Welcome to the United Kingdom

The CIGO UK Welcome Pack for new and returning arrivals to the UK.

Useful information and advice if you are returning to the UK to live after COVID-19, coming back to school or university or are arriving in the UK to study for the first time. 

We are here to support you, and want to say … Welcome to the UK!

You can reach us on +44 207 491 7772
or by email: info.cigo@gov.ky 

Welcome to the UK
Tips and Tricks for moving to the UK

Using your Cayman Bank Cards in the UK

In order to use your Cayman Bank Cards in the UK be sure to notify your bank of your travel dates and have them place a travel advisory note on your card to avoid the inconveniences of having it blocked. Please also be aware that there may be an extra charge to use your Cayman bank card overseas.

Get a Prepaid Card to Start you off

When moving to the UK it may take some time for you to open a bank account. In the interim you can order a prepaid card and have it delivered to your address (even in advance of your arrival). You can use a prepaid card to make purchases or withdraw cash in the same way as a credit or debit card. When you top up the card with money it is added to your balance and this is the maximum amount you can then spend until adding more funds. You can buy prepaid cards at retail locations (such as grocery stores and drug stores), online, over the phone, or from some banks and credit unions. If you buy the card online, the process usually takes a few minutes and you may be issued a virtual card, or you may receive a physical card in the mail within a few days depending on the provider.

Order a Prepaid Sim Card 

If you have an unlocked phone (not connected to any network already), having a prepaid sim card delivered to your address in the UK prior to your arrival is a great idea. It allows you to instantly connect to a network and communicate with family and friends without the high roaming costs. You can buy SIM cards from supermarkets, retail stores and online providers that will post a card to a UK address if you can provide one.

Adaptors for Electronics

All of Europe operates on the same 2 round pronged outlets except for the UK and Ireland that operate on its own unique 3 flat rectangle pronged outlets. If you wish to use your Cayman devices you may need to use an adaptor or transformer as UK voltage is 230 whilst Cayman is only 120. Adaptors can be found from Amazon, Ebay, or some retail stores like Poundland. PLUGS AND SOCKETS WORLD STANDARDS

Where to Find Local Favourites

Food is very different and diverse in the UK. Which is great because you can still find some of your favourite Caribbean items. A quick google search will yield the closest farmer’s market, or Caribbean cuisine restaurant near you. You can also find limited items in some international aisles in some supermarkets like Tesco.

Suggestions on where to find local faves online:








Become part of a strong Caymanian Community in the UK

Join Cayman Connection today and become a member of our strong Caymanian community.

Cayman Connection is a network for groups and individuals associated with the Cayman Islands who now live or study overseas.

Cayman Connection is in the process of establishing a buddy system for new and returning students, if you are interested in budding up with a Cayman student who has been in the UK for a while, please email hello@caymanconnection.org. 

Likewise, if you are a Cayman student who has been in the UK for more than one year, and would like to join the buddy system to help a new student coming to the UK for the first time please let us know by emailing hello@caymanconnection.org

Travel and weather apps – it is useful to download google maps, City Mapper, TFL London, Oyster Card App and BBC Weather apps to be sure you are prepared for how long a journey will take and what the weather will be like!

Be prepared for all eventualities for the weather – we recommend to check the weather before you leave the house and always carry an umbrella if necessary!


Frequently Asked Questions - Moving to the UK

Where can I find more general  information about the UK?
Visit Britain” is a guide to Britain produced by the UK Government, and includes information about places to visit by area, places of interest, accommodation, upcoming openings, galleries and events and practical information about travel in Britain. 


What’s it like living in London and the UK?
The UK is a multi-cultural, interesting and dynamic country in which to live, study and work; there’s something for everyone to enjoy. The UK has a world-class cultural scene with a huge variety of entertainment, restaurants and theatres meaning you’ll never be bored. It is also very rich in culture and history. There are many historical buildings, castles, palaces and some of the best museums and art galleries in the world. Most museums and galleries are free; you usually only have to pay for certain exhibitions within the museum.

