Working in the British Virgin Islands or the Cayman Islands offers excellent career opportunities coupled with a great quality of life. The natural beauty of the region and the sub-tropical climate, ranging from 25°C in winter to 29°C in summer, make the British Virgin Islands and Cayman Islands highly desirable places to live.
Forbes Hare provides assistance to new team members and their families relocating to the British Virgin Islands or the Cayman Islands. We will help you to find your new home, provide you with general assistance, and help you to adapt to life in the Caribbean. Forbes Hare is based in Road Town, British Virgin Islands and in the Camana Bay development in Grand Cayman.
Located in the Caribbean to the east of Puerto Rico, British Virgin Islands consists of the main islands of Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke, along with over fifty other smaller islands and cays. Fifteen of the islands are inhabited. The capital, Road Town, is situated on Tortola, the largest island which is approximately 20 km (12 mi) long and 5 km (3 mi) wide.
The British Virgin Islands Time Zone: America Tortola (British Virgin Islands/BVI).
UTC/GMT – 4 hours
The islands have a total population of about 28,000, of whom approximately 18,000 live on Tortola. The islands are multicultural, with many different nationalities from all over the world living and working in the BVI. Approximately half of the population is native to the BVI; with the remainder ex-pats, including a large number from other Caribbean islands.
As a British Overseas Territory, the BVI offers security and stability. The territory is responsible for its own internal self-government and is governed by democratically elected officials. The BVI has an independent legal and judicial system based on English Common Law, with a right of final appeal to the Privy Council in London.
The law of the British Virgin Islands is a combination of common law and statute, and is based heavily upon English law.
The key pillars of the BVI’s economy are the Financial Services Sector and Tourism, both of which make the BVI a flourishing economy within the Caribbean.
Tax in the BVI?
The BVI is a low-tax jurisdiction, with employee payroll tax currently at 8 percent.
Healthcare provision in the BVI consists of government funded and private health clinics. There is a modern hospital in the capital city of Road Town.
The BVI’s public educational system provides education from pre-primary through secondary school. Tertiary education is offered at the territory’s Community College. There is also an opportunity to pursue continuing education through the Community College and/or the University of the West Indies Open Campus (BVI). There are a number of private schools which cater to children ages 3 through 18 years. In the BVI it is compulsory that children ages 4 years 9 months through 16 years are enrolled in and attend an educational institution.
There are numerous facilities for families on the island, including playgrounds, playgroups, daycares, indoor play centre and after school activities.
The beautiful British Virgin Islands offer a huge range of recreational activities. The BVI has a wealth of national parks, with stunning scenery and tranquil beaches, lush mountains and sheltered coves. All surrounded by the crystal clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.
The Islands have become known as “the Sailing Capital of the World” and boast many regattas and yachting events. The Islands offer some of the best diving and snorkelling opportunities in the world along with first rate fishing, windsurfing and kite-boarding to name but a new. On land, there are numerous sporting and social opportunities including football, rugby, running, cycling and cricket, as well as amateur dramatic societies, community service clubs, and church groups.
The Cayman Islands consist of three islands, Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, and Little Cayman. Located 480 miles south of Miami in the Western Caribbean. The total land mass of the three islands is 100 square miles. Grand Cayman occupies 76 square miles; Cayman Brac, 14 square miles and Little Cayman, 10 square miles.
Grand Cayman is approximately 22 miles long and 8 miles at its widest point, reaching a maximum elevation of 79.77 feet.
Cayman Brac is 14 miles long and 2 miles wide.
Little Cayman, is 10 miles long and a mile wide, is flat, reaching a maximum elevation of 55.75 ft.
The Cayman Islands are – 5 hours GMT.
The population of the Cayman Islands is around 65,000. More than 92 different nationalities are represented in Cayman. The majority of the population is Caymanian, Jamaican, British, American, Canadian, Filipino and South American.
Cayman Island Government
The Cayman Islands highest official is the Governor, His Excellency, Mr. Stuart Jack, CVO, who is the appointed representative of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. He presides over Cabinet, the ruling body of the country. Mr. Jack succeeded Mr. Bruce Dinwiddy, CMG. The Governor’s term is four years.
The existing constitution of the Cayman Islands, introduced on August 22, 1972, provides for the government of the Cayman Islands as a British Overseas Territory. It has an established a governing body called the Cabinet, which is composed of two official members and five elected members, called ministers; one of whom is designated Premier. The official members are the Deputy Governor and the Attorney General. They are appointed by the governor in accordance with Her Majesty’s instructions, and although they have seats in the Legislative Assembly, under the 2009 Constitution, they do not vote. The five elected ministers are voted into office by the 15 elected members of the Legislative Assembly. One of the ministers, the leader of the majority political party, is appointed premier by the governor. The post of Premier is the equivalent that of the Prime Minister in most British colonies. It is the highest political level that can be attained within the colonial system. The holder of that position is regarded as the head of government.
The Legal System
The Cayman Islands legal system is based on English common law with the addition of local statutes or laws. The courts system in the Cayman Islands is a simple one and practice and procedure are based on English law. Minor criminal and civil cases are tried by a Stipendiary Magistrate sitting in the Summary Court. All serious crimes and most civil cases are tried by the Grand Court, which is presided over by the Chief Justice and Grand Court Judges permanently resident in the Islands. Appeals lie from the Grand Court to the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal, which sits in Grand Cayman, and from there to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in England.
The Cayman Islands is currently the world’s fifth largest financial centre. Its success is due to political and economic stability, tax neutrality, a responsive legal system, a stable banking environment, a sound regulatory regime, absence of exchange controls, and the presence of highly sophisticated service providers.
The Cayman Islands has its own currency: Cayman Islands dollar (denoted CI$)whose basic unit is the dollar, issued in notes with denominations of CI$100, 50, 25, 10, 5 and 1 and coins valued at 25 cents, 10, 5 and 1 cent. The CI dollar has a fixed exchange rate with the US dollar of CI$1.00 equals US$1.25. Or, the US dollar equals CI $.80.
Tax in the Cayman Islands
The Cayman Islands has no direct taxation.
The Cayman Islands offer excellent healthcare facilities. There are two fully-equipped hospitals, numerous clinics and many private specialist doctors and general practitioners.
There are various government and private schools in Grand Cayman from kindergarten, pre-school and primary, through middle and high school, to colleges, tertiary and continued education.
In Cayman, it is compulsory that all children from the ages of four years and nine months to age 16 attend school. It is the CI government′s stance that expatriates employed in the private sector who qualify to have their dependants on Island with them (i.e. earn over CI$3,500 per month and have two dependants on their work permit) should educate their children in private schools.
There are numerous activities and facilities available to families in the Cayman Islands. Including playgroups, parks, summer camps, sporting events, interesting places to visit and various sports associations.
Recreational opportunities include a variety of watersports, sailing, diving, snorkelling, tennis and football. There are numerous sports clubs and community service clubs.