Changes are happening to the way an Employment Permit and Work Permit are applied for in Guernsey. This is following a political review of both the Population Management and Immigration regimes and how they support our community, economy and business needs, now and in the future.
Prior to 3rd April 2023, the Employment Permit Policy (EPP) regulated when an Employment Permit can be granted under the Population Management (Guernsey) Law, 2016. The Work Permit Policy (WPP) regulated when a Work Permit can be granted under the Immigration Act, 1971, as extended to the Bailiwick of Guernsey.
Both are required in order for a person to live and work in the island of Guernsey (The Population Management Law is not in force in Alderney, Sark and Herm and their respective local regulations are also required to be met).
Through various factors, including Brexit, businesses are looking further afield to fill skill and/or labour shortages in Guernsey. The States' recognises the current recruitment challenges the islands face. By having two policies (the EPP and WPP), both with different criteria and different decision-making framework, this has created an added barrier for businesses and organisations in filling roles to deliver the most essential services.
The Committee for Home Affairs, who are responsible for both Population Management and Immigration, have agreed a single joint policy which covers both an Employment Permit and Work Permit and will be referred to as the 'Employment Permit Policy'. This means that the same job roles will be available to all nationalities, providing clear guidance to employer and individuals.
As well as a joint policy, Work Permits issued for the island of Guernsey will be issued through the Employment Permit (as a joint single Permit) in addition to a visa. This has been trialled successfully with applications for EU/EEA/Swiss nationals since Brexit. Separate arrangements are being made for Alderney, Sark and Herm.
The new Employment Permit Policy comes into force on 3rd April 2023.
Employment Permit Policy (EPP):
You can access our web-based glossary here.
You can also access our Frequently Asked Questions page dedicated to the new Employment Permit Policy here.
What do these changes mean as a British or Irish national?
- The application process will remain largely unchanged for British and Irish applicants. What the change in policy means for British and Irish applicants is that more job roles are now eligible for Long Term Employment Permits (LTEP). These job roles can be found here [415kb].
- British/Irish Short Term Employment Permit applicants will be required to provide reference(s) (can be found within the EPP - General Provisions [270kb] document) as part of their application. This will be requested manually by email when the application is being processed by an officer.
What do these changes mean as an EU/EEA/Swiss national?
- The application process will remain largely unchanged for EU/EEA/Swiss applicants. What the change in policy means for EU/EEA/Swiss applicants is that more job roles are now eligible for Long Term Employment Permits (LTEP). These job roles can be found here [415kb].
- EU/EEA/Swiss applicants will be required to provide reference(s) and evidence of any qualification required for the role (can be found within the EPP - General Provisions [270kb] document), as part of their application. This will be requested manually by email when the application is being processed by an officer.
What do these changes mean as a 'Rest of the World' national (all other nationalities)?
- RoW nationals will be able to access more job roles than ever before. This is because the Employment Permit Policy has been designed so that all job roles, including the criteria (where possible) are applicable to all nationalities. These job roles can be found here [415kb].
Eventually only a single online application (through the Population Portal) will be required for an Employment Permit and Work Permit. In the meantime, please see the manual application process from 3rd April 2023:
What is the application process (island of Guernsey)?
- So that we can introduce this new policy framework as soon as possible, the application process will differ depending on the nationality of the applicant. Employer's can also find out more about using the Population Portal here.
- Click here for the application process for British/Irish nationals or other persons who are not subject to a work visa [134kb].
- EU/EEA/Swiss nationals (who require a work visa)
- EU/EEA/Swiss nationals who are not currently on-island. [204kb]
- EU/EEA/Swiss nationals who are already living in Guernsey but are changing employer and/or job role. [173kb]
- EU/EEA/Swiss nationals who are already living in Guernsey but need Further Leave to Remain (FLTR). [177kb]
- 'Rest of the World' (RoW) national (who require a work visa)
- RoW nationals who are not currently on-island. [206kb]
- RoW nationals who are already in Guernsey and are changing employers (but not changing job roles). [180kb]
- RoW nationals who are already in Guernsey but are changing job roles. [180kb]
- RoW nationals who are already in Guernsey and need Further Leave to Remain (FLTR). [179kb]
- Existing Work Permit holders
- If you have an existing Immigration Work Permit this will remain valid as long as you continue to meet the conditions listed on the Permit.
