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Becoming a Cayman Resident

Daniel Altneu, a Cayman Islands residency expert at Bedell Cristin law firm, discusses the purchase of property and the residency application process.

Introduction

In addition to the Cayman Islands’ pre-eminence as an international financial centre, the territory boasts one of the highest GDPs and standards of living in the world generally.

Due to our traditional values of community and privacy, and the fact that it is a safe and secure place to live, with one of the lowest crime rates in the Caribbean, many high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth international individuals call Cayman home.

They are attracted by its natural beauty, well-developed infrastructure, stable government, strong rule of law, elite health services and education, cosmopolitan outlook, direct accessibility from 20 major cities in the USA and Canada, the fact that it is often referred to as the culinary capital of the Caribbean, and our tax neutrality – the Cayman Islands has no income, capital gains, property, estate, inheritance, wealth, sales or corporate taxes and no restrictions on foreign ownership of real estate.

Sea Palm Villas, Grand Cayman

Step Guide

An outline of the steps which an interested applicant might wish to pursue are as follows:

Contact Daniel Altneu, a Cayman Islands residency expert at Bedell Cristin law firm, to discuss your individual requirements and proposed residency path for yourself and any family members. Engage the services of Cayman Islands Sotheby’s International Realty to find a property that suits your needs and meets the residency criteria. Unlike other jurisdictions, applicants do not need to purchase property from a Government approved project or developer;
Once identified, engage a specialist law firm, such as Bedell Cristin, to guide you through the purchase of your property and the submission of your chosen residency application.

Option 1 – Extended (25-Year) Residency Certificate

This Certificate, which is valid for 25 years and renewable thereafter, entitles the holder (and any qualifying dependents) to reside in the Cayman Islands without the right to work.

An applicant must invest a minimum of US$1,219,512, of which at least US$609,756 must be in developed residential real estate in Grand Cayman AND must either demonstrate a continuous source of annual income of at least US$146,342 without the need to engage in gainful employment in Grand Cayman or open an account with a Cayman Islands Monetary Authority-regulated and locally licenced institution and maintain a minimum deposit in the account of at least US$487,805 in assets.

Option 2 – Certificate of Permanent Residence

There has been a significant shift towards wealthy families with young children acquiring Certificates of Permanent Residence in recent years. For many, this Certificate is the ultimate option as:

Not only does it provide the holder and spouse with a lifetime grant to reside in Cayman for a minimum investment of US$2,439,024 in developed real estate in the Cayman Islands (regardless of which Island on which they intend to reside); it also gives the holder and spouse the ability to work (should they wish to do so); and it provides the entire family with a pathway to both Cayman Islands and full British Citizenship (with all the privileges that entails, including obtaining a full British passport) without any obligation to surrender existing citizenships.

Royal Bluff, beachfront residence

What Rights does a Resident have in the Cayman Islands?

As well as a considerable number of other benefits, a Resident can:

(i) own residential or commercial property;
(ii) place dependant children in school;
(iii) invest in local businesses;
(iv) reside full-time or part-time in the Cayman Islands; and
(v) enter the Cayman Islands without a return ticket.

How can Bedell Cristin Help?

While obtaining residency in the Cayman Islands is often more financially accessible than people initially assume, the relocation process can still be complex and usually requires careful navigation. Each application requires not just a knowledge of the relevant laws and regulations but also a wealth of experience of how the process actually works.

We pride ourselves on building long-term relationships with our clients, and we have a proven track record of effectively servicing their every legal need, both in advance of and for many years to come following their arrival and establishment in the Cayman Islands. Our clients commonly require local and international expertise when it comes to wealth structuring, succession planning, family business structuring, governance, and regulatory matters, and all the associated high-end immigration and real estate services. Unlike any other firm in Cayman, we are true experts in all of these areas.

Daniel Altneu
Managing Associate
Bedell Cristin Cayman Partnership

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    Daniel Altneu

    Managing Associate Bedell Cristin Cayman Partnership daniel.altneu@bedellcristin.com +1.345.949.0488

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