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How much overtime is there?
One cannot predict how much overtime may be worked as this depends on many factors, but as a professional on a good salary one is expected to work reasonable overtime to get the job done. Within the audit firms there is a definite busy period which entails significant overtime, but that is balanced by a very quiet period. Within the retail companies, fund administrators, captive insurance companies and other employers there are definite periods of overtime required. This overtime will be compensated, usually in the form of a bonus at the end of the year. One must bear in mind that travel times are generally short and this makes the overtime much more bearable.

What accounting qualifications are acceptable?
The candidates that are most likely to be successful are qualified ACAs, CAs, CPAs, CGAs,CIMAs and ACCAs from the USA, UK, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Zimbabwe.This is because there is reciprocal recognition of these accounting qualifications with Cayman. Qualified accountants from other countries should also apply since there can be exceptions.

My partner is not a lawyer or accountant – how can they find work?

There are many opportunities for people other than accountants and lawyers to find work in Cayman. The positions that are available include teachers, legal secretaries, nurses,doctors as well as tourism related positions. There are agencies that will find your partner contract work with whom we can put you in contact. We will advise you on the best method for finding the right job. It will be better to organise your partner a job before you arrive in Cayman, so that you do not have to survive off one salary.

What are the significant benefits of living and working in Cayman?
Salaries are all tax free and thus you have more disposable income available from each salary payment. The largest expense will be rental and thus you can determine how much you want to save as all expenses are discretionary. It is quite possible for a couple to save 50% or more of their joint incomes. The work experience that you will gain from the offshore experience will provide you with many options as to how you want to proceed with your career and where you want to live next. The standard of living is comparable to most first world countries. The recreational lifestyle must be experienced to be believed, for both single persons and couples. Living within five minutes of the Caribbean Sea allows for many great recreational activities. Living within two hours of the US and many Caribbean destinations allows for excellent short-and long-break vacations.

How long can you work in Cayman?
Each work permit may be granted up to a maximum of three years by the Immigration Department. A work permit holder may live and work in Cayman for a maximum of seven years continously, unless the holder has been assigned an ‘exempted employee’ status or there are exceptional circumstances. Where the holder has been granted the extended period their permit would carry them past the seven years and allow them to apply for permanent residence.

What about the hurricane season?
We have had personal experience of surviving hurricane Ivan that devestated the Cayman Islands in September, 2004. Prior to this hurricane the islands had taken general precautions for approaching hurricanes but the havoc wrought by Ivan forced employers and the Government to rethink their strategies going forward. The hurricane season runs from May to November each year. The Government and employers provide employees and residents with many tools to prepare for the season and sophisiticated computerised tracking systems are used to warn the inhabitants of approaching hurricanes and their intended paths. Most firms have evacuation plans that ensure that their staff are relocated during the onset of a hurricane, either to hurricane proof buildings on island or to Disaster Recovery Sites dotted around the world. Candidates should inquire as to what plans are in place during the interview process and decide for themselves whether they feel comfortable with what has been arranged by the prospective employer.

What if you work for a “big four” audit firm and want to move internally?
The office that employed you has put significant time, money and effort into training you and will not have any motivation to assist you in getting an internal transfer as soon as you qualify. You may limit your career prospects within your current firm if you alert them to the fact that you are thinking of moving to another office. There could be other opportunites that await you which you will never explore unless they are explained to you. We can offer you unbiased options as to the line of business that best suits you. Once you know the options you can make the correct decision for your career.

What is recreational life like for single persons and married couples?
There are many attractions that will entertain both single persons and married couples on Cayman. Among these are numerous wonderful beaches on Grand Cayman, including the famous Seven Mile beach which runs the length of the western side of the island, north of George Town. Great snorkeling can be found almost everywhere where the sea laps the sand. Recreational swimming can be enjoyed in the calm lagoon sea, as well as the many pools that grace the plentiful condo complexes. There are many competitive sea swims that take place throughout the year.

Diving in Cayman is of the highest quality and some of the easiest to be found in the world. There are many dive operators and most dives can be done from the shoreline.

Many people own or have part shares in speedboats which they use to waterski, cruise out to Stingray City, dive from, fish from or simply meander around the island. Many sailors take out their J22s, catamarans, tornadoes or larger yachts whenever they can. There are many boat operators who will take customers out for fishing or to Stingray City or snorkeling on the reef. There are also submarines which will take customers to see the undersea life of Cayman.

A host of great sporting events allow people to have fun and socialise. The annual Butterfield Triathlon is one of the highlights of the year in which individuals or teams can participate. The touch rugby tournamants, gaelic football tournaments, running events, squash and tennis tournamants provide a means for women and men to participate together and share fun. If you prefer a more sedate life, the beaches are perfect for long walks and the Botanical Gardens are a haven for peaceful reflection.

What rights does a work permit give a spouse and/or family on the island?
A work permit entitles the holder and named dependants (normally limited to three) to live on the island for the term of the permit or employment. Spouses and/or dependants will require a separate work permit if they wish to work on the island.

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