Cayman Sees Influx Of Expatriate Workers

By Editorial 15 February, 2013

Supported by new visa concessions, enacted in September 2012 to lure financial services businesses to the Cayman Islands, the territory's Department of Immigration has reported a marked increase in the number of foreign workers last year, to 20,743 at the end of December 2012, up from 19,927 a year earlier.

Last year to attract (re)insurers to the Caymans, the territory amended the Immigration Law to introduce new ten-year work permits for executives and managers in the reinsurance industry and free work permits for various categories of administrative staff for the first five years of residence in the islands. In addition, permits for Permanent Residence with the Right to Work were made available to approved persons that agree to make a substantial investment in home or other developed real estate.

The latest statistics show that the number of foreign workers increased from a record low of 19,106 at the end of 2010, to 19,927 in 2011, and to 20,743 at the end of December 2012.

631 new foreign workers took up residence and employment in the Cayman Islands during the final quarter of 2012 despite the Cayman Islands' decision to substantially hike work permit fees in place of a controversial tax on the remuneration of non-resident workers.

Under the changes, work permit fees for executive persons engaged in financial services businesses in Grand Cayman (such as a managing directors, chief executive officers, general managers, vice presidents) rose from KYD20,500 (USD25,000) to KYD30,375. Work permit fees for key non-executive roles, such as directors of marketing/trading, financial controllers etc. increased to KYD20,925 from KYD15,500.

Work permits for highly-skilled financial services roles now generally range from KYD13,650-KYD20,925, from KYD10,500 previously, affecting roles such as trust officers, senior business analysts/senior financial analysts, trust/fund administrators, and auditor/audit officers, among numerous others.

According to the Immigration Department's report, a total of 4,719 foreign persons were employed in the financial services, auditing, legal and medical profession at the end of 2013; 1,055 were engaged in management positions - as Financial Controllers, General Managers, Human Resource Managers, Project Managers, Sales Managers or Relationship Managers; while 773 were engaged in clerical vocations, such as accounting and bookkeeping.

Tags: Expatriates | Tax | Investment | Business | Accounting | Financial Services | Insurance | International Financial Centres (IFC) | Audit | Cayman Islands | Fees | Offshore | Services |


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