What to Know About the Digital Nomad Visa in the Cayman Islands

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Digital Nomad Visa in the Cayman Islands
Interested in living and working from an exotic destination in the Caribbean? The idea has never been more approachable, regardless of your plans – it could be a historic city in Europe or a quiet island in the middle of nowhere.

Freelancers or digital nomads have always dreamed to travel the world and work on the go – after all, you only need a laptop and an Internet connection. How difficult can it be? But then, working from a different country while on a tourist visa is not technically legal – even if no one can actually check you.

Tourist visas are quite limited and will rarely give you more than 30 days – at times, you may get up to 90 days in particular countries. You cannot always renew them – instead, you may need to leave for a while and return then.

Simply put, a tourist visa is designed to allow you to travel and visit a new country, rather than use it as a digital nomad. Again, lots of people have been doing it because remote work cannot be checked by local authorities.

But on a different note, this new wave of digital nomads has forced governments to introduce new visas. More and more countries recognize the benefits associated with digital nomads – after all, they bring money into the country.

As a direct consequence, plenty of countries have introduced freelancer, remote work, or digital nomad visas. Their primary role is to attract talent. Basically, they want people to come over, work, and contribute to local economies.

Exploring digital nomad visas in the Caribbean


Caribbean nations have been pretty good at attracting foreigners. Their economies are based on two different concepts these days. First, they make a lot of money from tourism because of their heavenly locations, fine beaches, and crystal-clear waters.

Second, they make money economically. Many of these nations are seen as tax havens. Entrepreneurs and business people from all over the world choose to register companies in these countries in order to reduce their income taxes.

Most nations in the Caribbean are attractive from both points of view, but some of them stand out in the crowd – such as the Cayman Islands. - the largest British overseas territory by the overall population. There are three islands in this nation – close to Cuba, Honduras, Jamaica, and Mexico.

Grand Cayman is the most populous island and hosts the capital city as well – George Town. This is usually a primary destination for those who choose the Cayman Islands, yet there are more chilled places to consider as well.

Whether it is the exotic location, the low taxes, the attractive vibe of the capital city, the colonial past, or the unique landscapes, the Cayman Islands attract both wealthy professionals and digital nomads. So, what do you need to know about the digital nomad visa in the small Caribbean archipelago?

General requirements for a digital nomad visa in the Cayman Islands​


You do not have to go to the Cayman Islands in person to apply for a digital nomad visa. Instead, you can apply early over the Internet and plan your life there while waiting for the results. The application can be taken online at Global Citizen Concierge Program Application - Formstack.

Since you are meant to work abroad, rather than depend on the local system, you obviously must prove it. You need to prove your income and employment status. For this reason, you will need a contract or a company letter mentioning the employment status, wages, and length of employment.

With these thoughts in mind, a project-based freelancer may experience difficulties in the process.

Second, you must underline the real profile of the company. In other words, you will have to bring in papers regarding the employer, such as the incorporation papers or a certificate of good standing. While not official, social media profiles may also help in the process.

Your identification status is just as important. You need a passport that is valid for the duration of your stay. While applying online, you must provide a copy of the main page only – the one covering all the essential information, as well as your picture.

Back to the income, make sure you have all the banking details in place. Get early bank statements – authorities will most likely require statements from the past six months. The bank reference must be notarized.

Since no country wants to allow criminals or shady people on its territory, you must get a police clearance from a local station. It should mention convictions – if any – or the clear status. Local authorities from the Cayman Islands may also run a background check.

As you arrive, you must be fully insured. You need health insurance, and you will be asked to prove it prior to your arrival. The insurance should cover you for 30 days or more. You can get full cover insurance for the duration of your stay, or you can get a local policy within 30 days – whichever option you prefer.

Finally, if you are not coming by yourself, you must bring papers regarding your family too. If your partner comes over, you two need to be married or in a civil partnership. If you have kids, you must prove their status with birth certificates or perhaps adoption orders.

Keep in mind that all documents must be in English. If they are not, they should come with translations.

Income requirements for a digital nomad visa in the Cayman Islands​


The Caribbean is not a cheap place to live in. Sure, if you think about it, locals benefit from a low cost of living. But since these islands are now appreciated by wealthy people, foreigners should expect a much higher cost of living.

Compared to other countries offering digital nomad visas, the Cayman Islands are quite pricey.

If you apply for yourself only, you need an income of $100,000 a year. This type of income must be mentioned on the letter from your company, along with the employment status. If you choose to bring your partner over, the combined income requirements must exceed $150,000.

