Skip navigation

Permanent Residence FAQs

How long do I have to live in the Islands to qualify for permanent residence?
You have to be legally and ordinarily resident in the Islands for at least 8 years, but not more than 9 years.
Who is eligible to apply for permanent residence?
Any person who has been legally and ordinarily resident in the Cayman Islands for a period of at least eight years, other than:

  • the holder of a Residency Certificate for Persons of Independent Means; or
  • the holder of a Residency Certificate for Retirees; or
  • the holder of a Certificate of Direct Investment or a Direct Investment Holder’s (Dependant’s) Certificate; or
  • the holder of a Residency Certificate of (Substantial Business Presence); or
  • an employee named in a Certificate for Specialist Caregivers; or
  • a person who was granted permanent residence previously in circumstances similar to the above

may apply to the Caymanian Status & Permanent Residency Board or the Chief Immigration Officer for permission for himself, his spouse and his dependants, if any, to reside permanently in the Cayman Islands. Such an application may be made while the person continues to be legally and ordinarily resident.

What is legal and ordinary residence?

Legal and ordinary residence is defined as:-

"A persons uninterrupted voluntary physical presence in the Islands for a period of time without legal impediment (other than a tourist visitor or transit passenger) during which period the Islands are regarded as his normal place of abode for the time being, save that­

  • absences abroad of six consecutive months´ duration or less for, inter alia, purposes of education, health, vacation or business during such period shall count as residence in the Islands &
  • absences abroad of more than six consecutive months but less than one year shall raise the presumption that there has been a break in residence; and
  • absences abroad for twelve consecutive months or more shall constitute a break in residence."
What criteria will be used to determine my application for Permanent Residence?
The Caymanian Status and Permanent Residency Board or the Chief Immigration Officer will score your application in accordance with the Points System contained in the Immigration Regulations.
According to the Immigration Law I can only be granted work permits for nine years. What happens next?
A work permit holder can apply for permanent residence with the right to work after being legally and ordinarily resident of the Islands for eight years, but no more than nine years. Where an application has been made the applicant may apply to the Chief Immigration Officer for permission to continue work until his permanent residence is decided. If the applicant is unsuccessful there is a right of appeal. If the appeal is unsuccessful, or an appeal is not made, the person will be allowed to remain (and work) for a final period of 90 days from the date of the decision being communicated to him. After this 90 day period has expired he must leave the Islands.
After reaching year eight, when must I submit my application for permanent residence?
After having been legally and ordinarily resident in the Islands for eight years you may apply for permanent residence at any time before the end of nine years so long as you continue to be legally and ordinarily resident here.
What is my final work permit?
My final work permit means a work permit which at the time of its grant or renewal is stated to be the final work permit for a worker in accordance with his term limit or, where not so expressly stated, is the last work permit that can be granted or renewed in respect of a worker as a consequence thereof.
I have submitted my application for permanent residence and my work permit has now expired. What must I do to keep working?
If your application for permanent residence was submitted during the currency of a work permit you are eligible to apply to the Chief Immigration Officer for permission to continue work.
What can I do if my application for Permanent Residence is refused?
You have the right to appeal against the decision to the Immigration Appeals Tribunal. If you do, you may continue to request permission to continue work pending the outcome of the appeal. If the appeal is unsuccessful you have the right to continue to hold permission to continue work for a final period of 90 days after the date in which the decision was communicated to you. Alternatively, if you do not submit an appeal to the Immigration Appeals Tribunal you have the right to continue to hold permission to continue work for 90 days. In either case, upon the expiry of this 90 day period you will be required to leave the Islands for at least one year before you can hold any further work permits.
I have appealed against the refusal of my permanent residence application to the Immigration Appeals Tribunal. What should I do next?
You should bring the receipt from the Immigration Appeals Tribunal to the Immigration Department when applying for an extension of your permission to continue working. This permission can be granted until your appeal has been heard. Your employer will continue to have to pay fees during this period.
While holding permission to continue work can I change employers?
Yes, but you must notify the Immigration Department in writing and your new employer will have to pay new Permission to Continue Working fees. Note: You may only work in your current occupation. You may not change occupation.


See Also