Rarely discussed in investment migration circles are the ultra-premium residency by investment programs in the Caribbean, particularly those offered in the British Overseas Territories.
Anguilla launched an investor visa program in 2018, but Cayman Islands has had one for decades. Thanks to a recent Freedom of Information request, we are now able to present statistical data on the program that, as it turns out, has been remarkably lucrative for the nation of just 64,000 inhabitants.
Cayman Islands offers three separate routes to residence permits for investors:
- Substantial Business Presence
- Direct Investment
- Independent Means (25 years)
- Independent Means (Permanent)
The minimum capital requirement for the Direct Investment channel is US$1.2 million (an option that only two investors have ever chosen), while those who qualify for a 25-year residence permit based on independent means must invest at least US$1.2 million and maintain a local bank balance of US$500,000. For those opting for the permanent residency option, the minimum investment is US$2.4 million.
To read more about the terms of each option – all of which require seven-figure investments – visit our brand new Cayman Islands Residency by Investment Program Page.
While precise investment amounts are not made public and, in any case, would be difficult to quantify due to the qualitative definition of the substantial business presence category, we can arrive at a conservative estimate based on the minimum investment requirements in the remaining three categories.
Not counting government fees but including mandatory bank deposits, the Cayman Islands residency program will have raised, at the very least, some US$400 million in the last decade. Include the issue-fees, which can run into the six figures, and the “substantial business presence” investors, a category for which there is no fixed requirement, and the total figure over the last decade almost certainly exceeds half a billion dollars.
Christian Henrik Nesheim is the founder and editor of Investment Migration Insider, the #1 magazine – online or offline – for residency and citizenship by investment. He is an internationally recognized expert, speaker, documentary producer, and writer on the subject of investment migration, whose work is cited in the Economist, Bloomberg, Fortune, Forbes, Newsweek, and Business Insider. Norwegian by birth, Christian has spent the last 16 years in the United States, China, Spain, and Portugal.