Frequently Asked Questions
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What services does CML provide?

CML provides full-circle employment and HR services with professional Accounting/Financial Services Recruitment, Legal Recruitment, IT Recruitment, and Executive Search in offshore jurisdictions worldwide as well as outsourced HR Consulting Services and Immigration Services for the Cayman Islands market.

Why work with CML?

Built on a perfect mix of experience, expertise and professionalism. At its founding in 2004, CML set out to become a different kind of recruitment firm: one run by professionals, for professionals. Since then, CML has grown to become the trusted recruitment, HR consulting, and immigration services partner to many of the Cayman Islands’ best known professional, legal, and IT firms. Our mission is to help clients build great teams and to help candidates build great careers.

Recruitment
CML is owned and staffed by professionally qualified accountants, financial services professionals, legal professionals, and HR professionals with many years of experience living and working in the Cayman Islands, giving our team a unique understanding of your experience like nobody else.

HR Consulting
Our team is professionally qualified with vast experience working with a range of Cayman’s leading professional firms and even the government. We have expertise in a range of HR areas and have consulted on everything from introducing new payroll systems to advising on updates to the local labour laws.

Immigration Services
Our team has over 20 years of experience reviewing Cayman Immigration Law and have developed a strong working relationship with the Cayman Islands Department of Workforce Opportunities and Residency Cayman (WORC) over the course of many years of successful work on behalf of our clients. We have a good understanding of what it takes to navigate this complex process smoothly.

Frequent changes and refinements within the Cayman Islands Immigration Laws and Regulations means there are always new twists and turns popping up in the process, and we ensure we are ahead of the curve when these changes come in so that we can help you understand what is needed to ensure the smoothest experience. Our team are here to manage the entire process, reducing the stress for you so you can focus on what matters.

How soon will CML Recruitment's teams find me something?

It depends on your qualifications, experience, target role(s), and location(s). Assuming you meet the minimum professional standards for your discipline and have relevant experience transferrable to the offshore market, it can take anywhere from one week to three months or longer to obtain an offer. The more flexible you are concerning the role, salary expectations, and location, the more likely we will be to find you a good opportunity within a relatively short period.

How does the recruitment process work?

Once registered, your resume will be reviewed by a CML Recruitment Consultant. Our consultants are experienced, knowledgeable, and can generally assess the prospects for your employment in offshore services very quickly. If the consultant believes that we can help you, they will call or email to schedule a telephone call and/or request some further information. This is an opportunity for us to get to know you and find out more about your requirements and expectations and address any concerns we may have about your expectations or circumstances.

Our consultant will be able to give you an accurate and frank estimate of your earning potential, a range of options, and an indication of the likely timeline based on our experience with similar candidates. Once we have a clear picture of your background and preferences, we can initiate an action plan to approach potential employers on your behalf. We will arrange interviews in liaison with our clients’ Human Resource departments.

What do you mean by "Offshore"?

We are specialists in recruiting legal and financial services professionals for the “offshore financial centres” (sometimes referred to as OFC’s).

Although there is no precise definition of the term, the IMF has identified the following factors which have become widely accepted characteristics of an offshore financial centre:

  • A relatively large number of financial institutions engaged primarily in business with non-residents;
  • Financial systems with external assets and liabilities which are [substantially] out of proportion with the domestic economy;
  • Low corporate taxation rates;
  • Light or moderate financial regulation;
  • Some degree of banking secrecy and anonymity (although this has been substantially eroded in recent years)

It so happens that most OFC’s also share certain lifestyle advantages which make them attractive places to live and work:

  • Low personal tax rates
  • Tropical or sub-tropical climates
  • A generally high standard of living often including:
    • Short commutes
    • Low pollution
    • Low crime
    • Modern telecommunications
    • Excellent local amenities

The following countries are generally held to be the mainstays of the offshore financial sector:

  • The Cayman Islands
  • Bermuda
  • The British Virgin Islands
  • Guernsey
  • Jersey
  • Isle of Man

In recent years, several traditional financial centres have enacted legislation preferential to offshore businesses, enabling them to compete more effectively for certain financial services traditionally provided offshore (most notably related to captive insurance, mutual and hedge funds). As a result of this, and to facilitate access to new global markets, many offshore law firms have set up practices as offshore law specialists in these centres.

Such jurisdictions are increasingly considered to be “offshores” themselves. These include:

  • Singapore
  • Hong Kong
  • Dublin
  • Toronto

Why consider working offshore?

There are three main benefits in working in the offshore financial sector:

Financial
A combination of generally high gross salaries and generally low-income taxes invariably means substantially higher take-home pay.

