advice for people coming or relocating to Cape Verde

Hi Bharat,

If you plan to work or open a business in the tourism sector, Santa Maria is the tourism-focused city in Sal that may be a good place to relocate. But Sal is a tiny island (25,000 population) and has only two cities if you can call them that. I would call them small towns. One is Santa Maria, which is where all the hotels are located, and the other is Espargos where the locals live. However, Sal has very little activity outside of the tourists and hotels. In addition, prices of everything in Sal are much more expensive than elsewhere in Cape Verde because everything is so scarce there. Apartments cost 2-3 times what you would pay in Praia because the prices are driven up by the tourists and foreigners who frequent Sal.

If you are not in the tourism sector, you will not find Sal to be a good fit. I personally cannot spend more than a few days there because I would quickly be bored out of my mind.

You should instead consider Santiago (population 250,000). It has a lot more to offer expatriates. There are beaches and hotels in Santiago if you like that kind of thing.

You can get a sense of each island here on Facebook:
facebook.com/pages/Cape-Verde-Investments/171022639669682]https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cape-Verde-Investments/171022639669682[/url]

You will note that the only pictures of Sal simply show the beach (and the salt mines) because there is nothing else there.

Cheers,

Angelo

bharat kalra wrote:

Dear Angelo,

Is SAL, Cape Verde is a good city to live?

Bharat

Dear Angelo,

Thanks a lot for providing right information on my queries. It's really helping me to take final decisions and preparing my mind on relocating to Cape Verde.

I really appreciate your help. Thanks again...

Bharat.

Bharat,

Here is the "official" guide to Cape Verde from the Ministry of Tourism turismo.cv/descubra-cabo-verde]http://www.turismo.cv/descubra-cabo-verde[/url]

There is information on each island but it is not extensive and is primarily focused on tourism. But you will also get some hints from what is given here. It's in Portuguese, so use Google Translate to read it if you can't speak the language.

Angelo

bharat kalra wrote:

Dear Angelo,

Thanks a lot for providing right information on my queries. It's really helping me to take final decisions and preparing my mind on relocating to Cape Verde.

I really appreciate your help. Thanks again...

Bharat.

GUY UR HEAD DEY THERE,I REALLY APPRECIATE ALL UR EFFORTS,COS IN LIFE IT IS USUALLY SAID THAT NO PAIN NO GAIN,U'VE PAID THE PRICE AND THEREFORE U MUST GET THE VALUE FOR THE PRICE PAID.I DID THAT SOME YEARS BACK,BUT NOW FINALLY,GOD HAS PAID ME BACK WITH BOUNTIFUL HARVESTS.I WAS NEVA IN CAPE VERDE,BUT HAS BEEN IN SOME EUROPEAN UNION COUNTRIES AND HAD SUFFERED MANY DEPORTATIONS B4 FINALLY GETTING MY FEET IN ITALY.I AM STILL LOOKING FORWARD TO VISITING CAPE VERDE,AND BASE ON MOST OF THE INFORMATIONS U GAVE HERE,I HAVE BEEN ABLE TO SEE THAT I AND MY ITALIAN COMPANION CAN COME DOWN THERE IN CAPE VERDE WITHOUT STRESS.THANKS 4 ALL UR INFORMATIONS.

you are well come...

THANKS 4 UR RESPONSE,MEANWHILE,I AM PLANNING TO GET MY LITTLE COUSIN WHO IS STILL IN NIGERIA RELOCATED TO CAPE VERDE,HE IS ABOUT TO COMPLETE HIS H.N.D. PROGRAM IN COMPUTER SCIENCES THIS YEAR OCTOBER,PLS.CAN I GET ANY USEFUL INFORMATIONS AND ASSISTANCE FROM U IN THIS REGARDS?
THANKS.

I came across this forum and can whole heartedly agree with the gentleman Alfred Robinson who has given incredible insight into living and working in Cape Verde.

