Moving to Jamaica As An Expat
Choosing a shipper for your move to jamaica
Whenever you move anywhere our recommendation is to try and find the best most reliable shipper you can. After all there’s nothing worse than a shipper who doesn’t really care about your things and handles them roughly.
If your employer is not moving you to Jamaica it becomes even more important that you find a high quality, reliable mover for shipping your household contents to Jamaica. So make sure you get three quotes from shippers.
Often you will know others who’ve moved to Jamaica. Ask them for their recommendations. Ultimately you don’t need to go with someone else’s recommendation but at least you know their experiences and that can definitely help in moving to Jamaica and choosing your shipper.
Compare shipper quotes service for service
Obviously when choosing a shipper for your move to Jamaica you need to compare your three quotes to see what price is being asked. You also need to ensure you compare apples to apples and that each moving company is offering the same or very similar services and that you believe their reliability and promises they make will be kept.
Remember you’re moving everything you own to move to Jamaica permanently, so don’t let price be the only guide when choosing your shipper. Make sure you look at everything in the services each shipper offers you and that they will deliver your contents to the right place at the right time and in the best possible condition.
Check what’s included in your shipper’s quote
Also make doubly sure to check what each international mover is including in their package for you. That way there’s no surprise if you end up having to clear customs yourself because the cheaper package didn’t include clearing Jamaican customs for you. And if they don’t clear customs they surely won’t move you from customs to your new house, leaving you to organize it all there and then at greater expense. Not a very stress free start to your new life in Jamaica, is it?
So when comparing quotes for moving to Jamaica just double check everything for your own peace of mind and to make sure there are no surprises.
When you’ve chosen your shipper for your move to Jamaica get everything that was agreed down in writing so there can be no dispute about your move.
Packing for your move to Jamaica
You can save 25 to 30% of your moving costs by doing the preparation and packing yourself. It’s perfectly possible to prepare for your move to Jamaica yourself and get your things packed, provided you’ve enough time and you’ve the essential packing materials, such as corrugated cardboard, packing tape and stretch film.
For some invaluable tips on packing yourself see our guide: how to save money by packing yourself
Immigration needs for your move to Jamaica
Remember your passport needs to be valid. You also need to have another passport sized photo and a Jamaican Ministry of Labour letter with approval for a work permit or allowing an exemption from the need for a work permit.
First decide whether you’d rather live in the city, in suburbs or in the countryside.
If you prefer the capital, maybe because you’re working there, you can have an apartment or a townhouse. Rental is around US$300 to US$1200 and you can usually pay in American dollars or Jamaican currency.
Kingston’s choicer and more secure areas for rental are:
- Cherry gardens
- Manor park
Rents can be higher here than elsewhere as these areas are considered more upmarket. If you want something less upmarket consider these areas:
- Zaidie gardens
- Hope pastures
If this is your first time moving to Jamaica make sure you use a real estate broker such as ReMax to find you somewhere to live in the area you’ve chosen. And it all starts with you making contact with the real estate agent, they’ll ask you some questions about your move to Jamaica and then they can start looking on your behalf.
Learning the Language
Standard English is usually used for communicating when you’re doing business. However, most people talk to one another in a native creole called patois (pronounced patwa).
Patois is an interesting mix of English (Scots and Irish) and a dialect from central Africa. It’s also only a spoken language. In fact many Jamaicans who use the dialect the most have problems reading or writing.
This is a video which helps teach you patois. You may not become fluent immediately but it does mean you’ll amuse other Jamaicans and they’ll warm to you and your efforts!
Hopefully this article will set you on the right path for your move to Jamaica. If you need anything else regarding a move to Jamaica one of our shipping consultants will be happy to help and speak to you about it.