Every additional dependent – such as your children – comes with extra requirements of $18,000.

For instance, if you bring your partner and two kids, your income must exceed $186,000.

Again, a skilled professional freelancer could exceed this kind of income from projects, but such work does not come with any guarantees. Even if your bank statements prove such an income, the lack of an employment letter will most likely get your application canceled.

Costs for the digital nomad visa in the Cayman Islands​


Most countries offering digital nomad visas will ask for a price. You will usually have to make the payment as you apply for the visa. The Cayman Islands make no exception either – plus, expect to pay card processing fees too, which tend to go up to 7%.

If you apply for yourself and your partner, get ready to pay just under $1,500. The same amount is payable if you apply for yourself only. Prices may change on a regular basis, so it is worth double-checking the official page upfront.

Any extra dependent will add $500 to your visa. These prices are given per annum.

It is also worth noting that fees are not refundable, even if your application gets canceled later on. In theory, there should be no reasons to get rejected if you follow all the requirements – just double check everything before applying and submitting.

The best part is that all the fees must be paid after being accepted – no risks there.

Processing times for a digital nomad visa in the Cayman Islands​


When it comes to processing times, gathering all the documents required is the most difficult part of the process. Assuming you are an organized person, you should have everything on hand. Otherwise, you may need to spend a few weeks getting everything.

Once you have all the documents and the application is sent, the turnaround time is up to four weeks. Normally, the visa application will take around three weeks, but you should not expect it sooner than that. You may be asked for additional info or documents if the application is not complete.

The good news is that you do not necessarily need an immigration service to help you out. The application can be done online, without any additional help. There is not too much bureaucracy in the Cayman Islands, so you will not require help from a specialized service.

Digital nomad visa duration in the Cayman Islands​


The digital nomad visa in the Cayman Islands has an official name – the Global Citizen Concierge program. Each country has its own name for such a program, yet most people refer to them as digital nomad visas.

If accepted, the visa will give you not more than two years in the Cayman Islands. There are no entry requirements – you can come and go as you please. This feature is handy for those who travel a lot or need to see their families every now and then.

No entry requirements will also help those who love holidays – even if you live in such a destination.

Since the visa is given for two years, make sure you pay attention to the fees and requirements. The government provides the fees on a yearly basis. In other words, you will need to repay everything after the first year – most people overlook this aspect.

Benefits of a digital nomad visa in the Cayman Islands​


Different people choose the Cayman Islands for different reasons.

To super wealthy individuals and business people, the Cayman Islands represent a tax haven. Taxes are incredibly low – some of the common ones do not even exist there. In other words, you will get to keep more of the money you make.

For example, there are no income taxes to pay, regardless of how much money you make. There are no other common taxes you might be used too either, regardless of where you come from. But then, it depends on the personal effects you may bring in – some of them might be taxable.

To the average freelancer or digital nomad, the possibility to live in a heavenly place is definitely a plus. Sure, no tax income is great, but living close to stunning beaches is also a benefit worth some attention – it feels like you are always on holiday.

Digital nomad lifestyle in the Cayman Islands​


Now, what should you expect once you get there? Despite being in an exotic place, you will find out that pretty much everyone speaks English there. You will have no problems finding your way around – most people are similar to you, whether they are super rich or working abroad.

Despite being in the middle of nowhere, the small archipelago has four Internet service providers:
  • C3
  • Flow
  • Logic
  • Digicel

The cost of living is probably higher than where you come from, so services will obviously cost more too. For example, you can get 100Mbps or even 1,000Mbps for less than $100 per month – pricey, but super-fast for this part of the world. You should have no issues with your connectivity, regardless of your job.

Most digital nomads will work on the beach or from the comfort of their porches or gardens. But then, if you like meeting people and you are the social type, you may also find co-working spaces – especially around George Town. They will ask for rent though.

The islands are quite classy – you can tell they attract wealth by looking at the cost of living. There are lots of places to hang out and enjoy yourself. Only the Grand Cayman Island has more than 200 restaurants. The local cuisine is renowned around the Caribbean.

There are plenty of places to enjoy drinks or even party – everything comes at a price.​


If you are not too much into things that you can do everywhere, tourism is greatly appreciated in the Cayman Islands. In fact, before becoming a tax haven, the nation drew international attention with its numerous beaches and varied wildlife.

There are well-maintained and private beaches, as well as wild beaches where you are less likely to be disturbed by other tourists – what can be better than that after spending half a day in front of your laptop? You might as well bring an umbrella, your laptop, a few drinks and actually work on the beach.

