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(CNS Business): Managing directors, vice presidents, chief executives, directors, managers, finance and insurances bosses can all now apply for ten year work permits following the publication in the government gazette of the regulations to accompany the recent amendments to the immigration law. Prior to the change in legislation employers had to reapply for permits for their top level employees after five years. The change is designed to give those in the financial sector in particular a level of certainty about their ability to remain in Cayman and it is hoped this will encourage more companies to set up shop here. The new regulations also set out a new list of business activity or jobs that do not require a work permit if the person is coming for ten days or less.
From people attending trade fairs conferences and seminars to athletes, journalists and charity volunteers, the list covers a significant number of scenarios, including lobbyists or expert witnesses at court.
In a bid to encourage business from the international insurance trade, new firms establishing offices here in this field can also be exempt from the usual work permit requirements for as much as five years.
The regulations have also changed for wealthy individuals looking for 25 year residency certificates. The annual earnings requirement for those who have independent means has been reduced to $120,000, which is $30,000 less than the old requirement, and to have invested a minimum of $500,000 – reduced from $750,000. Those wealthy enough to buy lifetime residency will need to invest at least $1.6 million and the one-off fee for the certificate which will allow them to live out their days in Cayman will cost $100,000.
Permanent residency can also be bought via a “substantial business presence”, which according to the new regulations covers a range of different businesses. The chief immigration officer will determine whether the necessary physical presence has been established in Cayman and the potential employment it will create locally. This provision is aimed at the financial services and covers a range of related businesses in an effort to encourage more companies and financial institutions to bring their operations here and create local jobs in local offices.
See Regulation amendments below.
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