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Recent College Grad from Los Angeles Thinking About Moving to the USVI

 
vballplayer527
(@vballplayer527)
New Member

Hello everyone! Here's a little information about me. I'll be finishing up my last classes for my BS in Computer Information Systems and Business Adminstration by the end of August. I've been through a hectic journey through college and I'm just looking forward to ending! I just want to get away from everything for awhile. I want to get away from the LA area (away from traffic and smog) and go to a place where it's more laid-back, like the USVI.

I am looking into moving either to St. Croix or St. Thomas, but I'm not sure. I am more familiar with St. Croix because I attended UVI for a semester back in 2003. I know the head staff in the dorms and some of the people who live there and/or attend the school. I even got a student worker job in the Information Technology department, so I know the staff there as well. I've been on St. Thomas, but I'm not as familiar with it. I know a couple people there because they transferred from UVI St. Croix to St. Thomas. Basically, I know how the people are like in St. Croix. By living in St. Croix for 4 months, I've gotten a small taste of how life is like there. I also know that people in St. Croix are a lot different from the people in St. Thomas. I really miss the islands and would like to come back!

If I move, I want to find computer jobs, like networking, technical support, web design/development, etc. I assume that St. Thomas has more of these jobs, but because I know the IT staff at UVI St. Croix, perhaps they can help me out. I just need information on employment and housing costs. I may need to buy a car down there, especially if I decide to move to St. Croix, because I know it's hard to get around without a car and the public transportation sucks. Any information you all can give me would be greatly appreciated.

- Jan

PS - Islander, perhaps I can help you maintain this website? Do you know any other places where they might need a web designer/developer?

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Topic starter Posted : August 7, 2005 10:48 am
Islander
(@the-islander)
Member Moderator

Hello Jan,

Have you contacted your friends at UVI to see if they know of any openings? You might also try Choice, VIPowernet & Innovative. A few acquaintances of mine in IT work for EDC companies, however the EDC's have to hire a certain number of residents. I don't recall the time frame for residency... 6 months...1 year - hopefully someone can chime in with that information. Unfortunately we aren't looking for anyone.

You can find used/new cars here; there is always a selection of used cars in the classifieds in the newspapers, also there are car lots and the car rental agencies usually sell some of their cars yearly - so there are options for getting a car here.

You can find some cost of living information on this site. Click on Home and then Cost of Living from the menu.

--Islander

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Posted : August 8, 2005 9:39 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

I believe you have to be a bona fide resident for one year to qualify for local status under EDC rules.

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Posted : August 8, 2005 9:48 pm
Alexandra Marshall
(@Alexandra_Marshall)
Advanced Member

Yes, you have to have been an island resident for one calendar year before beginning to work for an EDC company for them to be able to count you as one of their "resident" employees. If you begin working for them sooner, they can't count you when your one year anniversary rolls around unless they fire you and then eventually rehire you. They may face some issues even then.

To make sure you can verify your start date for island residency, as soon as you arrive on-island, open a bank account and/or sign up for a PO Box. If you also have a lease dated when you arrive, that will work, too. Keep the documentation so that if you want to apply to an EDC company after you have been here for a year, you can show them clearly that you qualify towards their resident employee quota. That may give you an edge over other applicants! The EDC companies don't want to take chances with this after the KPOC debacle.

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Posted : August 9, 2005 3:05 am
LG
 LG
(@LG)
Advanced Member

I saw a couple of ads for computer jobs at www.ajb.com (enter 00820 zip code).
Good luck.

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Posted : August 9, 2005 3:45 am
vballplayer527
(@vballplayer527)
New Member

Sorry to show my ignorance, but what is EDC? And what do you mean when you say the KPOC debacle?

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Topic starter Posted : August 9, 2005 7:24 am
Alexandra Marshall
(@Alexandra_Marshall)
Advanced Member

EDC is the Economic Development Council. It's a variety of tax loophole for business owners if they come to the islands and set up a business that employees locals and invests back into the community. They can save enormous percentages of what they would normally pay in taxes. The intention of the loophole was to generate business growth and renewal in the islands without the US Government having to bail out the USVI. Unfortunately, some people chose to use it to pad their pockets without making the intended benefit to the island a part of their way of doing business.

There are specific kinds of businesses that qualify (hotels and manufacturing companies do well and others can qualify in certain situations) and there is an application process that takes some time and is not cheap to get into.

Employees of these companies are often a little better paid than similar positions would be with other companies. They also receive medical benefits, which other private companies do not offer here. They tend to be professionally run by owners who have had successful business experiences on the mainland.

KPOC was an EDC company... well, it still is, but most of it's "owners" or "beneficiaries" are no longer part of the business, due to a serious investigation by the IRS and other government agencies. There are some rules that such individuals must follow to be an owner in an EDC company. One is that they have to spend a certain amount of time each year in the islands. Most of them didn't even come close to the required amount, which at that time was 91 days a year. Some were here less than a week a year or a week or two every couple of years. That got reported to the government and the investigations began.

In the end, some of the top people were indicted for tax fraud and many EDC companies folded up shop. It gave the whole EDC program a very bad name and resulted in some strict and unfortunate new rules that have altered the program negatively for the businesses who were following the rules before. It also makes it more difficult for new businesses to qualify.

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Posted : August 9, 2005 7:51 pm
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