Any person may apply to the Chief Immigration Officer for permission to take up initial residence with a view to obtaining permanent residency in the Cayman Islands. After a period of six months' initial residence, a formal application for permanent residency can be submitted to the Immigration Board for consideration. In order to qualify for residency, applicants must normally be in a position to support financially, both themselves and any members of their families accompanying them without the necessity of having to engage in employment in any form in the Cayman Islands. Applicants must also be in a position to make a substantial investment in a home or in a local enterprise within the Islands of at least CI$150,000.00 (US$180,000.00).


To apply for initial residency facilities, the applicant must submit the following.

An Entry Application Form for the Cayman Islands

This form is available at the Department of Immigration and must be completed in full. A separate application need not be submitted in respect of accompanying dependants.

A police clearance certificate

Such certificates should be obtained from the applicant's home district or last place of residence and should cover the last ten years. If applicable, a certificate should be submitted in respect of each accompanying dependant over the age of sixteen years. Applicants resident in the United Kingdom may submit, in lieu of the clearance certificate, a copy of a sworn Affidavit of no criminal conviction as such certificates are not normally issued by the United Kingdom Police Force under Home Office instructions.

A medical questionnaire

A Medical Certificate of Health must be submitted on the prescribed form available from the Department of Immigration in respect of each member of the family.


Three written references from persons (not relatives) who have known the applicant for several years.

Evidence of financial status

A statement of assets and income clearly demonstrating the applicant's ability to support himself and any accompanying family members without engaging in employment. The policy of the Immigration Board now is that such statements should be supported by independent evidence such as a banker's or accountant's letter provided by one of the "Big Six" international accounting firms or by a bank licensed to do business in the Cayman Islands. Information supplied by accounting firms other than one of the "Big Six" must be supported by a Letter of Good Standing from a relevant accountant licensing authority such as a State Board in the US or the Institute of Chartered Accountants in the UK. This information is treated in the strictest of confidence.


One full face and one profile photograph must be submitted in respect of each applicant, and each member of one family. The completed application form together with the above documents must be submitted to the Chief Immigration Officer, Department of Immigration, Elgin Avenue, George Town, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, KY1-1102.


If the application to take up residency is approved, the applicant will be so advised and will be required to deposit with the Cayman Islands government a sum of money to cover any remote possibility of repatriation. This sum is provided for by law and is based upon nationality and the size of a family. For those persons belonging to Great Britain and Ireland the repatriation fee is CI$1,000.00 for the applicant and each accompanying dependant.

Additionally, an Entry Permit Fee of CI$20.00 is required to be paid before the Entry Permit is issued.

Once the Entry Certificate is issued by the Chief Immigration Officer permitting the applicant and his family to take up residency in the Cayman Islands the Certificate is withdrawn at the first port of entry and an endorsement is placed in the applicant's passport permitting him/her to reside in the Cayman Islands initially for a period of six months. This authority is renewable at six monthly intervals at the discretion of the Chief Immigration Officer however at any time after the person has been living in the Cayman Islands for six months he/she may apply to have the residency facilities made permanent.


The application to be made a permanent resident of the Cayman Islands must be made in triplicate on the prescribed form which can be obtained from the Department of Immigration. A separate application need not be made in respect of an accompanying wife or accompanying children under the age of eighteen years. The application for permanent residency is referred to the Immigration Board and under Section 20 (1) of the Immigration Law, the Board may refuse, defer, or grant either unconditionally or subject to such conditions or restrictions as it may deem fit. It is at this stage in considering the application, that the Immigration Board will take into account whether or not the applicant has made the investment in a home or condominium as referred to in the second paragraph above. A pivotal factor that will be taken into account is whether or not an applicant is, de facto, living in the Cayman Islands and evidence of owning a home or condominium in the Cayman Islands will assist in substantiating this.


Other relevant information to be noted is set out below.

  1. The applicant and his family members must hold valid passports.

  2. Although the grant of permanent residency does not confer any right to engage in any gainful occupation in the Cayman Islands, a resident may however hold shares in a local Company subject to any other laws concerning the ownership of shares or hold a non-working or nonexecutive directorship which does not involve day to day management in the Company's affairs.

  3. A non-refundable filing fee of CI$50.00 must accompany the application.

Cayman Islands

Sonia Starvis, Partner


David Whittome, Partner


Julie Melia, Partner

Hong Kong

Hugh O'Loughlin, Partner


Rod Palmer, Partner

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.