After signing our two-year job contracts, we received standard Grand Cayman (KY) immigration applications from our firms.  This consisted of a health portion and a business staffing portion. We took one look at the forms and started making appointments with our PCPs.  Not only does KY Immigration require you to disclose normal health facts like height, weight, eye color, etc., but they also require you to be tested for HIV and syphilis, you have to disclose abnormal medical history, and your "medical examiner" must test your sugar levels.  I tried to make it clear to the lab tech that this HIV test was only for a work permit.  Her response: "I don't judge, honey."  Oh well. We also had to get chest x-rays (to test for TB), and, most baffling of all, we had to list our chest measurements upon inhalation and expiration.  My doctor and I chuckled as she strung together two measuring tapes designed for measuring a baby’s length, wondering if I was actually applying to be in a beauty pageant. 

Other parts of our immigration package included:
  • A background check, provided by our local police force.  This was an all-around comical experience for me.  Firstly, our local records department in New Jersey only had hours Monday – Thursday, 8:30-4:30.  Nice hours for someone who doesn’t work near her hometown.  So I took time off one morning to go to the records office as soon as it opened.  The two women behind the counter gave me a basic photocopied form to complete which requested the records check.  I turned it back in, and they disappeared in the back, presumably checking out my history with the police.  When they came back out, they had signed the form I had given them and were ready to send me on my way.  I was hoping for some kind of system-generated report, or anything that looked official, other than a photo-copied form with half a dozen fill-in-the-blank questions and the signature of a records clerk. This, however, was all I was going to get. It didn't surprise me that when my firm received my makeshift-looking form, they questioned it also, saying that Immigration would say it looked forged.  I couldn’t help but agree!  However, it’s all my New Jersey town could provide, so off to the Immigration Board it was sent. Fortunately, both of our applications were accepted without us having to get the state police involved.
  • Copies of our CPA licenses
  • Passport-style photos – taken by us!  Really, anyone with a digital camera can accomplish this.  We took the required frontal and profile headshots, uploaded the images to, and ordered them to be printed at our local Walgreens. 
  • Proof of membership in the NJCPA (state society) and AICPA
  • Two letters of recommendation and one from each of our employers.  Letters of recommendation are funny things.  Many people need them, but no one wants to write them.  When I was an undergrad, I applied for a few scholarships that required letters from professors.  That was the first time that anyone asked me to write my own letter for the prof to approve and sign.  It seemed so odd, writing a letter in the third-person, listing my achievements in glowing terms.  However, his point was well-taken: You are the most qualified person to write your own letter.  So this time around, I was prepared to do all the legwork.  However, NS offered to draft my letters, which felt less egotistical than an autobiographical version.  I then gave the soft copies to two peers at work as well as to the human resource manager at my NJ firm to allow them to make any desired changes.

Once we had gathered all the necessary info, we Fed Ex’d the packages to our firms and crossed our fingers.  We learned that the Immigration Board only meets once a week, and immigration packages routinely take up to six weeks to be approved.  If an immigration package is held up in the process, a fast-track application can be obtained to enable the expat to move to the island and start working.  This is key, since a new expat can’t be on the island at the time of work permit approval.

Everything worked out, though, and we now have two-year work permits to match our two-year contracts. If only I was ready to start working…


  1. This is such an awesome experience for you guys-although you will be deeply missed we hope you'll be a nice vaca spot ;) love ya guys and hope you have fun!!!!

  2. Please stay longer than 2 years.....I need time to save up....