What is like living Cayman islands?
Yes? What is like living in Cayman islands? Why not quiting your job, buy a ticket, get a tan, never return!
It’s something we all think about, some days we think about it more than others. What is the reality of Living and Working on a Caribbean island? This is our perspective of what living and working on Grand Cayman is all about. No, it’s not a personal diary of events but rather a collection of information that we hope you find useful if you are seriously thinking about a move to our beautiful island!
In the spirit of being open, you should know one important fact before you read on. We are incredible biased as we love living in the Cayman Islands and wake up everyday feeling very honored and privileged to call this place our home.
Grand Cayman is the largest island of the three-island country that makes up the Cayman Islands. The three islands are Cayman Brac, Little Cayman and Grand Cayman. Grand Cayman is the biggest of all three with just over 74 square miles and a pollution of roughly 55 thousand. Little and Brac, known as the sister islands, are about 100 miles east of Grand Cayman. The sister islands have approximately two thousand people over the two islands with the majority on Cayman Brac. The country is an overseas protectorate of the United Kingdom. For this reason, we fall under British law. Elections happen every four years and are independent of the UK. The government is voted in by the local and naturalized citizens of the island.
With a small population the Immigration laws are set to protect the indigenous population. The islands economy relies heavily on ex-pats to fill many of the jobs. As such, the immigration system is set up to accommodate work permits for all areas of business. The immigration department is a large revenue generator for the island and a very important part of it’s growth and stability. They are fair, honest and do a good job at facilitating the ten thousand plus work permits they issue a year.
If you are looking to work on island, the first step is find a job. Your employer will sponsor your work permit. There is a small amount of paperwork, a fee and an application process that takes 3 to 14 days. Work permits are generally 3 months followed by 1 year and renewable each year after.
Once on island, life is very easy and familiar. The Cayman Islands are a first world country with all the comforts of home. We have well stocked supermarkets with fresh produce, the roads are good, the hospitals are competent, the police are fair and crime is low. We even have Fed-Ex!
There is no direct taxation on anyone who lives and works here. This means your wages are your own. The government puts a duty on all items coming to the island. We like to think of this as a consumption tax. This makes some things appear more expensive to people at first glance.
The weather on island is warm and tropical. The seasons are split in to two 6 month periods. May to October are the wet months and November to April are dry. In the dry months typical temperatures are highs of 82 and lows of 72. The wet season brings high humidity and average highs of 99 and lows of 79. We are in the hurricane path and storm season is June 1st to December 1st.
Being a British Island, with the Queen on our money, we drive on the left hand side of the road and have a lot of road-a-bouts. The driving on island can be the one area that takes a few days to get used too. Speed limits are low which should make your learning curve quick.
Accommodation is easy to find and we have a large rental market to fit any budget. We have a very strong market for people looking to purchase a home or investment property.
There are lots of resources to help you research living on Grand Cayman. We have lived on island since 1999 and have loved every minute of it. This place has become our home and we could not be happier. So do it, quit your job, buy a ticket and start Living Your Dream!
Some tips before moving in now that you know the answer of: What is like living in Cayman islands?
Moving is never easy, but planning in advance can ease the stress of all the things you need to tackle. There are many resources to turn to for advice on living in the Cayman Islands, but here is our list to get you moving (pun intended!):
- You can set up a phone and Internet service instantly! You might worry about how quickly you can get connected once you arrive in the Cayman Islands – have no fear. With telecommunications companies such as Digicel, it’s easy to quickly connect without continuing to experience roaming charges from the country you just left. It’s also important to get internet at home as soon as you can – we can’t last without Netflix, after all! (And that house search and car search is easier to do with a proper connection to the World Wide Web.) Digicel offers routers that you can pick up and take home to get instantly connected, as well as several bundle plans, pay-as-you-go or postpaid mobile plans and a variety of devices for you to choose from. It’s your one-stop shop to get you connected fast and it is located right here in Camana Bay on Market Street.
