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An Introduction to the Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands are located in the Western Caribbean region, approximately 250 kms south of Cuba, 300 kms northwest of Jamaica, and 750 kms southwest of Miami, FL. The Islands consist of Grand Cayman, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac.

Grand Cayman is the largest of the three and is the primary hub of business in the Cayman Islands. Grand Cayman is approximately 120 square kms in area, and is home to roughly 60,000 people as well as the capital city, George Town.

Grand Cayman is well known as a popular tourist destination, with thousands of tourists flocking to the sunny Island every year to enjoy a superb climate, beautiful beaches and incredible scuba diving. The climate is quite warm year-round – generally in the range of 27-32 C (81-90 F) throughout the day.

In addition to tourism, the Cayman Islands provide a stable and highly attractive environment for the financial services industry. The Cayman Islands are considered one of the largest financial centers in the world and was named as the world’s top specialized financial center in 2017. While home to 6 retail banking institutions, there are approximately 150 Banks registered in the Cayman Islands (many of which are branches of international financial institutions), thousands of Hedge Funds and hundreds of Captive Insurance and Trust companies.

Much like in Bermuda, the presence of so much business within the financial services industry generates a high demand for IT products and services on the Island. The need for IT therefore results in a fairly high demand for a range of qualified IT Professionals in the Cayman Islands.

Work Permits:
In order to live and work in the Cayman Islands, most expatriates will need to hold a valid work permit (unless they’re working for the Government or have been granted status). In order to have a work permit approved, employers must be able to demonstrate to the Department of Immigration that they have been unable to identify and hire a local candidate. This policy means that most work permit holders must be able to bring a particular skill set and/or professional qualifications. Documents required can vary somewhat depending on the length of permit being applied for but generally you will require a full medical, chest x-ray, police background check and certified/notarized copies of qualifications.

Outside the unique opportunities to work in the international sector, the Cayman Islands offer a tremendous lifestyle to those who are fortunate enough to enjoy life in the region. Cayman is rated as one of the world’s top scuba diving locations with plenty of sites for both the new and experienced diver. The outdoor activities available year round are nearly endless and include: snorkeling, kayaking, tennis, boating or simply enjoying the sunshine on the beach!

Currency & Taxes:
Another obvious benefit to living and working here is the lack of tax – there is NO income tax, no sales tax, and no corporate tax in the Cayman Islands! Cayman does have its own currency, known as the Cayman Islands Dollar (abbreviated CI$) and most often salaries will be paid in CI$. The CI$ is pegged to the US dollar at a rate of CI$1.00 = US$1.20 though cash is generally traded at CI$1.00 = US$1.25.

Rental housing can be found relatively easily at reasonable prices and real estate is available for purchase as there are no restrictions on foreign ownership.

All in all, the Cayman Islands offer a tremendous opportunity to combine an incredibly desirable lifestyle with exciting international work prospects in a tax-free environment. The number of work permit holders (more than 25,000!) is a clear indicator of how attractive this location can be!

Please get in touch and we would be pleased to discuss in more detail.