Walt F.J. Goodridge presents...
The online supplement to our popular Relocation Guide
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Frequently asked questions about Saipan, Tinian and Rota!

Order Saipan Living or Doing Business On Saipan directly from us and ask up to 5 questions! (details)

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING:

"hi Walt, I am very impressed. I never thought of early retiring there until seeing this website. I am interested in finding out more.-- Jim W (from the early-retirement.org forum about welovesaipan.com)

"I have read great things about you and your assistance. I have already found your book to be of great assistance. It is awesome! Thanks so much."-- B. Manuel re: Saipan Living

"Just finished your book and very much did enjoy it I am sure I will read again and again it has a lot of very good information and answered most of my questions."--Keith P. p.s. keep me in the loop please.

The Questions

Here are quick answers and summaries of topics. Fuller explanations and overviews are available in the Relocation Guide.

  • Is your site for profit or is it a passion of yours? Until I received a response from you, I told my husband that when we got to the island, that I wanted to start a site where we could answer the exact questions that you are now answering for me. I had a lot of trouble finding answers to some of the above questions.
    ANSWER: As an "infopreneur," providing information is a passion of mine. SaipanLiving.com is more information-driven to provide general information and establish a relationship.

    SaipanBookings refers tourists and residents to service providers (hotels, car rentals and activities) and earn referral commissions.

    We (I ) also offer products (eg. Doing Business on Saipan book) and services (tours and "on the ground" services) to those who wish more detailed and focussed information or services.

    There's no charge for this dialogue between us as it's valuable to me as well as a means of research. However, if, for instance, you use the car rental company we refer you to, we would earn a commission.

  • Moving there is adventurous for us, but I want a very comfortable place to live. Clean, safe, internet access capabilities, air conditioning, and furnished are necessities for us. Let's call it "medium maintenance."
    ANSWER: About a year ago, the hot topic on everyone's lips was the unreliable electricity on island. Power outages occur due to planned generator shutdowns for maintenance, as well as unplanned storms, trees falling on powerlines, and old generators in need of repair. A new contract between the government and a generator/maintenance provider was inked, and the instances of blackouts is noticeably less, but still occurs. However, most apartment complexes have backup generators for when the power goes out. If you have any sensitive equipment, you may want to invest in any high-end surge protector. I can't recommend any, but a google search (or on Amazon) may prove helpful.

  • We will be purchasing a used car shortly after we arrive. We may have to rent until we find one. Any suggestions?
    ANSWER: Many people here on Saipan park their "for sale" cars in a few well-known empty areas convenient for passing traffic to see. Once you get here, you should have no trouble finding one. As far as rentals, I'll be sending you some information for the car rental company we are currently referring customers to.

  • A furnished one bedroom would be perfect. I like hi-rises and my wife prefers near the beach. Any chance of a hi-rise on the beach? We would want to rent on a monthly basis to begin. We really don't want to go over $800. Less would be preferable.
    ANSWER: No high-rises on Saipan. Most apartment complexes are only two-stories high. Only the hotels are high-rise. Rents range from as low as $250 to $800 and above. Better views sometimes cost more within that range. Complexes catering to Americans and expats of "high maintenance" cost more within and above that range.

    Once you spend a little time on the island and get a feel for where you'd like to live, you can find gems somewhere in the middle of that range. I'm comfortable saying you could probably find something adequate for between $500 to $650. My own needs are minimal, so, my own place doesn't have a generator, and I don't use air conditioners, so my rent is less.



    Additional questions about Saipanliving!

    (The answers to these and other questions are in our Relocation Guide)


  • As a registered voter in the U.S., if I move to Saipan, will I still be able to vote in U.S. elections? Would I remain a registered voter in the county where I moved from or somewhere else?
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  • Can you tell more about the religious communities in Saipan? Catholic? Protestant? LDS? SDA? Non-Christian religions?
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  • Could you address how income taxes are handled for U.S. Citizens in CNMI?
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  • What about languages? I understand English is spoken by many, if not most, but what other languages predominate in Saipan?
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  • What's it like for teachers in Saipan's public school system?
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  • From your perspective, does Saipan offer an environment for retirement for a person who will be on a fairly restricted budget (approx $2,000 monthly). I will be independent of the economy, but nevertheless wonder if two grand will cover expenses.
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  • Can you tell me if Europeans are welcome to Saipan and are there any immigration restrictions for non U.S.citizens?
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  • Is it possible for a foreigner to purchase a small house?
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  • Would i find it extremely difficult to get a hotel / restaurant job or any kind of job that would let me experience that culture and play a relevant part in the community?
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  • ...Specifically, I'm trying to get some clues as to how big an event the elections [are].. and what, generally, elections are like on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota.
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  • As a registered voter in the U.S., if I move to Saipan, will I still be able to vote in U.S. elections? Would I remain a registered voter in the county where I moved from or somewhere else?
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  • "I am seriously interested to know from your perspective if it is very possible for me to experience working and making a living there for a year+? From reading i know that the unemployment rate is high, as well as the cost of living etc. Would i find it extremely difficult to get a hotel / restaurant job or any kind of job that would let me experience that culture and play a relevant part in the community. Are there resources you could reccommend that might clue me in as to TRULY what to expect."--
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  • "I found your website while trying to research Saipan. I will be vacationing there in mid-March. I have found hints to information about the abandoned temples and shrines Japan built during WWII but I'm having trouble finding any information on where these places are or even a detailed map of the islands! I was hoping to take photography of the sites to bring back to Japan with me. Most of my coworkers here in Japan have no idea Japan occupied Saipan or that Shinto shrines exist outside of Japan. Any help you could give would be a huge assistance!"--Kyle
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  • "A nice page about a beautiful island. Thank you! Can you tell me if Europeans are welcome to Saipan or are there any immigration restrictions for non U.S.citizens? Is it possible for a foreigner to purchase a small house? Somehow it just looks like the perfect place to spend my life after I'll be retired in a few years. :) Do you think this would be a good idea? Kind regards from Switzerland"--Bruno |
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  • "I live on Guam, a neighbor of Saipan. I love visiting Saipan for its slow paced feel. Guam is very city-like compared to Saipan and a lot of times life without the "hussle and bussle" is just so nice to experience. there is evil everywhere, even in the U.S. Hello! But I have to say, people in Micronesia are so much friendlier than anywhere else....you can't go hungry on the islands. p.s..since Gardenia closed down, where can I buy that delicious mango pie?" |
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  • Hello there, I am presently residing in Los Angeles with my family. We are planning to move to Saipan. You may wonder why somebody who is living in California would think of moving to an island. I was laidoff last October because of the economic crisis.

    I have a relative living in Saipan, she is inviting me to visit Saipan so I would have a view of what is it like to live in an island, although I came from Philippines, at least to see for myself what Saipan has to offer.

    My question is...I am a lawful permanent resident or a green card holder, obviously I am not a U.S. citizen yet, do you think I will have a problem with regards to immigration? I understand you are not an immigration attorney, but do you have any idea as far as immigration is concerned for someone like me who would like to relocate to Saipan. the economic situation here in the mainland is very bad right now. it scares us.
    ANSWER:

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