I am English living with my partner in Sal where we haved lived permanently now for almost 7 years. We visited 9 years ago to buy a property after seeing a real estate programme regarding buying property abroad and we fell in love with the place, just like Alfred. We sold up in the UK and moved out to live. NO REGRETS!

Firstly, research. Where & why do you want to live in Cape Verde? Bear in mind that you will not be earning European wages but cost of living is less, even in Sal which is more expensive than other islands. My partner and I had decided we were sick of living to work and wanted to work to live- change of lifestyle. We both had very good, well paid jobs in the UK with a lovely home, car, holidays etc but working 13 hour days and being passing ships in the night is not a life.

I would recommend anyone wanting to come and live here to first come over and visit as many of the islands as possible as each are different but equally beautiful in their own right. For jobs there are more opportunities on Santiago, Sal, Boa Vista & Sao Vicente but even then you would need to speak at least Portuguese or another language to get at least a chance.

We were very fortunate in that we were able to get work immediately and for the same company. That was before the recession as jobs dried up when this happened as developers were no longer building or selling. Also all those years ago lots of foreigners came over, trying to make a 'quick buck'. Lots were agents selling properties or some just people trying to con others out of their money. Fortunately most have gone but there are still some undesirables around.

I worked for the company before setting up my own beach snack bar which unfortunately I had to close when the recession kicked in. However, I have never been out of work. I learned the language (Kreole), passed my driving test here (theory in Portuguese!), integrated into the community (some of my local friends call me 'mama') and generally (98% of the time) we love it here. If you are English then you will know what Marmite is. That is what Cape Verde is like, Marmite. You will either love it or hate it. I love it =D

Hello ITALIANO MAX -> I suggest you to start a new thread on the Cape Verde forum with your question. This will allow better interaction. :)

PS: Could you please lower your caps lock so as to ease the reading? :)

Thank you,
Aurélie

Thanks a million for this post,i will do exactly as u've suggested,grazie mille!

PLEASE I WILL BE HAPPY TO KNOW HOW ITS LIKE IN CV.

PLEASE CAN U SEND ME UR EMAIL LET ME TALK TO U

Hi There,

Who are you speaking to?

Please read all the other posts first. There is a massive amount of information about what it is like to come to Cape Verde and to live or work here. It is really a little bit too much to keep answering the same generic question about what it is like in Cape Verde when it is already addressed in the earlier posts.

If you have a specific question about a specific aspect of coming to or living and working here, ask it.

You can also read the Cape Verde blogs on this site. There is a lot of information in there as well about living here as well as investing here.

Finally, if you are from The Gambia, then you speak English. Cape Verde is Portuguese speaking. If you cannot speak the language here, it will be virtually impossible to get a job here. It will also be a challenge to live here unless you learn Portuguese or the local dialect, Kriolu.

Angelo

princess11050 wrote:

PLEASE CAN U SEND ME UR EMAIL LET ME TALK TO U

Hello Alfred, my names are grace james,am a nigeria,
thank you very much for the post,it been very helpful,i and my friend have been planing to relocat to capeverde for three years now, and we concluded to move by december or first week of january 2014.we intend to start a salon business and to sale thinks like attchment wevon wole and other things that women will like, i want to ask if thoes things will move there i mean if we will make good sales

talking about they Immigration, if we pay the 200euros fee without providing hotel reservation will they stamp us in.
Thanks
Regards
Grace.

Hello please is there any other way of entering CV without taking flight??? Because I don't have money for flight.

Thanks....

I suppose you could take a cruise ship ... ah yes, you said you could not afford to take a flight. Scratch that.

You can only enter Cape Verde by plane unless you come as a crew member on a yacht, a cruise ship, a container vessel, or a naval ship.

Frankly, it is highly unlikely that you would be permitted to enter Cape Verde if you have insufficient funds to purchase a plane ticket. One of the immigration requirements is that you demonstrate the ability to pay the costs that are likely to be incurred during your temporary stay here (e.g., hotel rates or rent) and you would also be required to show that you can afford a plane ticket to leave at the end of your stay.