Quality of Life
Many offshore jurisdictions are thriving financial centres by day and idyllic tropical islands by night. Bermuda and the Caribbean offer warm climates with low annual rainfall, short commutes, low crime, virtually no pollution, and excellent amenities.

Career Prospects
The offshore market has experienced unparalleled growth in the last decade, with no end in sight. Accordingly, the demand for qualified professionals has never been greater. Thousands of professionals have moved to offshore jurisdictions to advance their careers and expand their skillsets. Offshore jurisdictions are home to many of the major international financial services companies. By working in an offshore jurisdiction, professionals can develop a career in international finance while enjoying an excellent work/life balance.

I've seen "The Firm". Aren't offshores all about tax evasion and money laundering?

This is a fallacy perpetuated by Hollywood fiction which the offshore centres have worked hard to dispel. The truth is that increased scrutiny from international bodies, such as the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), has resulted in a string of measures designed to extinguish the potential for criminal abuse of offshore financial systems. The result is a compliance environment that is considerably more onerous than most onshore financial centres.

You’ll experience this firsthand when you try to open a bank account and are asked to provide an unusually long list of due diligence documentation. A prime example of this fallacy is frequent Hollywood references to “numbered bank accounts in the Cayman Islands”, which were outlawed many years ago.

Your name suggests that you only recruit for offshore locations. Is this the case?

No. Although we started as a recruitment consultancy for professionals seeking to service offshore jurisdictions, we have established excellent relationships with many of the world’s leading financial services firms. As our reputation for professionalism and outstanding service has grown, so it has spread to other offices within our client network around the globe.

Although the offshore jurisdictions and professional disciplines remain our primary focus, we can also assist professionals who are currently based offshore to find excellent opportunities in major onshore financial centres, such as New York, Toronto, London, Dublin, and Hong Kong.

I am a qualified professional and would like to relocate with my spouse/partner and/or children. Will this pose a problem?

Not necessarily, but your options may be somewhat restricted depending on your marital status, earning potential, target location, and spouse’s occupation. It is critical that you make our consultants fully aware of your circumstances from the outset to enable them to advise you appropriately on the potential implications for your cost of living and immigration requirements. If your spouse/partner plans to work, you should provide their resume to your consultant as early as possible in the process.

The bottom line is that a partner’s employment rarely causes an insurmountable problem for couples that are determined to relocate and who are willing to be patient, persistent, and flexible in their search.

I've heard the cost of living is astronomical. Is this true?

The cost of living is generally no higher than you would find in any big financial centre like London or New York. Rent is always the main expense, but bear in mind that you may get a beachfront condo with a sea view and a swimming pool for the same price as the average one-bedroom apartment in London! Most offshore centres also have low tax rates, so it is vital to compare net salaries rather than gross, which you may be tempted to do from force of habit. It is very important to research and prepare your own detailed budget, especially if you are relocating with a spouse or dependents.

See our offshore life & career guides to some of the key jurisdictions we recruit for below:

What kind of relocation benefits are generally available?

This varies from client to client. The minimum you can expect is your flight, two weeks car/scooter rental, and two weeks accommodation. This is usually enough time for you to make permanent arrangements for transport and accommodation. Our consultants are happy to help and advise you if required.

At the other end of the spectrum, some companies will offer flights for all your dependents as well as a relocation allowance, which may be on a cash or reimbursement basis. Moving allowances are often included; however, most rental accommodation is fully furnished and equipped. It is therefore inadvisable to bring anything that cannot easily be transported with you as luggage. There is no reason to bring vehicles, household appliances, or furniture. It is not necessary to use a relocation allowance just because you have it. Relocation packages are usually a matter of company policy and are rarely negotiable except for senior management roles.

See our offshore life & career guides to some of the key jurisdictions we recruit for below:

What's the dress code? Should I buy any new clothes?

Each location and firm will have its own ideas about how staff should dress. This is something that should be confirmed once an offer has been made and accepted. However, if you are relocating to a sub-tropical climate, such as the Caribbean, Hong Kong, or Singapore, it is generally wise to stock up on clothing made from light, natural fabrics (which may not be available all year round at home). For men, short-sleeve shirts, smart shorts and deck shoes will come in handy for outdoor events. Ladies have much more flexibility in office attire, and a good stock of open-toed shoes is normally helpful.

You have included Guernsey and Jersey in your description of OFC's, but I don't see any vacancies there. Why is this?

