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investing in Property in the Cayman Islands


Who wouldn’t want to live in Paradise?! But all joking aside, property investment in the Cayman Islands has proven over the years to be a wise decision. There are no annual property taxes to pay after the initial stamp duty payment to the Government upon purchase.

If you are looking for residency in the Cayman Islands then an investment in property is an excellent way to obtain this.
The Cayman Islands, with it’s white sand beaches and crystal clear waters and year-round sunshine, is a beautiful place to live. In addition it has excellent infrastructure and legal services, a high level of tax-friendliness, and world class lifestyle options, quality health care and education. It is an excellent place to consider for your second residency.

There’s no income tax, no property tax, and no company tax.
Therefore, unless you have a tax obligation elsewhere, you could feasibly move to the Cayman Islands and reduce your tax burden to zero by obtaining residency. Below are a couple of the ways wealthy individuals can obtain Residency in the Cayman Islands through the purchase of real estate:

Applying as a person with independent means.

This residency permit lasts for 25 years, and it also allows you to bring your spouse and any dependents. However, you will not be allowed to work on the island.
In order to establish Cayman Islands residency as a person of independent means, then you need to prove that you have an annual income of about $150,000 derived from outside of the Cayman Islands.

You must also maintain a Cayman Islands bank account with roughly $500,000 in it, and you must also invest $1,200,000 in the country if you wish to live in Grand Cayman. Of that $1,200,000, at least $610,000 must be invested in real estate.

These numbers are slightly smaller if you choose to live on one of the smaller islands, such as Little Cayman and Cayman Brac. Your annual income requirement is only just above $90,000, and you only need to invest a total of $610,000 into the island. However, you must still invest 50% of that amount in real estate, and the bank deposit requirement is the same as for Grand Cayman.

The process for applying for a residence permit is quite easy if you meet the criteria. You’ll fill out the application and pay a fee of about $600, and if your application is approved, then you pay a $25,000 fee to issue your permit and then $1,220 per year to keep your permit active.

Applying for Permanent Residency (PR)

If your ultimate goal is to obtain Cayman Islands citizenship, then you should apply for Cayman Islands residency as a Person of Independent Means.
The process for applying for permanent residency in the Cayman Islands is similar to the process for applying for a general residence permit as a person of independent means. You will need to prove that you have sufficient assets to support yourself and your dependents, and you will need to make an investment in the islands.

However, since applying for permanent residency also enables you and your spouse to eventually apply for citizenship, the qualifications for this residency option are much higher.

The investment amount is doubled to $2,400,000, and all of it must be invested in developed real estate. There is a limit to the annual number of applicants and that number is currently set at 250.

Permanent residency also allows enables you and your spouse to potentially work in the Cayman Islands, but you may be limited to particular industries.
Like other residency applications in the Cayman Islands, applying for permanent residency is fairly straightforward. If you meet the criteria, you’ll fill out the application, pay a $610 fee, and wait for approval. Once approved, you’ll pay an issue fee of $122,000, adding $1,200 for every dependent, and if you have the right to work in the Caymans, you will need to pay a variable work permit fee.

1503 Property Group works with several of the renowned law firms in Cayman to help support high net worth individuals in obtaining their PR and our team would be very happy to make introductions and help you achieve this goal.

Realtors in the Cayman Islands know what’s listed in the marketplace. They know one another through their industry association, and they know all the ins and outs of the property market in Cayman. They can help negotiate on your behalf and they can support you in your purchasing transaction to ensure you are well taken care of throughout the process. What is more, they invariably become friends!

The majority of realtors in the Cayman Islands are members of a self governed association; The Cayman Islands Real Estate Brokers Association (CIREBA) which provides a professional network for the different real estate companies in the Cayman Islands. Islands. Every CIREBA licensed agent must pass tests in order to become licensed and CIREBA agents are held to a very high code of conduct, which gives buyers and sellers reassurance that they are being helped by a professional.

CIREBA also manages the Multi listing system which is a platform where all CIREBA realtors can showcase their listings, giving buyers a one-stop-shop and place to see everything that is on the market and sellers the chance that any CIREBA listed realtor could sell their property for them. 1503 Property Group is a member of CIREBA.

Most of the properties in Cayman come with furniture and appliances. (Everything is usually negotiable!) The value of the chattels (all the contents) will be deducted from the final property price you pay for the calculation of the Stamp Duty, due to government, upon closing.

When you buy property in Cayman you will pay Stamp Duty. Stamp Duty is a one-time fee paid at 7.5% of the purchase price and this applies across the islands. The stamp duty is paid by the purchaser on the sale of the property less the value of the used chattels/furniture.

Anyone can own property in the Cayman Islands, foreigners and locals may equally buy and sell property here. As a foreigner you can own up to 3 properties in your own name, after that anyone who is not Caymanian will have to get a Trade and Business license and register a company in order to own a larger property portfolio, which is very common.

If you are a not a resident of the Cayman Islands you may be able to obtain financing from a local bank for the purchase of property in Cayman, however the banks may expect a larger than the common standard of 10% down payment in order to secure financing locally. Mortgage rates are normally US prime plus. 1503 Property Group has excellent relationships with many of the private wealth teams and lending managers at the top local banks and are happy to make introductions for sellers and buyers who are working directly with our team.

The construction industry is booming in Cayman and there are a wide selection of architects, engineers, contractors and artisans and specialist, high-end craftspeople in Cayman who can help you to build the home of your dreams.

Building in Cayman is not just a dream, it’s actually pretty easy to make this a reality. The lifestyle in Cayman cannot be beaten and more and more people choose to settle here and, despite the selection of beautiful homes on the market here, buy land and build to get exactly what they want.

Obviously building is not for everyone and there are a large number of factors to consider in order to get the result you were hoping for, from choosing the right architect, contractor, suppliers, method of build (ICF and Block are most common in Cayman but other options are also available), to adding solar or making your home “off the grid”, finding a great interior designer and choosing all of your finishes and special touches that make it truly “yours”, you can almost have whatever you want here.

The planning process with Government is something that a good architect or contractor will help you to navigate, and again, the 1503 Property team have strong relationships with lots of the experts in the construction field in Cayman and are happy to make introductions. After all, when you #workwithgreatpeople it’s not what you know, it’s who you know that counts!

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