What’s the UK quality of life like?
The UK has good health, social and public services. Life is always changing and growing with culture at the heart. Diversity and economic growth make the UK a great place to live and work. Accommodation varies, for those who prefer a quieter life the suburbs are probably better with more open spaces and larger properties. Other’s might opt for central London apartments, whatever your preference the UK is sure to suit almost everyone.

What’s the UK cost of living?
Before you start looking for a place to rent, it may help to check out the average cost of living in the UK to see what you can afford.
Here are a couple of websites that show you the average UK cost of living in different

NUMBEO – Compare the cost of living in countries.
For example you can find out the difference in cost of living in Cayman vs UK.
ESPASTAN – similar to numbeo but breaks cost of living comparisons into useful categories such as food, housing and transportation

There is a great resource through UCAS by region/city to help estimate the cost of rent, attractions and universities – See LINK HERE

What are the average UK rental prices?
Here are some really helpful websites that give info on how much you should be paying on rent:

–  MAP – Average London rent by postcode district.
–  Average rent by London tube station.
–  Average UK rent for towns across the country by size and type of property

How do I find accommodation?

Rental accommodation can be found on listings such as RIGHTMOVE or ZOOPLA. You can also register your details with a local estate agent. If you are coming across for university your university may be able to assist you with halls of residence for the first year.

What do I do if I have found a rental property but the agent/landlord requires me to have a guarantor?
The CIGOUK knows of UK commercial agencies that will act as guarantors, if you would like further information please contact info.cigo@gov.ky. 

How do I get around on public transport?
Whether you’re based in the city or the countryside you’ll be able to travel to most places quickly and see a lot during your time in the UK. The UK has a wide variety of public transport: Underground trains, over ground main line trains, light rail, tram systems, buses, taxies, ferries and planes making travel easy and convenient.

Prices and methods vary across the UK with the London transport system being the most expensive and sophisticated with their contactless tap and go payment method; other major cities are a little cheaper. Booking intercity trains early using thetrainline.com makes things a lot cheaper than booking a ticket 1-2 days before you intend to travel. If you are moving to London, the London Underground, or “the Tube”, connects every part of inner London and extends to most parts of outer London. Where the Tube doesn’t go, London is well served by frequent overground train and bus services. To get around London it is often cheaper to buy a travel card or an Oyster Card that will allow you to travel on bus, rail and tube. You can download their app to make top ups and view timetables. London also has an extensive network of Black Cabs, and Uber also operates in London and most regions of the UK making it easy to get around. Most UK towns and cities offer regular bus services. You can buy a ticket from the driver when you board (except on buses in London where you must buy tickets in advance, use a travel card, or Oyster Card/contactless payment). For regular journeys, consider a season ticket to save money. Students and seniors can also apply for discounts on most journeys.

Do I need to open a Bank Account?
Whether you’re thinking of moving to the UK, or you’re there already, having a local bank account is highly recommended.
In order to open a UK bank account, you will need two documents: one to prove your identity (passport, driving licence or identity card) and one to prove your address (tenancy agreement, utility bill).
For more information contact a respective bank of your choice for their bank account opening requirements.

Before opening a bank account you can order a pre pay cash card to keep you going until your bank account is open. Please see below in “Tips and Tricks” for more information.

Can I use my Cayman Bank card in the UK?
If you want to use your Cayman bank card be sure to advise your Cayman bank that you are travelling so that they do not cancel your card, you can then use your bank card when you are in the UK. 

Where can I buy groceries/food?
Grocery stores are actually called supermarkets in the UK. A quick google search in your area will tell you where the nearest supermarket can be found. Grocery shopping online is also available for delivery to your home or pick up. Here is a list of some popular ones:

  • Tesco Groceries
  • Ocado
  • Sainsbury’s
  • Asda
  • Waitrose
  • Morrisons
  • Amazon Fresh/ Amazon Pantry

For take-out there are numerous food delivery services such as Uber Eats, Deliveroo, Just Eat, etc. Check your area for what services are available and download the app to order. You may also find Caribbean restaurants in your area! For instance, Brixton is a very popular area in South London and there are many food stalls, shops and restaurants selling brands and dishes we are more accustomed to in Cayman.

