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Thread: Best links/FAQ about Moving/Living as an Ex-Pat?

  1. #1
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    Best links/FAQ about Moving/Living as an Ex-Pat?

    Seeking some basic info to read prior to my next trip in April.

    1. Lengths of stay/income requirements?
    2. What is the real cost of living? Info runs the gamut in this department...
    3. Owning property vs. renting? Considerations?

    Any information is appreciated...

  2. #2
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    Hey Brasi - first best advice will come from a person who has moved to Jamaica, stayed and is happy and making a living.
    My input is given with love and comes from my own research but is definately from a person only going to JA for 8 yrs now.

    1. length of stay - 6 mths total per calendar year cummulative as a "visitor"; Immigration will stamp your passport each time you go to JA - if you look close it will tell you how long they grant it for (I have had it stamped 1 mth, 2 mth, 3 mth with no real reason for the difference - usually 3) but no problem you just go to the Police Station before the end date on the stamp and ask for an extension which are usually granted and I think its about $150US now - rules have chgd recentely and you may have to go to Mobay or Sav now but there are lots of threads on this on the Negril board. You can apply for a work visa, and others and the information is all on the US INS website http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis
    WORKING - this is the biggest hold up to living in JA for me. No way to make a living that I have found yet. The few jobs are needed by locals to survive so for me it would not feel right unless I did something that actually made things better for Jamacain people. But there are a few skills that might be needed like architect, medical, teaching, etc.

    2. Cost of living - as you said it will depend on how much you are willing to rough it. To me things are very high in JA but its weird some things are less. Cable was about $40 mth; current about same as home depending on usage. Food is the biggest cost in my opinion meaning I spend the most on that - equal to my rent $500US and if you feed others its more of course. I worked 3 jobs for a year and saved up a bank and stayed as long as it would last - 4 mths thats it. Plus putting things in storage and keeping up car ins etc while gone and then $$ to set back up when I got back to US in new apt, deposits, etc. Worth it - hell ya.

    3. Owning/Renting - again depends on how long you plan to stay in my opinion and how much you are willing to rough it. I think renting is more flexible but I may buy when I retire but still split my time.

    My other advice is to put all this on paper if you are serious. What it will take. Sounds like you are. And talk with Rob/Lisa and people like that face to face with questions. living there is much different than visiting - even jus long term stays which I highly recommend before moving there. Many to learn all the runnings of "life" not just how to have fun on vacation. But if its your dream I think you should move towards the joy.....life is too short not to be really happy.
    Hope this helps - again just my take on things - take with a grain of "sand" and BLESS your journey
    Preach Peace / Live Love / Blessed Be
    ONE LOVE
    Sweetness


  3. #3
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    Sweetness - good words of advice. People come to JA on vacation and think how cool it would be to live there but all they really know is the "tourist" experience. It is hard to get away from that because no matter how many good Jamaican friends you may make, they still view you as "farrin" and will treat you (and your money) differently than they would one of their own. Plus, you are still going back home in a few weeks or months. It just isn't the same as trying to live there, keep within some kind of budget, deal with the rules, bureaucracy and challenges of a JA life. I have spent a good amount of time staying with a friend in the countryside, living very simply in a board house with minimal amenities. It was an adjustment to be sure, but with each trip it becomes easier to slip into the mode. Of course it gives me some idea of what I can or cannot envision for a long term lifestyle. I keep my expenses fairly low and try to live realistically when I there.

    I have some experience of trying to get things done - like working on a birth certificate for someone who's mother is dead, father never registered them, and most of the supporting paperwork was destroyed by Ivan. Now that will give you a taste of the bureaucracy! I come down a few times a year, so when I weigh it out, skipping the AI experience so that I can be among people I have come to love and be in a place that feels so good to be in is worth it to me. I am looking ahead now to what I hope to do in 5 to 8 years - retire. I am not wealthy but I may be willing to forgo having a little more money so as to enjoy the lifestyle I think will make me happy. If I make the transition from full time to travel nursing, I will be able to do more sooner.

    Brasi - The part about putting it down on paper - that's an important step. I have been weighing the options myself and as much as I would love to do it "sooner", it probably will be "later." Much of that is based on the financial and family issues. If I were to try to go too soon, making a living would be an issue. Like Sweetness, I would not want to even try to take on a form of employment that would deprive someone else of a chance to support their family. Not when I currently have so many more options than they do. So I am working on a plan that will allow me to fund that future lifestyle. But if you are a creative, entrepreneurial type you may be able to come up with something that could help yourself and others.

    I hope to meet Rob and Lisa someday. Rob's postings on a number of issues have been spot on. He sounds like someone who would really be able to give a good idea of what it takes to make it work. I'll be checking this thread as I too could benefit from the advice of others more experienced.


    Peace





    Good luck to you.
    Last edited by SweetSue; 03-29-2012 at 11:57 AM.

  4. #4
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    So cool to get responses like these. I am planning on speaking with Rob and Lisa about this; because in a relatively short period of time I will have an empty nest at home. I am a single Dad of two late-teens, 16, and almost 18. They have college plans, and I plan on being there through most of that for them...after that...no guarantees I will stay at my job another day...

    Long story, but I can name no fewer than 5 people who have waited their whole life...to die just before retirement, or just after. My Stepmom, and Stepdad, to name two.

    The making a living part is key, at the same time...I do a lot of stuff...press kits, writing, journalism, marketing, events, video editing, graphic design, web content, hell...I can even sing for my supper...if I had a business, say, a small guest house on the South Coast, LOL...I'd be a pretty good self-sustaining marketer/dude. I dunno. I heard Seastar Chris rented scooters for some time...it's all finding what is needed and doing that.

    I would not want to take jobs away...I'd like to think I could help create some...and I should also say that I am definitely not tied to Negril. In fact, I'd probably prefer to live somewhere else...so it could still be a great place to visit...it seem like in the "cycle" of things there are plenty of places in Jamaica to settle down and try something. There are other options, Roatan is one, but no place has ever hit me like Jamaica does...

    I'm anxiously hoping to have a few Stripes with Rob/Lisa and just picking their brain. That's a starting point...as are these responses. Thanks!!!!!

    One thing I know is I am going to break the cycle of working a job to pay for my car and house near my job at which I work because I have to pay for my car and house.

    I'm certainly not the brightest star in the sky...but I am smarter than dying in THAT cycle.
    Last edited by brasi; 03-29-2012 at 08:17 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by brasi View Post
    One thing I know is I am going to break the cycle of working a job to pay for my car and house near my job at which I work because I have to pay for my car and house.

    I'm certainly not the brightest star in the sky...but I am smarter than dying in THAT cycle.
    AMEN TO THAT BROTHER!!!! I like the way you think - you probably will be able to find a way to live your dream sooner rather than later.

    PEACE.




  6. #6
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    Here is a link posted by ROB in another related thread that may be of interest to you....

    http://www.negril.com/discus/message...14/348407.html


    Peace.




  7. #7
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    Keep your dream alive Brasi....I too want to be free of bablylon and the rat race. Been searching for yrs for a way to make a living there mindfully. With a big enough nestegg you could at least live it for a while - if you live very very frugally. I am always shocked at how much money I spend in JA on a long reach ...... I gotta get better at that for sure. Bless!
    Preach Peace / Live Love / Blessed Be
    ONE LOVE
    Sweetness


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