Cayman Islands permanent residency by Investment

Cayman Islands residency by investment - Apply for Cayman Islands permanent residency by investment


What is Cayman Islands residency by investment program?

The Cayman Islands residency program offers investors permanent residency, as well as a potential path to citizenship by investment depending on the residency option chosen. The Cayman Islands is a leading financial center ranked 5th globally, and has among the highest GDP per capita in the world. The Cayman Islands is renowned for its banking services and is subject to high compliance standards to maintain its reputation. The Cayman Islands is attractive to many investors due to tax benefits, as there are no taxes in Cayman on corporations, income, capital gains, inheritance, or sales. 

Interested in becoming a Cayman Islands resident? J.H. Marlin can help you!

Summary of Main Advantages for Cayman Islands Residency Program




Requirements for a Residency Application in the Cayman Islands

To be eligible for residency by investment in the Cayman Islands, the main applicant must possess the following eligibility requirements:

  1. Must be 18 years old or older
  2. Have a clean criminal record
  3. Be in good health and adequate health insurance coverage
  4. Have adequate financial standing

The different Investment Options for Cayman Islands Residency by Investment

A person’s overall goals will determine which residency option would be best for them.

There are five different investment route options for residency in the Cayman Islands, each with their own investment and physical presence requirements. They are summarized here:

1. Certificate of Permanent Residency for Persons of Independent Means (Lifetime Grant):

  • Grants a lifetime residency stamped in existing passport
  • Option to work in local economy
  • Spouse and children (under 24) can become legal dependents under the Residency Certificate and obtain work in local economy
  • Citizenship by investment option: ability to obtain Caymanian Status in roughly 10 years after being naturalized as British Overseas Territory Citizen (BOTC) which allows Cayman passport to be obtained, and subsequently a UK passport
  • Real Estate Investment option: Requires CI$2M (roughly US$2.4M) cash investment (no mortgage) in developed real estate (commercial or residential investment property)
  • CI$100k (~US$120k) one-time issue fee for main applicant
  • Requires physical presence of 1 day per annum to maintain permanent residency


2. Residency Certificate for Person of Independent Means (25-year grant):

  • 25-year period grant of residency stamped in existing passport, renewable periods available afterwards (25-year residence permit)
  • Does not allow you to work in the local economy. However, there is no restriction on working on offshore based businesses from home. This option is generally appropriate for wealthy retirees
  • Spouse and children can become legal dependents
  • No ability to obtain passport or Caymanian Status as the law currently reads but subject to possible change
  • Requires unencumbered total investment of CI$1M (~US$1.2M) of which CI$500M (~US$600k) must be in developed real estate (commercial or residential). The balance can be raw land, shares in a local business or an investment account with a local bank. Must also have CI$400k (~US$500k) cash held in local bank as a general requirement, or proof of CI$120k for the annual income requirement
  • CI$20k (US$24k) one-time grant fee


3. Certificate of Direct Investment

  • Eligible for a 25-year period of residency grant for those with an employment-generating business
  • Requires investment of CI$1M into a locally licensed employment generating business (new or existing) which must employ at least four full-time employees, of which 30% must be Caymanian employees
  • CI$20,500 issue fee for main applicant
  • Requires a minimum of 90-day physical presence per annum


4. Residency Certificate by Substantial Business Presence

  • Grants a 25-year period residence permit if a person is either at least a 10% shareholder or a senior manager of an exempted offshore business in one of the following categories of business:
    • Fund administration
    • Brokerage services
    • Investment and fund management services
    • Financial trading (including foreign exchange, securities and derivatives)
    • Captive insurance or reinsurance management services
    • Reinsurance underwriting
    • Investment banking
    • Actuarial services
    • Insurance claims management
    • Family office
    • Hedge fund incubation
    • Any exempted company providing offshore-only services


5. Setting up own offshore company, obtaining license to hold own work permit (Special Economic Zone or Offshore Trade & Business License)

