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What happens to my residency certificate for the Cayman Islands if my business doesn't last for 25 years?

My current company is considering expanding the business to the Cayman Islands and sending me as manager of this subsidiary. I am evaluating my options for getting a residency certificate as a senior manager of the business. However, I learned that the residency certificate is only valid for 25 years and I am only allowed to work in the business "in which the applicant has invested or is employed in a senior management capacity." What if this subsidiary does not last 25 years? Can I switch businesses or change the investment target as long as I hold a senior management role? How does the government of the Cayman Islands validate the employment compliance of residency certificate holders?

  • Priestleys
    July 10, 2018

    Based on the details of your query, you are referring to a certificate of direct investment. For that category, the law gives our chief immigration officer discretion to revoke your certificate on a number of grounds, including "the business or businesses in which the investments are made ceasing to be employment generating." Keep in mind that this is discretionary and not an absolute result. The immigration board gives substantial consideration to the employment of Caymanian people, so if your business shuts down, employment opportunities will collapse as well. However, the certificate of direct investment is also based on an investment threshold, and if that threshold is maintained to the satisfaction of the board, there may be a possibility of remaining for the entire 25 years, perhaps by increasing your investment amount, etc. I cannot say for certain, but as the legislation bestows such discretion on the board, it seems there is room for discussion. The minimum investment amount, as you may already know, is one million Cayman Islands dollars. Note that the other grounds for revocation of a certificate of direct investment are: (i) failure to give financial statements, and to maintain prescribed investment amount; (ii) if your business licence is revoked; (iii) if you are not physically present on the Island for at least 90 days (aggregate) in each calendar year; and (iv) you fail to pay prescribed fees. I hope this helps, and that you do indeed consider opening your business here. Most people who arrive are reticent to leave.

  • Bedell Cristin
    June 28, 2018

    Yes, the residency certificate is granted for a period of 25 years and each year following its grant, you are required to pay your annual work permit fee (which would be a minimum of CI $20,925 in a senior management capacity) and any dependent fees on the anniversary of its grant. If, for any reason, the business does not survive the full 25 years, you would be under no obligation to pay any annual fees beyond the year for which you had already paid up front. However, you would be required to either start or find another business in an approved category in which you could be employed in a senior management capacity so as to ensure a continuation of your residency certificate and your right (and any dependents' rights) to reside in the islands. Additionally, the government validates the employment compliance by way of an annual declaration form that you submit each year which confirms that you were still employed in a senior management capacity within an approved category of business. The annual declaration forms are submitted in December each year and do not preclude a changing of that senior management role within the course of one of those years.