Residency by Independent Means Visa
The Cayman Islands offers resident visa options under the Independent Means category. Under this category, you can receive a long-term resident permit or a permanent resident permit. Investments can be made through buying real estate or starting a business venture.
Besides having Raoul Pal as a next door neighbor, the Cayman Islands are home to many U.S. expats as well as a growing crypto community. The islands are a hotbed for crypto enthusiasts due to their proximity to the U.S., their tax-free environment and a great quality of life.
After five years of living in the Cayman Islands, you can apply for British Overseas Territory citizenship.
Cayman Islands Crypto Environment
Each of the Cayman Islands Government, the Cayman Islands
Monetary Authority (“CIMA”), and industry bodies such as
Cayman Finance, acknowledge the importance of continuing
to attract fintech business to the jurisdiction and ensuring the
further growth of the sector. They are also aware, however, of
the need to balance this approach with maintaining the
Cayman Islands’ commitment to the highest standards of
financial probity and transparency and the specific
considerations that can accompany Digital Assets.
KYD (Cayman Islands Dollar)
EU visa (90 days in 180 days),
U.S. tourist visa (90 days)
Once a year
Download our free factsheet with more detailed information about this program.
Who Can Qualify?
The Cayman Islands Golden Visa offers numerous options to investors.
Residency Certificate for Persons of Independent Means
Under this option, the approved applicant receives a renewable 25-year resident permit. Investment on Cayman Brac or Little Cayman qualifies for significantly lower requirements. The fees include $20,000 KYD ($24,000 USD) for the issuance of the certificate.
The general requirements are:
- You will need to show an annual income of at least $120,000 KYD ($144,000 USD) from abroad or be without any need to work on the islands. You can also open a bank account with the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority and place a minimum deposit of at least $400,000 KYD ($480,000 USD) in cash and cash equivalents, fixed-income instruments, equities and listed exchange traded funds.
- In addition, you will have to invest at least $1 million KYD ($1.2 million USD), of which at least $500,000 KYD ($600,000 USD) is in real estate on Grand Cayman.
The requirements in Cayman Brac or Little Cayman are:
- You will need to show an annual income of at least $75,000 KYD ($90,000 USD) from abroad or be without the need to work on the island. You can also open a bank account with the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority and place a minimum deposit of at least $400,000 KYD ($480,000 USD) in cash and cash equivalents, fixed-income instruments, equities and listed exchange traded funds.
- In addition, you will have to invest at least $500,000 KYD ($600,000 USD), of which at least $250,000 KYD ($300,000) is through real estate on Cayman Brac or Little Cayman.
Certificate of Permanent Residence for Persons of Independent Means
Under this option, the approved applicant receives a permanent resident permit. You must invest in a developed real estate of at least $2 million KYD ($2.4 million USD). The fees include $100,000 KYD ($120,000 USD) for the issuance of the certificate. Additional fees are applicable if you also desire to have permission to work in the Cayman Islands.
Certificate of Direct Investment
Under this option, the approved applicant receives a permanent resident permit. You must invest in a business of at least $1 million KYD ($1.2 million USD) and have a significant entrepreneurial background. The fees include a $20,000 KYD ($24,000 USD) fee for the issuance of the certificate.
The Cayman Islands is one of the most tax-friendly jurisdictions in the world. It’s ideally located for Americans due to its proximity to the U.S. The Cayman Islands is a British Overseas Territory and one of the wealthiest places in the world per capita. The Cayman Islands Golden Visa offers permanent or long-term residency and access to British Overseas citizenship after only five years.
The Independent Means category offers flexibility in terms of physical presence in the country, varying from 30 days a year for the 25-year permit to a single visit for permanent residents. The British Overseas Territory passport from the Cayman Islands is a great passport, providing visa-free travel to the EU and the U.S. for 90 days when traveling from the Cayman Islands.
Tax residency in the Cayman Islands can be obtained with only 90 days of physical presence.
If the program approves you, you are allowed to include your spouse and children in your application. Adult children must prove they are attending a university.
Other than the investment, you will need to meet the following requirements:
- You must be at least 18 years of age.
- You must not have any serious crimes on your record and must provide a police certificate from all the countries where you have resided.
- You must be in good health and possess adequate health insurance coverage.
- If you are applying via a business route, you will need to provide a business plan detailing your activities
Cayman Islands Residency Application Process
The Cayman Islands Golden Visa application process takes two months to complete. The time spent finalizing the real estate or business investment can lengthen the process. You can do everything from abroad via a power of attorney, but you will need to physically travel to the Cayman Islands to collect your resident permit and give biometrics data. The investment must be made before applying.
- Verify eligibility
- Start client onboarding process with Global RCG.
- Global RCG helps you gather the required documents.
- Global RCG assists you in making your investment.
Access to the US
As a Golden Visa applicant, you will receive a multi-exit visa allowing you to travel in and out of the Cayman Islands. As an American, you can already spend a six-month period in the Cayman Islands. But your resident permit will guarantee you entry in the country even during COVID-19 travel restrictions.
To become a British Overseas Territory citizen, you must have resided in the Cayman Islands for at least five years and not have absences of more than 450 days during that period, including 90 days during the last 12 months.
Becoming a British Overseas citizen does not provide the right to live and work freely in the Cayman Islands. The “islander” or “belonger” status in the British Overseas Territory islands is a different status given to locals.
The Cayman Islands passport provides visa-free access to more than 160 countries worldwide, including the U.S., Europe’s Schengen Area, Canada, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Brazil.
Access to the US
As a Cayman Islands British Overseas Territory citizen, you will be able to travel to the U.S. for 90 days a year without a visa under certain conditions. Those conditions are that you must depart from the Cayman Islands and you must have a current certificate from the clerk of the court indicating no criminal record.
The Cayman Islands is one of the most tax-friendly jurisdictions in the world. The jurisdiction does not levy any personal income tax, corporate tax or sales tax (VAT). You can become a tax resident with only 90 days of physical presence in the country, as long as you don’t live 183 days in another single country.
The Cayman Islands Golden Visa is often combined with another European residency or citizenship-by-investment program. It’s often used for tax residency and as a transit between Europe and the U.S.
Due to the complex nature of U.S. taxation, you should get professional tax advice before moving your tax residency to the Cayman Islands.