We have found over the years that Jersey and Guernsey have not been popular alternatives to the Caribbean and Bermuda. Although these are also thriving financial services centres, the comparatively inclement climates, higher taxes, and higher cost of living have made it very difficult for us to recruit for the Channel Islands and still satisfy demand from our clients in the more widely appealing jurisdictions of the Caribbean and Bermuda. Many of our clients also have offices in the Channel Islands and so if you are specifically interested in employment opportunities in Jersey or Guernsey, let us know. We’ll be happy to assist you.

Where can I find careers advice and articles published by CML?

Get an inside look at the people, stories, and ideas that move us. Check out our library of blog articles for helpful industry insights and careers advice.

What is my first step?

Register today for a consultation with one of our recruitment experts. Our consultants are experienced, knowledgeable, and can generally assess the prospects for your employment in offshore financial services very quickly. If the consultant believes that we can help you, they will call or email to schedule a telephone call and/or request some further information. This is an opportunity for us to get to know you and find out more about your requirements and expectations and address any concerns we may have about your expectations or circumstances.

How much experience do I need for offshore accounting or financial services jobs?

This answer won’t vary too much between jurisdictions, as it’s pretty standard across the board. To be considered for accountancy roles, you’ll need to have your professional qualification (CPA, ACCA, CA, or equivalent) + a number of years’ experience, which will depend on the role you are applying for and the seniority level. Different firms and companies will require you to have practised a certain number of years in the line of work you’re applying for.

How much can I expect to make salary-wise offshore?

Due to the differentiation in candidates and their experience/qualifications, salaries do differ based on several variables. When working with our team, you can expect your consultant to advise you as to what salary and bonus structures you might expect to see, reflective of your experience.

How do the working hours at offshore firms compare with onshore firms?

Depending on the role and what’s expected/required of you, there won’t be a massive difference in onshore/offshore working hours. A typical work week will be around 8.30 am to around 6:00 pm, with busy season requiring significant overtime (nothing you wouldn’t already be used to onshore).

The main difference you will see (and appreciate) between onshore/offshore working hours is the commute. If you’re currently in a bigger city, you might have some type of public transportation or crazy commute time to and from work, whereas offshore, you will most likely live between 10-15 minutes from the office and will often find yourself having time to go for a jog before heading in or grabbing sunset drinks after you’ve finished for the day.

New global agile work policies have some firms offering a few days a week optional work from home or flexible start/finish times. (please note that if you are new to a company, this option might not be eligible for you right away).

I am a part-qualified accountant. Can I still be considered for accounting roles?

Yes, but your options may be limited depending on your exact stage of completion, your designation-in-progress, your target location(s), and your salary expectations.

You should clearly highlight this when reaching out to our team. Our consultant will be able to advise you of the best course of action for your circumstances.

What are some of the different industry sectors in which I might find Accounting & Financial Services jobs?

We can assist in searching for roles across different industry sectors, including:

Learn more about our Accounting and Financial Services or Search for Jobs.

What are the immigration requirements for offshore accounting and financial services jobs?

There is a strict work permit process for all overseas candidates to have the right to work in any offshore jurisdiction, which must be obtained by the employer based on a specific job. This involves submitting a case to immigration outlining your experience and qualifications, which is why having the necessary qualifications and experience is essential.

Government has rules in place to protect the local candidates. There are stringent immigration regulations requiring all international/expatriate candidates to have extensive knowledge and recent, relevant experience relating to the industry sector in which they seek employment. This is due to the very strong competition between highly qualified candidates both onshore and overseas within the market.

Your consultant will work with you each step of the way and can answer any questions you may have about the immigration process.

What IT experience do companies in the Cayman Islands typically recruit?

Historically, the primary industries in Cayman that recruit IT talent have been the financial services and legal sectors; however, there has been growth in different industries over the past decade or so.

In terms of the specific experience that employers are looking for, it depends on the company and the IT team they have. Still, typically roles can be divided into software, hardware & more business-focused positions. It is also important to note the majority of roles here in Cayman are mid to senior-level positions, with C level tech roles coming up quite infrequently (approx. once per year if even).

Software:
On the software engineering side, over 90% of companies here are Microsoft houses, using predominantly .NET technologies. Some of these companies have moved onto the cloud, where they predominantly work with Azure, although AWS is used in a small number of companies here. IT testing roles come up occasionally, and companies usually seek candidates with a mix of manual & automated QA experience.

Hardware:
Networking & IT security positions are also pretty standard in Cayman within the telecoms providers as well as managed services providers. Good commercial experience alongside valid certification (CCNP in most cases) is typically required.

Business-focused:
On the business side, the most prominent positions are for business analysts and IT project manager roles – domain knowledge is often required, which will vary between companies.

