The right to reside permanently in the Cayman Islands can be acquired in two ways:
- on the basis of eight years residence; or
- as a person of independent means.
1. Permanent Residence on the basis of eight years residence
Any person who has been legally and ordinarily resident in the Cayman Islands for a period of at least eight years, but not more than nine years*, other than the holder of a:
- Residency Certificate for Persons of Independent Means;
- Residency Certificate for Retirees;
- the holder of a Certificate of Direct Investment or a Direct Investment Holder’s (Dependant’s) Certificate;
- Residency Holders (Dependant's) Certificate;
- Certificate of Permanent Residence for persons of Independent Means;
- a person who was granted permanent residence previously in circumstances analogous to (i) and (ii) above
may apply to the Chief Immigration Officer / Caymanian Status & Permanent Residency Board for permission for himself, his spouse and his dependants, if any, to reside permanently in the Cayman Islands.
How Much Does it Cost to Make an Application?
At the time of making an application the applicant must pay a non-refundable filing fee of CI$1,000.00, an issue fee (based on annual earnings (see below)) , dependant(s) fees (CI$400 per dependant) and the annual fee in respect to the first year (equivalent to the annual fee payable by a work permit holder in the same occupation).
It should be noted that neither the Board, nor the Chief Immigration Officer, has any power in law to entertain an application for Permanent Residence where the prescribed fees have not been submitted.
|$0.00 to $20,000 per annum||$500|
|Between $20,001 and $40,000 per annum||$1,250|
|Between $40,001 and $60,000 per annum||$2,500|
|Between $60,001 and $80,000 per annum||$3,750|
|Between $80,001 and $100,000 per annum||$5,000|
|Between $100,001 and $150,000 per annum||$9,000|
|$150,000 and above per annum||$12,500|
A Permanent Resident (other than the spouse of a Caymanian, the surviving spouse of a Caymanian who has not remarried a non-Caymanian, a contracted Government employee, a Cuban national who has been exempted from work permit requirements, an employee of the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority or a person working for a non-profit cultural, educational or charitable body) must pay an annual fee equivalent to that payable by a person authorized by a work permit to engage in the same occupation. The fee may be paid either by the Permanent Resident himself or his employer and is payable whether the person is employed or not.
Note: Where more than one occupation is applied for the annual fee payable is the equivalent to whichever occupation attracts the higher fee.
Variation of Residency & Employment Rights Certificate (RERC) to change Occupation
Where a Certificate is varied to change occupation and the new occupation attracts a higher annual fee, the fee payable until the following anniversary date is the difference between what was payable for the former occupation and that of the new occupation. Thereafter, the fee payable is the fee for the new occupation.
Refusal of Application for Permanent Residence
In the event that an application for Permanent Residence is refused, all fees submitted with the application, other than the application fee, will be refunded to the Applicant.
How an Application for Permanent Residence is Assessed
Applications are assessed by reference to a points system. Points are awarded in relation to nine factors. Points may also be deducted where the applicant has a criminal conviction, has been fined administratively for a statutory offence, public health grounds or where other mitigating factors exist. To be approved, an application must score one hundred and ten out of a possible two hundred and fifteen points.
The nine factors are:
- Education, Experience, and Training;
- Local Investments;
- Financial Stability;
- Community Minded/Integration into the Caymanian Community;
- Knowledge of Cayman Islands History and Culture*;
- Possessing Close Caymanian Connection;
- Demographic and Cultural Diversity;
- Age Distribution;
- Deductible Component
The questions on the History and Culture test have been taken from the following sources:
- Founded Upon the Seas: A History of the Cayman Islands and Their People (Michael Craton)
- The Cayman Islands in Transition (J.A. Bodden; Roy Bodden)
- Foundation - The Arts and Culture of the Cayman Islands Volumes 1-4 (Cayman National Cultural Foundation)
- Caymanian Expressions: A Collection of Sayings and Expressions Used in the Cayman Islands (Kevin M. Goring)
- Community and Cultural Events
As a Permanent Resident, what are my entitlements?
