The UK's Immigration Act 1971 is extended to the Bailiwick of Guernsey by Statutory Instrument (the Immigration (Guernsey) Order 1993). The Committee for Home Affairs has delegated power under the Act to make rules regulating the entry and stay of people into the Bailiwick of Guernsey. The current rules are the Immigration (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Rules 2008. The Rules require any person entering Guernsey for the purposes of employment to hold a work permit (unless they are otherwise authorised to work under the Rules). Work permits are issued in accordance with the work permit policy issued by the Committee for Home Affairs.
Scope of Work Permit Policy
Recruitment into vacant posts in Guernsey must, where possible, be from the pool of permit free workers. Permit free workers include British citizens, nationals of other member states of the EU, EEA and Switzerland, other nationals with settled status and participants in the Youth Mobility scheme. Any person outside this list will normally require a work permit.
The position of EU, EEA and Swiss nationals will change after Brexit.
A work permit will only be issued for eligible sectors (see below) and are limited to a maximum period of five years (but see section on short term permits, below).
Applications for work permits will not be considered where the subject of the application is physically present in Guernsey and his/her immigration status prohibits employment (such as a visitor). The person on whose behalf the application is being made must leave not just Guernsey, but the Common Travel Area (UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, Republic of Ireland) before the application will be considered.
Work permit employment (up to 5 years) in an eligible sector
Work permits for up to 5 years will be considered for a full time employee (working the equivalent of 7 hours a day, 5 days a week, 46 weeks a year) in an eligible sector. To be considered, the employee must have the requisite qualifications and/or occupational skills and/or number of years' experience.
There are three eligible sectors, A, B and C.
Sector A comprises:
- Finance: covering banks, investment businesses, insurance businesses, and fiduciary businesses and professions supporting the foregoing, principally accountants, actuaries and advocates (commercial lawyers); and
- Industry: covering companies or firms (a) the principal business of which is the manufacture of goods/rendering of services for export outside the Bailiwick of Guernsey or (b) which provide products/services to such a company or firm or to the Finance Sector in the fields of financial technology, information and communications technology or digital technology.
Sector B comprises specific positions in Health, Education and Government and veterinary surgeons.
Sector C comprises certain positions in a certain Hospitality establishments.
Short term permits
There are three potential routes to immigration under a short term permit.
Project or assignment (sector A, B or C)
A short term permit of up to six months will be considered for personnel required to progress a particular project or assignment in one of the establishments in sectors A to C where the person concerned does not fall to be treated as an intra-company transferee under either of the intra-company categories (see below).
Intra-company transfer - Category A - existing employee - particular project relating to the employer's work or career development
A short term permit of up to two years will be considered for an intra-company transfer where the Guernsey company and the overseas transferring company are linked by common ownership or control and (i) the person to be transferred has been in the employment of the overseas company for at least 12 months (ii) the transfer is for the purpose of progressing a particular project relating to the work of the employer or career development and (iii) the intention is for the transferee to return to work for the overseas company at the end of the transfer period.
Intra-company transfer - Category B - existing employee - for training purposes only
A short term permit of up to one year will be considered for an intra-company transfer where the Guernsey company and the overseas transferring company are linked by common ownership or control and (i) the person to be transferred has been in the employment of the overseas company for at least 3 months (ii) the transfer is for the sole purpose of training and (iii) the intention is for the transferee to return to work for the overseas company at the end of the transfer period.
Note: an intra-company transfer permit will not be granted to a person who has been in work permit employment in the UK and Channel Islands within 12 months of the application being made.
An employer applying for a work permit for an employee (other than for a short term permit for an intra-company transfer) must first have tried to recruit a permit free worker through an acceptable medium (internet, recruitment agency, professional or trade journal, or newspaper). At least 3 weeks should be allowed between the date of the first advert (or commencing the recruitment process) and applying for the work permit.
Employers will be required to produce evidence of the advertising / recruitment process including the recruitment method(s) used, the number of responses received, the number of candidates shortlisted for interview and full reasons why no permit free worker was suitable for the post.
An English language requirement is in force.
The employer must undertake to pay any monies which are due to the States of Guernsey from the employee and which are unpaid.
Originally published August 2020.
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.