There’s nothing wrong with changing your country of living. Whether it’s for financial reasons or you just don’t like the climate, people move around the world all the time. Uprooting yourself is a great way to discover independence and self-reliance.
Probably one of the most attractive locations in the world to relocate to is St. Croix. The largest of the U.S Virgin Islands, St. Croix, is full of crystal clear waters, stunning island hikes, and countless other breathtaking natural wonders.
Beyond that, they also have a thriving city with downtown nightlife and tourists galore. The beauty and entertainment alone are enough to attract hundreds of immigrants every year to the island. But what is the process of moving to St. Croix? More importantly, is it worth it?
If you love life on the beach and a relaxing island vibe, it is a great place to live. The beaches are enormous, and the water is warm and inviting. It’s not just a vacation island, and there are plenty of great opportunities in the island’s interior.
In this article, we’ll describe everything you need to know about moving to St. Croix and starting a life there. You’ll find that the process is easier than you think and there are plenty of reasons to move to this beautiful country.
Pros and Cons of Living in St. Croix
After some analysis and reading of travel blogs, we’ve found some precious information about the pros and cons of living in St. Croix.
The island of St. Croix has many appealing features. Learn about them below.
When you first arrive on the island, the locals might be a bit standoffish. They’re used to tourists coming and going frequently. They won’t want to start a relationship that ends abruptly.
However, once they realize you’re in it for the long term, the islander will quickly become like a second family. They have a very tightly knit culture that takes care of its own and is always willing to lend a helping hand.
The average daily temperature in St. Croix varies from 72℉ to 88℉ and never drops below 68℉ or climbs above 90℉. This means the island is at a beautiful sunny temperature all year round. You can completely escape the winter by living here.
As Much Time at the Beach as You Want
There are 23 official beaches in St. Croix, and you can visit all of them whenever you want. Living on the island, you’re never more than thirty minutes from the coast. If you like surfing or swimming in the ocean, then you can do it to your heart’s content.
Other Fabulous Nature
Beyond the official beaches, there are always other inlets and reserves for you to explore. Secret cliffside beaches revealed by low tide are perfect for a quick walk down and a private swimming session. The island also has a ton of hiking and bike trails for you to explore.
There are plenty of lovely songbirds and reptiles on the island, but the true wonders are just a few hundred meters off the coast. You can find whales, sea iguanas, and giant sea turtles living around the island.
The tourism industry drives the island’s economy, so their food has to be top-tier to impress their guests. St. Croix has some of the freshest seafood you can buy, and most of it is caught the same day it’s served.
They also have wonderful small stands and shops for ice cream and other local treats. Try the Taste of St. Croix festival or St. Croix Food and Wine for events that showcase the island’s culinary expertise.
Rum Rum Rum
The rum on St. Croix is free-flowing. It can even be cheaper than water! Rum is a specialty of the Virgin Islands and, regardless of price, the drink rarely disappoints on St. Croix.
If you enjoy a boozy night on the town, then don’t be afraid to pick a favorite watering hole and order your favorite rum-based cocktail.
Lots of Local Produce
There’s nothing quite like fresh fruit, and St. Croix is full of it. The island has hundreds of farms that sell everything locally.
It’s simple and inexpensive to take a walk down to your favorite local market and pick up some of the sweetest and freshest mangoes and bananas you’ve ever tasted.
You definitely will not get bored in St. Croix. They have a plethora of activities for locals and visitors to choose from. Skydiving, horseback riding, scuba, snorkeling, surfing, hiking, camping, live music, festivals, and much more, just to name a few of them.
If you aren’t already doing any of these activities, St. Croix is a great place to start.
While it’s a great place to live, St. Croix isn’t perfect. Read our list of cons below to see if St. Croix’s shortcomings are too much for you.
Electricity and Cell Coverage
Like any island nation, St. Croix has difficulty with power and cell phone connections. Power outages happen frequently, and cell phone coverage in the remote parts of the island is spotty.
Some expats also complain about internet connectivity and speed. Uploading videos and large content can take a long time.
We’ll go into more specifics about healthcare later on, but St. Croix has some problems in this area. It’s a small country and doesn’t have a lot of available medical staff. This means you might have a long wait time at the hospital or might have to find specific specialists off the island.
St. Croix is primarily a tourist destination, so if you’re not careful, you can be living at the same expense as a luxury vacation. You won’t save much money eating at popular restaurants or enjoying busy activities.
However, locals know how to escape the tourist economy, and you can as well. It’s just about knowing the right places to shop, cutting down energy costs, etc…
St. Croix is not a safe haven from crime. It has a regular crime report and can be dangerous in some areas. Most of the crime is related to gangs or personal theft. You won’t feel in danger in remote parts of the island, but keep a close eye on your wallet in crowded metropolitan areas.
You Have to be Resourceful
As with any new location, you need to adapt to several factors and lifestyle changes. Everything from shopping in the supermarket to getting a new pair of eyeglasses will differ from your home country. It’s important to remain resilient. Eventually, you will summit the learning curve.
Poor Quality Roads
Like many of the Virgin Islands, St. Croix’s infrastructure could use a full-scale revitalization. Even famous roads will still have potholes that the government may never fix, regardless of how long you live there. Purchasing a truck or four-wheel drive vehicle is the best way to get around.
Who Can Move to St. Croix
Just about anyone in the world can move to St. Croix, but the process is different depending on your native country. Since the U.S. Virgin Islands are still technically the United States, the process for U.S. citizens is a bit more straightforward.