What happens if I need a doctor or dentist?
Once you have found a place to live you can register with a local General Practitioner (GP) and dentist. You can find local practices online using  NHS Choices  or visit in person to ask them if they are accepting new patients and how to register.
– Registration is free.
– You can only be registered with one GP/health centre at any time.
– Most medical practices will require basic details such as your:
o Name
o Home address in the UK
o The date you came into the UK
o Proof that you have registered with the university or college.

Some practices may not be accepting new patients, if that is the case, you will need to find an alternative doctor.

After you have completed the registration process you will be sent an National Health Service (NHS) number. This is unique to you and helps NHS and healthcare staff and service providers identify you and add your details to your health records.

Does it actually rain every day?
British weather tends to be varied and unpredictable. Depending on where you are based, it is possible to experience all the seasons in one day in the winter, so always be prepared. In the UK temperature is measured by Celsius not Fahrenheit, the difference is approximately 32 degrees. With an average summer temperature of 25 degrees C and a winter average of 2 to 15 C in the day and -3 to -10C at night.

What is a Biometric Residency Permit? 
As a student, under the General Student Visa (Tier4), you are automatically provided with a Biometric Residency Permit (BRP) which will allow you to work in most jobs – depending on what level your course is and what kind of sponsor you have.
For those of you who have chosen to emigrate to the UK with plans to settle and begin working and you intend to be in the UK for longer than 6 months; you should have applied for a BRP before your travel to the UK. If you have not done this, please apply for your British Passport immediately (should you not hold a British Passport already).

How do I obtain a National Insurance Number for working adults?
A National Insurance number is your own personal administration number which ensures contributions and tax paid is recorded against your name. You will need to provide this number to your employer. Should you already hold a Biometric Residency Permit (BRP), you may have a National Insurance (NI) number printed on the back of your BRP. Not all BRPs have this – it depends on factors like the date it was issued and your visa status.
If you do not have a BRP (and you hold a British Passport), or the National Insurance number is not printed on your BRP; you must apply by calling the National Insurance Helpline to request an application form.

National Insurance Application:
Call the National Insurance number application line to ask for an application form in England, Scotland and Wales – telephone: 0800 141 2075

I have a BOTC Passport, am I eligible for University Home Fees?
See details below and information at CIGOUK HOME FEES PAGE. 

How do I apply for a British Passport?
See links below and information at CIGOUK BRITISH PASSPORT PAGE

How do I renew my Cayman Islands/BOTC Passport whilst in the UK?

See links below and information at CIGOUK BOTC PASSPORT PAGE

Is there a Cayman Community in the UK?
YES! We have a Cayman community overseas: Cayman Connection www.caymanconnection.org.

Cayman Connection is a network for individuals and groups associated with the Cayman Islands who now live overseas. We work closely with the network to provide support for Caymanians overseas,  please be sure to become a member HERE if you would like to stay connected.

Helpful links:
UK Government
UK National Health Service
– Transport for London

British Council Travel Advice for Students
– Train Travel

Coming to the UK - Life with and after COVID

The UK government has removed remaining domestic restrictions in England. There are still steps you can take to reduce the risk of catching and spreading COVID-19:

  • Get vaccinated

  • Let fresh air in if meeting indoors, or meet outside

  • Consider wearing a face covering in crowded, enclosed spaces

Visas & Passports

For more information on visas, passports and how to apply.

Talking about the Cayman Islands Financial Services

A few of the many reasons to be proud of Cayman Islands Financial Services.

The Cayman Islands Government Office in the UK (CIGO) is situated on Dover Street, in the heart of Mayfair, London.

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