Cayman Islands Golden Visa: Invest for Residency [4 Steps]







cayman islands golden visa

Wealthy individuals and investors can diversify where they live by applying for the Cayman Islands Golden Visa

Imagine waking up on one of the most well-known Caribbean islands with gorgeous natural beauty as a long-term or permanent resident. You enjoy your morning cup of coffee after strolling along a white sandy beach while watching the sunrise. 

Itโ€™s possible when you meet the requirements and make a qualifying investment to obtain the Cayman Islands Golden Visa. 

The Cayman Islands are known for their favorable tax rates that wealthy individuals take advantage of. Youโ€™ll notice many yachts are registered to the islands because of this. 

With a fairly straightforward yet pricey process, you can apply for the Cayman Islands Golden Visa and experience the financial and lifestyle benefits the islands have to offer. 

Obtaining the Cayman Islands Golden Visa can also lead to citizenship through naturalization after five years. Visa holders can apply for British Overseas Territory Citizenship (BOTC) and be granted a second passport if they meet the requirements. 

It takes an average of three to six months to obtain the Cayman Islands Golden Visa. However, this process could be longer, depending on the investment route you choose to take. 

The Cayman Islands joins other Caribbean nations, such as Anguilla and Antigua and Barbuda, in offering golden visas to investors for either residency or citizenship. 

If you arenโ€™t ready to make a commitment to long-term or permanent residency, you may consider the Cayman Islands digital nomad visa for temporary residency instead.

By the end of this article, you will know the benefits of the Cayman Islands Golden Visa, the investment requirements, and how to apply for it. 

What is a Golden Visa?

Before jumping into the details about the Cayman Islands Golden Visa, we should first determine what exactly a Golden Visa is. 

A Golden Visa is a program that allows foreign nationals to obtain residency and sometimes even citizenship by making a government-approved investment. These investments can be real estate, businesses, bonds, and other government programs. 

These visas are excellent for retirees and wealthy individuals who want to diversify their assets and residencies.  

Benefits of the Cayman Islands Golden Visa

There are more benefits to obtaining the Cayman Islands Golden Visa than simply getting residency on the islands. As a resident, you and your family can take advantage of the islandsโ€™ lifestyle and financial benefits. 

Long-Term or Permanent Residency

Depending on the investment route you choose to take to obtain the Cayman Islands Golden Visa, you may be granted residency for 25 years or permanent residency. 

Having a residency in the Cayman Islands gives you the right to enter the country, no matter if borders are closed to tourists, as we saw during the pandemic. You have the right to reside and stay on the islands as long as you wish as long as your residency is active. 

Path to Citizenship

If you apply for the Cayman Islands Golden Visa by investing in the Certificate of Permanent Residency for Individuals of Independent Means, then you may become a citizen through naturalization. 

After holding permanent residency in the Cayman Islands for five years, you may start the application process for citizenship. However, you must permanently live in the islands without leaving for more than 90 days at a time. 

If approved, you will become a British Overseas Territory Citizen (BOTC) and have visa-free access to nearly 100 countries. These include the UK and Schengen countries. 

There is also an additional pathway to UK citizenship from BOTC if you are looking to expand your passport collection even further. 

Favorable Tax Rates

One of the main attractions and benefits of the Cayman Islands Golden Visa is the favorable tax rates for residents and businesses. 

In the Cayman Islands, there is no income tax, company tax, or property tax. 

Through the Cayman Islands Golden Visa, you could potentially lower your annual tax bill by thousands of dollars. However, you must not spend more than 180 days in a country other than the Cayman Islands during the year to be considered a tax resident. 

Low Minimum Stay Requirement

To retain your permanent residency with the Cayman Islands Golden Visa, you only have to spend one full day in the country each year. 

This is an extremely low stay requirement that makes the residency very manageable. With frequent flights from the United States, itโ€™s quite convenient to spend a day or more in the beautiful Cayman Islands. 

Family Reunification 

Applicants for the Cayman Islands Golden Visa may include their spouses and children. The children must be younger than 24 to be eligible. 

Family members will be granted long-term or permanent residency in the Cayman Islands and can take advantage of all the same benefits as the main applicant. 

Who is Eligible for the Cayman Islands Golden Visa?

There are just a few requirements to be eligible to apply for the Cayman Islands Golden Visa. 

