Jamaicans visiting the Cayman Islands will now be given special treatment under the Immigration Law, with the option to obtain a 10-year visitor visa, Hype Life Magazine has learned.
Jamaica is being given special treatment under a new immigration law as all other nationalities which require a visa prior to visiting Cayman can obtain only single-entry permission, or permission to enter multiple times within a one-year, three-year or five-year fixed period.
The 10-year visitor visa is only being offered to Jamaicans.
A Cabinet directive was issued recently to Cayman’s chief immigration officer to add the 10-year visitor visa for Jamaicans only.
“Recognizing the unique relationship between Jamaica and Cayman … [this] is an initiative aimed at strengthening our ability to adequately facilitate legitimate visitor travel for qualified Jamaican nationals without jeopardizing operations or processes relative to border control,” Ministry of Home Affairs Chief Officer Eric Bush said.
The change in visitor visa rules does not affect the 30-day limit in place for most visitors who do not own property in Cayman.
It will also not affect requirements for any non-Caymanians, Jamaican or otherwise, to obtain work permits before they can be gainfully employed in the islands.
Historical and cultural ties between Cayman and Jamaica date back centuries to when the Cayman Islands were part of the British colony of Jamaica.
Though Jamaica gained independence from the U.K. in 1962, Cayman eventually opted to remain under the British flag. Jamaican workers have long been the most populous foreign nationality in the Cayman Islands, and many Caymanian families can trace their heritage to Jamaica.