The Cayman Islands has one of the highest standards of living in the world, despite its small size and lack of agricultural resources. The current economy on the islands is one of the strongest in the Caribbean, driven by offshore financial institutions and upscale tourism. There is no direct taxation in the Cayman Islands, making it an irresistible location for financial institutions. The Cayman Islands offers no income tax, no Capital Gains tax, no Property tax and not inheritance tax.
There are number of recruitment companies with offices in Cayman as many international companies are relocating or establishing local operations there.
The types of jobs in Cayman are broad and vary depending on your training and level of expertise. Despite the global economic slowdown, there are still a large number of job opportunities in Cayman with many sectors striving to meet the demand for top class employees.
To protect Caymanians and their dependents from undue competition from unqualified overseas applicants seeking to work in the Cayman Islands, the Cayman Government has developed a policy of work permits and criteria by which potential expatriate workers are assessed.
In order to work in the Cayman Islands as a non-citizen, a work permit is required. The process involves police background check and a medical check. A permit may be granted to individuals on special work.
A Temporary Work Permit may be issued for periods of up to six months at the discretion of the Chief Immigration Officer and for all occupations. These are issued for one or six months and are primarily used to fill a position that is not permanent. In some instances, one-month permits can be issued to allow you to start working if you are waiting for your long-term permit to be approved by Immigration – also referred to as a ‘fast-track’ solution.
Gainful Occupation Licences (GOL)/Long-term permits
GOL. permits are generally issued for a period of one year (it’s possible for two- to five-year permits to be granted on occasion) and must be submitted for annual renewal thereafter by your employer.
In order to have a long-term permit issued or renewed, your employer has to advertise the “vacancy” in the offshore press for a minimum of two weeks to see whether there is a suitable local Caymanian available for the position. Subsequent renewals are hence not automatic but in practice they are usually granted. Also, note that with a valid G.O.L you can bring personal items into the Islands “duty-free”.
If you are considering a career change, research well the strengths of the Cayman Islands market. In recent years the hospitality and tourism sectors have done very well. Construction has been one of the big employers but is now suffering from the global economic slowdown. However opportunities still selectively exist in the sector.
When you are negotiating a job offer with an employer there will be a number of benefits which need to be raised as part of your discussion. The following should be discussed.
Getting a job in any foreign country is often not straight forward and Cayman is no different. It is however a nice place to work, where you’ll fine, in general, that a positive attitude prevails. Carry out research on any perspective company you are meeting, prepare well for interview and demonstrate you willingness to be flexible in an ever changing market. Remember Caribbean employment experience can be a very valuable addition to your curriculum vitae.
We wish you the best of luck!