- Set up an appointment with a new dentist before you arrive. Even better, set up an appointment with a new dentist that offers speciality services. You never know when emergency dental work may be needed, and it’s easy to stay with the same clinic when your teenager needs braces. Find a clinic that offers multiple services, such as Cayman Dental, which has visiting orthodontic specialists and dental surgeons as well as a full-time staff of dentists and dental hygienists. As a bonus, White Swan Aesthetics is based out of their office also, offering Botox, non-surgical facelifts and other aesthetic services. If you want to ensure you have an appointment booked, you can reach out to them to reserve your spot before you even leave your home country. Just contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Rely on local experts when conducting your home search. Most companies offer temporary accommodation for their new hires arriving from overseas, or perhaps you are footing the bill to stay in a hotel while you get settled. In any case, you sometimes only have a couple of weeks, or at most a month, to find a permanent home. Consult the sales specialists at Provenance Properties Cayman Islands who have a robust roster of real estate listings to help find you a property that suits your needs, boasts the view of your dreams and shows off the many benefits of living in the Cayman Islands. If you are looking to buy, be sure to ask about OLEA, Camana Bay’s first residential for-sale neighbourhood. The condos and duplexes of OLEA will be steps away from Camana Bay’s many amenities and Seven Mile Beach and will also boast Cayman’s first lazy river flowing into a resort-style pool. If you are planning on renting, check out The Terraces at Camana Bay, for-lease apartments centrally located in the heart of the Seven Mile Beach strip. Once you’re ready to decorate your new home, many people find it useful to shop overseas and ship to the island. However, we encourage shopping local, which also reduces the financial stress of paying duty and shipping fees. Within Camana Bay, there are many shops to consider for finding the perfect décor and statement pieces for your home. Try Design Studio, Bon Vivant, Bedside Manor or Books & Books for all your home needs.
- There are many choices for cars, so be prepared for some test drives! While you’re driving around, getting to know the island and its roads, you probably don’t want to pay for a rental car forever. Browse used car listings or stop by Audi Cayman Islands to allow their sales team to offer you test drives in some of the latest Audi models. With everything from the sporty compact A1 to the roominess of the Q7 family SUV, there’ll be something to fit your lifestyle. ZÜN, a convenient car sharing programme exclusive to Camana Bay residents and tenants, is perfect if you’re running a few errands on your lunch break or need a short-term rental until you settle in.
- Contact schools as early as possible to register your child. This may be one of the most important things to know before arriving – enrol your child in school! Many schools have waiting lists so the earlier you can register, the better. Cayman International School has world-class facilities and an international baccalaureate programme offering education for students aged two years old through to Grade 12. With the school’s recent expansion of a newly developed early childhood facility, CIS has even more amenities for your little ones, including a nursery, pre-K classrooms, an updated library and a music and movement room to help develop children’s motor skills. The Early Childhood Facility is expected to be completed at the end of August 2019, in time for the new school year. With its central location in Camana Bay, it makes drop-offs and pick-ups a seamless part of life for those parents living and working in and around the George Town and Seven Mile Beach area.
- Try a one-stop shop when it comes to a family doctor. A medical clinic such as TrinCay Medical Clinic & Urgent Care is ideal, as it offers not just after-hours care in case of emergencies, but an on-site pharmacy and laboratory, so it is easy to see a doctor, get bloodwork completed and pick up prescriptions all in one place.
- U.S. mailbox services are available so you don’t have to miss out on any of your favourite mail. While mail has become a reliable stream of bills and bank notices, many still enjoy getting magazine subscriptions or online orders from their favourite e-retailers. Believe it or not, this is all still possible on a Caribbean island! Mail Boxes Etc. not only offers local mailboxes for you to set up a Cayman Islands mailing address, it also offers U.S. mailbox services. This provides you with a U.S. address to update your magazine subscriptions and place your favourite online orders, and Mail Boxes Etc. will import the items to Grand Cayman for you.
- Don’t forget your fur babies, the Cayman Islands welcomes them too! With a name like Must Love Dogs you know this shop, located in Camana Bay on Market Street, will love and care for your dog like it’s their own. They cater to your pet’s every need, offering exceptional spa days if you’re looking to keep your pet occupied throughout the day, plenty of play time, pet accessories and more. They can also help you navigate the process of transporting your animals to and from the Cayman Islands.
- Opening a bank account is made easy with a selection of banks conveniently located throughout Camana Bay. Cayman National Bank and Scotiabank both have retail bank locations and ATMs in Camana Bay. With Butterfield opening in late 2019, these full-service banking centres can help with all your financial needs. Contact them before you arrive on island to ensure you have all the documentation you will need to access your money right away.