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Controls on who can live and work in Guernsey

Controls on who can live and work in Guernsey

Because of the Island's small size, there are some controls on who can come to live and work in Guernsey. These controls are in addition to the immigration controls of the Guernsey Border Agency.

There are two different areas of control.

The Housing Control Law divides Guernsey's housing into two tiers, known as the Open Market and the Local Market. The Law then controls who can live in all Local Market housing and it also controls who can live in some types of Open Market housing.

The Right to Work Law makes it an offence for any person to work in Guernsey unless they have a valid Right to Work document. It also makes it an offence for any employer to employ a person in Guernsey if that person does not have a valid Right to Work document.

By using these two Laws together, the Housing Control section of the Housing Department is able to control and monitor people working in the Island.

Further useful information:

From an Immigration point of view do you qualify to live in Guernsey?

You are able to reside in Guernsey if the following applies to you:

  • You are a British citizen
  • You are a national of the European Economic Area (EEA) – that is EU nationals plus nationals of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway
  • You are a Swiss national
  • You have the Right of Abode in the UK through marriage or any other means
  • You are a Commonwealth citizen who would be entitled to Right of Abode in the UK

Nationals of other countries require permission to enter and/or stay in Guernsey.

This is known as "leave to enter" or "leave to remain" and is granted to those who qualify under the Immigration Rules. An option for immigration to Guernsey with an investor’s visa also exists.

Whatever the nationality or circumstances of any individual who is not a Qualified Resident in Guernsey, there are still certain restrictions which apply. These restrictions essentially affect the category of property which in-coming residents may occupy. The Housing Control Law divides Guernsey's housing into two tiers, known as the Open Market and the Local Market. The Law then controls who can live in all Local Market housing and it also controls who can live in some types of Open Market housing. These property categories are best summarised as follows:

Local Market Accommodation

  • Available to qualified residents be it those locally born or those who have been continually working and living in Guernsey for the required amount of years
  • Available to those whose presence on the island is permitted because of the "essential" nature of their work. Such licences are limited in time and generally given to specialists in the finance sector, doctors, teachers and other professionals who cannot be recruited locally and these licenses generally range between 1 – 15 years (Depending on a number of factors) 

Open Market Accommodation

  • Anyone can occupy Open Market, Part A Private House(s) & Apartment(s)
  • Available to non qualified residents, typically those who are unable to live on an Local Market license (depending on their circumstances)
  • As a general view, Open Market Accommodation is considered more expensive than Local Market Accommodation

Please note that the rules pertaining to living and working in Guernsey are quite complex and do change from time to time. The above information is just a brief overview and should be treated as a guide only. For further information you should contact the States of Guernsey Housing Control on (01481) 715790 or visit their website www.gov.gg (Referencing "Right to Work documents & Housing Licenses" tab).

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