Cayman Islands immigration guide & requirements

Cayman Islands immigration guide & requirements


Once you have decided to move to the Cayman Islands, it is important to understand Cayman's immigration process. Our real estate specialists can make introductions to immigration advisors, who can help make the process a smooth one.

There are two options available to gain residency in the Cayman Islands:

  • A work permit
  • A permanent residency certificate

Cayman Islands work permits

business man

The Cayman Islands Immigration Department issues temporary and full-time work permits.

Temporary work permits are typically three or six months in length. Full-time work permits are typically issued for one- to three-year periods. The maximum time that an individual can reside in the Cayman Islands on a work permit is nine years.

Once an employee reaches nine years, they can either apply for permanent residency or get "rolled over." Rollover requires the individual to leave the country for a period of 12 months. They are, however, still entitled to visit throughout this period for vacations. At the end of the one-year period, they can apply for a new job in the Cayman Islands.

The employer hiring an employee on a work permit must submit the application to the Immigration Board and pay for the work permit.

The prospective employee will need to provide official documentation to demonstrate they possess the relevant skills, education and experience required for the position, a criminal record check, and their passport. They will also need to have a medical/physical completed.

For more information on work permit processes and Cayman Islands Immigration requirements, click here.

Cayman Islands residency certificates

Ravello House

There are four types of residency certificates available in the Cayman Islands:

  1. Permanent Residency
  2. Certificate of Permanent Residency for Persons of Independent Means
  3. Residency Certificate (Substantial Business Presence)
  4. Certificate of Direct Investment

Each option requires a significant financial investment in the Cayman Islands.

Anyone dreaming of making the Cayman Islands home indefinitely and with the right to work must have the means to purchase developed real estate upwards of US$2.4 million. Other criteria such as payment of a one-time $100,000 fee and possession of a clean criminal record (which applies to all types of residency applications and applications for spouses and dependents) must be met. More information about this enticing option can be found here.


More information about residency options can be found in these detailed guides from these Camana Bay-based law firms:

For more information on the certificates read about Persons of Independent Needs and Investors on the Immigration Cayman Islands website here.


Salt Creek Pool

Cayman Islands immigration process


No matter which option you intend to pursue to acquire residency, it is important to engage the services of a qualified and experienced Cayman Islands immigration specialist. The process generally takes a minimum of three months.

Make sure you have your documentation in order before you start the process. Original copies of birth certificates, marriage certificates and university diplomas will be needed. For those applying for a Persons of Independent Means residency, bank records and bank and professional references should also be in order.