With a new population management law expected to come into force
next year, our head of property in Guernsey, Jason Morgan,
discusses the upside for individuals and families looking to make
the Island their home.
The current housing control law was introduced shortly after the
Second World War to preserve the Island's limited housing stock
for locals and, although it served this original purpose well, it
is complex in comparison to other jurisdictions and can prove
cumbersome for those trying to relocate.
Over the past four years the States of Guernsey has undertaken
an extensive public consultation and development process to create
a framework to replace the current housing control and right to
work laws. Along with streamlining the process it is hoped that the
new system will also help Guernsey foster a population with a wider
skills base and a younger demographic.
The Island has a population of approximately 61,000 and there
are limits on who can live and work here. These had previously
focused on population numbers and maintaining the availability of
local market housing but there is a new political will to see this
change from a housing control/population cap to a focus on ensuring
that the population mix supports strategic objectives. This
requires the ability to be able to manage the population, something
that will be facilitated by the draft legislation that was approved
in March and which is due to come into force in April 2017.
The Population Management (Guernsey) Law, 2016 will see three
types of work permits introduced for people wanting to come to
Guernsey to work - Long Term Employment Permits, which will be
issued for up to eight years to address persistent and enduring
skills shortages; Medium Term Employment Permits, which will be
issued for up to five years where particular roles require specific
skills not available locally at present (but likely to be available
in the future) and Short Term Employment Permits, which will be
issued for up to one year for unskilled roles where there is a need
for additional manpower that cannot be sourced locally.
When permit holders complete eight years' continuous lawful
residence in the Local Market, they can obtain an Established
Resident Certificate or Permit (depending on their circumstances).
Once they complete 14 years' continuous lawful residence in the
Local Market, they will be issued with a Permanent Resident
Certificate enabling them to stay in Guernsey permanently and,
importantly, they will have an automatic right of return after any
period of absence.
In terms of property ownership there will still be no
restrictions on purchasing property and the current occupancy
controls will remain with the market continuing to be split into
Open and Local sectors. Open Market properties can be occupied by
anyone with the right of abode in the UK or an EU member state.
They may also be occupied by non-EU passport holders but the
Guernsey Border Agency is required to assess the application from
an immigration perspective.
Under the new regime, people who relocate to the Island and take
up residence in Open Market housing will require resident permits,
which will allow the States to monitor both the size and make-up of
Less than 10% of the current population live on the Open Market,
which has a stock of approximately 1,700 properties. As they are
fewer in number and occupancy controls less stringent, Open Market
property prices tend to be higher than Local Market prices but they
also include many of the most desirable dwellings on the
A transparent and efficient population management regime,
combined with the work of Locate Guernsey, (whose mandate is to
encourage businesses and high-net-worth individuals to move to the
Island) are positive strides for Guernsey. They will make
relocating a more attractive prospect and open the door for
individuals and families who will enrich the community, broaden our
skills base and help the Island face the challenges of an ageing
If you are interested in moving to Guernsey, we can advise you
on every aspect of the process including the relocation of your
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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The process for obtaining planning permission for development of property in the Cayman Islands has been updated as a result of the latest revision of the Development and Planning Law and accompanying regulations (July 2015).
In principle, when the parties agree to arbitrate, they shall be
bound by that agreement. It should therefore follow that when a
party initiates arbitration proceedings, the other party - the
respondent – will avail itself of the opportunity to present
its case and participate in the proceedings.
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