Tag: Cayman global citizen

Working from home in Cayman, are you legal?

Did you know the Cayman Islands Government has regulations around the use of home offices?

The legislation applies to all companies conducting business in the Cayman Islands, essentially anyone with Trade & Business license. So, if you choose a residential premise as the base of your commercial activity, then I encourage you to take note.

Cayman Laws Pertaining to Home Offices

The Planning Department’s law and regulations prohibit the use of a residential property (a private home or condo) for activities that fall outside what the property is zoned for. In other words, you can’t conduct online business or administration from your house, just like you can’t have a chicken farm in the back garden of your apartment.

There is an exception to this rule, but it is a process. You can apply for permission, demonstrating a reasonable need for your home office.

Here are the Department of Commerce & Investments guidelines on the topic:

The Trade & Business Licensing Board is aware that residential addresses are sometimes put on application forms as this is where the proposed business is to be operated from. Typically, this is where the application is in relation to a small business where the owner is either unable or unwilling to obtain commercial premises. Whilst the Board has from time to time granted licences permitting the use of a home as the place of business, often subject to conditions restricting the types of business activity that may be conducted there, or perhaps prohibiting the storage of certain goods at that location, the Board is generally reluctant to allow private homes to be used as a place of business other than for administrative purposes relating to the business. This is due to concerns over residential neighbourhoods being used for unauthorized business activities and associated zoning, planning, safety and health concerns. Applicants should therefore endeavour to obtain a business address and location appropriate for their proposed activities.”

Cayman Trade & Business License Renewal

As part of your annual Trade & Business license renewal you need to prove that you are authorized to carry out commercial activity at your business’s address. Meaning planning laws and property by-laws and covenants take effect.

In the case of condos, your strata must consent to your home office by agreeing not to enforce the Strata By-laws that restrict commercial activity. This essentially means they are permitting business activity so long as;

  1. The activity has no branded work vehicles
  2. There are no on-site meetings with customers and,
  3. No employees come and go (other than those that live there)

Beware however, many Strata’s won’t consent. And if they do, Planning and ultimately the Trade & Business Licensing Board still may not provide the exemption.

In the case of a private home, the zoning laws will be consulted by the Trade & Business Board to determine if you are adhering to the residential zoning based on your activity. If not, then you will be conducting business illegally.

Commercial Real Estate and Shared Working Spaces

The take-home message here: despite ‘Covid times’, obtaining legal approval to set up an office at home in Cayman can be tricky. If you want to discuss the permission process, and perhaps if commercial real estate or shared working space might be better for you, please feel free to reach out.

I’d be happy to chat and provide recommendations Property Cayman style. Your journey is our priority.

Welcoming Digital Nomads to Cayman

The highly anticipated details of Cayman’s digital nomad program have been announced.

We’ve read the government regulations, listened to the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism webinar, and spoken to Cayman’s immigration expert Nick Joseph.

Here’s what you need to know:

Cayman’s Global Citizen Concierge Program

The Global Citizen Concierge Program is an initiative which allows individuals who are employed outside of the Cayman Islands with the financial independence to work remotely, to relocate and live in the Cayman Islands for up to 24 months.

Cited as the Global Citizen Exemption, the regulations were gazette on October 16th 2020, under the immigration transition law and will have effect until on November 30th, 2023.

Who qualifies for Cayman’s Global Citizen certification?

Individuals who can provide proof of employment, with the ability to work remotely, and meet the minimum annual salary requirements.

  • Individuals earning an annual income of US$100,000
  • Couples earning a combined income of US$150,000
  • Families with an annual income of US$180,000

Applicants and dependents must have current health insurance, and be able to provide a notarized bank reference as well as a police clearance from their country of origin.

How do you apply for Cayman’s Global Citizen certification?

Applications will be reviewed and granted by Workforce Opportunities and Residency Cayman in conjunction with the Cayman Islands Border Control. The deadline to apply is October 31st, 2021.

Application Form: https://ourcayman.formstack.com/workflows/gcc_application

Website: visitcaymanislands.com

Email: [email protected]

Call: 1-833-418-1191

The application fee is US$1,469 per annum for an applicant and spouse, with a 7% credit card processing fee. There is an additional charge of US$500 for each dependent.

The maximum period of residency under the Cayman Global Citizen certification is two years. The first-year fee is due upon application submission, and the subsequent annual fee is due on or before the first year expiration.

Cayman’s Global Citizen Bylaws

The regulations stipulation that the digital nomad must be present in the Cayman Islands for a minimum of 90 days in the year and can not provide goods or services to any person or entity within the Cayman Islands.

Cayman’s global citizen certification can be terminated upon the loss of employment, conviction of a criminal offence, or due to a communicable disease or severe mental illness. The Cayman government can also revoke the certification if the digital nomad fails to comply with any of the program regulations.

Impact on the Cayman economy and property market

Enticing financially independent, remote workers to Cayman, will stimulate the economy without affecting the local job market. The program is fantastic, long-awaited news for local businesses and landlords, as the remote workers will need accommodation, transportation, food and other necessities, as well as entertainment.

The Cayman property market will see an increased demand for long term rental units, reinvigorating the price of rentals since our border closure. There is also no stipulation against a global citizen purchasing property, so we anticipate an influx of buyers interested in affordable to midrange single-family homes.

Our Advice: Capitalize on the influx

For many overseas remote workers, this will be a straightforward and cost-effective way to dip a toe into all that Cayman has to offer. They will arrive on the island looking for ocean views and beachside living, so short-term vacation property owners should consider putting their property in the long-term rental pool. This will allow landlords to secure reliable income while the demand for long term rentals is high, and the borders remain closed.

Similarly, the wait is over for property owners who have been unsure of whether to sell. While individuals and families arriving as part of the Global Citizen Program are initially in Cayman temporarily, a good percentage of these will inevitably love the island and end up staying longer term. Naturally, a lot of these will want to own their own homes, and so will end up purchasing. We have seen a large increase in demand for homes in the $1 million to $3 million price bracket, so if you have a home that falls within these parameters and are considering selling, the time is right.

If you have questions about renting your property long term or listing your home for sale, please feel free to contact us.