Relocating to the Cayman Islands
Changing jobs is often as stressful event. Relocating to the Cayman Islands or any new country throws up a new set of challenges:
- Travel Costs – Many employers will cover plane ticket and relocation expenses, while others just give an advance. Normally there is some sort of payback clause if a worker breaks a contract before it is up. Employers who require employees to fund the whole move themselves should be avoided. Remember that there is a shortage of workers in the Cayman Islands.
- Initial Housing – Most decent employers will arrange some sort of accommodation for an employee’s first few weeks on the island.
- Permanent Housing – Unlike some other offshore jurisdictions foreigners are permitted to buy real estate in Grand Cayman. Most people, however, prefer to rent initially. There are many real estate agents that serve both markets. Another great place to find accommodation is the classifieds in local newspapers.
- Transport – Although Grand Cayman does have a public bus system, most expats find that buying a car is essential. Most buy second-hand on the island. It is possible to import cars, but this involves a significant amount of paperwork and attracts import duties of up to 40%. Workers from a country that has signed the Geneva Convention Road Traffic Agreement can obtain a Cayman driving licence without having to take a driving test. The licence must be obtained within three months of moving to the Cayman Islands.
- Making Friends – This is probably the easiest element of the relocation process. In Grand Cayman almost everybody knows each other. Coconut Joe’s (Sunday) and O Bar (Monday) have special evenings for those working in the hospitality industry.