Born in Hong Kong on July 16, 1984, One of eight siblings, Kaif was born to an Indian Kashmiri father and British mother, was brought up in Hawaii, and started modelling at the age of 14, when she was approached for a jewellery campaign. After that she continued modeling in London.
At the age of 14, Kaif started modeling for a jewellery campaign in London, and was subsequently discovered by filmmaker Kaizad Gustad, who gave her a part in his film Boom (2003).
She moved to Mumbai and was offered a number of modelling assignments. However, filmmakers were at first hesitant to sign her because of her linguistic shortcomings