Living in the Cayman Islands is equally rewarding both professionally and personally. The islands offer a vibrant expat community and the local community is super friendly and welcoming.
Some important things to know:
Where is the best place to find accommodation?
- The easiest way to find accommodation would be through a rental agency. All associated fees and costs are covered by landlords and you should have a direct on Island contact with the agents rather than the landlords. All rental agents tend to work with each other so if you make contact with a reputable agent, they should be able to access all rental accommodations that are available on island. For a list of local rental agencies take a look at Cayman Resident or CIREBA:
- We would be more than happy to give advice on areas to consider moving to, and anything else you need to know.
What are the typical working hours?
- The majority of businesses within professional services firms operate from Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 5pm, but hours can vary greatly depending on the industry especially within retail, tourism and hospitality.
What is the typical working attire?
- Most professional services companies will require a business casual dress code allowing for smart shirts and pants, but we would always recommend that you have a jacket and tie close at hand in case of visiting clients etc. More and more companies on the Island are allowing more casual and comfortable attire during the hot and humid summer months but dress codes still apply.
If I secure a temporary position, how long before I secure a permanent role?
- Our goal is to place all of our candidates into permanent roles. There is no specific timeframe for how long it takes to secure permanent employment, as there are many factors that determine it including what opportunities are available in the market, how qualified you are, what other candidates are available in the market and clients’ needs and demands. Temping gives people the opportunity to gain additional experience and to “get your foot in the door”.
What relocation assistance is provided?
- Relocation assistance will vary greatly from employer to employer but generally if you are relocating from overseas a minimum of a one-way airline ticket, one week’s accommodation and one week’s car rental would be included for permanent employment opportunities. Many employers may offer these benefits for 2 or possibly even up to 4 weeks allowing plenty of time for you to find long term rentals and make transport arrangements.
Can I bring pets?
- Yes, you can bring your pet to Grand Cayman with a few conditions. The process for importing animals into Cayman is a lengthy one. You will need to start planning at least six months prior to shipment. All dogs and cats entering the Cayman Islands must have an import permit issued by the Cayman Islands Department of Agriculture (DOA). Visit these websites which can answer more detailed questions for you. Cayman Resident and Pet Travel
- There are several companies who can manage the process for you when importing a pet into Cayman. Dog Train Cayman and Must Love Dogs
Do I have to pay any tax?
- The Cayman Islands does not have any form of income or payroll tax and are considered “tax neutral.”
- The only normal deductions from your salary would be any employee contribution to pension and a medical health insurance scheme both of which are mandatory in the Cayman Islands.
- Employers must, by law, pay at least 50% of the health insurance fee and some cover 80%-100% of the cost. Typically, health insurance premiums should not be more than around CI $200 per month.
- Pension deductions are calculated at 5% of each month’s salary and all contributions are matched by your employer. For the first 9 months of your employment on island pension contributions are not mandatory.
- Other significant taxes do include import duty (remember to import all of your possessions within the first 6 months of residency to ensure they are duty free) and also stamp duty on property.
What is the currency on island?
- There are two currencies here on island, the Cayman Islands dollar (known locally as CI) and the US dollar. The currencies are pegged so it is CI $0.82 to US $1.00. The Cayman Islands dollar is not pegged to any other currency
Can I use my current bank account in the Cayman Islands?
- You will need to open an on-island bank account for your salary to be paid into and to get a local debit card. Although there are branches of global banks here in the Cayman Islands you will still need to open a local account and cannot link the account to any existing accounts you may have.
- Typically, we suggest that you bank with who your employer banks with. Your employer will give you a bank letter, and this along with your passport is usually enough to open an account.
- The banks on island are Cayman National Bank, Butterfield, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), ScotiaBank, Fidelity, and CIBC.
How many vacation days will I get?
- By law, companies must offer 10 days’ vacation, however, many companies offer 15-20 days’ vacation for permanent vacation.
- There are also 11 bank holidays per year here on island.
Do I need a car?
- We recommend purchasing or leasing a car when you arrive on island. Public transportation is available, but buses run on “island time” and are not always a reliable means of getting around. Taxis are available but typically quite expensive and ride-share apps like Uber or Lyft are not available on island.
Will my driver’s license be valid?
- Getting on the road in Cayman is not difficult but it is important to ensure that you are legally allowed to drive. Always ensure you bring your original and up to date current driving license and refer to the Cayman Islands Vehicle Licensing Department for guidance.
Is it easy to travel from Cayman to other countries?
- Travel to other countries in the Caribbean, North America and Central America and South America is relatively easy with Miami being a central hub for many countries in these areas. Cayman Airways flies directly to a number of US destinations as well as Honduras, Jamaica and Cuba and Panama at certain times of the year, making long weekend trips to these countries very easy. Flights to the USA are serviced very well with an ever-growing number of airlines flying directly to New York, Washington DC, Chicago, Charlotte, Boston, Atlanta, and Tampa. At certain times of the year local travel agents and tour companies may arrange charter flights to additional countries and US cities.
What is the weather like?
- The weather is generally glorious with lovely warm sunny days. Temperature ranges from 70º F (20º C) to 90º F (30º C) throughout the year. The hurricane season can bring storms and significant rainfall all of which the Island is very prepared for.
- Hurricane Season officially starts on 1st June and ends on the 30th November each year.
How long does it take to get from one end of the island to the other?
- The drive from West Bay to East End should not take more than an hour unless you are driving slowly and being distracted by the gorgeous coastline in Bodden Town and Barkers.
Can my child/children also relocate with me?
- If you are not a Caymanian or Permanent Resident of the Cayman Islands you will need a work permit granted by the Immigration Department. If you would like your children or any other dependent such as your spouse to relocate to the Cayman Islands as well, you must ensure that they are added onto your work permit application form and that they are approved by the Immigration Department to be legal dependents on your work permit. There are many factors to be considered by the Immigration Department when considering allowing dependents including the employee’s salary and if it is considered sufficient to comfortably support the dependents on the Island.
- Another significant consideration is the availability of a place at school (if the children are of school age) and as such you should attach confirmation that your child has a confirmed place at a school to your work permit application. Children of work permit holders must attend a private school and must pay the fees associated with private education. More information can be found here: Education in the Cayman Islands | Cayman Resident
- An idea of prices can be found here: Tuition and Fees
What are the supermarkets like, and can I purchase locally grown produce?
- The Island is very well served by large supermarkets such as Fosters, Kirks and Hurleys. The majority of the produce sold is produced and farmed overseas but we have seen a significant growth and improvement of the Farmers Market and the availability of local produce. The Farmers Market is now open daily and allows locally produced fruit, vegetables, fruit juices and other local items to be purchased right on the outskirts of George Town. Some local produce is also available to be purchased in the supermarkets
If you have any questions on the above information, please feel free to reach out to one of our Recruiters who would be happy to help.
Cayman Resident – this is a super useful website on life in Cayman.
Ecay Trade – This is the main buy/sell website for Cayman. Everyone uses this for things like =apartments and cars.
Cireba – These are all registered estate agencies on Island. It’s worth using an agency when you get here and this will give you a good idea of the rental market / prices.