There are lots of trails if you feel like starting your day with a refreshing walk. Temperatures can be quite high throughout the day, so such walks are mostly recommended early in the morning. Interested in nature? Make sure you check the local crystal caves – they will impress you with their appearance.

While there is not a lot of history in the area, you can still find some old historic buildings to visit.​


Are you after activities? You can swim along with stingrays or perhaps go deep-sea fishing. Diving is also a common activity due to the crystal-clear waters, not to mention visiting turtle centers. The Cayman Islands have everything to enjoy yourself while living there.

While there are only three islands in the archipelago, you can take your time and explore each of them.

You can do all these things by yourself or meet new people. Since most people can speak good English, you will find digital nomads like yourself or perhaps tourists enjoying themselves in this beautiful destination.

Coronavirus regulations in the Cayman Islands​


The Cayman Islands have tried to keep the coronavirus limitations to a minimum in order to keep the economy going. For example, you do not need to get a vaccine in order to enter the country, but you may need to quarantine for a couple of weeks.

Requirements, policies, and regulations change on a regular basis. Make sure you take a look at Government Policies In Action In The Cayman Islands For Coronavirus to ensure you follow each rule in the country. Everything is explained in small details on the official website.

Other countries in the Caribbean with digital nomad visas​


Whether you have been to Cayman Islands, you cannot meet the requirements, or you simply want something else, there are other countries in the Caribbean providing access to digital nomad visas. Each of them has different requirements and rules, though.

If this is your primary concern, it pays off analyzing the program in each country and finding the most suitable one. If your income is your main issue, keep in mind that the Caribbean is not a cheap place, so most countries will have a relatively high cost of living.

Since all these tiny nations depend on tourists to survive, they have seen an opportunity in these digital nomad visas. Barbados was the first to introduce it, while other countries followed shortly after. Here are a few other options.

Barbados is the first country in the program and has its so-called Barbados Welcome Stamp – it can be accessed at Explore 12 Month Barbados Welcome Stamp - Visit Barbados for the requirements and application.

Dominica is known for a mix of clear beaches and forests – the ideal place for those who love nature. This is why its digital nomad visa is known as the Work in Nature program. It can be accessed at HOME.

The Nomad Digital Residence program from Antigua & Barbuda has three simple purposes – live, work and play. Visit Home - Antigua Nomad Digital Residence to find out more about this visa and its requirements, but also to apply for it.

Work from Bermuda is the official name of Bermuda's digital nomad visa – turquoise waters, white sand beaches, and a vibrant lifestyle in its local towns. Requirements are not too high, while applications are straightforward over Work & Study Remotely from Bermuda.

If you like the idea of swimming with pigs, living in bungalows above water, or experiencing the authentic lifestyle of the Caribbean, you cannot go wrong with the Bahamas. Check out the Extended Access Travel Stay Visa at Living in the Caribbean | Bahamas BEATS.

Other countries with similar visas include:​



While not in the Caribbean, some countries provide quick access to the Caribbean Sea:


Other exotic destinations with digital nomad visas​


Whether the Caribbean islands are too far or the income requirements are too high, there are other tropical destinations out there that can provide better deals. After all, this is one of the most expensive places in the world for digital nomads. Here are some alternatives, though.

Sri Lanka is a great destination with low living costs and stunning nature. Beaches will pleasantly surprise you, but you also have green mountains if you find the country too hot. Internet is alright in large cities, but it lacks speed in rural areas.

Malta is one of the most civilized digital nomad destinations in Europe. It has lots of history, plenty of cultural buildings to explore and unique beaches. Almost everyone in Malta speaks English – great schools and a top-notch healthcare system.

If you love the exotic profile of Africa, you cannot go wrong with Cape Verde, Mauritius, or Seychelles. The popular travel destinations will impress you with their calmness and good-looking beaches. The cost of living and requirements are lower than in the Caribbean too.

Conclusion​


As a short final conclusion, the Cayman Islands have always been an attractive choice for offshore business people because there is no tax income. Besides, the tiny nation is a British overseas territory, meaning it is well developed, despite maintaining an exotic appearance for tourists.

There are three islands to choose from – with the main one standing out among freelancers because of the large expat community. There are good Internet speeds, a good infrastructure, and a nice mix between modern and rural.

The Cayman Islands do, indeed, have some high requirements when compared to other countries around the world – such as European or Asian countries. But then, quality standards will match the costs – a perfectly safe country, a tax haven, and a unique environment for nature, relaxation, and work.
 

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