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Cayman Islands Citizenship By Investment Factsheet

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The Cayman Islands is a beautiful place to live, situated in the Caribbean and with an attractive zero income-tax regime, high living standards, almost non-existent crime, and a vibrant international expat community.

Although living costs are high, the lack of taxes makes it highly desirable, alongside the warm climate, pristine beaches and diverse wildlife. Grand Cayman is the most populated of the three islands, with Cayman Brac and Little Cayman easily accessible by boat.

While the Cayman Islands is officially a British Overseas Territory, UK nationals do not automatically have eligibility to live there permanently. Still, they can apply for one of several golden visas through investment in real estate or an approved local business.

About The Cayman Islands


Cayman Islands Dollar (KYD)


Cayman Islands GDP

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the Cayman Islands is $5.898 billion (£4.63 billion), as one of the ten wealthiest countries worldwide and with a high average annual income. The generous tax system means the islands are often categorised as a tax haven, with industries including financial services, real estate and tourism.


George Town is the capital city, with a large port frequented by cruise ships on Grand Cayman, the largest of the three islands that make up the country.

Towns and cities

There are no large cities in the Cayman Islands, but the biggest towns by population size are George Town, West Bay and Bodden Town.



British expats.

Just over 1,700 UK nationals live permanently in the Cayman Islands. Although the country is small, around 8,100 are expats, making up almost 12 per cent of the population.


The official language of the Cayman Islands is English, spoken by about 90 per cent of people. Local dialects are known as Cayman Creole, a hybrid of accents brought to the island by settlers.


The Cayman Islands have a typical Caribbean climate, with tropical and humid weather much of the year and the coolest months between November and April, where trade winds take the edge off the heat. The rainy season lasts from April to November, although the temperatures peak in August. Maximum temperatures during the rainy season reach around 32°C (90°F), with averages dipping to 22.6°C (73°F) in January.


 Cayman Islands map location

The Cayman Islands are located in the Caribbean Sea, a small group of three islands and a UK overseas territory. Its nearest neighbour is Jamaica, around 180 miles to the southeast.

Citizenship By Investment Options

There are multiple potential routes to permanent residency and onward citizenship, all under the ‘Independent Means’ visa category, with minimum investments of KYD 500,000 (£471,467) into real estate, business ventures or direct investment.

While most investor visas offer residency, either permanently or for 25 years, foreign nationals who live in the Cayman Islands for five years and are not absent for over 450 days or 90 days within one year can apply for British Overseas Territory Citizenship (BOTC).

Expats can also apply to upgrade BOTC to full citizenship – although, as an overseas territory, this would be the equivalent of replacing a Cayman Islands passport with a British passport, so it would often be unnecessary for UK nationals.

After 15 years in the country, excluding expats with familial ties to the Cayman Islands, foreign nationals can apply for full Caymanian citizenship status.

Some investment routes are as follows:

  • Purchasing property worth KYD 2 million (£1.89 million) or more to obtain a Certificate of Permanent Residence. Applicants must prove they are financially independent, pay a KYD 100,000 (£94,293) issue fee, and a further KYD 1,000 (£943) per year.
  • Investing at least KYD 500,000 (£471,467) into a property, with at least KYD 250,000 (£235,733) into developed real estate on Little Cayman or Brac. Investors must have an annual income of KYD 75,000 (£70,270) or deposit KYD 400,000 (£377,173) into a Cayman Islands account. The issue fee is KYD 20,500 (£19,330), with an annual KYD 1,000 (£943) fee. This visa provides a 25-year residency permit.
  • Making a direct business investment with a required shareholding, with a minimum of four full-time employees and a workforce of at least 30 per cent Caymanian citizens. The Certificate of Direct Investment charge is KYD 20,500 (£19,330), with a 25-year residency permit and a minimum physical stay requirement of 25 days per year.

Alongside financial investments, expats must provide evidence of full health insurance, a reference from their bank, three written personal references and a verified Police Clearance Certificate.


Caymanian citizens, or BOTCs, have visa-free or visa-on-arrival freedoms across 185 countries, including throughout the Schengen Zone.


Visas and permits take around three to six months to be processed.


