 925 7264
Wingrove Hunte - Liaison Officer, Tel: (345) 926 8303
Giorgio Subiotto, Tel: (345) 949 9876
or (345) 938 9071
Jeff Boucher, Tel: (345) 949 9400
Tel: (345) 949 2118 or (345) 326 1014
Tel: (345) 924 3561
Tel: (345) 914 8665 or (345) 547 5087
Dr. Krishna Mani, Tel: (345) 945 1565
or (345) 928 4681
Dr. Joseph Marzouca Tel: (345) 949 9526 or (345) 325 6634
The office is located at the Dot Com Centre, 342 Dorcy Drive, Industrial Park. Passport renewal time takes three to four weeks.
Arturo Ursua, Tel: (345) 925 8279
Garth Arch, Tel: (345) 949 2400 or (345) 525 5603
Peter Schmid Tel: (345) 326 4385 or (345) 949 1841 or satellite phone: +881 621 462 160
For new biometric passports a visit to a Swiss passport issuing authority is required. There is a Consulate General located in Atlanta, US. For on-Island emergencies or information contact Peter Schmid.
Tel: (345) 244 2431
Emergencies: (345) 925 4307
For consular information contact Gillian Skinner, Consular Officer in the Office of Her Excellency the Governor.
Gary Montemayor, Tel: (345) 945 8173
Emergencies: (345) 328 0033
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