As one of the foremost offshore financial centres, home to approximately 70% of the world's offshore investment funds and with an absence of any direct taxation on companies or individuals, the Cayman Islands has become an attractive destination for technology entrepreneurs. While much of Cayman's financial services legislation was written before the recent blockchain revolution began, recent years have seen the Cayman Islands take a number of legal and regulatory steps to make the Islands a jurisdiction that will allow such innovation to thrive, including, in May 2020, the passing of a comprehensive legislative framework for virtual asset service providers. Cayman's ambition to become a global technology hub is also supported by a sound legal framework, modern infrastructure, state-of-the-art communication systems and a stable political climate.

The Cayman Islands proved a popular choice for issuers of virtual assets during the initial coin offering boom of 2017 to 2018. During the "Crypto Winter" that followed, Cayman's flexible legislation, political stability and an internationally recognised securities regulatory regime enabled the Islands to pivot away from crowdfunded platforms towards security tokens and stable coins which provided greater value stability and more predictable investment returns. That flexibility means that Cayman is well placed to take advantage of the current shift towards securitising common assets and decentralised finance (De-Fi) products.

Importantly, Cayman continues to adhere to the highest international standards of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

First amongst the leading offshore jurisdictions, Cayman established a technology park within its existing special economic zone (SEZ) to allow technology companies to benefit from specific advantages, including zero-taxes and fast-tracked work permit applications for relocating employees.

Technology and Innovation

1. Are there any "sandbox" or other regulatory neutral zones?

The Virtual Asset (Service Providers) Law 2020 ("VASP Law") introduces the concept of a sandbox licence that provides the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) with the flexibility to regulate businesses that utilise innovative technologies or are engaged in activities that have the potential to benefit the financial services industry in the Cayman Islands. When it comes into legal force (expected late in 2020) the sandbox licence is intended to operate for a limited timeframe so that CIMA can assess how best to regulate the activities of the applicant and whether legislative changes may be required to further promote those activities.

The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) will have regulatory oversight of sandbox participants.

2. Is there a Digital "incubator" or hub?

The Cayman Islands government has established the SEZ, which enables technology companies from outside Cayman to easily and cost-effectively set up and operate offshore with a genuine physical presence.

Benefits of being a resident in the SEZ include:

  • No corporate, income, sales or capital gains tax;
  • Fast-track set up in 4-6 weeks;
  • Renewable 5 year work/residency visas granted in 5 days for staff from outside the Cayman Islands;
  • No Government reporting or filing requirements;
  • Presence in a tech cluster with cross-marketing opportunities;

3. Are there any barriers to entry for foreign technology companies?

There are special limitations, requirements and barriers to entry for foreign companies. Companies incorporated in the Cayman Islands fall into two principal categories: companies formed to trade primarily in the Cayman Islands and companies incorporated for the purpose of conducting business outside the Cayman Islands. Technology companies seeking to carry on business within the local Cayman Islands market will be required to have certain levels of local ownership and participation, or an exemption from such requirements.

4. Have traditional institutions embraced new technologies?

New technologies have not yet displaced traditional financial service providers in Cayman. Cayman Finance, a group that represents Cayman's financial services sector has established an innovation lab to engage with the financial services industry, regulators, the government and the media to promote the development and use of new technologies on the Islands.

A number of service providers have adopted technologies to enable the Onboarding of clients and the collection of KYC digitally.

Informal conversations have also started concerning a potential framework of laws, developed under Cayman Finance and CIMA that might direct new technologies towards the institutional market.

5. What forms of legal entity are available for technology companies?

The main types of companies/partnerships in the Cayman Islands consist of:

