Because of the island’s small size, strict controls have been put in place regarding relocation. Therefore, it is important to find out whether you would be entitled to work and live in Guernsey, before moving here. British citizens, other nationals of the Member States of the European Economic Area and Switzerland and other nationals having a permanent settlement do not require an entry clearance from the Guernsey Border Agency. However, nationals other than the above-mentioned categories will require a visa obtained prior to his/her arrival through the British Consular representative in the person’s country of residence.
There are a number of measures introduced to the island to control immigration, including the Population Management Law.
The Population Management legislation allows the authorities to grant permits to people brought to the island to fill positions, which the Authority considers to be essential to the well-being of the community. These Employment Permits enable people to occupy the less expensive types of dwelling in Guernsey - commonly known as 'local market'. There are no controls on buying a house however, strict regulations are put in place to control who lives in Local market housing.
There are approximately 1,700 of the 22,000 dwellings in Guernsey that are freely available for purchase and occupation by anyone. These 'open market' homes are generally larger houses at a relatively high cost.
When an employer issues a job offer and approves ‘an essential employment-related Employment Permits’ for that particular job, he has to submit the ‘details of the salary package’ along with other documents to the Population Management. The Population Management accordingly allocates the type of Certificate or Permit to the employee.
Therefore, a person who wants to take up employment, self-employment or one who wishes to change jobs in Guernsey, must first obtain a valid Employment Permit document issued by the Population Management confirming that he/she is lawfully housed.
Occasionally, the Population Management may decide to offer an 8 year ‘essential employment-related’ permit. Such permit is offered to individuals with professional qualifications and skills that are in acute shortage in the island and are essential to the needs of the wider community.
Holders (and their spouses and children) of permanent (8-year) licences tied to their employment may become a qualified permanent resident after an additional uninterrupted 6 years of residence and employment on the island (total of 14 years).