  • Within a month, you can set up your own licensed business and obtain your own work permit (which can include any dependents) if you are doing offshore-only business.
  • From there, you can obtain an annual work permit and work towards Permanent Residency at year eight, as anyone who has legally established long-term residence of the Cayman Islands for at least eight years may apply to reside permanently. You may also convert to one of the options above at any time.
  • Permanent residency is awarded based on a points system, which looks at
    • Occupation
    • Education, training and experience
    • Local investments
    • Financial stability
    • Integration into the Caymanian community
    • Close connections to the Cayman Islands
    • History and culture test
    • Demographics and cultural diversity
  • From a Cayman perspective, there is zero taxation (no corporate tax, capital gains tax, withholding, sales and income tax)
  • If a person is not ready to make such a substantial investment in property, then this option may make the most sense

There are further articles on this website about establishing a company in Cayman Special Economic zone.

What is the procedure to obtain permanent residency in Cayman?

The application process for residency by investment in the Cayman Islands is relatively quick and simple. It can be broken down into  simplified steps:

  1. Clients contact JH Marlin Law
  2. Initial due diligence checks are performed
  3. Client agreement is signed, and retainer is paid
  4. Applicants choose the qualifying investment option best suited to them with the help of our team
  5. File preparation, required documents are collected
  6. Relevant investment is made by main applicant
  7. Residence certificate application made on family’s behalf
  8. Application for citizenship and corresponding documents submitted to the government
  9. Application fee is paid
  10. If successful, activation fee is paid for issuance residence permit
  11. Annual fee is paid by permit holder (varies)


Which documents might I need to include in my residency application to the Cayman Islands?

  • Cover letter
  • Proof of payment of fees
  • Passport
  • Police clearance certificate 
  • Passport photo
  • Medical questionnaire
  • Proof of financial standing requirements
  • Financial statements
  • Proof of income
  • Proof of investment
  • References
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage certificate (if applicable)
  • Copy of business license (if applicable)

Why work with JH Marlin to become a Cayman Islands resident by investing?

JH Marlin Law has helped clients choose the citizenship program that is right for them for years.

As an experienced licensed agent for citizenship, we can do a detailed analysis of your personal circumstances and provide further information about different citizenship by investment options and corresponding processing times.  We will assist you with all the required citizenship documents for you to have a successful application and coordinate with any other parties or local agents involved in the process. 

JH Marlin Law has handled hundreds of citizenship and residency applications. We can help you throughout the entire process. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Cover letter
  • Proof of payment of fees
  • Passport
  • Police clearance certificate 
  • Passport photo
  • Medical questionnaire
  • Proof of financial standing requirements
  • Financial statements
  • Proof of income
  • Proof of investment
  • References
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage certificate (if applicable)
  • Copy of business license (if applicable)

There are over 8,000 children enrolled in various schools across the Cayman Islands. There are many top-notch private schools.

People over the age of 65 compromise about 80% of the population. Many retirees consider Cayman a great place to retire for its top notch health care and tranquil living. Given the growing senior population, there are an increasing number of services tailored for seniors.


People from North America are increasingly Relocating to the Cayman Islands

Many high net worth families from Canada and the United States of America are choosing to relocate to the Cayman Islands There are many reasons why Cayman has become an attractive jurisdiction which include; healthcare, educational opportunities, quality professional services, time zone, English language, excellent quality of life, easy accessibility to Miami and other hot spots, tax neutral country, great weather. Many young entrepreneurs particularly in the technology fields are establishing their business in the Cayman Islands due to Cayman’s robust flexible legal framework. 

With the pandemic many people have realized the opportunity that they can work from anywhere and Cayman is quickly becoming the destination of choice for many people wishing to relocate abroad. 


Here are Reasons why you Should Consider moving to the Cayman Islands

Considering moving outside of your country of origin might seem like a giant daunting step, especially without the necessary information. Being informed can help you make the right decisions. 


