This Certificate, valid for 25 years and renewable thereafter, entitles the holder (and any qualifying dependants) to reside in the Cayman Islands and work in the business or businesses in which they have invested or are employed in a senior management capacity. It was developed to encourage businesses to come to and thrive in the Islands by providing their key players with an easier path to residency. An applicant must be, or intend to be, legally and ordinarily resident in the Islands for a minimum of 90 days in each calendar year, and either: (1) Own, or propose to own, directly or indirectly, a minimum of 10% of the shares in an approved category of business (see list below) through which he has established, or will establish, a substantial business presence in the Islands; or (2) Be able to prove to the satisfaction of the Chief Immigration Officer that he is or will be employed in a senior management capacity (i.e. an occupation that attracts an annual work permit fee of CI$20,925 or above) and that such employment falls within an approved category of business. Option 1 requires the business in question to purchase or lease commercial real estate in the Cayman Islands, and employ at least four full-time workers in the Cayman Islands (who themselves are legally and ordinarily resident in the Islands for a minimum of 90 days in each calendar year). Hence, the far more popular path is Option 2 which does not require the purchase or lease of commercial real estate nor employment of anyone other than the proposed holder of the Residency Certificate. For a new venture, the applicant would first incorporate an exempted company (of which he is usually the sole shareholder and director) in an approved category of business and once incorporated, seek permission by way of his application for a Residency Certificate (Substantial Business Presence) to employ himself in a senior management capacity within that exempted company. Please note that we can usually find a suitable occupation at that exact CI$20,925 figure and our corporate services affiliate, Solaris Corporate Services Ltd., can assist with incorporation and annual maintenance of the exempted company. Once the Residency Certificate has been approved, a one-time grant fee of CI$5,000 is payable, as well as an annual work permit fee (minimum CI$20,925/US$25,519) and an annual dependant fee (CI$1,000/US$1,220 per dependant per annum). The approved categories of business for the purposes of an application for a Residency Certificate (Substantial Business Presence) are as follows: 1. Fund administration; 2. Brokerage services; 3. Investment and fund management services; 4. Investment banking; 5. Financial trading (including foreign exchange, securities and derivatives); 6. Captive insurance or reinsurance management services; 7. Reinsurance underwriting; 8. Actuarial services; 9. Insurance claims management; 10. Family office; 11. Hedge fund incubation; and 12. Any company registered as an exempted company as defined by of the Companies Law.
How can I obtain Cayman Islands residency through the substantial business presence visa?
I read that I could get a visa if I own at least 10 percent of an approved business. Which types of businesses qualify? Do they have to be existing enterprises or can I start one? Can I get a visa to start my business in person on the islands before obtaining permanent residency?