Relocating thousands of miles to a remote island is a big decision and one that you should take the time to carefully consider and research before applying for a role with us. If you move here, we encourage you to give yourself time to adapt to the change, get out and about, meet people and experience what the Falkland Islands have to offer.
Pre-Employment Checks, Work Permits and Travel
Before joining us, you will need to go through pre-employment checks. This includes checks required by Customs and Immigration in order to secure a Falkland Islands Work Permit. As you may imagine, this rigorous process can take a number of weeks and includes identity, qualifications, criminal record checks, medical and dental screening. Any family members accompanying you will also need to complete certain checks. We recommend you do not give notice to your current employer until a work permit is secured.
Once you are ready to join us and have your work permit, we will agree your flight date and book your travel. Your induction will normally start on the first working day after your flight. Your colleagues will be on hand to assist you in finding your way around Stanley and setting up accounts with the Bank, Telecoms provider and other utilities, helping you to settle in as quickly as possible.
Officers on an overseas contract are able to access Government-supplied rented accommodation. Rates vary depending on type of property; however the rates are significantly lower than those available through the private sector. Government housing is distributed across Stanley, some with a sea view and can be furnished or unfurnished. We provide you with a starter pack of basic household goods and information to help you get started and settled in the Falkland Islands. However, if there are any household items or possessions that you feel you can’t live without, consider bringing it in your luggage or having it shipped to the islands.
Telephone numbers in the Falklands Islands are easy to remember with just five digits and the international dialling code of +500. Internet access is widely available, but speeds are modest and the bandwidth is capped to reflect the packages on offer. Mobile coverage is available in Stanley and most settlements in Camp (the countryside). You will need to ensure your mobile is unlocked before switching to a local SIM. These services are provided by the telecoms provider, Sure.
Currency in the Falklands is the Falkland Islands Pound (FKP), which has the same value as UK Pound Sterling, which is used and accepted across the Islands. As a tourist destination, US Dollars and Euros are accepted by some retailers (who set their own exchange rates), with foreign exchange available via the bank. There are no ATM services on the Islands, but card facilities are available in the majority of retailers. You will need to set up an account with Standard Chartered Bank in Stanley, once in the Falklands, so that your salary can be paid whilst you are here.
Shopping & Packing
Stanley has two supermarkets and a number of smaller convenience stores, stocking a good selection of imported goods (canned/frozen and dried goods). Fresh fruit and vegetables can seem expensive, due to the higher cost of imports to a remote location, but seasonal local produce is also available. Most properties have space for a garden or yard and the local garden centre is always well-stocked with the resources you’ll need to get started, so there’s nothing stopping you from having a go at growing your own. Local meat is also readily available, of good quality and very affordable. There is also a good range of restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs which offer high quality food and opportunities to eat, drink and socialise.
There are shops that cater for tourists and visitors with gifts and fluffy penguins galore. Others stock day-to-day essentials, household goods, hardware and tools, clothing, gardening or farming equipment. Facebook Groups can be a useful tool for keeping up to date with community information and events and there is a thriving buying and selling group that is a good place to pick up a bargain on household items, home-cooked food and vehicles etc.
You will want to pack clothes and footwear for every eventuality and a wind and water proof jacket is essential. Practical outdoor clothing is widely available, although sometimes finding items in a particular size or style can prove difficult. Work wear is relatively formal in office-based roles, but varies depending on department. Online shopping is popular and there are several companies who forward goods by air and sea from major UK supermarkets and retailers.
Dependent children of overseas contractors receive free education in Stanley, up to the age of 16. Children aged 16-18 who are studying for A-levels or equivalent post-16 education may be eligible for an education allowance to enable boarding in the UK or overseas. Flights for holiday visits may also be provided. It is not always possible to provide support for children with complex special educational needs here, so this will be considered as part of the work permit application process.
The King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH) in Stanley provides healthcare services for the Islands, including GP services, Accident and Emergency and inpatient care, similar to those offered by a rural NHS hospital. Most services are offered free at the point of care, but certain services (spectacles, cosmetic dentistry, dentures) do incur a fee. The dental service is also based at KEMH, offering routine treatment free of charge.
Although the hospital provides a comprehensive healthcare service, the treatment of some long-term and complex conditions can be limited and therefore overseas contractors and their dependents need to be considered medically fit before taking up post in the Falkland Islands. You will be asked to complete a number of medical checks before a work permit can be issued. Having a pre-existing medical condition does not automatically mean you would not be considered fit to take up post, we just have to make sure we are able to manage any conditions whilst you are here. We ask you to declare any long-term conditions on application, as it is better for everyone involved that this is identified early on in the process.
Any other questions?
Hopefully this page answers some of your initial questions about the practicalities of living and moving here, but if there is anything else you need to know, don’t be afraid to get in touch with our HR team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.