In order to obtain a passport for Cayman Islands, or the British Overseas Territories Citizen passport, the applicant is required to follow through with the process set forth by the Passport and Corporate Services Office located in Grand Cayman, George Town.
The application process is a straightforward one, however, investors who need to go through with this step as part of Cayman Islands company formation can request details from our team specializing in offshore business incorporation.
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Cayman Islands passport tips and facts
Foreign investors who are interested in setting up a Cayman Islands company will need to make sure that they possess valid travel documents (a passport issues by the authorities in their country of residence) before traveling to the Cayman Islands for business or investment purposes.
Holders of British Citizen of any other nationality passport are required to bring it when submitting the application to obtain a Cayman Islands passport. This is important as the details in the current passport are verified and cross-checked with the ones provided in the application for the Cayman passport.
It is important to observe both the required list of documents (such as original copies of the birth certificate and others) as well as the passport photo requirements which ask for professional printed pictures of a certain size.
The conditions are different for applicants who already reside in the Cayman Islands, compared to those who reside outside of the jurisdiction.
In some cases, a countersignature will be needed when one intends to obtain a passport for Cayman Islands. This can happen when the application is for a first time British Overseas Territory Citizen (Cayman Islands) passport, when the old one was lost, stolen or damaged, when for the renewal of a passport the applicant cannot be recognized from the photograph in the current passport.
The new passport is collected by the applicant from the Cayman Islands Passport and Corporate Services Office.
The video below summarizes the passport services available in the Cayman Islands:
Passport services and special issues in the Cayman Islands
The Passport Office, part of the Cayman Islands Immigration Department, has the following functions:
- Process and issuing: it processes and issues passports for Cayman Islands and British Overseas Territories Citizens;
- Emergency documentation: it is also the one to issue emergency travel documentation such as identity travel documents or British Citizen emergency passports;
- Visa issues: the Office is also able to provide information on the U.S. Visa Waivers as well as other information for the U.S. Non-Immigrant Visa;
- Others: forwarding of U.S. Visas to Jamaica and evaluating the renewal of British Citizen passport applications (made to HM Passport Office in Durham U.K.).
Foreign investors who are interested in making submissions to the passport services office can reach out to our team of agents who specialize in Cayman Islands company formation if they are interested in knowing how the requirements may apply in their case.
The Passport and Corporate Services Office is also responsible for issuing the Governor’s Special Marriage License as well as providing services related to the legalization of documents.
We also highlight some of the applicable passport fees below:
- •100 CI$: the fee for the issue or the renewal for an adult’s Cayman Islands passport;
- •100CI$: this fee also applies for issuing an emergency passport for a British citizen;
- •75 CI$: the issue/renewal fee for a child’s Cayman Islands passport (under 16 years);
- •50 CI$: the administrative fee for U.S. visitors visas for British Citizen Passport Holders;
Please keep in mind that the fees mentioned were in place at the time this article was written and can be subject to change. For complete details on the current fees that may interest foreign investors for immigration as well as for the purpose of setting up a Cayman Islands company, please reach out to our incorporation agents.
The Passport and Corporate Services Office also offers a number of services aimed at corporations. Investors who are interested in opening a Cayman Islands exempted company may find that some of these are required in some situations. If this is the case, you may contact our company formation specialists to find out more about the need for an apostille service or other requirements.
Living in the Cayman Islands
A permanent resident can often be interested in obtaining a passport for Cayman Islands. Living in the country for business purposes will allow a foreign individual to obtain permanent residence, and thus acquire certain rights, however, prior to this the applicant needs to have lived in the Islands for at least 8 years, and no more than 9.
Some of the types of residence certificates that can be held and renewed as needed during the years required are the following:
- Residency certificate of direct investment or direct investment dependant’s;
- Residency certificate of substantial business presence;
- Residency certificate for persons of independent means Employee that has a certificate of specialist caregiver;
- Residency certificate for retirees.
The applicant is required to submit the file with the Immigration Officer or the Caymanian Status and Permanent Residency Board while the individual still continues to be an ordinary resident.
For the purpose of obtaining permanent residence, and thus the rights that derive from this status, the term ordinary residence, which is a prerequisite, is understood as having lived in the Islands uninterruptedly and voluntary for a period of time without legal impediments, during which the Islands were his/her usual place of abode. The individual must have lived in the Cayman Islands for motives others that tourist visitor or transit passenger.
The residency certificate of direct investment is the one often applied for by individuals who open a company in the Cayman Islands with a new to remain in the country and then subsequently apply for a passport. The main condition for this type of residence permit is for the applicant to make an investment of at least one million KYD in a business that will generate employment. The following documents are needed for the residence permit application:
- filled in application form;
- cover letter;
- passport and proof of health insurance;
- clearance certificate (issued by the applicant’s home state of the last place of residence);
- photographs and medical questionnaire
- proof of financial standing (the minimum investment, proof of annual income, a financial statement and bank reference letters);
- the employees register and the register of directors;
- the trade and business license;
- other documents, such as references and the birth and marriage certificate.
Our team can give you more details if you are interested in the process of applying for the residence permit for direct investment in the Islands.
Investing in the Cayman Islands
Foreign investors or executives who plan on living in the Cayman Islands for long periods or time or indefinitely have access to five means of acquiring long-term residence and, subsequently, permanent residence. An important consideration is that the minimum investment amount is a significant one and these options target individuals of considerable financial means. The five options are listed below by our experts:
Permanent residency for individuals of independent means: for those who invest at least two million Cayman Islands Dollars in developed real estate; the holder has the option to be subject to naturalization as a British Overseas Territory Citizen, be Caymanian and hold a passport;
Residency certificate for persons of independent means: allows the holder to reside in the Islands long-term, as opposed to permanently, without the right to work;
Certificate of direct investment: as stated above, for individuals who invest a minimum amount in a licensed Cayman Islands business;
Residency certificate for substantial business presence: individuals who make an investment or who are employed in a senior management position in an approved category of business; the applicant receives a residency certificate that is valid for 25 years.
A points system is used by the immigration authorities in the Cayman Islands. Some of the factors taken into consideration are the occupation, education and experience, local investments (in real property and/or local, registered business), financial stability and others. Investors should note that, aside from factors such as having a close Caymanian connection (having relatives or family) and the deductible components, the points awarded for local investments have the highest value (30 maximum points).
Foreign investors who have opened a locally registered company in the Cayman Islands or those who plan to make a substantial investment in real estate can consider applying for a residence permit or a permanent residence permit, as applicable in their case. Permanent residence would allow them to also obtain a passport for Cayman Islands.
Investors who are interested in both investment and immigration in the Cayman Islands can reach out to our team for complete information on the travel and stay requirements, the visa conditions and how to apply for various permits, licenses or renewals after their have settled in.
Contact us for complete services related to Cayman Islands company formation.