We are often asked how many days, as a visitor, one can stay in the Cayman Islands. Under the law, a person who has no other basis to enter the Cayman Islands (i.e. a Work Permit) and with no right to residence (i.e. does not have a spouse, parent or grandparent who is a Caymanian and does not hold an express permission based on those circumstances), may be admitted into Cayman as a visitor for a total of up to six months, with extensions permissible in rare circumstances thereafter.
However, many people arriving in Cayman will be permitted entry for an initial 30 days only, unless they own property in which they will be staying and can demonstrate an ability to maintain themselves during their stay (described more fully below).
If a person is admitted as a visitor and they want to stay longer, and an extension beyond 30 days was not approved on initial arrival, then they have to go to the Department of Workforce Opportunities and Residence Cayman (“WORC”), before their time runs out, fill out an extension form and request to remain longer. Fees of CI$50 are payable for the first extension and CI$100 for each further extension. Note that it can get quite expensive after a few months! However, if you plan well in advance and come prepared with a letter showing you can support yourself and have somewhere to live, you may possibly be given a longer period to stay upon landing. You must always have a return ticket.
If a visitor is arriving for a significant period, like many of our returning ‘snow birds’ do over the winter period, then they will generally be admitted for up to six months. For this they must show the entry officer their return ticket, a very recent bank or investment statement showing that they have sufficient funds to support themselves and a hotel/condo reservation or a lease. This paperwork is looked at very discreetly and returned to the visitor. If the visitor owns a home in the Cayman Islands, and can show the Land Register, then a six month permission will be granted to them and other visitors travelling and visiting with them.
We have also been asked whether someone who has more than enough money to support themselves without working can come in as a tourist and stay for between 12 months and 2 years, and the answer is no. There is no provision in the law to allow a tourist to stay beyond six months. In fact if you do then the Department of Customs and Boarder Control can get quite difficult about it. You also cannot just visit the USA and come back in and expect your time to restart. As soon as you go over six months they really want you to leave for six months.
Having said that, if you are very keen to stay, and you have your own business or income from overseas, then one option might be setting something up in Cayman Enterprise City.