May 21, 2022

Cayman: Statement from CIG Representative to the UK

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Dr Tasha Ebanks-Garcia

I understand there has been much public discussion on my eligibility to work in the United Kingdom as the Cayman Islands Government Representative.

In order to add some clarity to the series of events I am sharing the following details. I signed my contract in March 2021 after a successful recruitment process with the Ministry of International Trade, Investment, Aviation and Maritime Affairs. Following the Cayman Islands General Elections in April 2021 the responsibility for the UK Office was transferred to the Cabinet Office and I joined the Cabinet Office on 1st May 2021.

The travel document I used when entering the UK on July 10th, 2021 was my Canadian passport. As a Caymanian who was born in Canada, I possess Caymanian status, like many other Caymanians who are born overseas. On entering the UK I was open and clear with the border control officer that I was starting a new post as the Cayman Islands Government Representative to the UK, there was no concern raised.

As a Caymanian who is entitled to a British passport, and wanting to be able to travel with such a passport in my official capacity as the Cayman Islands Representative in the UK, I commenced the steps necessary for obtaining a British passport in April 2021; starting with being naturalised as a British Overseas Territories Citizen. I was naturalised on 14 September 2021.

I returned home on 31 March 2022 for a combination of annual leave and planned work. It was during this trip home that it was brought to my attention, by my Chief Officer, that questions had been raised regarding my right to work status in the UK and that I should ensure I have a British passport to continue working in the UK without doubt.

I take this situation very seriously and I am sorry for the oversight. When this was brought to my attention I took immediate action to rectify the situation and applied for a British passport while home in Cayman.

It has been an honour for me as a 7th generation Caymanian, to serve my beloved Cayman Islands as the Cayman Islands Government Representative in the UK.  I look forward to continuing the work that my team and I have been delivering as we represent our Government and our people in the United Kingdom.

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