Immigration to get easier for visitors to Cayman Islands

Part-time Cayman Islands residents and short-term workers will soon be having a much easier time getting through Cayman Islands immigration processes when they arrive in the country.  

Changes announced by Premier Alden McLaughlin in October indicated Cabinet has amended Immigration Regulations to allow short-term business travelers to remain in the country for up to 10 working days without the need to obtain a work permit.  

Currently, those individuals who travel back and forth to the Cayman Islands for business meetings or short assignments must obtain a yearly work permit that allows them to enter the islands four times a year for two weeks at a time.  

Another immigration change that comes by way of a Cabinet policy directive allows longer term visitors who have property in the Cayman Islands the ability to receive permission to stay for up to six months at a time without any need to “check in” with the Immigration Department. The policy directive was made public Friday.  

Currently, visitors who are not working but who wish to vacation for longer periods in Cayman at their homes must go back to immigration each month to renew a $100 visitors permit for 30 days. The change should provide a more welcoming environment for routine vacationers or retirees who spend part of year in Cayman, George Town MLA Joey Hew said.  

“Once the directive is implemented, immigration officers may grant a six-month visa where the person can demonstrate they own a home in the Cayman Islands where they are intending to stay during their visit, and that they are able to support themselves without the need for employment during their visit,” Mr. Hew said.  

“In addition to the new six-month visa directives, those visitors who are here for the purpose of attending a meeting with a local entity will be entitled to stay up to a maximum of ten days without the need to acquire a work permit.” 

The Ironwood development company indicated Friday that the six-month visitors permit was considered a welcome addition.  

“Many of the purchasers at the Ironwood development will be retirees or investors who do not work but wish to spend time enjoying their properties and the relaxed, sunshine lifestyle which Ironwood and Cayman will readily provide,” according to Ironwood spokesperson Denise Gower. “The ability to stay for a six- month period without needing visa renewal will considerably enhance the desirability of Ironwood and the Cayman Islands as a destination of choice for property owners and investors.” 

Another service that Mr. McLaughlin said government would be offering for Cayman visitors is a “pilot VIP program” that involves fast-tracking business visitors through immigration and customs. “It will be a pay for play, if you will,” Mr. McLaughlin said. The details of the last proposal had not been made public.  

1 COMMENT

  1. I have been suggesting easier rules for long term visitors for a long time now.

    It just did not make sense that we encouraged people to come as tourists for a week, but not for a few months.

  2. This is great news!

    Ultimately, this decision is a no-brainer: every day that a visitor stays in Cayman, the more money he/she will be spending in the local economy. More demand for services = more money = more jobs.

  3. I agree with what Norman is saying, as a regular visitor it would be nice to be able to stay longer without the hassle of having to go through immigration every few weeks. You would think that people who visit Cayman own homes and do not need to have jobs in Cayman would not suffer the same stigma that is placed on Expats. However the unfortunate truth is that even if you don’t work in Cayman the general attitude you will get is that your just being there is somehow taking something from the Caymanian People or holding them back in some way. While your lifestyle means that all you do while in Cayman is spend money, it could be just the fact that you own a piece of Cayman is what you’re resented for..

  4. Yes I agree, persons who have homes here should be given a six month stay.
    Although the outside world have it to sat that Cayman Islands is only for the rich and famous. I would not go as far as to agree with that; however I do support us upholding a high standard of living whereas we do not have people sleeping on the side of the roads or walking the streets begging. I also like to see that we have laws enforce to build beautiful homes, clean road ways and painted buildings.

  5. I will add to Twyla’s comment saying that it would make a huge difference if I could stay for 6 Months at a time without having to be dragged through Immigration every few weeks, It may even convince me to hold on to my Cayman Home instead of selling it. As far as Cayman being only for the Rich and Famous. I don’t think Fame has anything to do with it, but famous people are usually Rich and that makes all the difference in Cayman. Take my situation for example I own a home in Cayman and visit a lot, I can comfortably support myself without needing to find a job but I wouldn’t say I am Rich, as a matter of fact when it comes to Caymanians attitudes I am broke. This means I am allowed to visit for short periods of time while Rich people are invited to stay and apply for PR or Status and it has nothing to do with their love for Cayman or their knowledge of Cayman, it’s all about the money.

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