Angelo

Hi

Sal Island, along with that of Boavista are the two most tourist islands of Cape Verde.

This is a random comment or were you speaking to someone in particular? Not clear what topic or to whom you are responding.

RoqueNublo wrote:

Hi

Sal Island, along with that of Boavista are the two most tourist islands of Cape Verde.

I was responding to Bharat,




CVAngelo wrote:

This is a random comment or were you speaking to someone in particular? Not clear what topic or to whom you are responding.

RoqueNublo wrote:

Hi

Sal Island, along with that of Boavista are the two most tourist islands of Cape Verde.

Im Nigerian working in Saudi Arabia also A PhD student at Assiut University Egypt planing to visit Cape Verde Next week. I ll like to stay In cape Verde for a week or less. Do I need to pay 500euros for Clearance? If answer is yes. Could anyone help me with more info on How do I get it paid? I ll be more happy If reply can be sent direct to my inbox Marrykenny11(at)gmail.com

...

Ok Can I have ur Phone No: More info is needed on Issue becaz I have been to some countries, Indeed, Im from west Africa Hoding ECOWAS passport...

...

my brother, must you go to cape verde? Am asking this because the process of visiting cape verde using a Nigeria passport is as hard as visiting south Africa whereas there is nothing much there, I lost a lot of money seeking to visit cape verde last year for a holiday and so I don't recommend it for anyone Nigerian, My hotel accommodation with my wife was fully paid for but because I got no €1000, I was not granted entry and no way to get my refund from the hotel and so the purpose of my holiday was defeated, l had to re-route my holiday to Accra in Ghana for a weekend, now my preferred destination for holiday in west coast is Banjul in Gambia.

Pls don't end your business in naija to relocating to CV, we all have our  individual grace yes but CV is easily assessed by other nationals than Nigerians or west coast countries does, a visit to their detention room at the airport will tell you how many Nigerians and other west Africans they have shamed. We all have our inscriptions on the wall except it has been wiped. Be guided.

Good day bro, Please i need you help as i have plans to relocate to cape verde but i dnt know any 1 there, Can you help me get in when i arrived @ the airport and i want to know if using a boat is safe and free from immigration. Thanks as i wait you reply

Hi Bluesquared1,

In order to effectively help you, we will need more information.

First of all, where are you coming from? Is it from an ECOWAS country? If so, you do not need anything to enter the country AS LONG AS YOUR VISIT IS TEMPORARY. Movement between ECOWAS countries does not require an entry visa as a TEMPORARY visa will be issued to you. You will be required to provide proof that your stay is temporary. So you could show that you have a hotel reservation, a return ticket, etc, etc. Once you are here, if you find a job or start a business, you can apply to extend your visa. It will cost about €50 for each one year extension of a visitor's visa. Such applications are usually approved if you have proof of work or that you started a business. In many cases, you can apply for an extension even if you do NOT have a job or even if you have NOT started a business. In my experience, once you pay the €50, you will be probably be granted an extension.

Second: so you therefore cannot simply "relocate" to Cape Verde unless you have a job offer or it is for school and you have proof of these things, and the temporary visa will be issued for a longer period of time (like a year). So the key is to enter legally as a visitor (with evidence that you have a return ticket and sufficient funds to support yourself during your temporary stay), then simply apply for an extension and pay the €50 fee.

Third: there is no way to get to Cape Verde by boat/ship unless you are a crewman on a vessel, or you are a tourist on a cruise ship. Otherwise, you can only enter by plane.

Fourth: note that if you cannot speak Portuguese, you will have considerable difficulty living here unless you are communicating, living with or working only with immigrants from your own country of origin who reside here in CV.

