The global pandemic has affected the job market in unprecedented ways. At a time where work opportunities in the Cayman Islands seem to be getting scarcer, the Global Citizen Certificate (GCC) seems to have launched at the perfect moment. In this article, we tell you all about the GCC, including what it is, its benefits, how to apply, and where to find further information.
November 2020 Updates
As of November 2020, several press releases and webinars have provided us with updated information on the nature and process of the Global Citizen Concierge Programme (GCC). For the latest updates, see below.
The Global Citizen Concierge Programme (GCC) want to remind everyone of their focus on sparking tourism as part of the phased reopening of the country.
- There is a 7% application fee accrued when you send in your application.
- The Deputy Director of the programme is Jane Scaletta, and the National Promotions and Events Manager is Gary Hendricks-Domingues.
Important Things to Note:
- All applicants will have local health insurance within 30 days of arrival to the Cayman Islands.
- Dependents also need to provide the same documentation as the applicant, i.e. passport, proof of income, police clearance form, etc.
- Approval is subject to border opening protocols – e.g. if the applicant is able to arrive by private charter, via a repatriation flight, or other means.
- All arrivals will have to go through 2 weeks of quarantine.
- You are allowed to apply and be approved as a Global Citizen if you own a business. However, sole proprietors are not being approved at the moment. The GCCP team, if you send an email to them, can review your documentation and can advise if you will be approved under your current business structure.
- The team are thinking of doing a PR announcement when several GC’s have been approved and are on island. However, due to GDPR rules and regulations their names/countries cannot be mentioned.
- When granted the GCC, there is flexibility with the programme. You are able to come to Cayman, stay for a bit, and then go back home. However, you must stay for a total of 90 days within the two-year period. This flexibility of movement gives the GCCP a comparative advantage over other programmes.
Application Requirements & Process (Updated for November 2020)
Requirements (as outlined on the Visit Cayman Islands website):
1. Proof of Employment and/or Income
Applicants must provide a letter showing proof of employment with an entity outside of the Cayman Islands stating position, length of employment and annual salary on company letterhead. Applicant(s) minimum annual salary requirements are as follows:
- Applicant must make a minimum income of US$100,000 annually*, if applying as an individual
- Applicant must make a minimum income of US$150,000 annually, if applying with an accompanying spouse/civil partner
- Applicant must make a minimum income of US$180,000 annually, if applying with an accompanying spouse/civil partner and/or dependent(s)
- Applicant must make a minimum income of US$180,000 annually, if applying with an accompanying dependent(s)
*Please note that, when we say 'annual income', we are referring to how much income is made annually per resident, not per household.
2. Proof of Legal Existence of Employer/Company
- Provide copy of a Certificate of Good Standing/Certificate of Incorporation or Registration with authorized government body in your country including website details and any social media profile information.
3. Bank Reference
- A notarized bank reference. (A bank reference is a bank manager's written opinion of your credit standing which includes the length of time in which you have been with the bank and the average balance of your accounts.)
- 6 months of bank statements.
4. Proof of Identity
- Clear color copy of photo and information page of a valid passport. Persons requiring a visa for entry into the Cayman Islands must apply. Please click here to find the most updated visa requirements.
5. Police Clearance
- Provide a Federal criminal record or similar documentation, issued within the past 6 months old, from last place of residence for more than 6 months.
6. Proof of Health Insurance
- Coverage for all applicants in your party for a minimum of 30 days upon arrival in the Cayman Islands.
- All applicants must obtain local health insurance coverage within 30 days of arriving in the Cayman Islands.
The Six Step Process:
- The first step is that the applicant completes the ‘Apply Now’ application form on www.visitcaymanislands.com.
- Once they get the application, the team reviews that all of the correct documentation has been provided and the paperwork is all in order.
- Once all of the paperwork has been reviewed, the application document is sent to the Cayman Islands Customs & Border Control (CBC) for their approval.