  • Exempted companies: where the proposed activities of a company are to be carried out mainly outside the Cayman Islands.
  • Exempted limited partnerships: may be formed for any lawful purpose to be carried out and undertaken in or from within the Cayman Islands or elsewhere.
  • Resident companies: companies carrying on business within the Cayman Islands. A company conducting banking and/or trust business must obtain a licence under the Banks and Trust Companies Law. Companies engaging in the insurance business must obtain a licence under the Insurance Law and those wishing to operate in company management must obtain a licence under the Companies Management Law.
  • Non-resident companies: the company may deal in shares of exempted companies, foreign corporations and partnerships, but may only carry on such other business in the Cayman Islands as is necessary for the furtherance of its foreign business.
  • Foreign registered companies: a foreign company is a company incorporated outside the Cayman Islands. Registration as a foreign company in the Cayman Islands is necessary to enable non-Cayman Islands companies to hold land or carry on business in the Cayman Islands, or to act as the general partner of a Cayman Islands Exempted Limited Partnership.
  • Special economic zone companies: a special economic zone company is a type of exempt company that is authorised to carry on business in a special economic zone pursuant to any law in force in the Islands.
  • Foundation companies: Introduced in 2017, a foundation company is body corporate with legal personality distinct from that of its members, directors, officers, supervisors and founder. An FC has the capacity to sue and be sued and to hold property in its own name and right.
  • Segregated portfolio companies: the segregated portfolio company (SPC) is a form of exempted company. The law provides for an exempted company, a company by way of continuation and an exempted limited duration company to re-register as a segregated portfolio company.
  • Limited liability companies are new and increasingly popular for their commercial flexibility. The legislation provides only the basic requirements for such entities and the parties are largely free to operate their business in accordance with a contract agreed between them.

6. What AML requirements apply to businesses in Cayman?

International standards of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing are set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). As a member of the Caribbean FATF, the Cayman Islands implements recommendations promulgated by the FATF.

All Cayman Islands incorporated entities are subject to the Proceeds of Crime Law (2020 Revision) sets out the principal money laundering offences. Importantly, businesses in the Cayman Islands need to adopt a risk-based approach to the collection of KYC. Under the risk-based approach, the latest guidelines from the FATF permit the digital verification of identities and receipt of electronic copies of documents instead of traditional "wet ink" paper-based processes.

Certain 'relevant' businesses (which would include, for instance, entities caught within Cayman financial services regulations and other entities thought to be at a higher risk of money laundering) are further subject to the Anti-Money Laundering Regulations (2020 Revision) which prescribe certain identification, record keeping and internal control procedures for such businesses.

7. Are electronic signatures valid?

The Electronic Transactions Law (2003 Revision) (ETL) generally puts electronic signatures on an equal footing with "wet ink" signatures in the Cayman Islands.

Technologically neutral, the ETL was established to promote public confidence in the validity, integrity and reliability of conducting transactions electronically and recognises electronic records as records created, stored, generated, received or communicated by electronic means.

8. How is personal data protected?

Cayman's Data Protection Law (DPL) was passed in March 2017 and came into full force on 30 September 2019.

Drafted around a set of internationally recognised privacy principles, the new law will provide a framework of rights and duties designed to give individual data subjects greater control over their personal data. The new law is a welcome move for Cayman and supports a growing expectation from international businesses and their clients that organisations operating in offshore jurisdictions have in place comprehensive data protection compliance policies backed up by robust data privacy legislation.

Virtual Assets

1. How are virtual assets regulated?

In May 2020, a new legislative framework for regulating virtual asset businesses was introduced in the Cayman Islands. The VASP Law is expected to come into force towards the end of 2020.

The VASP Law derives from recommendations made by the FATF and provides for the regulation of virtual asset businesses and for the registration and licensing of persons who are providing "virtual asset services".

The VASP Law defines virtual assets as "a digital representation of value that can be digitally traded or transferred and can be used for payment or investment purposes but does not include a digital representation of fiat currencies". This wide definition will likely capture all cryptocurrencies, security tokens, utility tokens or other digital assets that are tradeable or transferable, with the exception of digital fiat currencies. The "digital expression of fiat currencies" is not defined but is intended to apply only to government-issued virtual currencies as opposed to Tether or similar currency backed tokens.

The VASP Law applies to any person providing "virtual asset services". Virtual asset services are defined as the issuance of virtual assets or the business of providing one or more of the following services or operations for or on behalf of a natural or legal person or legal arrangement:

(a) exchange between virtual assets and fiat currencies;

(b) exchange between one or more other forms of convertible virtual assets;

(c) transfer of virtual assets;

(d) virtual asset custody service; or

(e) participation in, and provision of, financial services related to a virtual asset issuance or the sale of a virtual asset.

The VASP Law will only affect persons that carry out virtual asset services as a business or in the course of a business for or on behalf of other persons.

2. Are virtual assets subject to the local AML regime?

Yes. Virtual assets are deemed to be at a higher risk of money laundering and so would be subject to the higher AML threshold under the Anti-Money Laundering Regulations (2020 Revision). The VASP Law is AML driven and adopts the same standard.