Finally, you may hear from others that you can pay a bribe to an immigration officer to enter, but keep in mind that this is illegal and the officer will lose their job if they are found out and you WILL BE deported if you are discovered residing here beyond the period permitted by your entry visa. The immigration police sometimes do random stops across the city to find illegal immigrants. Regardless of country of origin, if you don't have a valid visa or overstayed the visa, they will deport you. I've seen Chinese, Europeans and Africans sent back to their countries of origin when they are caught in these searches without valid documents.

So the big question for you is why do you want to "relocate" to Cape Verde?

Angelo

Bluesquared1 wrote:

Good day bro, Please i need you help as i have plans to relocate to cape verde but i dnt know any 1 there, Can you help me get in when i arrived @ the airport and i want to know if using a boat is safe and free from immigration. Thanks as i wait you reply

Hi,mr afred Robinson.I just love this ur blog.it has really helped a lot of ppl wantin to relocate to CV.may God continue to bless u.pls my brother,am currently living in lagos.but I want to relocate to CV by next month.I already have a diploma.can I get even a teaching job or any other job with it over there? Am also a musician,comedian,a music producer.I have an album already in the market.so pls tell me my prospect of making it over there fast. I have a brother living there.if I provide to their immigration the address where am goin to stay,wll they stil demand for my BTA? And again,can I access CV thru road from Dakar sengal? Although I've read other helpful post by you.but I wll appreciate it if u reply this one.pls u can send it to my [email protected] and ur number pls.tnks.

darlynfamous. wrote:

Hi,mr afred Robinson.I just love this ur blog.it has really helped a lot of ppl wantin to relocate to CV.may God continue to bless u.pls my brother,am currently living in lagos.but I want to relocate to CV by next month.I already have a diploma.can I get even a teaching job or any other job with it over there? Am also a musician,comedian,a music producer.I have an album already in the market.so pls tell me my prospect of making it over there fast. I have a brother living there.if I provide to their immigration the address where am goin to stay,wll they stil demand for my BTA? And again,can I access CV thru road from Dakar sengal? Although I've read other helpful post by you.but I wll appreciate it if u reply this one.pls u can send it to my [email protected] and ur number pls.tnks.


Hi Darlyn,

The Expat-Blog is not owned by any particular contributor on the forum. I'm sure the actual owners of the blog are thankful that you find it helpful. In fact, you will note that all of your questions on this topic have already been answered multiple times.

Do you have a brother already living here? Which of the islands? Maybe HE would be the best person to advise you since he would already have dealt with all of the issues you are asking about. He would explain that Cape Verde is Portuguese speaking, so if you speak only English, you likely won't be able to get a job since you will not understand anyone and they won't understand you. You will need to learn Portuguese or the local Kriolu language. In any event, there are thousands of native Portuguese speakers with diplomas, so it is unlikely that you will find any openings that will not have been taken by local workers, unless you have specific professional skills that are in high demand such as doctors, engineers, and so on.

Cape Verde is an island in the ocean about 350 km from Senegal, so you cannot drive here from Dakar. The only way to get to Cape Verde is to fly in as there are no passenger boats coming here. Also, you cannot just come to Cape Verde expecting to enter the country without showing that you have the funds to support yourself during your temporary visit. So yes, you will definitely have to show the amount of BTA needed for your entire stay or you will be returned to Dakar on the flight you arrived on. Also, you can't just stay with your brother permanently since you don't have residency status. If you are caught overstaying the length of your temporary visit, you will be deported. The immigration department does not deal lightly with anyone who cannot show that they will be here temporarily or who overstays their visitor's visa. So you will either need to obtain a job offer, or start a business (€200 minimum cost plus accountants certificate of around €150) during your stay in order to obtain a 1-year resident's visa which costs an additional €50.

So, Darlyn, rather that rushing into an unwise decision to just relocate to Cape Verde within 1 month, I would strongly advise that you spend the next month reading the forums, and learning as much as possible about Cape Verde (e.g., a simple Google search would have revealed that we live on islands here).

