Special Economic Zone
International companies looking for business opportunities in the Cayman Islands now have more options. The Special Economic Zone law sets areas of specialised economic activity in the Cayman Islands. Firms that meet the criteria for domiciling in these zones benefit from a tax-neutral platform, easy company formation, reduced customs and trade fast-tracked business registration and licensing competitive employment certificate fees.
SEZ operators include Cayman Enterprise City, targeting companies in the internet, science and technology, media, commodities and derivatives, maritime, and aviation.
If you are looking to move to the Cayman Islands and are not Caymanian, or married to a Caymanian, the first thing to do is to find a job and apply for a work permit for you. These allow a person to work and remain in the Cayman Islands for a specified period of time. Anyone wishing to work in the Cayman Islands must first obtain a work permit unless they are exempt. Please review the complete list of Exemptions for persons who do not require a work permit.
TechCayman is an IT enabling company formed to develop a thriving tech industry and culture in the Cayman Islands.
TechCayman is a portal through which existing and new companies operate in the Cayman Islands while enjoying a unique range of advantages specific to their network.
Residency in the Cayman Islands
Whether coming to Cayman as an Investor, homeowner, to set up a local business, or via a Work Permit, there are several options to consider when applying for Residency in the Cayman Islands.
If you work outside of the Cayman Islands and your company qualifies to set up an office within a Special Economic Zone, then you can live and work here and call the Cayman Islands home.
Are you a wealthy retiree? A Certificate of Permanent Residency for Persons of Independent Means might be your best option. There are also Permanent Residency categories for those who invest substantially in businesses in Cayman.
Work Permits allow a person to work and remain in the Cayman Islands for a specified period of time, while Permanent Residency options are outlined below:
Permanent Residency with the Right to Work
Person of Independent Means & Investors
Permanent Residency (without the Right to Work)
Immigration requirements for gaining Permanent Residence in the Cayman Islands
The right to reside permanently in the Cayman Islands can be acquired in two ways: based on eight years of residence; or as a person of independent means.
Any person who has been legally and ordinarily resident in the Cayman Islands for at least eight years, but not more than nine years, other than the holder of a:
Residency Certificate for Persons of Independent Means;
The holder of a Certificate of Direct Investment or a Direct Investment Holder's (Dependant's) Certificate;
Residency Holders (Dependant's) Certificate;
Certificate of Permanent Residence for Persons of Independent Means.
Permanent Residence Based on Eight Years Residence
For persons of independent means ─ Any person who has been legally and ordinarily resident in the Cayman Islands for a period of at least eight years, but not more than nine years. Applications are assessed by reference to a points system. Points are awarded in relation to nine factors. Upon approval the applicant will receive a Residency and Employment Rights Certificate.
Certificate of Permanent Residency for Persons of Independent Means
Persons who invest a minimum of two million (CI$2 million) Cayman Islands' Dollars in developed real estate in the Cayman Islands may apply for a Certificate of Permanent Residence for Persons of Independent Means. This category of residence affords persons who have invested a prescribed amount in developed real estate in the Cayman Islands the right to reside permanently in the Islands. A variation of this Certificate allows the right to work for any employer but only in a particular occupation or occupations, if approved.
Certificate of Direct Investment
The Certificate of Direct Investment is for persons who invest, or propose to invest of at least CI$1 million in licensed employment generating business (or businesses) in the Cayman Islands and in which he/she will exercise substantial management control. Persons will be issued an Approval-in-Principle Certificate of Direct Investment valid for six months. During this period the holder will be required to show that he has completed his investment and obtained all required licenses. Once he does so, a Certificate of Direct Investment valid for 25 years will be issued.
Residency Certificate (Substantial Business Presence)
This facility is for persons who invest in, or who are employed in a senior management capacity within, an approved category of business in the Cayman Islands. A successful applicant is granted a Residency Certificate valid for 25 years (renewable) which entitles him to reside in the Islands and to work in the business in which he has invested or is employed in a senior management capacity.
Residency Certificate for Persons of Independent Means
This facility is for persons who wish to reside long-term in the Cayman Islands without the right to work. Applicants will be required to demonstrate that they have invested a prescribed minimum amount in developed real estate (CI$1 million dollars, of which at least five hundred thousand dollars must be in developed real estate in Grand Cayman) and that they meet certain financial standing requirements. A successful applicant will be granted permission to reside in the Islands for a period of 25 years (renewable).