All Cayman Islands incorporated entities are subject to the Proceeds of Crime Law (2020 Revision) sets out the principal money laundering offences. Importantly, businesses in the Cayman Islands need to adopt a risk-based approach to the collection of KYC. Under the risk-based approach, the latest guidelines from the FATF permit the digital verification of identities and receipt of electronic copies of documents instead of traditional "wet ink" paper-based processes.

3. Is a physical presence required in the Cayman Islands to conduct a virtual asset sale?

Potentially. The Cayman Islands introduced economic substance requirements in 2019 which impact certain entities conducting relevant activities. See section F below.

Under the VASP Law, the "issuance of virtual assets" means the sale of newly created virtual assets to the public in or from within the Cayman Islands in exchange for fiat currency, other virtual assets or other consideration. It does not include the sale of virtual service tokens. A virtual service token is a digital representation of value which is not transferrable or exchangeable with a third party at any time and includes digital tokens whose sole function is to provide access to an application or service or to provide a service or function directly to its owner.

The term "public" is not defined, but we consider that limited private sales to owners, affiliates and employees are not likely to be within scope. As the definition is limited to sales, we consider that airdrops or similar for-free allocations of virtual assets are out of scope.

Persons wishing to issue virtual assets from the Cayman Islands must first register with the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) as discussed further below. Once registered, and prior to issuance, they must then submit a request to CIMA for the approval of a virtual asset issuance and the issuance must not exceed a prescribed threshold (yet to be announced) that will be an amount in fiat currency that can be raised by an issuer within a given timeframe. Issuers that intend to raise funds over the prescribed threshold will be required to conduct the sale through a licensed virtual asset trading platform (see C1 below).

4. Are gambling platforms permitted?

No. Cayman entities cannot be engaged in, or operating as, an online or offline gambling or gaming company or platform.

It is also an offence to sell, offer for sale or gift any ticket or token that provides access to gambling or gaming activities. This would likely preclude a token sale where the token could be used to access, or act as a medium of exchange on, a gambling platform.

5. Can decentralised-finance (DeFi) products be launched from Cayman?

Yes. Decentralised Finance refers to a technology set that aims to replicate and innovate on current financial services models/products using blockchain technology. These financial services range from virtual assets that may or may not represent assets in the real world to financial smart contracts that can replicate derivative products found in traditional finance markets.

In addition to the requirements of the VASP Law, the primary piece of legislation regarding securities and investment business in the Cayman Islands is the Securities Investment Business Law (SIBL). SIBL provides for the licensing and control of persons engaged in securities investment business in or from the Cayman Islands. Importantly, SIBL is essentially consumer protection legislation, designed to protect the investing public and to be construed broadly. When determining whether a business activity is caught by SIBL, therefore, the emphasis is on substance rather than form.

SIBL sets out an exhaustive list of financial instruments that constitute 'securities'. The definition of "securities" also now includes virtual assets which can be sold, traded or exchanged immediately or at any time in the future that:

(a) represent or can be converted into any of the securities listed under SIBL, or

(b) represent a derivative of any of the securities listed under SIBL.

Whether an asset could constitute a security under SIBL is a fact-specific enquiry dependent on the unique functionalities exhibited by the asset. If the asset qualifies as a security, the issuer will be either dealing in, or arranging deals in, securities, although the issuer's activities may fall within a list of excluded activities under SIBL.

Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs)

1. Can a crypto-to-crypto exchange be established?

Yes, subject to the requirements of the VASP Law. "Virtual asset trading platforms" include any digital platforms that facilitate the exchange of virtual assets for a benefit (such as a fee or commission) and which either holds custody of or controls virtual assets on behalf of its clients to facilitate an exchange or which matches bids and sales. The VASP Law does not apply to platforms that only provide a forum where sellers and buyers may post bids or one where the parties trade peer-to-peer. The VASP Law also does not regulate businesses that exchange, trade or transfer virtual assets for and on behalf of themselves for their own benefit.

Once the VASP Law comes into force, businesses that operate or intend to operate a virtual asset trading platform will require a licence.