Finally, I'm curious why you want to relocate here from Lagos, Nigeria which has hundreds of thousands more jobs and an economy that is several hundred times larger than that of Cape Verde. Aside from South Africa, you are already living in the wealthiest African nation. What gives?

Angelo

Hello fellow Nigerian, pls you would be better off to relocate to the united Arab emirate - Dubai than to capoverde , one of the reason is been spelt by the response to your enquiry, no matter how bad, naija is yet the best place to stay in Africa,  am speaking from experience, in my contribution to this blog as a pioneer member, I had express the challenges I went through trying to genuinely visit capo Verde for a two weeks holiday and my post was to discourage Nigerians from go in there but but Nigerians believe that " every man has his own destiny" that means if I failed didn't mean they will fail and so the urge

greeting elkas, what are the procedures of relocation from the Gambia to Dubia.

Good morning my dear Angelio, it is 10:34 Nigeria time, my name is stanley i am a citizen of Nigeria by birth, and i am 34 year old young man, please i am willing to relocate to cape Verde, the question i am asking is that as a west African country do i need visa to come to cape Verde, and i am willing to stay there for a very long time and start a good life there, or how do i go about it? can you please send me cape Verde embassy phone number and their email address to enable call them and verify this. Thank you very much for your understanding, i hope to hear from you soonest.

Hi Stanley,

Welcome to the forum. Please note that your question has been answered multiple times above in this topic as well as other similar topics on the Cape Verde forum. Please feel free to review all of the previous posts and, if after doing that, you need anything clarified then let us know.

Angelo

You are so lucky :)

It's a beautiful place with pros and cons!! Make sure you find everything out before you move!
Things are not as easily accessable, work is not so easy to come by and it is not as cheap as you'd think due to everything being imported onto the islands!

Charlie,

I agree with you about the pros and cons. It's not easy adjusting to life in Africa is you've never lived in Africa. I've had several Americans come with romantic notions about living in Africa ... but left totally frustrated. You definitely have to set your expectations differently than you would in Europe or the US. This is Africa. It's under-developed. A lot of the things Westerners take for granted are not going to be met here.

The other thing your mentioned about the cost of living is only PARTIALLY true. You're correct that the cost of living in Boavista (and Sal) are high. But that is because that's where most tourists go. The population of those islands is very low. So with all of the locals who come to those two islands looking for work and all the foreigners with money, it creates a situation of demand far outstripping supply. Good example is housing. And of course, the local items are hard to come by because those two islands in particular have mostly imported products for sale. So naturally prices will be high.

HOWEVER, if you live on any of the other islands, the cost of living is CONSIDERABLY lower. I live in Praia, Santiago which is the most populated island (half the local population lives here) and you have access to just about everything here (but still not up to the standards of Western countries). You can live VERY comfortably here for €800 per month. But the trade off is that you have to use the local foodstuffs and cook at home. If you want to eat foreign foods and eat out at restaurants 3 times daily, you could spend more than that sum on food alone!

The other trade off is that there is more crime in the largest islands...but you simply have to take the precautions you would in any other city.

Angelo

Charliestarr1 wrote:

It's a beautiful place with pros and cons!! Make sure you find everything out before you move!
Things are not as easily accessable, work is not so easy to come by and it is not as cheap as you'd think due to everything being imported onto the islands!

Hello Bharat, did you move to CV ? I want to know of your experience.thanks .

Hi Lemison,

If you'd like to hear directly from Bharat about his decision to move to Cape Verde and his experiences if he did, it might be better to simply send him a private message as he may not be aware of or see your post here today. It's been 18 months since he posted his original question!

Regards,

Angelo

TarBabysonLemison wrote:

Hello Bharat, did you move to CV ? I want to know of your experience.thanks .

