22 Immigration Law

Cayman Islands Immigration Lawyers

Our experienced immigration team provides comprehensive advice in all aspects of immigration, naturalization, and Caymanian status matters.

Our team works closely with our corporate and real estate sections to advise and assist in achieving the optimal and most cost-efficient result for clients wishing to relocate to the Cayman Islands, seeking advice in relation to the various types of Permanent Residency, employers requiring assistance with Work Permit applications for their employees, and advice in relation to the process and procedure generally.

Hampsons’ immigration specialists take the mystery and anxiety out of the Immigration, Work Permit and Permanent Residency processes, with timely and accurate advice, assisted by a good working relationship with the relevant Government Immigration/WORC departments.

Our expertise includes the following areas:

  • Work Permit grants, renewals, amendments and extension applications
  • Temporary Work Permit applications (standard and express)
  • All types of Permanent Residency applications
  • Appeals from the decisions of the Immigration/WORC Boards
  • Preparation and advice on Business Staffing Plans
  • Naturalization as a British Overseas Territories Citizen
  • Caymanian Status Applications

Our immigration team routinely supports Hampsons’ clients involved in matrimonial, family and children matters, where the status or right to work of our clients may be in issue.

Please refer to our FAQs section for information on the various types of Permanent Residency, Work Permits and other immigration requirements.

Immigration FAQs

What is a Certificate of Permanent Residence for Persons of Independent Means and do I qualify?

A Certificate of Permanent Residence for Persons of Independent Means allows applicants who have made the requisite investment in developed real estate in the Cayman Islands to reside in the jurisdiction permanently.


The applicant must demonstrate that he has:

  • Invested the sum of CI$2 million (US$ 2,439,025) in developed real estate which may be residential or commercial.
  • Has a clean police record (this applies to the spouse of an applicant as well).
  • Is in good health and is covered by health insurance in the Islands (this applies to all dependents)
  • Financial resources to support himself and his dependents.

There is an annual quota of 250 applications for this type of residency.

Upon issuance of the Certificate of Permanent Residence, the holder and his dependents are allowed to reside in the Cayman Islands permanently, without the right to work. The rights of dependent children ends when they reach 18 years of age, unless the holder has varied his Certificate to allow for the dependent child to remain on the Certificate until completion of full-time tertiary education.


The holder of the Certificate and/or his spouse may apply to request a variation of the Certificate to allow for the right to work, which shall be limited to a particular occupation which will be specified on the Certificate. There is an annual fee payable for this right to work, which must be paid on the anniversary of the grant.

The holder of this type of Certificate will be eligible to apply for Naturalisation as a British Overseas Territories Citizen once he meets the residency requirement under the British Nationality Act, and eventually Caymanian Status under the Cayman Islands statute.

What is a Residency Certificate (Substantial Business Presence) and do I qualify?

The Residency Certificate (Substantial Business Presence) is a 25-year Certificate issued to people who invest in and/or are employed in senior management roles within an approved category of business. The Certificate allows the holder to reside in the Cayman Islands and remain employed in the business in which he has invested and/or is employed in a senior management role.


In addition to a clean police record and being in good health, an applicant must:

  • be, or intend to be, legally and ordinarily resident in the Islands for a minimum of ninety days in each calendar year; and
  • own, or propose to own, either directly or indirectly, a minimum of ten percent of the shares in an approved category of business in the Islands through which he has established, or will establish, a substantial business presence in the Islands; or
  • be able to prove to the Director of WORC that he is or will be employed in a senior management capacity (an occupation category which has an annual work permit fee of CI$20,925.00/US$25,519.00 or more) of an approved category of business in the Cayman Islands.

Substantial business presence means either the purchase or lease of commercial real estate to establish a physical presence and the employment of 4 fulltime employees who are legally and ordinarily resident in the Cayman Islands and will physically be present in the jurisdiction for 9 months out of a calendar year.

Approved categories of business:

  • fund administration
  • brokerage services
  • investment and fund management services
  • financial trading (including foreign exchange, securities and derivatives)
  • captive insurance or reinsurance management services
  • reinsurance underwriting
  • investment banking
  • actuarial services
  • insurance claims management
  • family office
  • hedge fund incubation
  • any company registered as an exempted company under s.164 of the Companies Act

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