In this section we discuss Cayman Islands immigration and entry requirements for all those wanting to visit Cayman as a tourist and those wanting to move here as a new resident.
On This Page
If you are a Visitor to the Cayman Islands, we discuss how many days you can come for a visit and what additional time you get if you can show you own a property here. We discuss how you can come here and what happens if you decide you want to stay and work here.
Then we detail all the different work permit options along with what you will need to submit and who has to pay for the permits (your employer not you). For the person who has lived in Cayman for nine years we detail how to apply for Permanent Residency (PR) and what happens to the person who does not think they will qualify (they get rolled over for 12 months). We give the new arrival, who thinks they may want to stay in Cayman forever, great tips on what and how to prepare in advance for their Permanent Residency application.
For the person who has just married a Caymanian we explain how you cannot apply for a work permit and must instead apply for an Employment Rights Certificate as the Spouse of a Caymanian. An easy process but it involves a ton of paperwork. Tip: get prepared before you get married!
For the wealthy retiree we have a category just for you – a Certificate of Permanent Residency for Persons of Independent Means. We love people in this category and there are a lot of you here in Cayman, so you will be in good company!
There are also Permanent Residency categories for those who invest substantially in businesses in Cayman.
Then for the people who have been here for 15 years (and have had PR for 5 years) we discuss how you can become Naturalised and in due course acquire the Right to be Caymanian and get a British passport as an British Overseas Territory Citizen. The process, to this point, is slow and not unduly onerous but it is definitely worthwhile! Cayman is a phenomenal place to live, work, raise your children and retire!
But first, before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s start at the very beginning and assess the exact steps needed in the process of becoming a legal resident, starting out as a ‘New Arrival’.
If you cannot find the answer to your specific question please feel free to email us and we will point you in the right direction.
[*If you are a Caymanian, visitor or work permit holder living in the Cayman Islands who is seeking immigration advice about traveling off Island via the United States, please jump over to our Important Travel Requirements page.]
We are often asked how many days, as a visitor, one can stay in the Cayman Islands. Under the law, a person who has no other basis to enter the Cayman Islands (i.e. a Work Permit) and with no right to residence (i.e. does not have a spouse, parent or grandparent who is a Caymanian and does not hold an express permission based on those circumstances), may be admitted into Cayman as a visitor for a total of up to six months, with extensions permissible in rare circumstances thereafter.
A non-Caymanian who is 18 years of age or older, seeking to enter the Cayman Islands to attend a recognised educational institution on a full-time basis, may be granted a student visa.
These certificates are in effect a special category of work permit. They are only available to employees of entities (“Special Economic Zone Enterprises”) established within Cayman Enterprise City’s SEZs which include Cayman Tech City, Cayman Commodities & Derivatives City and Cayman Maritime & Aviation City.
If you are looking to move to the Cayman Islands and are not Caymanian, or married to a Caymanian, the process is slower. The first thing to do is find a job, or be offered a job, and then your Cayman employer has to apply for a work permit for you. Read on to understand the differences between Full and Temporary Work Permits as opposed to working under the Special Economic Zone and/or being classified under a Student Visa.
Work Permit Exemptions
Not every foreign national working in Cayman needs a work permit, and some categories of persons are exempt, though the rules are very strict.
Business Visitor’s Permit
These permits allow a business visitor to work in the Cayman Islands for a couple of days once a year or a couple of days a few times a year.
Temporary Work Permit
Cayman Islands Temporary Work Permits are usually used only for truly temporary work but can be used to get someone working in Cayman very quickly.
Work Permit Term Limit
The Standard Term Limit is reached at nine years and is the point at which people either have to leave for a year or apply for Permanent Residency.
We describe here all the documents you need when your employer is applying for a work permit for you in the Cayman Islands.
For those wishing to live and work in Cayman for the rest of their lives there is a provision called Permanent Residency. It can be applied for after eight years of living in Cayman, or if you are the spouse or child of a Permanent Resident or a Caymanian. It can also be gained through a significant investment in a business and or property. Please read on for more information.
Permanent Residency with the Right to Work
Here are the rules on gaining Permanent Residency with the Right to Work in the Cayman Islands. We also list the categories where you can gain points.
Persons of Independent Means & Investors
Detailed information on how to gain Permanent Residency by way of investing in the Cayman Islands
How to Appeal a Permanent Residency Refusal
If your Permanent Residency application is turned down you can appeal. Here we explain how to go about that process.
If you are a Permanent Resident adult and not married to a Caymanian then getting Naturalised as a British Overseas Territories Citizen (BOTC) is an essential step in the process of acquiring Caymanian Status, otherwise known as the Right to be Caymanian. Please read on for more information.
Becoming Naturalised in the Cayman Islands is the precursor to gaining a Caymanian passport and ultimately Caymanian Status and permanent right of tenure.
Right to be Caymanian
You can apply for the Right to be Caymanian after you have been married to a Caymanian for seven years or if you are the child of a Caymanian.
Cayman has a wealth of immigration professionals who can help you with whatever immigration needs you have.
The Cayman Islands is a British Overseas Territory (not a sovereign nation), therefore there are no consulates located in the country. There are however, country consulars in Grand Cayman that assist the nationals of their countries with passport renewals, travel emergencies and travel advice. The consulars listed below may also provide foreign nationals with guidance on the travel requirements that need to be met in order to enter their home country.
The Portfolio of Internal and External Affairs of the Cayman Islands Government and the Office of the Governor have assembled contact details for the consular representatives of the following countries.Read More