We get asked a ton of questions ranging from 'how do I get a job on Cayman?' to 'how do I live on a Caribbean island?'. To our loyal readers, we have heard your questions, answered your queries, and here, we list some of the most common (and creative!) inquiries.
While we answer your questions about finding jobs in Cayman, be sure to check out our Work section that has thoroughly researched information about employment opportunities in the Cayman Islands for local and overseas job-seekers. You can also find a handy list of all the top recruiters in the Cayman Islands on Cayman Resident.
Plus check out our Immigration page if you need to find out about applying for Permanent Residency.
If want to make an appointment with one of the leading medical specialist in the Cayman Islands, check out our Healthcare section.
Residency & Immigration
As residents of the Cayman Islands, we at Cayman Resident can all attest that navigating through the immigration system can sometimes be quite the minefield! Hopefully, you'll find the answer to your question below and if not - feel free to shoot us an email at email@example.com. We're happy to try and help out if we can.
How recent does a Police Clearance document have to be?
It must be under 6 months old. You can now apply online for the document and you have two options for receiving your copy: a) have it mailed to the Dept of WORC referencing your paperwork or b) have it mailed to you but this takes up to 28 days. Your best bet is to start at least a month before you need it. See here to start the online application process.
If I have a drink-driving conviction can I get a work permit in the Cayman Islands?
The answer is not necessarily ‘no’. You will need to submit a police clearance and include with it an affidavit that discloses the drink-driving conviction and explains the circumstances and that you promise it will never happen again. Cayman has enough of its own problems with drink driving and the courts do not want more imported!
If I have a criminal conviction can I get a work permit in the Cayman Islands?
Almost invariably no, unless it is a minor offense, committed in ones misspent youth and you can explain it in an affidavit. On the affidavit you have to promise that it will never happen again. However, a positive decision (on whether to grant you a work permit) is not guaranteed and is purely down to the Department of WORC's discretion.
If a work permit is in process do I have to leave the Island?
The rules are as follows: If you arrive and have a visitors stamp in your passport then yes you must leave while your work permit (whether that is a Temporary Work Permit or a Full Work Permit) is being submitted. Ideally your employer submits your Work Permit on ‘Express’ and this will expedite your permit. However, if you are in the Cayman Islands as a dependant of your spouse’s work permit then you do not have to leave the island while your work permit is in process. Once you have a work permit in place (whether Temporary or Full) you can remain on the island while your renewal is submitted as long as it is submitted before the previous one runs out. Incidentally, a Full Work Permit, if submitted right off the bat, i.e without gaining a Temporary Work Permit first, can take up to 3-months to process!
The process is somewhat different since COVID came on the scene. Basically no one can come to Cayman unless they have a valid work permit or they are Caymanians/Permanent Residents/Property Owners.
I am interested in obtaining a work permit for working in the Cayman Islands. How can I get a work permit, full work permit or temporary work permit? How much is each one?
You cannot apply for your own ‘self-employed’ work permit. They do not exist. Instead you must find a job with a company based in the Cayman Islands and then they will apply for a work permit for you. The work permit fees vary considerably depending on what your job would be. For a list of fees see the immigration website www.immigration.gov.ky and look under the ‘Fees‘ tab on the Work Permits page. Incidentally it is actually illegal for an employer to make you pay for any of your work permit fee!
To maintain Cayman residency do I have to spend X number of days in the Cayman Islands each year?
Not according to Cayman law but the country of your origin may require you to spend a substantial amount of the year in Cayman to be convinced you have truly become a resident of Cayman.
My fiancé has been offered a job in Cayman but I have not yet managed to find a job. Can I accompany her? How long can I stay for and will I need to purchase a return ticket?
As a fiancé you cannot be added as a dependant to your partner’s work permit. Only once married can you be added to a work permit. Therefore, you can come in with your fiancé but you will need a return ticket and will invariably be granted only 30 days to stay. However, if you can show proof that you have enough to support yourself (a recent bank statement should do) and can show your fiancé’s property lease and work letter, then you may be granted up to six months to stay. After this you can pop over to Miami (or anywhere out of the jurisdiction) and your time will start again.
How many days can a visitor stay in Cayman?
We are often asked how many days, as a visitor, one can stay in the Cayman Islands. Under the law a person that has no other basis to enter the Cayman Islands (i.e. a Work Permit) and with no right to residence may be admitted as visitors for up to a total of six months, with extensions permissible thereafter. However, the reality is very different! The norm is that someone arrives in Cayman and is given 30 days to stay. If they want to stay longer then they have to go to the Dept of Immigration (before their time runs out), fill out an extension form and pay CI$50 for the 1st extension and CI$100 for all further extensions. However, if they are coming in for 6 months over the winter, like many of our returning ‘snow birds’ do, then they can and do get a six month stamp. For this they must show the entry officer their return ticket, a very recent bank or investment statement showing that they have sufficient funds to support themselves without seeking work and a hotel/condo reservation or a lease. This paperwork is looked at very discreetly and returned to the visitor. It is not kept and none of the information is recorded. If someone can show that they own a property in Cayman then they will automatically be given 6-months to stay.
Finding a Job
'How to find a job in the Cayman' tops the list as the most common question we get asked at 'Cayman Resident'... and understandably so! Seems only 'fair' that one must jump through certain hoops for the luxury of island living, and Cayman, much like other islands, has its fair share of hurdles. But don't fret - read on to find out what's needed to ensure that move to paradise and have a secure job upon arrival.
I am seeking a job in the hotel field as a food and beverage waitress. Please could you suggest the best way to move forward?
We recommend you contact restaurants and hotels directly as there are no recruitment firms that handle food and beverage staff. You could try The Ritz, The Westin and The Marriott hotels as well as one of our many restaurants. Most are listed on both www.caymangoodtaste.com as well as www.findyello.com/cayman-islands/restaurants. New staff are usually recruited in September/October in time for the new high season and 8-month work permits are readily available.
I would like to find a teaching job in Cayman. How do I go about it?
Various teaching positions in Cayman’s private schools come available every year and you are advised to apply directly to the individual schools. See a list here of all the Private Primary and High Schools in the Cayman Islands.
Teaching jobs in the Government schools are advertised on the Ministry of Education’s website, as well as in the Cayman Compass newspaper, between December and February every year. When you apply for a job, a cover letter, an official application and a resume should be submitted. Any information or inquiries should be addressed to the Recruitment Manager of the Ministry of Education, Training & Employment and everything you need can be found on the Ministry of Education’s website. You can also email: firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or applications and the HR services team will usually respond to your inquiry within two weeks. This department is also responsible for the recruitment of all jobs within the Ministry of Education, so positions other than teaching are available every year.
Teaching jobs usually come with a two-year contract and incentives to stay. The renewal of two-year contracts are based on annual performance reports. Most teachers in the private British school system are recruited from England. Most teachers hired into the private American school system are hired from Canada or the USA, and most teachers hired for the Government school system are hired from the Caribbean and in particular from Jamaica, but also from the UK, Canada and the US.
Cost of Living
Every year a dedicated member of Cayman Resident's team researches the current cost of living in Cayman.... from what it will cost to buy a second hand car to what you can expect to pay for school fees for a toddler, we have you covered!
Jump straight to our Cost of Living section, we give two examples: a couple living and working in Cayman without children and another couple living and working in Cayman with two children. Plus you will also find a handy table of general costs from the cost of milk to the cost of purchasing a bath towel in Cayman. We are sure these pages will provide you with all the helpful information you will need to know before moving to paradise!