- When approved, the application and relevant documents are forwarded to WORC for final review. WORC provides approval for entry into the Cayman Islands by issuing an exemption certificate (this is NOT the same a Visa!).
- Once you have this exemption, Travel Cayman gives authorisation to fly in – if privately, the GCCP team will connect with The Cayman Islands Airports Authority (CIAA) to coordinate the arrival of the global citizen(s).
- Once the applicant arrives in Cayman, they must go through normal arrival protocols, including quarantine in an approved location by Public Health.
Looking for flights? Cayman Airways (CAL) have now announced repatriation flight dates for November 2020. Visit their website for the full schedule and Immigration information.
About the GCC
The Global Citizen Certificate (GCC) is a new initiative from the Cayman Islands (designed by the Ministry of District Administration, Tourism, Transport and other Government departments) to support overseas-employment-seekers, as well as those wanting to work from home. The programme enables those who wish to work remotely to do just that, but with the added perk of living in a tropical island: Cayman. With our close proximity to Florida, private sector support and promising containment of COVID-19, the programme emphasises the suitability of the Cayman Islands as a work and living space for everyone, especially overseas workers. Work will virtually be done abroad, but participants can take advantage of an extended stay-visa programme in a luxurious, island paradise.
Other islands who have launched similar successful initiatives include the Bahamas (with their 'Extended Stay Visa Programme') and Bermuda (who have launched their intuitive 'One Year Work from Bermuda Certificate'). Both programmes took effect in a similar way to the GCC: allowing non-residents to relocate for study, research, or work. The virtual-work-from-abroad environment was found to be beneficial for businesses, especially as they could operate with employees working from home, at a much lower cost.
Applying for a GCC does not require that you earn Cayman citizenship. It is a way for individuals to live and enjoy the Cayman Islands, whilst supporting themselves with income earned abroad. It is therefore aimed at professionals who can support themselves fully whilst they are here, and can afford to have a longer stay.
For the most up-to-date information about the programme, please see the Visit Cayman Islands website.
Costs and Income Thresholds
The Certificate allows people who are employed outside of the Cayman Islands with the financial independence to work remotely, to relocate and live in the Cayman Islands for up to 24 months. For many this will be a straightforward and cost effective way to dip a toe into all that Cayman has to offer, whilst enjoying all the benefits of formal residence. Approvals are expected within days of application.
The Certificate is available to anyone who can demonstrate their existing (and anticipated ongoing) employment outside of the Cayman Islands. The criteria for eligibility include demonstrable annual income* of no less than US$100,000 for a single person, US$150,000 for an applicant and spouse, and US$180,000 for an applicant and spouse and *dependents/children. The holders of these certificates are expected to reside in the Cayman Islands for a minimum of 90 days each year.
The Government fees are US$1,469 per year for an applicant and spouse, with a further US$500 payable for each dependent. For the first year, you will pay the annual fee upon submission of your application. For the second year, fees are due on or by the end of the first year of the period of the GCC.
An application can be made at the Visit Cayman Islands website. You can also email: email@example.com or call 1 (833) 418 1191 (calls are toll-free in the United States) for more information. There is also a local Cayman number which you can call: 1 (345) 949 0623 (the Dept of Tourism). Phone lines are available from 9am-4.30pm (CST), Monday to Friday, and Saturdays from 10am-2pm (lines are closed on Sundays).
Please note that once you have your Certificate approved you have to notify Travel Cayman to arrange for permission to enter the Cayman Islands, and the Cayman Islands Government needs to make arrangements to ensure that you have somewhere to quarantine for 14-16 days on arrival. Please see https://www.exploregov.ky/traveltime for all the information you need to organise that part of getting to Cayman.
For those with young children who will need childcare please see our comprehensive list of preschools who will educate and entertain your children during the day while you work. For those with children of primary and high school age, please see here. You will need to email the schools individually and ask if they have space. If you would like to chat through any part of this, please feel free to call me (Joanna Boxall) on +1 (345) 916 2413, or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact Mina Whorms at email@example.com. We cannot do the application for you, but we know Cayman very well indeed, and are good at answering questions and directing you to the right information! Good luck!
