There are limitations on the length of time that persons may work in the Cayman Islands on a work permit. This is known as the person's 'term limit'. Normally, this is seven years. However, an employer may apply to the Work Permit Board or the Business Staffing Plan Board to have an employee designated as a 'key employee'. If the application is successful, the worker will be able to continue to work for the same employer in the same capacity for a further two years. If the application is unsuccessful, the worker will be required to leave the Islands upon the expiry of their final work permit under the term limit provisions of the law.
When must an application to nominate a worker as a 'Key Employee' be made?
Before the Board can designate a worker as a key employee, the employer must provide at the time of requesting the designation a detailed explanation so as to satisfy the Board that the worker fulfils one or more of the following requirements:
* he is recognised as having particular expertise in his field of practice, trade or employment and the Board recognises that there is difficulty in attracting such persons to the Islands or retaining such persons within the Islands;
* he is or will be directly involved in training Caymanians or developing their skills in the field in which he is employed or practises and his expertise in this regard is important to the effective continuation of such training or development;
* he is a professional employee whose expertise and skills are in short supply globally and are not available in adequate measure in the Islands and it is of economic and social benefit to the business or the Islands to attract such skills to the Islands;
* his absence from the Islands will cause serious hardship to his employer, to Caymanians, or be detrimental to the Islands;
* his business contacts are, or will be, of importance to the continued success of the business or its contribution to the Islands;
* there exist other economic or social benefits to the Islands by virtue of securing or retaining his specialist skills or expertise; or
* the circumstances of his particular case are considered by the Board to be exceptional and to justify a special reason to employ him or to allow him to be designated as a key employee.