You might be asking yourself, “do I need a passport or a working visa to live in St. Croix?” Not if you’re from the U.S. You should just bring a driver’s license or some other form of identification.
“Can I work in St. Croix?” You also don’t need a working permit to work there. As a U.S. citizen, you are automatically eligible to live, work, and visit St. Croix as you please.
You can gain full residency in St. Croix after 30 days of officially living there. Just be aware this will remove your ability to vote in presidential elections.
The Rest of the World
Since the Virgin Islands is a United States territory, you will need to follow the U.S. immigration laws to enter St. Croix legally. You will need a passport and a U.S. visa to enter the island. If you plan to stay for longer, then you’ll need a long-term visa and a working permit.
You’ll also need to achieve resident alien status in St. Croix. This is the same process as the rest of the United States. “How do I gain residency in St. Croix?” You can do so the same way as gaining residency in the United States. You can also consult your country’s consulate for more information.
What Can You Bring with You to St. Croix
We’ll be focusing primarily on people moving to St. Croix from the United States from here on. The rules and regulations are too diverse to list them all here. We recommend checking your country’s government website and the St. Croix government website for further information.
For U.S. citizens, the rules for transporting goods are very similar to moving to another state but much more expensive. Since St. Croix is an island, you’ll have to worry about boat or plane transport for all your items, which can become costly.
You can check with the government website for any particular goods, but there are no special restrictions for what items you can and cannot transport.
Can I bring my dog to St. Croix to Live?
Yes, you can. Your furry friend is more than welcome on the island and will not have to quarantine after transport. The only thing you should do is take the animal’s medical records with you.
They may ask for them at the airport, but as long as they are up to date on all their shots and vaccinations (like rabies and heartworms), they should be good to go.
For cats, the process is the same. Exotic animals are more complicated. You should check with the Department of Agriculture to see what you can legally import and get a permit if necessary. There is a $25 application you can fill out, and it will be approved in 1 to 2 weeks.
Can I bring my car to St. Croix?
Public transportation exists on St. Croix, but it leaves a lot to be desired. You’re better off having your own vehicle. A lot of the island isn’t accessible on foot and requires a short drive to run errands.
If you have one on the mainland, you can transport it to the island through a vehicle shipping company. Keep in mind that your driver’s license will only be valid in St. Croix for 90 days. After that, you’ll need to get a local license. International driver’s licenses are invalid.
You’ll also need a new license plate or pay customs fees for importing it. Consider whether your car is your best option. Most of the island’s roads are in bad shape and aren’t fit for much more than SUVs and trucks.
They also drive on the left side of the road, which can be disorienting if your car is already designed to drive on the right.
How to move my stuff to St. Croix?
Moving your things to St. Croix is relatively simple. You just need to hire a moving company and decide your method of transport. Flying your stuff to St. Croix will be more expensive, but you will get it there quicker. Boats take longer but don’t break the bank.
What companies will help Ship my stuff to St. Croix?
There are several companies online that specialize in shipping to the U.S. Virgin Islands and areas around them.
One of the best is NEX. They offer domestic and international moving services for families, companies, and individuals. They have a wide range of services which makes them flexible and appealing to all types of people.
Facts About St. Croix
Now that we’ve learned about the moving process let’s look at what life in St. Croix is like.
As we already mentioned, most of St. Croix’s economy is built around tourism. Most of the island’s industries host vacationers and short-term living. However, many other sectors employ locals, and remote work is a significant employer as well.
The average household income in the Virgin Islands is about $37,254 annually. Gas prices there are slightly higher than the mainland United States, although it has a significant oil refinery that employs thousands of residents.
One of the biggest companies operating out of St. Croix is Cruzan Rum. Famous for its rich flavor, the rum distributor exports bottles all over the world.
St. Croix is home to one of the two major hospitals in the U.S. Virgin Islands, The Governor Juan F. Luis Medical Center. They also have a facility from the second-largest hospital, Schneider Regional Medical center.
The healthcare system is structured similarly to the U.S. system, so you will need private insurance or insurance from your employer. If you’re old or in poor health, you might be eligible for the Medical Assistance Program, which helps those in medical need.
Does St. Croix have good healthcare? It depends on who you ask. Compared to the mainland, you will have longer wait times and not as many facilities.
Cost of Living
Is St. Croix expensive to live? It can be. Depending on what part of the island you live you may be subject to tourist prices. Be careful with where you settle down and speak to locals about the best places to shop. With the proper budget, you can live here for cheaper than in the mainland U.S.
Is St. Croix a safe place to live? St. Croix, like any other island nation without a thriving economy, has its good and bad parts. It has a very high crime rate. Tourists and immigrants have both reported being robbed, sometimes at gunpoint, in public locations.
That being said, there isn’t an exact “bad part” of the island. It has its projects and low-income housing, but these areas can be just as safe as others.
Staying safe on the island is about remaining alert and not doing anything foolish. If you treat people with respect and don’t flash your money around, you should be fine.
There isn’t as much crime reporting in St. Croix as in the mainland United States. Keep an eye on the local news and if you see the same events happening in similar locations, avoid them. You can also ask locals or your neighbors for advice.
We applaud your bravery in considering St. Croix. It’s never easy to move to a new location, and one as diverse and different as St. Croix presents additional challenges. The people who have moved there love it.
While there are reports of some leaving after a year, others stay for 5+ years and never look back. In the end, it depends on the type of person you are and what you’re looking for. If you want excitement and adventure in a tropical location, St. Croix might be the perfect new home.