- If you hold a 3-year or 5-year Work Permit to work in a named role for a named employer and you want to change employer but you are continuing to work in the same role, however, under the new Employment Permit Policy the role is only eligible for a Short Term Employment Permit/Seasonal Employment Permit, a separate Work Permit will be issued in addition to an Employment Permit up until the same immigration expiry date.
- It should be noted that as the role is only eligible for a Short Term Employment Permit/Seasonal Employment Permit, you will be unable to accommodate dependent family members under the Population Management Law. You will also only be able to live on a lodgings basis (renting a room where a householder is present) in any Local or Open Market property. There is no expectation to become residentially qualified in Guernsey under these types of Employment Permit.
What is the application process (visa route) (Alderney, Sark & Herm)
- EU/EEA/Swiss/'Rest of the World' (RoW) national (PDF version can be accessed here [154kb])
- 1. Employer makes Work Permit application [762kb] directly with the Guernsey Border Agency (Immigration), including the Criminal Declaration Form (CR1) [565kb] and an Overseas Police Certificate.
- 2. Employer is granted a Work Permit.
- 3. Employee applies for a visa* online directly with the Home Office.
- 4. Once the visa has been approved and issued, the employee can arrive in the Bailiwick.
- *Once the Work Permit has been issued.
- A person should only expect for a visa to be granted if they meet the provisions of the Immigration Act, 1971 (as extended to the Bailiwick of Guernsey) and the Employment Permit Policy.
- All applications for Further Leave to Remain still require an application made directly with the Guernsey Border Agency.
- Visa application guidance for the Bailiwick of Guernsey:
- STEP and SEP need to apply for 'Seasonal Worker (temporary worker)'
- LTEP needs to apply 'Work permit for the Bailiwick of Guernsey'
- Click here for the latest visa application guidance for Guernsey.
Changes to the Population Management Law
As well as bringing in a new joint policy, the States' agreed in October 2022 to make changes to the Population Management Law. These changes are so that Guernsey can continue to access all of the job roles listed in the Employment Permit Policy whilst being compliant with the UK immigration legislation, which is extended to the Bailiwick of Guernsey. A summary of changes relating to Employment Permits can be found below:
Short Term Employment Permits (STEP)
Short Term Employment Permits will continue to be issued for up to 12 months, renewable upon expiry. However, the holder will now only be able to hold a STEP until they reach a total of 3 consecutive years of residence in Guernsey.
This change means that once a person completes a 'recognised break in residence' (time away from the island which is equal to or greater than their last period of residence, which includes any unrecognised breaks since their first arrival or last recognised break) they are able to return to Guernsey holding a Short Term Employment Permit.
Medium Term Employment Permits (MTEP)
Medium Term Employment Permits are being removed from the Population Management Law. This will leave Short Term, Seasonal and Long Term Employment Permits that will continue to allow residence within Local Market accommodation. Anyone who holds a valid Medium Term Employment Permit will not be affected by this change, as their Permit will remain valid until it's expiry (subject to meeting the Permit conditions).
This will mean that many roles previously only eligible for an MTEP under the old Employment Permit Policy may now be eligible for an Long Term Employment Permit under the new Employment Permit Policy.
These changes will take a while to be included within the Population Management Law and transitional policies [183kb] have been agreed so that employers and individuals can benefit from these changes now. These policies also provide guidance on anyone who was holding a STEP or MTEP on 3rd April 2023.
I am already living in Guernsey holding a Short Term Employment Permit or Medium Term Employment Permit, how does this policy change affect me?
- For anyone already living in Guernsey holding a Short or Medium Term Employment Permit on 3rd April 2023, transitional policies have been introduced on how the changes listed above will affect you. These can be accessed here [183kb].