The Cayman Islands is a British Overseas Territory located 475 miles southwest of Miami, Florida. A cosmopolitan Caribbean destination, the archipelago includes the islands of Grand Cayman, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac. Grand Cayman is where most of the 65,000 residents reside and is also the address of one of the world’s top five largest financial sectors. With over 600 banks and trust companies, more than 700 captives and over 10,000 mutual funds established in the Cayman Islands, financial services contribute approximately 80% of the country’s GDP.
The other major industry in the Cayman Islands is tourism, which attracts approximately 500,000 overnight visitors annually to enjoy the luxury resorts, world-class marine-based pursuits, sugar white sand beaches, year-round tropical climate and the superlative cuisine featured by over 250 restaurants in the “Culinary Capital of the Caribbean.”
Combined, these two industries help contribute to one of the highest standards of living in the world. The Government has also benefited from the performance of these strong business sectors and as a result has had no debt since 2012 and has reported a budget surplus since 2016, resulting in a A3 credit rating from Moodys. Of note is that there is no direct taxation in the Cayman Islands – no corporate, income, capital gains, inheritance, sales (VAT) or recurring property taxes.
In addition to its tax neutral status, the Cayman Islands is also acclaimed for its modern infrastructure. Offering excellent health care via four hospitals, 1,000+ healthcare professionals and with a ratio of over four doctors/1,000 residents, the Cayman Islands is an emerging medi-tourism destination and a desirable place to live full time. In addition, there are excellent schools and the choice of British or American curriculums, and a 99% literacy rate. Reliable utility and telecom companies, well stocked and modern grocery stores and first-rate providers of professional and personal service providers, a very low crime rate and a welcoming community make Cayman a highly desirable place to live for the 130+ nationalities who reside there full time.
Legal Basis of the Cayman Islands Residency by Investment Programme
The Cayman Islands residency programmes are regulated by the Cayman Islands Department of Immigration – Immigration (Transition) Law, 2018.
Benefits of the Cayman Islands Residency by Investment Programmes
The Cayman Islands residency by investment programmes are well suited to individuals seeking to establish residency in a tax neutral jurisdiction. The low number of annual days required to be in the Cayman Islands meets the needs of globally mobile individuals.
For those individuals who intend to reside in the Cayman Islands on a full-time basis, this British Overseas Territory offers the benefits of:
- Tax neutrality
- Close proximity to the US and ease of access
- Tropical climate year-round
- Modern infrastructure – first-rate health care, schools, utility and telecom providers
- Low crime rate
- Low population density
- High standard of living
- Stable government
- Sound judiciary
- Diversified economy
In addition, the Certificate of Persons of Independent Means allows qualified applicants to apply for a British Overseas Territory passport and then a UK passport.
Requirements vary according to the RBI programme for which the applicant is applying, but common to all programmes the applicant must:
- Have a clean criminal record
- Pass a medical exam
- Purchase locally compliant health insurance coverage
- Demonstrate the required financial standing
- Meet the minimum required business or real estate investment
Annual Residency Requirements
Certificate of Permanent Residence (USD $2.4m real estate investment)
- – 1 day.
- – Section 51(1)(o) – “The Board or the Director of WORC may, in respect of any person who has
been granted permission to reside permanently in the Islands, revoke such permission where the person has been ordinarily resident outside the Islands continuously for a period of one year or more” [pages 58-59].
- – Section 1(k) can be found here.
25-Year Residency Certificate (USD $1.2m real estate investment)
- – 30 days.
- – Section 46(b) – “The holder of a Residency Certificate for Persons of Independent Means may, at
the discretion of the Director of WORC, have the right to reside in the Islands revoked if the holder was not physically present in the Islands for a minimum of thirty days in aggregate in any calendar year” [pages 49-50].
- – Section 1(l) can be found here.
25-Year Residency Certificate (Substantial Business Presence)
- – 90 days.
- – Section 50(11)(d) – “The holder of a Certificate issued under this section may at the discretion of
the Director of WORC have his or her right to reside in the Islands revoked if the holder was not physically resident in the Islands for a minimum of ninety days in aggregate in any calendar year” [page 58].
- – Section 1(n) can be found here. 25-Year Certificate of Direct Investment
- – 90 days.
- – Section 48(d) – “The holder of a Certificate of Direct Investment may, at the discretion of the
Director of WORC, have his or her right to reside in the Islands revoked if the holder was not physically present in the Islands for a minimum of ninety days in aggregate in any calendar year” [page 52].
– Section 1(d) can be found here.