Moving to a new country is never easy, let alone doing it on your own! Here are some top tips to get it right…
So, you want to move to the Cayman Islands on your own, but aren’t sure where to start?
Well, applying for a Cayman Islands Permanent Residency is the basic amount of work you need to do before you move there. Considering you’re making this move alone and have no-one else to pick up the slack, the pressure is on you.
Thankfully, we’re going to help relieve some of that pressure by giving you 10 tips on moving to the Cayman Islands on your own. Take a look…
How to Move to the Cayman Islands on Your Own
The following tips are all you need to know before you make your big move to the Cayman Islands…
1. Rent or buy a property
The first thing you need to do before you move to the Cayman Islands is find somewhere to live. Finding a property to rent in the Cayman Islands can be quite difficult, as the supply of condos for rent on Seven Mile Beach has become limited due to increasing demand.
There are other areas, such as South Sound, Prospect, and George Town that have rental properties, but you’ll need an experienced realtor to help you find a suitable one.
If you’re looking to buy a house the process is relatively simple once you’ve found a property. You pay a one-time stamp tax at 7.5 percent of the property value. Then, if you require a mortgage, most lenders will ask for mortgage insurance and a property valuation.
2. Get a job
If you haven’t already got a job on the islands, there’s lots of work available to English speaking people. It’s difficult to apply for these jobs overseas due to the huge number of applications most businesses in the Cayman Islands receive.
You’re better off keeping whatever job you have now, if you’re able to work remotely, and apply for jobs whilst you’re on the islands to improve your chances of getting one. Sites such as CarribeanJobs, SteppingStones and Affinity Recruitment post jobs in the territory.
3. Have a monthly budget
Your first few months in the Cayman Islands will be expensive, with rental deposits, cars, utilities and other deposits eating up huge chunks of your money.
You need to work out how much this will be initially, and once the initial money has been spent, how much you expect to spend on a monthly basis. Cost of living in the Caymans has been likened to London, so keep that in mind when you plan your monthly budget.
4. Take your own car if you can
You’d think that living on an island that’s only 22 miles long and 4 miles wide would eliminate the need for a car. Unfortunately, due to the humidity in the summer months, having a car is essential if you want to avoid heat stroke.
Taxis are very pricey, and buying a car in the Cayman Islands can be quite difficult. So, you’re best off bringing your own car with you. You can either come over with it or have it imported.
5. Import personal effects
Speaking of importing, as long as you plan moving to the Cayman Islands for a minimum of one year, you can have all your personal effects imported duty free.
New items and vehicles aren’t included in this exemption, and all personal items must be imported before or within six months of taking up residence in the Cayman Islands. Definitely one to think about and calculate before you make your move.
6. Sort out your legal documents
Moving to the Cayman Islands without the proper documentation in place is a terrible idea. Government services are quite efficient on the islands, but in order for them to process your residency you’ll need original or notarised copies of:
- University diplomas and other professional designations
- Birth certificate
- Marriage license
- Driving record from your current car insurance company
- Bank references
- Records from credit companies
- Criminal records checks
Advanced planning to make sure you have all these documents is advantageous, but certain documents should be left until just before you leave. This can include bank references and criminal records checks. This is because these documents need to be as recent as possible.
7. Sign up with a local bank
You should set up a bank account in the Cayman Islands as soon as you arrive so you can establish accounts for your telecommunications, rent and utilities.
All banks require two forms of photo ID, a confirmed address, verification of employment and salary, a bank reference, a professional reference, and proof of funds. There are also lots of banks to choose from, including:
- Cayman National Bank
8. Get healthcare insurance
Another thing to remember when you move to the Cayman Islands is that every resident is legally required to have healthcare insurance. The government mandates that employers pay for their employees’ insurance, but they can deduct up to 50 percent from their salary.
The standard of healthcare is particularly excellent on the islands though, and there are actually four hospitals despite the islands’ relatively small size.
9. Plan ahead if you have pets
This article is geared towards people who are moving to the Cayman Islands on their own, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring a furry friend along. The islands are a great place to have a pet with plenty of outdoor space and a great network of veterinarians.
The only downside is that importing animals to the Cayman Islands can be a lengthy process that should be planned six months in advance. Your pet needs to have a permit and to obtain one your pet has to:
- Be fitted with a microchip
- Have up-to-date vaccinations
- Have a rabies blood test
- Have tick and tapeworm treatments
- Have an official veterinary health certificate
10. Check COVID-19 restrictions
As much as we’d like to pretend that the COVID-19 pandemic is behind us, sadly we can’t. There are a number of rules you have to follow to be able to enter the islands, such as choosing a preferred quarantine model and having PCR tests along the way.
For a full breakdown of the regulations you have to follow, see this post from the Cayman Resident website.
Will These Tips be Enough to Get You to the Cayman Islands?
In this post, we’ve shared the main things you need to know to help you move to the Cayman Islands on your own.
Some of these tips will require further investigation on your part, but at least you now know what you need to do before you move to the islands. Thank you for reading and good luck with the move.