When considering a licence application CIMA will take into account the following (non-exhaustive) matters:

(a) the size, scope and complexity of the virtual asset service, underlying technology, method of delivery of the service and virtual asset utilised;

(b) the knowledge, expertise and experience of the applicant;

(c) AML procedures and data protection safeguards in place for the applicant;

(d) the similarity of the virtual asset service to activities under SIBL or any other regulatory laws;

(e) the risks that the virtual asset service may pose to existing clients, future clients, other licensees or to the financial system of the Cayman Islands;

(f) the net worth, capital reserves and financial stability of the applicant;

(g) the applicant's ability to comply with the VASP Law and the relevant requirements of the AML Regulations; and

(h) whether the applicant's senior officers and ultimate beneficial owners are fit and proper persons.

Persons registered or licensed under the VASP Law will be subject to ongoing requirements. These include the registrant or licensee:

(a) undertaking audits of their AML systems and procedures at the request of CIMA;

(b) preparing audited accounts and submitting those to CIMA annually;

(c) making sure its senior officers and beneficial owners are fit and proper persons;

(d) obtaining prior approval from CIMA to appoint senior officers or AML compliance officers;

(e) providing certain notices to CIMA confirming their compliance with the AML regulations and data protection laws and ensuring that all communications relating to the virtual asset service are accurate;

(f) designating an employee as the officer with responsibility for the procedures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation financing; and

(g) obtaining prior approval from CIMA before issuing or transferring shares or other equity interests totalling 10% or more of the registrant or licensee.

2. Can a crypto-to-fiat exchange be established?

Yes, subject to the requirements of the VASP Law. See C1 above.

3. Is a money services licence required for crypto-to-fiat conversion through an OTC desk?

No, but such a provider would likely be considered a virtual assets service provider and would need to register with CIMA under the VASP Law.

4. Can a virtual asset project establish a local bank account?

Potentially, but local banks remain very cautious about accepting business where funds are derived from the sale of virtual assets. It is recommended that the process of opening a bank account for virtual asset projects should be started as early as possible.

There is no general requirement for an entity to be registered in Cayman or have a physical presence in Cayman to establish a Cayman bank account although this decision is at the individual bank's discretion.

There is also no requirement for a Cayman entity to have a Cayman bank account.

5. Can you register as a virtual asset custodian in the Cayman Islands?

Yes. Under the VASP Law, virtual asset custody services are defined as the business of safekeeping or administration of virtual assets or the instruments that enable the holder to exercise control over virtual assets. This definition is intended to capture all persons that hold or have access to, for or on behalf of other persons, the private keys or similar attributes that can control a virtual asset. This would include virtual wallet providers operating from the Cayman Islands.

Once in force, custodians will require a licence under the VASP Law. See C1 above for the licence application and ongoing licensing requirements.

6. Are VASPs subject to the local AML regime?

Yes. VASPs are deemed to be at a higher risk of money laundering and so would be subject to the higher AML threshold under the Anti-Money Laundering Regulations (2020 Revision).

International best practice set out by the FATF call for VASPs to conduct full client due diligence is for any one-off transaction above USD$1000 or equivalent.

Regardless of the nature of the relationship or transaction, VASPs must have in place effective procedures to identify and verify the identity of a customer, including when establishing business relations with that customer.

Tokenised funds

1. Are tokenised funds regulated in the Cayman Islands?

In a tokenised fund, an investor's interest is represented by a cryptographic token, as opposed to shares or other interests or units offered to investors in a more traditional fund structure.

The primary piece of legislation in the Cayman Islands relating to open-ended investment funds is the Mutual Funds Law. A "mutual fund" is defined as a common investment vehicle which issues equity interests (such as tokens in a tokenised fund structure) that allows participation amongst a pool of investors in the profits or gains of such vehicle's investments and which is redeemable at the option of the investor.

The definition of "equity interest" under the Mutual Funds Law has been amended to include "any other representation of an interest". This amendment is broad enough to capture digital tokens or other virtual assets. Therefore, open-ended funds issuing redeemable tokens instead of shares or other equity interests are now covered by the Mutual Funds Law and will need to be registered or licensed under that law. In addition, the issuance of a native token by the fund would be caught by the VASP Law. See B1 above.

2. What service providers are required for a tokenised fund?

A tokenised fund will need to appoint: a board comprised of members, managers or directors (depending on the legal structure of the tokenised fund), an investment manager, an administrator, a custodian and legal advisers. In addition, a tokenised fund is likely to appoint a smart contract auditor and/or a third party KYC service provider to assist with the KYC process for subscribers.