Multiple Options for Residency

Before diving into the benefits of residing in the Cayman Islands, it is also vital to briefly explore the different options available. The Residency by Investment Program in the Cayman Islands provides a variety of options to potential applicants. There are over four options, to name a few, the Certificate of Permanent Residence for Person of Independent Means, the 25-Year Residency Certificate for Persons of Independent Means, the 25-Year Certificate of Direct Investment and the new Global Citizen Certificate. With all these options, applicants are assured of choosing an option that fits their personal and business interests. JH Marlin Law can walk you through the investment requirements for each route to residency


Tax Benefits

You guessed it right: taxes are practically nonexistent! The Cayman Islands is one of the best options given its tax-neutral environment. The government does not impose any taxes on all Cayman Islands incomes, corporations and withholdings, capital gains, inheritance or gifts. On top of that, companies can be assured to have these tax benefits for 20 years – protecting their business from uncertainty in the law. Entrepreneurs, business owners, individuals or families seeking to benefit from such a tax system should consider the Cayman Islands.


Political Stability

The British Overseas Territory, the Cayman Islands, offers an environment suitable for business development and family tranquillity. The Islands scored a 99.5% in political stability (Trading Economics 2019) – higher than the US, which has not scored higher than 60% since 2008. Considering political stability can be crucial, especially for businesses, since the absence of political stability can lead to economies and market failures.


Economic Growth

With political stability comes economic growth! Often used by Economists, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is a reliable indicator of a country’s economic growth. Since 2010, the Cayman Islands’ GDP has been increasing thanks to the growing investments and government policies. The Islands’ GDP growth was assessed at a 4.12 change (World Bank 2018) – higher than all G7 countries (Canada, the US, the UK, Italy, Japan, France and Germany). With higher GDP comes better profits for businesses. Any businesses looking to expand and entrepreneurs seeking to open up Startups can take advantage of the growing economy in the Cayman Islands.


Banking in the Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands are a leading financial centre ranked 5th globally. The country has one of the largest number of hedge funds in the world and is one of the top jurisdictions for banking.

Unlike often preconceived notions, the Cayman Islands is subject to high compliance standards to maintain its reputation. Incorporating an entity in Cayman is expensive when compared to other jurisdictions around the world such as the UAE, Hong Kong, BVI and others.

We often get asked what country offers the best banking services in the Caribbean and our response is the Cayman Islands.

However, opening a bank account in Cayman can be challenging. To open a bank account you often have to demonstrate a strong connection and ties to the country. This often means you need to have done a Cayman Islands residency just to be able to open a bank account.

  • Best of the Best: It is known to be an expensive jurisdiction, attracting some of the most wealthy people in the world.
  • Variety & Stability: There are a variety of options and stable banking. The Cayman Islands stable government
  • Top talent: working in the Cayman Islands are some of the best lawyers, banking, accounting and wealth management professionals
  • Top service: You can expect top service, responsiveness, professionalism and support. Banking is done in english. There are many high-quality legal services, professional service advisors and personal service providers to choose from. 
  • Tax favourable jurisdiction: As a resident of the Cayman Islands you can reside in a tax haven where there is no personal income tax, no property tax, no company tax and no wealth or inheritance tax. By residing in the Cayman Islands you can potentially have zero taxes to pay, provided you do not have tax obligations in other countries.
  • Quality of Life: The country has some of the best infrastructure in the Caribbean with quality health care and education. Large expat community. Natural beauty, best of the best. 

Jennifer has personally lived in the Cayman Islands and it is one of her favourite islands in the Caribbean! You can contact her directly for more information about living and investing in the Cayman Islands: 

Cayman Islands: General Information

The Cayman Islands comprises three islands in a British Overseas Territory (BTO) in the Caribbean featuring beautiful island landscapes. It is a great option for those seeking a residency investment located just an hour’s flight south of the United States, known for its year-round tropical climate and sunny beaches. As well as a thriving tourist industry, the Cayman Islands has a world-leading financial services industry. Those residing here will have the island life experience of a lavish lifestyle, as well as world-class legal, health and educational services. The primary language of the Cayman Islands is English, so the program has no language test requirements. 

Fast Facts:

Capital: George Town

Population: 67 k

Language: English

Currency: Cayman Islands dollar