When an application for permanent residence is approved, the Chief Immigration Officer or the Caymanian Status & Permanent Residency Board will issue the applicant a Residency and Employment Rights Certificate which entitles him or her
- to accept employment from any employer of his choice; and
- to have reside with him any dependants who were listed in his permanent residence application and who were approved by the Chief Immigration Officer or the Caymanian Status & Permanent Residency Board. The Certificate may also be varied subsequently to add or remove dependants or to change an occupation.
N.B.: The holder is restricted to working within the particular occupation or occupations specified by the Chief Immigration Officer or the Board. (These will normally be those specified by the applicant on the application form).
May the Spouse of a Permanent Resident Work?
The spouse of a permanent resident may apply to the Chief Immigration Officer or the Caymanian Status & Permanent Residency Board for a Residency & Employment Rights Certificate in his or her own right which, if approved, will entitle him or her to the same rights as those listed above. Alternatively, a spouse may apply for a work permit.
Death of, or divorce from, a Permanent Resident
Upon the death of, or divorce from a Permanent Resident the right of the surviving or former spouse to reside in the Islands may be revoked at the discretion of the Chief Immigration Officer or the Caymanian Status & Permanent Residency Board but the surviving or former spouse may, within a period of three months of any revocation, apply for the grant of a Residency & Employment Rights Certificate in their own right. The same eligibility requirements set out above must be satisfied.
Where an application for a Residency & Employment Rights Certificate has been made within the three months from the date of the revocation, the applicant's right to reside in the Islands shall continue upon such terms and conditions until the Chief Immigration Officer or the Caymanian Status & Permanent Residency Board determines the application.
N.B.: Upon the death of, or divorce from, a Permanent Resident it is an offence if the surviving spouse or the Permanent Resident and spouse (in the case of divorce) fail to notify the Chief Immigration Officer or the Caymanian status and Permanent Residency Board, within six months of the death or the divorce.
Dependent children of a Permanent Resident
The right of a dependant child to reside in the Islands as a dependant ceases upon reaching the age of eighteen unless his parent's RERC has been varied to reflect that the child is engaged in full-time tertiary education or the Chief Immigration Officer is satisfied that there are special circumstances. It is also an offence if a dependent child engages in such education in that such authorisation or if he is or she is residing in the Islands on the basis of a variation but is not engaged in such education.
Children that are born in the Cayman Islands and are not Caymanian at birth are required to report to the Department of Immigration as soon as practicable in order to have their status in the Islands regularized.
The Immigration Law (R) Section 67 (7) states: In the case of any child born in the Islands in such circumstances that it does not acquire the right to be Caymanian at birth, such child shall be reported to the Chief Immigration Officer as soon as practicable (30 days) and shall thereafter be subject to immigration control in a manner appropriate in all the circumstances and having regards to the immigration status of the parents or, in the case of a child born outside of wedlock, of the mother.
Parents must provide the following
- Work permit amendment form (AMD2/AMD2B) or Residency variation form (RV30)
- a passport or an original Cayman birth certificate
- complete an extension form (BC10)
The Officer at the “Counter Extension” will land and condition the child accordingly and give ample authorization for the amendment to be reviewed. You will be provided with an Embarkation / Disembarkation card as a substitute for a travel document that will be endorsed until same has been obtained.
If my application for Permanent Residence is refused, will I have a right of appeal?
Yes. An appeal against the decision of the Chief Immigration Officer or the Caymanian Status & Permanent Residency Board to refuse the application may be made to the Immigration Appeals Tribunal within twenty-eight days of the communication of the decision. The fee for making an appeal is CI$1,000.00. An appeal may be lodged on the ground that it is:
- erroneous in law;
- contrary to the principles of natural justice; or
- at variance with the Immigration Regulations
Requirements while awaiting outcome of a Permanent Residence Application
Applicant must inform the Board or the Chief Immigration Officer in writing if there are any changes in his application since making the application in relation to:
- any convictions he may have received;
- whether he has become unemployed;
- whether he has been charged with an offence;
- whether he no longer holds any of the assets listed the in the application; or
- any change in his marital status or in respect of his dependants.