All registered mutual funds must have their audited financial statements prepared or signed off by an approved Cayman Islands auditor and filed with CIMA within six months of their financial year end.

A tokenised fund may also opt to appoint trading counterparties, a distributor and/or placement agents.

3. What AML/KYC is required for token holders?

Cayman's AML legislation applies to any business conducting "relevant financial business". Accordingly, a tokenised fund will need to receive KYC documentation on each subscriber and every transferee of the token. Each transferee will also need to agree to the subscription terms for the tokenised fund.

4. Is there a minimum investment amount?

For a registered mutual fund, CIMA requires that the initial minimum subscription per investor must be at least US$100,000 (or the currency equivalent thereof).

5. Can token holders redeem their tokens or transfer the tokens they hold?

Depending on the redemption rights, token holders may redeem their tokens for cash and/or payments in-kind (or a combination thereof) or transfer their tokens with the written consent of the board. The attraction for holders of these tokens is that they also have the potential to offer liquidity through an exchange.

In order for the tokens to be freely transferrable on an exchange, either the fund itself or the exchange would need to ensure that any potential transferee:

  • provides sufficient KYC documentation to comply with Cayman's AML laws;
  • provides sufficient information to demonstrate that they are an eligible investor; and
  • agrees to the subscription terms for the fund.

Redemption of tokens by the fund would also potentially bring the fund entity into scope and require registration as a virtual asset service provider under the VASP Law. See B1 above.

Economic Substance

Does the Cayman Islands impose economic substance requirements?

Yes. These requirements (the "ES Law") came into force on 1 January 2019.

Under the ES Law, the economic substance test (ES Test) requires that a relevant entity conducting a relevant activity:

  1. conducts Cayman Islands core income generating activities (CIGA) in relation to that relevant activity;
  2. is directed and managed in an appropriate manner in the Cayman Islands in relation to that relevant activity; and
  3. having regard to the level of relevant income derived from the relevant activity carried out in the Cayman Islands
    1. has an adequate amount of operating expenditure incurred in the Cayman Islands;
    2. has an adequate physical presence (including maintaining a place of business or plant, property and equipment) in the Cayman Islands; and
    3. has an adequate number of full-time employees or other personnel with appropriate qualifications in the Cayman Islands.

"Relevant activities" under the ES Law includes each of the following:

  1. banking business;
  2. distribution and service centre business;
  3. financing and leasing business;
  4. fund management business;
  5. headquarters business;
  6. holding company business;
  7. insurance business;
  8. intellectual property business; or
  9. shipping business;

but does not include investment fund business.

Are there any reporting requirements in connection with economic substance?

Yes. All entities are required to make an ES notification filing.

In addition to making the a notification filing, relevant entities carrying on relevant activities must prepare and submit to the Cayman Islands Tax Information Authority (TIA) a report, so that the TIA may determine whether the ES Test has been satisfied in relation to that relevant activity. The report is due within 12 months after the last day of each financial year.

A relevant entity that carries on a relevant activity but which has no "relevant income" is not obliged to meet the requirements of the ES Test. That relevant entity will still, however, be required to satisfy its notification and reporting obligations under the ES Law (e.g. the report filed will be akin to a 'nil' return).

"Relevant income", in relation to an entity, means all of that entity's gross income from its relevant activities and recorded in its books and records under applicable accounting standards.

What penalty provisions apply in the case of non-compliance?

Penalties would be levied if an entity that is required to satisfy an ES Test fails to do so. The entity may be subject to an initial penalty of CI$10,000 (US$12,195) and in a subsequent year CI$100,000 (US$121,951). Failure to file a report carries a penalty of CI$5,000 (US$6,098) plus CI$500 (UD$610) for each additional day the default continues.

It is an offence for a person to knowingly or wilfully supply false or misleading information to the TIA under the ES Law. Such an offence is punishable on summary conviction by a fine of CI$10,000 (US$12,195) or with imprisonment for a term of five years, or both.

Where an offence under the ES Law that has been committed by a body corporate, the officer or any person purporting to act in that capacity, as well as the body corporate, commits that offence. Where the affairs of a body corporate are managed by its members, the foregoing shall apply in relation to defaults of a member in connection with the member's functions of management as if the member were a director of the body corporate.