*Per Cayman Islands Government law, a dependent is defined as the spouse/civil partner of that person, or one of the following relations of that person, namely a child, step-child, adopted child, grandchild, parent, step-parent, grandparent, brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister, being, in each case, wholly or substantially dependent upon that person. Dependents do not include, caregiver, nanny, au pair, common law relationships, etc.
How to Apply
What You Need to Apply
When applying for the GCC, all applicants must provide:
- A letter showing proof of employment outside of the Cayman Islands.
- A valid passport.
- A notarised bank reference.
- A police clearance form.
- Evidence of an active and valid health insurance policy your yourself and all dependents in your party.
- Complete and send off an online application form. You can find the application form here.
- Once your application has been approved, you can then start looking for a property to rent or buy.
- Book your flight to the Cayman Islands! NOTE: As you may be aware, commercial flights to Grand Cayman cannot be booked without approval from TravelCayman after informing them of your quarantine arrangements. To learn more about how to travel to Cayman at this time, please see our page on COVID-19 Travel Changes.
You are required to quarantine for a period of 14 days within a government-run isolation facility or through the Quarantine at Residence programme upon your arrival in Cayman. You may bring your family and/or dependents with you if you’d like, but they will have to undergo the same quarantine requirements as you (as per Government guidelines). All applications (including dependents) must have active health insurance that is approved for coverage in the Cayman Islands.
Revocation and Expiration
At some point, you may no longer want to hold the GCC. You may not want to work at that specific job anymore, or circumstances may mean that you do not have the same job which you started the programme with. In this case, your employer needs to advise the Director of WORC that you will be terminating the GCC as soon as possible (no later than 30 days after the employment termination).
There are several terms that must be adhered to to keep your GCC. These regulations will expire on 30th November 2023 (or a later date). Under these regulations, applications for a GCC should be made no later than 31st October 2021, or no later than two years before the regulation expiry date (30th November 2021).
Violation or failure to comply with the following can result in the revocation of your certificate:
- You must not partake in subversive political activity/organisations that promote racism within the Islands or elsewhere;
- You must not report any false information when applying for the GCC, or else it will be revoked upon discovery that it was approved on a fraudulent basis;
- You must not have any prior convictions or records of committed offences in the Islands;
- You must not have any convictions under the law of another country that suggests to the Director of WORC that your continued presence is against the public interest.
Other circumstances may also result in the revocation of your certificate:
- If you become destitute, your GCC can be revoked;
- It can also be revoked if you are found to be suffering from a serious mental illness or impairment (Mental Health Law, 2013);
- It can be revoked if you are suffering from a contagious disease that makes you a threat to other residents;
- If you are believed to have come to the Islands for the purpose of prostitution and/or to be receiving proceeds from prostitution, it may be revoked;
- It will be revoked if you fail to maintain the annual income listed on your application;
- It will be revoked if the Director of WORC believes you can no longer support a dependent;
- It will be revoked if it is found that you are delinquent for a period of more than ninety days (with respect to paying relevant fees);
- It will be revoked if you are deemed by Cabinet to be an undesirable inhabitant of the Islands.
Finding a Property
One of the requirements of the GCC is that, if you are going to be working from home in Cayman, you need to find a place that you call ‘home’. Luckily, in Cayman there are a variety of homes, condos, apartments, townhomes, and even more luxury resorts available to buy or rent. Whichever options are suitable for you, from the more low-priced to the more decadent, real estate companies in Cayman will be happy to support you on your journey to finding you a home. See our Realtors page for a list of real estate agents in the Cayman Islands who can assist you. If you are looking to rent rather than buy, you can also see our Rentals page for guidance on how to begin your search.
If you're interested in viewing the regulations for the GCC, please click here.