How much experience do I need for IT jobs offshore?

In short, most employers require at least three years of commercial experience for all roles plus a degree or relevant, up-to-date certifications for your niche.

Requirements will vary from position to position, but it is crucial to understand the relevance of this experience when considering the immigration process in the Cayman Islands.

Read more about desired IT qualifications and experience in our dedicated article here.

What can I expect to earn working in IT in the Cayman Islands?

Earning potential depends wholly on the organization, the role itself, and your level of experience. Still, typically salaries are competitive (especially when considering the tax-free element) and are a massive incentive for IT professionals looking to take their career offshore.

Software:
Strong software engineers would typically make US$90,000-$110,000 with more earning potential for team leads & development managers.

QA roles would pay US$75,000-$95,000 with manager-level positions usually reaching up to US$110,000

Hardware:
On the networking and security side, there is a slight disparity as to whether you would be working within telecoms (or another internal org) or externally as a consultant for an MSP. The base salary for in-house positions is typically higher, while MSPs usually offer base plus a bonus for work completed/overtime etc.

Networking engineering roles would typically pay US$60,000-$80,000 for mid-level positions, with senior-level roles reaching upwards of US$100,000.

Business-focused:
BA roles also differ depending on company and level, but standard positions would offer US$80,000-$105,000, with senior BA roles going up to US$120,000.

PM roles are similar, with offers usually coming in US$90,000-$125,000.

Many companies offer a bonus on top of the stated salaries listed above, so it is worth considering what the entire package looks like when looking at compensation. All companies on island also offer benefits (and often relocation packages) as well, which can significantly increase the value of a compensation package.

How do the working hours in Cayman compare globally?

Working hours are pretty standard but do vary between companies and industry sectors, but as a general rule of thumb, you can expect to work a ‘standard working week’ where overtime is the exception to the rule. Contrary to popular belief, we don’t all work from the beach (but it is a popular spot pretty much any other time!).

One of the best things about working in Cayman is that commute times are negligible as offices are generally in very close proximity to home, so you can often be at work within 10 minutes (maybe 15 if you hit traffic).

It’s also worth noting that across the board, most companies have a work-life balance at the core of their company culture, with many finishing early on Fridays and many having flexible start times.

What are some of the different industry sectors in which I might find IT jobs?

What does the tech scene look like in Cayman?

The Cayman Islands, more routinely known for its outsized financial industry, is fast becoming one of the world’s fastest-growing technology centres. All of that growth can be attributed to government incentives, and Cayman Enterprise City (CEC) who have brought fast-growing tech companies on island in recent years.

Not only have they impacted the growth of the industry, but also in creating a tech community through initiatives such as Code Cayman & Digital Cayman tech talks, which have created a space for techies to meet up more regularly and meet others on island within the industry

What are the immigration requirements for IT jobs in Cayman?

Cayman, BVI, and Bermuda require non-citizens to have work permits, which must be obtained by the employer based on a specific job. To gain a work permit for the Cayman Islands, candidates need to be an exact fit for the role they are applying for, so qualifications are essential, as are years of experience.

Concerning relocating with a partner or spouse, a legal spouse can be classified as a ‘dependent’ on their partner’s work permit to reside on-island. They are also legally permitted to search for work as a ‘dependent’ on their spouse’s permit. Unmarried partners are not permitted to reside in Cayman without having a job and permit of their own.

What immigration services are offered by CML?

Our team are experienced in both Employer and Individual immigration needs ranging from work permit applications to naturalization and status applications.

Our services include administration and support with Work Permits, Permanent Residency, Residency and Employment Rights Certificate (RERC), Naturalization/Caymanian Status, Business Staffing Plans and other services, including notary services and fee assessment. For a comprehensive list of our services, reach out to our Immigration Services team, and we can assess how best to support your unique goals.

Email immigration@cml.ky today to book your free consultation.

How much does it cost to use CML's Immigration Services?

As we offer a wide variety of services, our costing models vary based on your individual or company needs. Once you reach out for a free, no-commitment consultation, our team will discuss fees and options to find a solution that works for you.

Email immigration@cml.ky today to book your free consultation.

What does the process look like?

It all starts with a free, no-commitment consultation where a member of our team will speak with you to understand your specific needs and how best we can assist in the process. We will then talk you through a bespoke action plan, providing detailed checklists, and requesting any initial information needed to help right from the start. It doesn’t stop there, though – we are here for you all year round to help ensure you maintain compliance at every step of the way.

Email immigration@cml.ky today to book your free consultation.