Intellectual Property

The Cayman Islands is a common law jurisdiction that has a robust intellectual property protection regime.

1. Copyright

In 2017 the Cayman Islands updated its copyright laws to bring them in line with the most recent developments under the UK Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, which expressly includes computer programs and databases within the definition of "literary works" and therefore protects them as such for a duration of 50 years.

Open-source code is not separately regulated or protected in the Cayman Islands. It is possible for every contributor to the open-source code to own the copyright to their contribution, although in practice most contributors are likely to agree to license their material under the same licence as the original work. It can sometimes be difficult to ascertain who should make a legal complaint if someone decides to use the program in a way that violates its licence. To avoid this issue, contributors can explicitly assign the copyright in their contributions to a centralised body that administers the open-source project, making enforcement of the licence easier. An alternative approach would be to have contributors license their contributions to the project's administrative body under a licence agreement that permits the body to relicense these individual contributions.

2. Trade Marks

The main IP rights available to protect branding are registered and unregistered trade and service marks. Technology companies will generally own a combination of an established brand or trade name — and this can include logos or icons — protected as registered or unregistered trademarks.

Trade mark rights give registered owners the right to prevent others using identical or confusingly similar marks to their registered mark. Brand owners can also rely on unregistered trade mark rights through the law of passing off. This allows the owner to prevent others from damaging their goodwill with customers by using branding or get-up that is identical or confusingly similar to its own.

3. Patents

Patents and industrial designs registered in the UK or at the European level can also be protected in the Cayman Islands by extension with the Cayman Islands Register of Patents and Trademarks. In addition, the patent regime has been amended to provide innovators with additional protections against abusive challenges to their rights by entities that obtain patents for the sole purpose of taking legal action against those who innovate and develop new products. The Cayman Islands patent laws have been amended to prohibit bad faith infringement claims by so-called patent trolls.

4. Trade Secrets

Trade secrets are protected in the Cayman Islands through a combination of common law and rules of equity. A range of remedies are available where trade secrets have been improperly acquired, disclosed or used.

Confidential information is protected through a contractual agreement to keep certain information confidential or through the common law obligation to keep information confidential, because of the nature of the relationship between the discloser and disclosee, the nature of the communication or the nature of the information itself.

Doing Business in the Cayman Islands

1. Trade Licences

A Trade and Business Licence is a licence issued by the Trade and Business Licensing Board which allows a person / company to 'carry on business' in the Cayman Islands. It is required by anyone who wishes to 'carry on business' in the Cayman Islands. Depending on the nature of the proposed business, approval may be needed from other Government Departments.

Generally, no Trade and Business Licence is required for companies who wish to be incorporated within the Cayman Islands but without any physical presence or operations within the jurisdiction. Separate rules apply for companies establishing themselves in the SEZ (see section A.3 above).

2. Tax Matters

The Cayman Islands is a tax-neutral jurisdiction. There is no income tax, wealth tax, profits tax, capital gains tax, payroll tax, social security contribution (aside from mandatory pension contributions for employers and their employees) or corporate tax in the Cayman Islands. A registered Cayman Islands entity is not subject to any direct taxes. There may be tax implications for beneficial owners in their own jurisdiction, however.

3. Visas and Work Permits

All non-Caymanians employed in the private sector must have a work permit. An application for a full permit usually takes four to six weeks to process. A streamlined regime exists for certain types of businesses that can be set up within the SEZ (see section A.3 above).

Permit costs vary depending on the sector (financial services, tourism or construction), and the skill level of employees. The costs range from an annual minimum of KY$300 for unskilled workers to in excess of KY$30,000 for certain senior management and professional roles. Employers are responsible for work permit fees and these must not be passed on to employees.

Permits are ordinarily renewable for a maximum of nine years. An employee can make an application for permanent residency when he has been in the Islands for a continuous period of eight years, and these applications are determined under a points-based system which examines various economic and social criteria.

For most categories of employee, the employer must pay the premium under a health insurance contract issued by an approved insurer. However, the employer can recover up to 50% from the employee. Employers and eligible employees make mandatory contributions towards each employee's pension plan of 5% of the basic salary up to the maximum prescribed level of pensionable earnings.

4. Transportation Links

There are direct flights from Cayman to the USA, UK and Canada including: Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Tampa, Washington DC, London Heathrow and Toronto.

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.