Hi Alfred,

Thank you for sharing your insight. I am Cape Verdean in the US but do not speak the language. My portuguese friends from Angola and Cape Verde keep telling me it would be easy for me to pick up the language and rent a place for less than 500 usd, utilities less than 200 usd, a maid for 150/month and to enroll my son in school with kids from various embassies. I plan to work a virtual US job there until I can get a business established.

Can you tell me if my friends are being realistic or what you posted is more the reality of cost of living?

Forgot to add that I would be moving to Praia. Since it would be me and my son, what towns would be best for elementary schooling for international kids/embassy kids and what is the cost? Also, shipping a car and home goods, what is an average cost and will my things safely arrive on time? If I am given a timeframe, should I push it out a month just in case, lol.

cvgirlusa wrote:

Hi Alfred,

Thank you for sharing your insight. I am Cape Verdean in the US but do not speak the language. My portuguese friends from Angola and Cape Verde keep telling me it would be easy for me to pick up the language and rent a place for less than 500 usd, utilities less than 200 usd, a maid for 150/month and to enroll my son in school with kids from various embassies. I plan to work a virtual US job there until I can get a business established.

Can you tell me if my friends are being realistic or what you posted is more the reality of cost of living?


Hi cvgirlusa,

My name is Angelo. Please note that the Expat-Blog forums on CV are not the domain of any particular individual. There are many people like myself who may respond to your questions/requests for information.

First, I would tell you that $500 for an apartment rental in Praia is way off the mark. You can easily rent an (unfurnished) two-bedroom unit in a safe neighborhood for around $250 per month. A houseful of new furniture for a two bedroom unit will cost you about $3,000. It is better to buy your furniture and accessories (or bring your own)  rather than attempt to rent a furnished apartment because furnished apartments will run you triple the cost of unfurnished. In addition, you can always sell your furniture should you decide to leave, and recover about 50% of the cost.

Utilities will run about $100 per month if you are a moderate consumer. A maid typically costs $80/month for washing clothes and cleaning only. If she is to cook as well on a daily basis, you'll pay about $160/month.

Unless you've lived within a Cape Verdean community where the kriolu language is spoken, you'll probably be quite challenged with the language issues. It takes at least a year to become comfortable having entire conversations in the local dialect. Of course, the time frame would vary by individual.

Regarding schooling, you could send your kids to Mira Flores or one of the other private schools (of which there are only a handful). The cost is not unreasonable and doesn't exceed $200/month. Public school fees are based on income of the parents. There is no reason why you should not consider the public schools...it is not like public schools in the US.

If you are shipping goods, you should talk with the folks at Atlantic Shipping in Boston or New Bedford. It is a Cape Verdean owned company. The cost will obviously depend on the total volume you are going to be shipping. If all your goods will fit into a 20ft container, you should expect to pay about $10,000 in shipping costs. And they do not have scheduled departures. The vessel (they own a single vessel) leaves when it is full, so you definitely should plan for potentially significant delays beyond any dates you are given. The vessel has never arrived on the dates provided in my own personal experience. I don't particularly find it to be a laughing matter as this can be very disruptive with your relocation plans.

There is an alternative but only if you are shipping a container-full. The reason Atlantic Shipping even exists is because Cape Verdeans in the US typically ship barrels and crates of goods rather than containers. But if you ship a container, you can use any of the commercial shipping lines like Maersk. Just visit any international shipping agency anywhere in the US and make your inquiries. You'll find that they have weekly scheduled shipments (that connect the port in Boston to the port in Praia) and that the cost is about $5,000 for a 20ft container. These are large companies with hundreds of vessels that travel along established international routes. Boston to Praia is a 45 day connection and the vessel will be here on the date you are told (because these vessels are just passing through and have other cargo for destinations beyond CV).

If you have further questions about life and business in CV, read my blogs which are advertised on this site or send me a private message. I'd also suggest you connect with any of the US transplants in Praia. I know many of them personally. I can introduce you via Facebook.

Regards and best of luck,

Angelo