British nationals do not require a visa to visit the Cayman Islands for stays of up to 180 days – these rules apply to visitors arriving with a valid UK passport. Longer stays and expats looking to live, work or run a business in the Cayman Islands will need a relevant visa or permit.

Learn more about visas and permits available from the Cayman Islands Government.


Famously, Cayman Islands residents do not pay tax on income, capital gains or property. However, much depends on whether an expat lives there for a large enough proportion of the year to be considered a tax resident.

Most foreigners secure tax residency status by applying for a residency permit through one of the investment routes and providing evidence of their financial security and minimum annual incomes, depending on the visa route selected.

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Cost Of Living

The Cayman Islands is not a low-cost place to live, and consumer costs are around 74.2 per cent higher than in the UK, with property rental prices approximately 145.7 per cent higher.

However, the high-net-worth individuals attracted to the low-tax regime often offset these higher living costs with the reduction in tax obligations, with a family of four requiring a budget of around KYD 4,764 (£4,492) per month, excluding accommodation, and a single person KYD 1,379 (£1,300).

Average net monthly salaries are roughly KYD 3,801 (£3,584) compared to £2,306 in the UK – a differential of 54.8 per cent.


Foreign nationals are permitted to purchase property in the Cayman Islands, and higher-value investments support a qualification option to apply for residency as a pathway to citizenship.

There are no restrictions on foreign buyers and no property taxes payable. Expats can also choose to rent a property, with options varying from luxury beachfront condos to apartments and houses in premium areas such as Seven Mile Beach and Camana Bay.

One-bedroom city centre apartmentKYD 2,335 / £2,202
One-bedroom apartment elsewhereKYD 1,703 / £1,606
Three-bedroom city centre apartmentKYD 4,433 / £4,180
Three-bedroom apartment elsewhereKYD 3,139 / £2,960
Source: Numbeo

View properties for sale in the Cayman Islands listed on Rightmove.


Expats applying for a golden visa must provide evidence of comprehensive private travel insurance for the primary applicant and all dependents. Healthcare services are widely available, but private treatments can be costly, so most foreign nationals opt for coverage well above the standard requirements.

Cayman Islands Citizenship By Investment FAQ

Can the Cayman Islands government take away citizenship?

Foreign nationals can apply for Caymanian citizenship after securing a permanent or long-term residency permit and fulfilling minimum physical stays over five years. Once an expat becomes eligible for citizenship, they can apply for British Overseas Territories Citizenship.

After 15 years of living in the Cayman Islands, expats can apply to upgrade their BOTC status to Caymanian citizenship. However, this is optional for most British nationals since, in effect, the upgrade would result in reissuing a UK passport.

When is a citizenship application rejected?

Cayman Islands immigration will not consider any application for residency, permanent residency or citizenship where parts of the application document have been left incomplete.

Various criteria and conditions apply, such as minimum physical stays, proof of annual income, providing a clear Police Certificate and submitting a medical declaration and evidence of full private health insurance.

Applications can also be rejected if the applicant does not pay the requisite fee or does not include other requirements such as full-colour passport photos and character references.

How long is the flight from the Cayman Islands to the UK?

Most flights between London and Grand Cayman take around nine and a half hours, but flight times can extend to 12 hours depending on weather conditions.

What’s the currency in the Cayman Islands?

The currency is the Cayman Islands Dollar, KYD or CI$.

Do British passport holders need a visa?

UK nationals do not require a visa to visit the Cayman Islands, provided their stay does not exceed 180 days. The Cayman Islands is a British Overseas Territory, and although British passport holders do not need a permit for short stays, they do require a visa to live in the country long-term.

Below is a list of related articles you may find of interest.


  1. Cayman Islands Government: Official website of the Cayman Islands government, providing information on citizenship, residency, visas, and other related matters. (
  2. Cayman Islands Immigration Department: The official website of the Cayman Islands Immigration Department, which offers information on immigration policies, visa requirements, and application processes. (
  3. Cayman Islands Monetary Authority: The regulatory authority responsible for overseeing and regulating the financial services industry in the Cayman Islands. (
  4. British High Commission in the Cayman Islands: The official website of the British High Commission in the Cayman Islands, providing consular services and assistance to British nationals living or visiting the Cayman Islands. (

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