Applicant also must notify the Board or the Chief Immigration Officer if his marriage is dissolved (within 30 days of the dissolution). In the event of the death of the Permanent Resident, his spouse, if any, must notify the Board or the Chief Immigration Officer of the death.
To continue working while awaiting a decision on his/her application, an applicant must request permission from the Chief Immigration Officer by submitting form "P1 - Permission To Continue to Work".
Offences relating to Permanent Residence
• Failure to declare particulars of spouse and dependant(s), if any, whether or not it is intended that they would accompany him
• Failure to inform the Board or the Chief Immigration Officer if there are any changes in his circumstances since making the application in relation to:
- any convictions he may have received;
- whether he has become unemployed;
- whether he has been charged with an offence;
- whether he is no longer holds any of the assets listed in the application;
- any changes in his marital status or in respect to his dependants
• Failure to provide an annual declaration
• Failure on the part of the Permanent Resident and his employer to report to the Board or the Chief Immigration Officer any change of the holder’s employment circumstances. These include changes to employer, job title, promotion, training and education, benefits, and salary.
• Failure to notify the Board or the Chief Immigration Officer of the death of the Permanent Resident or the dissolution of his marriage within six months (in the case of the later).
• For the dependent child of a Permanent Resident to engage in tertiary education after the age of eighteen without his parent’s RERC being varied; or to continue to reside in the Islands on the basis of a variation but where he is not in fact engaging in such education
Requirements upon being granted Permanent Residence
A Permanent Resident must:
- Notify the Board or the Chief Immigration Officer of any change in the number of his dependants, by way of an application for variation of his RERC;
- Provide an annual declaration at the time of paying his annual fee containing particulars in respect for himself, his dependants and his assets
- Where a Permanent Resident sells property for the purpose of buying alternative property the purchase must be completed within 180 days of the sale unless there are exceptional circumstances. He or she must also inform the Board or the Chief Immigration Officer of the details of the new property, including the purchase price and the date on which the transaction was completed with 30 days of such transaction.
- Notify the Board or the Chief Immigration Officer of any change in circumstances in employment (obligation on both the Employer and the Permanent Residence holder)
Declaration relating to change of employment circumstances involving a permanent resident
In order that the Department of Immigration can maintain a record of where all permanent residents are employed and to facilitate verification that a permanent resident is not working outside the conditions attached to his Residency & Employment Rights Certificate employers and permanent residents themselves are required by law to notify the Department in any of the following circumstances:
- Where a new employee is a permanent resident
- When an existing employee becomes a permanent resident
- Where an employee who is a permanent resident has been
- Where an employee who is a permanent resident has resigned from their employment
Note: a failure to comply with the legal duty to notify the Board or the Chief Immigration Officer is an offence for which the permanent resident and his employer, both previous and current, shall be held liable.
Obligations on employers of permanent residents
All employers who currently employ one or more permanent residents must notify the Department of Immigration of the details of those employees using form R17 “Permanent Residents - Change To Employment Circumstances Declaration”. This will allow the Department to establish records of where all permanent residents are employed. Once this information has been provided the employer is only then required to make a further declaration if there is a change in respect to the employment circumstances of one of those permanent residents or when a new employee is a permanent resident or an existing employee becomes a permanent resident.
Obligations on permanent resident employees
Where there has been a change to a permanent resident’s employment circumstances he is required to notify the Caymanian Status & Permanent Residency Board or the Chief Immigration Officer using form R13B "Permanent Resident - Annual Declaration - Short Form". This includes circumstances where the permanent resident -
- has become employed by a new employer
- has ceased to be employed by a previous employer (includes being terminated, made redundant or resignation)
- has been promoted by his current employer
- has been re-designated within his existing employment
Note: The requirement to provide this information in no way interferes with a permanent resident’s right to accept employment from any employer.
Fees and supporting documentation
There is no fee for submitting the required Declaration and no documentation other than the Declaration itself is required.
Last Updated: 2017-06-12