Where to live in Caribbean?(8 Posts)
My H and I are thinking of leaving London for the Caribbean for 1-2 years off. He wants to write a novel, I'm currently pregnant with our first, and we're both tired of the rat-race that's London and want some sun, sea, and sand!
We have a budget of no more than £5,000 a month to rent (that's what we currently pay in London) but ideally find something closer to £3,000 a month but I've been looking at Barbados, BVI, Cayman - and the long-term rentals seem v v expensive there...?! Can anyone here recommend an agent who can help us or suggest islands that are value for money?
Another question: is it easier move to a British Overseas territory like Cayman given my husband is a UK citizen (I'm EU, but we are married), or does it not make that much of a difference visa-wise?
And finally we have a ddog that we can't bring ourselves to leave in the UK. Are there any non dog-friendly island nations we should avoid looking at?
I'm obviously completely bloody clueless so any help or advice would be greatly appreciated! Thought I'd ask MN first before getting an agent.
Hi! We recently moved to Curacao for DH's job
He had to get a work permit sponsored by his employer (and that took a very long time to process) and the only other way that people come here are a) if they are Dutch; b) retiring and have $$$$s to spend / invest; or c) illegally.
You wouldn't be able to come here, I'm afraid, which is a pain because it is dog-friendly, beautiful and you could get something lovely with that amount of rent.
General things to bear in mind about living in the Caribbean include the cost of living (everything is imported, so at least 25-30% higher than you would pay in the UK or US; plus utilities are phenomenally expensive); the heat (it gets very very warm!); and how long it takes to travel back to the UK, and the cost of visiting.
Happy to answer any other questions
Jamaica could be one option, considering that your DH is british, it has a large british expat community, laws and regulations are similar to the UK due to only receiving independence in 1962.
There are lots of uk/carib relocations firms specialising in Jamaica. You could probably easily get a maid /cook for what you can afford.
There might be other options if you are Dutch or french...
How relaxed are you about the pregnancy and birth? Do you feel you need to be near a good hospital? The default plan of flying into Miami in case of complications is complicated and very costly. Will your current medical insurance cover you abroad?
Did you consider Asia? Thailand and Malaysia have great beaches, excellent medical services and big clusters of expat communities and English is widely spoken
Guadeloupe and Martinique are not so expensive and you could benefit (until Brexit is finalised) of the French Health system which is fantastic.
Under the free movement of persons you have the right to reside for 3months and even more. Read here, section B point 2 www.europarl.europa.eu/atyourservice/en/displayFtu.html?ftuId=FTU_2.1.3.html.
Do it now before Brexit. The other islands can wait
We used to live in Anguilla which was paradise. Tiny but so friendly and a lovely way of life.
However, I would not love with children as there is no international school and the public schools are all full due to the economic boom.
It's hard to get a visa to live in any part of the Carribean. There are various British Overseas Territories but they aren't easy for Brits to settle in. Although Anguillians have had British citizenship, and have the right to live and work in the UK (and thus the entire EU), these rights are not reciprocal. This may not seem fair, but if it were otherwise, the small islands of the Overseas Territories might be overwhelmed, socially, culturally and economically, by people from all over the EU. These rules are generally the same throughout the Overseas Territories.
I would say Belize because I love it (Central America with carribean coast, many Americans live/retire there) but realistically, the Dutch islands are probably great places to live, especially if you're an EU citizen (Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, St Maarten?)
I'm not sure how up to date my advice is, but Cayman will only allow you a limited time to stay (say, 30 days) as a visitor. The only way around it is to get a work permit (but this might be 10 years out of date - do check...)
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