  • Be over 18 years old
  • Clean criminal record
  • Deemed to be in good health 
  • Health insurance coverage in the Cayman Islands
  • Can financially support yourself and family members without working in the Cayman Islands

Of course, you must also make a qualifying investment to apply for the Cayman Islands Golden Visa. 

Cayman Islands Golden Visa Investment Requirements

There are four different investment routes applicants can take to apply for the Cayman Islands Golden Visa. 

Some of these investments will grant permanent residency, while others grant temporary, long-term residency. The investment could include purchasing real estate, making a direct investment, or having a business presence. 

Certificate of Permanent Residency for Individuals with Independent Means

Through an investment of at least CI$2 million in developed real estate within the Cayman Islands, visa holders will be granted permanent residency in the country. 

The Certificate of Permanent Residency for Individuals with Independent Means also allows holders to apply for citizenship through naturalization. Of course, they must meet further requirements.ย 

This version of the Cayman Islands Golden Visa also allows the holder to work in the Cayman Islands for an employer. 

There is an annual quota of 250 certificates. Therefore, you may have to wait a year if the quota has been reached. 

Permanent Residency Fees

  • CI$500 application fee
  • CI$100,000 issuance fee
  • CI$1,000 per dependent/year

Residency Certificate for Persons of Independent Means

For those interested in the Cayman Islands Golden Visa who want a less expensive investment option, they can obtain the Residency Certificate for Persons of Independent Means.ย 

This is a temporary residence permit that lasts for 25 years. It is not eligible for citizenship by naturalization. 

There are a few different financial requirements applicants must meet to be eligible for this visa option. 

The first requirement is to either earn CI$120,000 per year from outside of the Cayman Islands or deposit CI$400,000 in a qualifying Cayman Islands bank account. 

The second requirement is to invest a minimum of CI$1 million, with at least CI$500,000 invested in developed real estate in the Cayman Islands. 

However, there is another option with lower investment requirements if applicants choose to reside on Little Cayman or Cayman Brac islands. 

The first requirement is to either earn CI$75,000 per year from outside of the Cayman Islands or deposit CI$400,000 into a qualifying Cayman Islands bank account. 

The second requirement is to invest a minimum of CI$500,000, with at least CI$250,000 in developed real estate on either Little Cayman or Cayman Brac. 

Residency Certificate Fees

  • CI$500 application fee and renewal
  • CI$20,000 issuance fee
  • CI$1,000 per dependent/year

Certificate of Direct Investment

For those applicants who are entrepreneurial and wish to open or invest in a business in the Cayman Islands, they can obtain a residency permit through the Certificate of Direct Investment option.ย 

To be eligible, the applicant must have already or plan to invest at least CI$1 million in one or multiple licensed businesses operating in the Cayman Islands. Applicants must have a proven track record of entrepreneurial and business successes too. 

This investment option for the Cayman Islands Golden Visa grants the main applicant the right to reside and work in the country. However, spouses and dependents are only granted the right to live on the islands. They may not work. 

Certificate of Direct Investment Fees

  • CI$1,000 application fee and renewal
  • CI$20,000 issuance fee
  • CI$1,000 per dependent application issuance
  • CI$1,000 per dependent/year 
  • CI$500 application for variation of certificate

Residency Certificate of Substantial Business Presence

The fourth and final investment option for the Cayman Islands Golden Visa is the Residency Certificate of Substantial Business Presence.ย 

To be eligible for this option, the applicant must spend at least 90 days per year in the Cayman Islands and either work as a senior manager or have invested or own at least 10% of shares in a qualified business in the islands.

There are a number of approved business categories eligible for this option. However, this investment isnโ€™t as straightforward as the others. It is up to the discretion of the Chief Immigration Officer as to whether the applicant is eligible or not. 

This option for the Cayman Islands Golden Visa grants the applicant a 25-year renewable residency permit and the right to work in the country. 

Residency Certificate of Substantial Business Presence Fees

  •  CI$1,000 application fee
  • CI$5,000 issuance fee
  • CI$1,000 per dependent issuance
  • CI$500 variation fee

How to Apply for the Cayman Islands Golden Visa

The application process for the Cayman Islands Golden Visa is fairly straightforward. While this golden visa doesnโ€™t necessarily require you to work with a lawyer or registered agent to submit your application, we do recommend it. 

