Cayman Islands Residency by Investment FAQ

This FAQ is sponsored by Dart Real Estate

Does the Cayman Islands offer Citizen by Investment?
No, as a British Overseas Territory, citizenship by investment is not offered in the Cayman Islands.

Does the Cayman Islands offer Residency by Investment (RBI)?
Yes, there are four RBI programmes in the Cayman Islands. Two are business based and two are based on real estate investment.

What do the real estate investment RBI programmes entail?
There are two options: Investment Certificate for Persons of Independent Means and Certificate of Permanent Residence for Persons of Independent Means. 

What does the Investment Certificate for Persons of Independent Means entail?
Clients must invest USD $1.2 million in real estate and demonstrate a continuous source of annual income of USD $145,000 or open a bank account with a Cayman Islands Monetary Authority-regulated and locally licensed institution and maintain a minimum deposit in the account of at least USD $480,000. This certificate is valid for 25 years and can be renewed for another 25 year period.  The applicant must spend a minimum of 30 days annually in the Cayman Islands (days need not be consecutive). There is no right to work with this certificate.

How does the Certificate of Permanent Residence for Persons of Independent Means compare?
Clients must invest USD $2.4 million in real estate.  The applicant may apply for a variation to have the right to work.  The applicant must spend a minimum of 1 day annually in the Cayman Islands. There is no expiry to this certificate. In addition, after five years, an application can be made for a British Overseas Territory (BOT) passport, and then within six to 12 months after receiving the BOT passport a UK passport. Should the applicant wish to apply for the BOT passport, additional time must be spent in Cayman leading up to the application deadline.  There is no obligation to surrender any citizenships.

Do real estate investments need to be made in Government approved projects?
No, there are no government approved real estate projects for the RBI programmes in the Cayman Islands.  All local real estate for sale is eligible. Applicants may also acquire more than one property in order to meet the criteria.

Are there any restrictions on foreign ownership of land or alien landholding licenses required?
No, there are no foreign restrictions on ownership of land and there are no alien landholding licenses required.  Acquiring property in the Cayman Islands is a straight forward and simple process.  The land registry is an open process, based on the Torrens system.

How does the RBI programme differ for those to seek to apply through business investment?
The most common programme is called Substantial Business Presence. This is available as a long-term residence category for those who invest in, or who are employed in, a senior management capacity within an approved category of business.   This option holds the requirement that the applicant must be resident in the Islands for a minimum of 90 days in each calendar year, and they must also: Own a minimum of 10% of the shares in an approved category of business with a substantial business presence in the Islands; or be able to prove that he is or will be employed in a senior management capacity and that the employment falls within an approved category of business.  This Certificate is valid for 25 years and is renewable and entitles the holder (and any qualifying dependents) to reside in the Cayman Islands and work in the business in which they have invested or are employed in a senior management capacity.  

What are the major benefits of Cayman islands residency?

  • Tax neutrality.  There are no corporate, income, capital gains, inheritance, sales (VAT) or recurring property taxes in the Cayman Islands.
  • Proximity to the US. Miami is a 70-minute flight, and it is a 3/12 hour nonstop flight to New York City.  There are over 55 nonstop flights weekly to major cities in North American and up to 110 in peak season, as well as a nonstop flight to London Heathrow five times a week.
  • Infrastructure.  The Cayman Islands offers modern infrastructure – excellent healthcare facilities and 4.6 doctors/1,000 residents, first-rate schools offering British and American curriculums, reliable utility and telecom providers, and high-quality retail and personal service providers.
  • Stable government. The Cayman Islands has a democratically elected government and UK oversight on security as a British Overseas Territory.  The government has not had debt since 2012 and has recorded a budget surplus annually since 2016.
  • Economy.  As one of the world’s largest financial service centres, approximately 80% of the country’s GDP is generated from financial services. The Cayman Islands also boats one of the highest GDP per capita rates in the world.
  • Efficiency.  The application process typically takes 3 to 6 months.  World class service providers and an efficient civil service make the RBI application process an efficient one.
  • Citizenship.  There is no requirement to renounce your existing citizenship.
  • Language.  English is the official language in the Cayman Islands. There is no language test requirement for the RBI programmes.

Can I relocate my family to the Cayman Islands if I qualify for the RBI programme?
Yes, you can also bring family members if you apply for residency by investment in the Cayman Islands.

What services do Dart Real Estate offer? What is our unique feature?Dart Real Estate is a leading developer of luxury residential properties and resorts, and Class A commercial office space.  Having invested over USD $1.5 billion in the local economy, the company is dedicated to supporting the future sustainability of the Cayman Islands through additional investment in real estate and infrastructure.  The Dart Real Estate team provides RBI applicants with the following services:

  • Initial meeting to understand client needs
  • Assistance with planning a visit to the Cayman Islands – extending preferred rates at our hotels, making restaurant reservations, suggesting activities and neighbourhoods to tour, and more
  • Providing a list of professional service advisors (law firms, banks, etc.)
  • Providing information on relevant government services and departments
  • Sharing customised real estate market data reports
  • Hosting VIP residential and commercial property tours
  • Recommending opportunities on how to enjoy the best of the island lifestyle