Residence for the rich gets more costly

Obtaining the right to remain in the Cayman Islands as a “person of independent means” has just become more expensive.

Regulations to the Immigration Law approved last month set higher requirements for values of property wealthy residence applicants must hold in order to stay in Cayman.

There are two types of residential certificates for persons of independent means. The first is a 25-year residency certificate that can be renewed once it is expired, as long as the person remains in good financial and physical health.

The new regulations require those applicants to have invested at least $1 million in real estate on Grand Cayman. Previously, the investment threshold required was $500,000. Those individuals also must have an annual income of $120,000 or have at least $400,000 held in a financial institution in the islands.

For Cayman Brac residents, the property ownership threshold is $500,000, up from the previous $250,000 requirement.

The second type of residence for wealthy individuals is called a certificate of permanent residence for persons of independent means. The financial thresholds for those individuals have also been increased.

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Those individuals, who can remain in Cayman for the rest of their lives, must invest at least $2 million in “developed real estate” in the islands. The previous threshold was $1.6 million.

If the person wishes to bring any dependents along to reside with them, an annual fee of $1,000 is due. Previously, the $1,000 charge was a one-time fee.

Residence as a person of independent means is a separate legal status in Cayman from an individual who is granted permanent residence after residing in the islands continuously for a period of eight years. It is also separate from residency a non-Caymanian obtains following their marriage to a Caymanian, which is referred to as a residency and employment rights certificate.

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