Working with a professional immigration lawyer will create a seamless and smooth application process. You can ensure your documents and investment are in compliance with the requirements and submit your application faster. 

Step 1: Choose Your Investment

As there are four different investment routes that you can take to obtain the Cayman Islands Golden Visa, itโ€™s important to choose the one that meets your financial goals and interests. 

You can either invest in real estate for long-term or permanent residency or partake in business ventures for long-term renewable residency permits. 

Step 2: Submit Application

Once you have made your investment, you can submit your official Cayman Islands Golden Visa application. 

There is a specific application form for each of the four investment options, so be sure to complete the correct one. 

You will need to submit the following documents along with your application:

  • Cover letter
  • Receipt of fee payment
  • Copy of passport
  • Passport photo
  • Birth certificate
  • Certified police clearance
  • Medical report signed by your doctor
  • Proof of financial means
  • Proof of investment
  • Health insurance policy with coverage in the Cayman Islands
  • Copy of business or trade licenses (if applicable)
  • Marriage certificate (if applicable)

These documents should be translated into English if they are not already. 

You may submit your application and documents to the Department of Immigration in the Cayman Islands. 

Step 3: Wait for Approval

It can take about three months to process your application and documents. 

Step 4: Obtain Residency Permits

Once your application is approved, you and your family members may collect your residency permits. These permits allow you live in the Cayman Islands. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Applying for the Cayman Islands Golden Visa may seem like an easy process on paper, but you may still have some questions about it. 

How long is the Cayman Islands Golden Visa process?

The entire process to apply for the Cayman Islands Golden Visa can take between three and six months. 

However, this may be extended depending on the investment route you choose. 

How much are the application and issuance fees?

The application and issuance fees vary depending on which investment option you chose. 

Permanent Residency Fees

  • CI$500 application fee
  • CI$100,000 issuance fee
  • CI$1,000 per dependent/year

Residency Certificate Fees

  • CI$500 application fee and renewal
  • CI$20,000 issuance fee
  • CI$1,000 per dependent/year

Certificate of Direct Investment Fees

  • CI$1,000 application fee and renewal
  • CI$20,000 issuance fee
  • CI$1,000 per dependent application issuance
  • CI$1,000 per dependent/year 
  • CI$500 application for variation of certificate

Residency Certificate of Substantial Business Presence Fees

  •  CI$1,000 application fee
  • CI$5,000 issuance fee
  • CI$1,000 per dependent issuance
  • CI$500 variation fee

There may also be renewal fees each year, which can vary in price. 

How many days do I have to stay in the Cayman Islands to keep my residency?

If you apply for the Cayman Islands Golden Visa through a real estate investment, you must be in the country for at least one full day out of the year. 

If you apply for the Cayman Islands Golden Visa through the Residency Certificate of Substantial Business Presence, you must spend at least 90 days out of the year in the country. 

Can I apply for citizenship in the Cayman Islands?

Yes, you may apply for citizenship by naturalization if you receive permanent residency through your Cayman Islands Golden Visa. 

If you have a 25-year long-term residency permit, you are not eligible to apply for citizenship.

Will I owe taxes to the Cayman Islands?

You may become a tax resident in the Cayman Islands if you apply for the tax certificate or spend at least 183 days out of the year there. 

There are favorable tax rates, such as no income tax, no property tax, and no company tax. 

Should I work with a lawyer to apply for the Cayman Islands Golden Visa?

While a lawyer is not required to submit your application for the Cayman Islands Golden Visa, we do recommend hiring one to assist you in your investment and application. 

Working with a professional lawyer will take the stress out the application process. They will verify your documents and investment and can assist you in gathering and filling out the necessary paperwork. 

Get Started on Your Cayman Islands Golden Visa Application

Are you ready to call the Cayman Islands your second home?

When you obtain the Cayman Islands Golden Visa, you can receive either long-term or permanent residency on the islands by making a qualified investment. 

When it comes to obtaining a Golden Visa, itโ€™s always a good idea to work with a professional immigration lawyer. Since they are familiar with the process, investment rules, and how the country operates, they can get your visa faster and conflict-free. 

Nomads Embassy is here to help you get started on your Cayman Islands Golden Visa application right away! 

We have hand-selected immigration lawyer partners in the Cayman Islands waiting to get you started on your investment and claim residency in the gorgeous, Caribbean country. 


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