Shipping to Cayman Islands
Moving to the tropical paradise that is the Cayman Islands is likely to be one of the most exciting decisions you will ever make and yet it will not be without its stresses and things to organise. One of which will be how to transfer your personal belongings to the island or store them while you consider your options.
With so many removals companies each offering different things the choice can soon become overwhelming. Whatever your requirements you are likely to want a service that delivers your items safely, on time and with low costs in mind.
White & Company are confident in our ability to deliver a comprehensive and bespoke international removals service tailored to the wants and needs of our customers.
Having scooped the 2016 award for British Association of Removers ‘Overseas Mover of the Year’, as well as being finalists in 2017, we have moved people to destinations all over the world. Whatever stage you are at in considering your move to the Cayman Islands don’t hesitate to give us a call to see how we can make your dream move happen.
Why Move to the Cayman Islands?
Looking to live out your days in a peaceful tropical island sipping colourful cocktails on balmy beaches with friendly and hospitable locals? To many expats the Cayman Islands represents the dream of laid back Caribbean island living, with all the perks of a more desirable climate and lifestyle while maintaining the traditions and familiarities of home.
The territory consists of three islands (Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman) located south of Cuba and northwest of Jamaica. The island boasts the highest standard of living in the Carribbean and is bolstered by a thriving tourism sector which sees thousands of visitors descend upon it shores each year to soak up the best the island has to offer, including scuba diving at Stingray City and a marine theme park called Boatswains’s Beach.
Many expats are drawn by the opportunities for career growth, larger salaries and generous tax incentives available. Economic prosperity has largely been driven on the island by a thriving financial and business sector. The Cayman Islands is a well-regulated, tax neutral international financial centre and the fifth-largest banking centre in the world, with over 280 banks registered on the island.
With all international moves it is worth doing your research beforehand and weighing up the pros and cons. Social healthcare on the island is pretty non-existent and the system in place more closely resembles the American system of self-supported health insurance. Having said that those who are able to hold down a well-paying job report little issue in taking out full medical cover and enjoying all the fruits the island has to offer.
Working in the Cayman Islands
As you would expect, most employment opportunities arise in the financial and tourism industries. The Cayman Islands remains the leading jurisdiction for international hedge funds and represents almost half of all captives globally.
Banking is the common recruiter with over 40 of the top 50 banks holding licences in the country, many expats are drawn to job opportunities in this area.
There are opportunities in other areas available with construction and healthcare currently in high demand for highly skilled foreign workers. Due to the countries’ small population, as a rule, there are often more jobs than qualified candidates. Although expats make up a large portion of the workforce, it is worth noting that Caymanians and permanent residents are given preference before businesses can outsource which makes competition for places fierce.
It is against the law for any expats to work without a valid work permit and visitors must apply for and hold work permits before arrival. It is also important to know that your spouse or children are not automatically entitled to reside in Cayman even if you hold a valid permit. A separate application is necessary for any accompanying dependents.
To find out more about work permits visit the following web sites:
There is a reasonable public transport system consisting of taxis and buses and prices are relatively cheap but can get a little overcrowded. There are also regular ferry departures which will take you to the surrounding islands for a reasonable fee.
Most expats find that hiring or owning a car or motorcycle is the best option. Note however that if you intend to drive, the Cayman Islands Traffic Department states that:
“When a person becomes a resident, they may drive on their domestic licence in the Islands for a period not exceeding six months. After or during the period of six months, the new resident may drive only after passing a prescribed written test, upon which he shall, without the need for a road test, be issued with a Caymanian driver’s licence. Drivers must be over 21 years old.”
The following site gives further information:
Cayman Islands, like most worldwide countries operates very strict importation regulations. Importing certain controlled drugs and pirated copyright material is prohibited and there are restrictions on entering with items such as replica guns, radio communications equipment, and ammunition. Some prescribed and over the counter medicines available in the UK are considered controlled substances in Cayman Islands, so you need to make sure you investigate before arrival.
Used household goods and personal effects are duty free provided goods have been owned and used by the customer for a minimum of six months and customer has lived abroad for at least one year. All new items will be levied duties and taxes.
Required documents for importing household effects:
Passport – copy, picture page and last entry into Grand Cayman
Residence Permit or Work Permit – obtained from the Department of Immigration of the Cayman Islands
Bill of Lading/Air Waybill – rated, Express Release must state total freight cost from origin to Grand Cayman
Comprehensive Valued Inventory – each item must have a value, dated & signed by owner Pack list
Power of Attorney – giving authority for Destination Agent to arrange customs clearance
Letter from Employer –attesting to client’s employment contract
Custom Declaration Form – Obtained from Destination Agent; New items must be listed separately in the “Schedule” section
There is no universal system for healthcare as there is in the UK. As such health insurance for residents is mandatory and it is imperative that you have adequate cover arranged before you arrive. You will be required to pay the full amount of the service up front and the clinic will provide you with documentation to make your own claim from your overseas provider.
The healthcare provision on the islands is generally regarded as excellent. Grand Cayman has three fully equipped hospitals and there is also a hospital on Cayman Brac. Cayman Islands residents may be referred to overseas hospitals and other facilities for specific treatments that are either unavailable or not commonly performed on-island. There is also good range of pharmacies which operate out of hours services.
The following web sites have some useful information regarding health care provision in Cayman Islands.
There are no restrictions on foreign ownership of real estate providing the property is for personal use and there are no annual property or capital gains taxes.
There is a wide variety of architectural styles and property prices available on the island such as townhouses, apartments and condos. You will find many beautiful multi million pound properties, home to the rich and famous dotted across the coastline. As such you can expect to pay anywhere between US$80,000 (£70,000) to US$1.3 million (£884,673) depending on the type and location of the property.
When you are looking for a property it is good advice to sign up with The Cayman Islands Real Estate Broker’s Association (CIREBA). They follow strict rules and regulations and publish a magazine of listings. The magazine can be obtained upon request, free of charge.
Information is also available through the association’s web site:
Renting is a relatively straightforward business and there are plenty of rental properties to be found. It is not cheap however and you can expect to pay approximately KY$3,000 (£2,651) per month for a three bedroomed family sized property.
Even though the islands are small, there is a good range of schools both in the public and private sector. Expatriate children can attend government run schools on a space available basis. As such many expats will choose an international school. It is worth applying well in advance as even spaces at international schools can fill up quickly.
In terms of higher education, the University College of the Cayman Islands has campuses on Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac and is the only government-run university on the Cayman Islands.
For help researching and selecting a school see the following:
Moving to a new country is a huge, life changing experience., laws, health, taxes, bank accounts, driving, and public travel are just a few of the new aspects of life you will need to adjust to.
For some helpful tips and information on settling into life in Cayman Islands, visit some of the many expat forums online:
White & Company
Providing International Removals since 1871
We recommend a visit from one of our Surveyors for all International moves, so that we can assess your requirements, and the volume of goods to be moved.
Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in the Cayman Islands
What Others Say…
Wayne Middleton and Brian Witherford were professional and extremely helpful. Did a brilliant job. Would recommend Whites to anyone. Thanks very much.
Have used this company regularly for 5 years including my time in the armed forces. They are professional and efficient. Will use them again on our next move.
The move went very smoothly and they were very polite.
A very smooth move by White and Co. The team worked very hard and were polite, professional and helpful.