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Thread: Several Questions from a Newbie!

  1. #1

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    Several Questions from a Newbie!

    Hey Guys!
    My name is Oddessey, I'm new to the forum, nice to meet you
    I visited Negril in 2015 for my 25th birthday & I fell in love with the island instantly. My great grandparents were from Jamaica but I never met them so I've always claimed my parents home country of Panama. As I got older I realized how much of the Jamaican culture was instilled in my grandparents & parents upbringing, & I've always have been drawn to the country even before my first visit. I love the the music/people/food and the vibezzz. (Panamanian culture shares a lot of similarities with Jamaican culture.)
    I go back every chance I get, I've visited Jamaica 4 times this year alone & I'm planning to go back for Xmas. I've made a handful of friends on 7 mile beach and I've decided I want to make the move to Jamaica. I know visiting and living there are 2 different things but I know in m heart of hearts that if I don't make this move I will live the rest of my life wondering what if. Not 100% sure if i would move to Negril however I am open to looking into other areas to move to.
    Can anyone suggest some nice areas to look into? Are there any websites for apt/home searches ?
    Also, I'm curious to know what jobs/businesses do some of you hold that allow you to live in Jamaica?
    Another friend and I are considering starting a hair extension business however we're not sure how well it would do out there..
    I know there aren't many jobs out there & they don't pay well. I work in TV as a producer & I've considered finding a remote job that will allow me to work from wherever but still make a US salary however most of the positions are IT and Project Management related which I have no experience in
    What TV networks/stations does the Island have? Whenever I search the webpages of the few networks that I know of I never see a section for job openings.

  2. #2

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    Re: Several Questions from a Newbie!

    Hi Oddessey...

    I've been living in Negril fully for over 10 years...before I get into anything from the personal side of living here, have you first checked into the immigration laws etc.?
    You can only stay/visit in Jamaica for approx. 6 months in a calendar year and can only stay longer by getting a work permit, permanent residency, citizenship, married, and so on.
    You can not get a job here unless you can prove your value (ie. special skills) beyond the employer/business hiring one of its own Jamaican citizens.
    A business can be started...but again...you'll still need those permits. And, as a foreigner you don't necessarily want to be "stepping on the toes" of other businesses already established, with the same type of product/service.

    Definitely look into everything carefully...make sure those "friends" you've made are really friends and provide you with accurate information...research, research and research some more...talk to other expats that are working here full time successfully.

    Spend much more time in JA, before you consider packing up your life...a decent starter amount would be at least 6 months. As you've acknowledged and I'll reiterate...it IS extremely different living here than visiting...and also completely different if you plan to work in JA.

    The above information was not meant to discourage you...as I'm a big believer in following your dream...unfortunately we've seen way too many people not do their homework properly and left very disappointed blaming Jamaica/Jamaicans for their losses. Just go into it as fully informed as possible and you can truly make it work.
    Good luck and I'll be happy to answer further questions as will Rob who owns Negril.com and has been living here full time for 25 years.

    **Many of our Jamaican friends visit Panama for shopping trips...I was so darn close to going with one of them this year...maybe next time!


  3. #3

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    Re: Several Questions from a Newbie!

    Thank you sooo much for your insight Lisa! I really appreciate it
    Yeah, I've looked into some of the laws & I know you can only stay for a certain amount of time, but I travel often and I planned on going home & visiting other places every few months & I wasn't clear in my first post but I'd want to move there for 6 months to a year & then figure out a more permanent option depending on how much I liked living there.
    But Wow...
    I keep hearing warnings about so called "friends" in Jamaica
    I definitely think I'm better off starting a business out there & I've been brainstorming and researching a lot about all of the possible avenues and all of the paperwork that is needed but I'm finding it hard to find all of the answers to my questions without being physically there..
    One of my Jamaican "friends" suggested starting a car rental business... but after being warned several times about trusting Jamaican friends I'm a little skeptical now..

    I hope you get to visit Panama sometime soon! It's a beautiful place with lots of culture & I'm not just saying that because my family is from there lol

  4. #4

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    Re: Several Questions from a Newbie!

    I love Jamaica and I am moving there soon, after visiting regularly for 20 years.

    Be aware that Negril is a tourist town and not typical of Jamaica. I'd suggest spending some time outside of Negril before deciding to move. Personally I love the rural countryside of Jamaica, and its people and culture, but you may or may not love it. Also you should have some source of money outside of Jamaica, because as a non-citizen it's unlikely you will be able to work there. A possible thing you could try is to work out some deal with your US employer to work 6 months per year, and then go back and forth, 6 months in each country. I'm trying to do that for a few years, before retiring permanently to my Jamaican home. I'll see if I can make it work. As a software developer this may be more do-able than as a TV producer though.

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