Many are becoming increasingly aware of the global citizenship by investment (CBI) programs, which allow foreign investors to apply for second citizenship and gain all of the benefits that are afforded to a citizen of that country. Several other countries across the globe also offer residence by investment (RBI) schemes, which may be preferable, depending on your unique situation.
There are many different circumstances that may encourage someone to apply for these investment migration programs, including the political situation in the applicant’s home country, limited visa-free travel on the home country’s passport, or a more tax-friendly environment in the country they intend to migrate to.
The Cayman Islands is a seldom-discussed option for RBI, offering several pathways for wealthy foreign nationals to obtain residency in the islands. The Cayman Islands is a British Overseas Territory that offers a high quality of life in one of the most beautiful settings you can imagine.
Here are the four options the government provides for high net worth individuals considering relocating there:
- Certificate of Permanent Residency for Persons of Independent Means
Foreign nationals who can invest CI$2 million (US$ 2,408,300) into developed real estate are eligible to apply for a Certificate of Permanent Residence for Persons of Independent Means. The certificate grants permanent residence in the Cayman Islands and the holder can eventually apply to be a British Overseas Territories Citizen. The holder of the certificate and their dependents have the right to work in the islands. This option has an annual quota of 250 certificates.
- Residency Certificate for Persons of Independent Means
This option allows successful applicants to reside in the Cayman Islands long-term without the right to work. To qualify, the applicant must show that they have a continuous minimum income of CI$120,000 (US$144,500), maintain a minimum deposit of CI$400,000 (US$481,660) in an account with the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority, and invest CI$1 million (US$1,204,150), half of which must be invested in developed real estate on Grand Cayman. If approved, the applicant will be given permission to reside in the islands for 25 years with the option to renew.
- Certificate of Direct Investment
The Certificate of Direct Investment is an option for foreign nationals that can “demonstrate a substantial business track record or an entrepreneurial background.” Applicants must invest a minimum of CI$1 million (US$1,204,150) in a licensed employment generating business in the islands and exercise substantial management control of the business. The entity can be an existing or new venture. If successful, the applicant will be given permission to reside in the islands for 25 years.
- Residency Certificate (Substantial Business Presence)
This option is for applicants who invest in, or are in a senior management position within, an approved category of business in the Cayman Islands. Successful applicants are granted a Residency Certificate valid for 25 years (renewable), which entitles them to reside in the Islands and to work in the business in which they have invested or is employed in a senior management capacity. Applicants must meet several different criteria for this option, so it is recommended that interested parties have a look at the full requirements on Immigration Cayman Islands’ website.
For those who are in the investment migration loop and are well aware of residency programs in the EU, UK, US, and Canada, the Cayman Islands provides an interesting alternative with several different options that can fit the needs of many potential applicants.