10-year work permit categories decided

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.  


Independent means 

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].  


Substantial business  

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]. 


  1. What about the people who assist these executives and their children etc. Nannies for example who have been with the families for 7 years who have built a relationship. We are not 10 a penny people just because we don’t earn big salaries. We are as important as the high fliers but in different ways.

  2. Ok…. so a foreignor gets to be here for a decade! Just curious… what happens when that foreignor commits a crime during their 10-year term…. Do we wait until the end of the 10th year to see that person gets off the island?

    Is there a provision to revoke a 10-year work permit?

  3. So, Needlecase…how often do you hear about crimes being committed by Chief Executive Officers or Vice Presidents or Fund Administration Managers? Give me a break, the crimes that are being committed are being done by local people and NOT ex-pats. For the rare instance that a white collar crime is committed, does it really affect you anyhow? What does affect you is if the people who are educated, have financial means and spend their money on this island living and working here go elsewhere for employment. If that happens, please be assured that your current way of life will significantly go downhill, very quickly without these foreigners contribution to the financial system on Cayman.

  4. Needlecase stop trying to add fire to an already existing Flame, Everyone knows that any Expat that gets convicting of a crime is bounced of the island to never return, this is nothing new..You should be more worried about your own homegrown thugs..

  5. Wow… Money, Money, Money… aint it Funny ?

    Again a ruling that only the CI government can come up with. More discrimination!

    So… if you work hard, are involved in the community, dedicate yourself, etc… you are of no use?
    If you earn a monster salary, and most of all keep bringing the greens to the island (insurance, banking, finance) you are welcome to stay?

    What about all the other jobs they can’t find people for on island? I am the first to admit that jobs that can be filled by Caymanians should go to the Caymanians first and foremost. But do they really think that only CEO positions are the once they can’t fill?

    So, a business owner in any other field than the ones mentioned above, and that needs staff with specific qualifications or skills, should keep changing staff every so many years? Regardless …
    It takes time (not to mention money)to get a new staff member up to speed and integrated within a company. Do they really have no clue about business management???

    The whole rollover thing is a joke! A part from it being (again) discriminatory, there is no sense to it at all.

    Make the rules and conditions to get permanent residency more severe. Let people prove that they really have earned the right to obtain this permanent residency. Expand the points system if needed. But give people that have the best of intentions and that are motivated and willing a fair chance of obtaining this right! NOT based on their salary or their bank account, but on their efforts to be a part of Cayman, it’s culture and community!

    Another great move from the CI government… Wake up, smell the coffee and get to grips with the 21st century!

    PS: Have you considered giving people that drive blue cars a longer work permit than people that drive red cars? I think there might be something there?

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