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If you are reading this blog, moving to the Caribbean must be right at the top of your agenda. Here at CML Offshore Recruitment we speak with people everyday about employment opportunities overseas, the most frequently asked questions are about the immigration process.

I hope this blog will answer most of your questions, especially if this is part of your initial research into moving to the Caribbean. Each jurisdiction has slightly different application requirements and methods but I have noted the main points you would need to consider before making a move. As some of the requirements for gaining a work permit can be costly and only valid for a certain period of time.

Although it is important to do the research look into what you will need and where you can get it, we would advise you wait until you have a job offer or positively moving through the interview process before actually beginning the process. An agency/employer can only submit an application, once you have a written job offer or temporary contract.

A work permit will usually be issued for periods of up to six months (Temporary Work Permit usual 3 or 6 months), or longer (Annual Work Permit). As an agency we will check and submit all the relevant documents for you but the ultimate decision and issuing is done by the Government Chief Immigration Officer.

Your new employer or agency will usually pay for the work permit fees which can be quite expensive so it is important you are really serious about your move. Fee costs can vary depending on the position and level from $1,000 – $24,000 per permit.

Things you will need

  • A fully completed application form
  • A police clearance certificate, a certified and signed police clearance certificate from your home district or last place of residence. (Note: If you are a national of the United Kingdom and resident there immediately prior to coming to the Cayman Islands you may submit a sworn affidavit attesting to good character in lieu of a police clearance certificate if you wish.
  • A fully completed medical questionnaire AND a lab report showing HIV/VDRL test results. Part 1 must be completed by you; Part 2 must be completed by your physician and should bear his/her signature and seal or stamp. The original lab report showing the HIV/VDRL test results must also be provided on headed paper or with a seal or stamp. In the UK most private hospitals will carry out these checks. It can be done with the National Health Service this way can be cheaper but a longer process.
  • Two passport sized photographs, one full-face and one profile.
  • Notarized copies of the prospective employee’s professional qualifications must be provided.
  • Birth/Marriage Certificates: Where a spouse or a child has been included on the work permit application form, the relationship to the employee must be proved by submitting notarized copies of marriage/ birth certificates as appropriate
  • All ORIGINAL/notarized documents must be sent by courier (not regular postal mail)

If you are married or have children they can be listed as a dependant on your work permit but this is at the discretion of the Chief Immigration Officer, and is normally based on your salary and the cost of living. We would generally advise that you would need a minimum monthly income of over $4,000 to support 1 possibly 2 people on a permit.

If you are thinking of traveling with a partner but you are not married it is important to realize that you will both be required to find a position and submit your own work permits. You should discuss the possibilities that you may have to travel at different times or what your plans would be if only one of you secured work as this could seriously affect your chances of securing an offer yourself.

If you currently live in a non English speaking country you may be required to take an English test upon arrival at the airport. If you are found not to possess a sufficient knowledge of the English language, you will be refused entry.

What happens next?

If the application is approved, a letter will usually be sent to the CML Immigration team notifying us of the decision and setting out the terms and conditions upon which you may work.

This process can seem complicated and although it is important to consider all the requirements and make some initial plans yourself the CML Offshore Recruitment team will be on hand to help you throughout the process. We will have been speaking to you on a regular basis through your job search, recruitment process and relocation plans so you will always have your consultant and our immigration/relocation team available to help once you have secured an offer and are ready to submit your work permit.

Should you have any other questions relating to immigration you can contact our dedicated immigration specialist Kym Bailey (k.bailey@cmlor.com )

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