The Cayman Islands government has approved the occupations for which 10-year work permits will be approved in regulations made by Cabinet last week.
Until the approval of these regulations on 16 October, the maximum time any single work permit for a foreign employee could be approved was five years.
Significant additions have also been made to the list of temporary job-related visits for which no work permit is required. The government has also determined fees for various applications and grants of permits; including permanent residence for those with independent means and residence for those with a “substantial business presence” in the Islands.
The details are specified in the Immigration (Amendment)(No. 3) Regulations, 2012.
The following occupations are eligible for the grant of a work permit for up to 10 years: managing director, chief executive officer, general manager, vice president, chief financial officer, chief operating officer, chief underwriting officer, chief actuary, chief reinsurance underwriter, directors for fund services, directors for client services, fund administration managers and fund services managers.
The regulations attached to the Immigration Law do not require approval in a vote of the full Legislative Assembly.
Certain few jobs within the reinsurance and fund administration industries can also be exempted for work permit fees for a period of five years starting with the worker’s first arrival in the Islands. Those jobs include; executive administrative assistant, personal assistant, senior administrative assistant and executive secretary.
The regulations set certain requirements on the new immigration category of permanent residence for those with independent means.
Among those requirements are that the person being granted such a certificate, which allows them to remain in Cayman for the rest of their lives, would have to satisfy the chief immigration officer that they had invested in $1.6 million worth of developed real estate within the Islands.
There is also a quota placed on permanent residence for those with independent means of 250 such grants allowed per year.
The one-time issue fee for a certificate of permanent residence for those with independent means is set at $100,000 in the regulations.
In addition, those who are granted such a certificate would have to pay a $1,000 per year fee for each dependant they bring to the Islands.
In addition to permanent residence for those with independent means, the 25-year residential certificate (not permanent residence) for those of independent means has had its income requirements lowered.
People qualifying for residence in that category must now have an annual income of $120,000 [down from $150,000] and have invested at least $500,000 in Cayman [down from $750,000].
The regulations also set more ground rules for the establishment of what’s known as a substantial business presence within the Cayman Islands.
Being granted such a residency certificate under those rules requires the chief immigration officer to take into account whether the business has established an actual physical presence within the Cayman Islands and if the business employs, or will employ, four full-time employees who are legally resident within Cayman for at least nine months a year.
Approved categories of business under the substantial business presence section include: fund administration, brokerage services, investment and fund management services, investment banking, financial trading, captive insurance or reinsurance management, reinsurance underwriting, actuarial services, insurance claims management, hedge fund incubation or any company registered as an exempted company under section 164 of the Companies Law [2011 Revision].