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Essential Housing Licences

Contact Us - Housing Control

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What is an essential employment-related housing licence?

As the name suggests, this type of licence can be issued if the job in question can be considered to be essential - not just to your business but to Guernsey's wider community.

Typically, these types of jobs need a person with professional qualifications and skills that are either not available in the Island, or are not available in sufficient quantity locally to meet the demand for them.

If you are looking to bring a semi-skilled or unskilled employee to the Island, you should read about short-term housing licences.

Follow this link to contact us if you'd like more information or guidance.

Applying for an "essential" employment-related housing licence

  • Can I ask for a licence 'in principle'?

    • If you are an employer and you have tried to recruit locally without success, you can apply for an 'essential' employment-related housing licence so that you can bring a person to the Island to live in Local Market accommodation so that they can work for you.
    • You should apply for a housing licence before you start the process of off-Island recruitment.  If your application is successful, you will be given a 'statement in principle' confirming the length of licence that will be issued for the post. This means that you can then advertise the post with the confidence of knowing how long the person you recruit can live in the Island.
    • Having an agreement in principle before you recruit off-Island is better for you, as it means that you can talk openly and honestly with potential candidates about how long they can come to Guernsey to work for you.  It is also better for the candidates because they will know from the outset how long their licence will last.  This will mean that they can think carefully about what it will mean for them and their family when the licence comes to an end and they have to leave the Island.
    • The form to apply for an 'in principle' employment-related housing licence can be found to the right of this article. You are advised to read the accompanying Guidance Notes before you complete the form, and if you are not familiar with the terms 'primary benefits' and 'secondary benefits', there are also guidance notes providing information about this.
  • What length of licence should I ask for?

    • Although it is generally accepted that people need to be brought to the Island and allowed to live in Local Market accommodation in order to undertake essential jobs, this needs to be carefully balanced against the need to ensure that there is enough housing to meet the needs of Islanders and to ensure that the Island does not become over populated.
    • The current Population Objective of the States is that, as far as practicable, Guernsey's population should, in the long-term, be kept to the lowest level possible to achieve "The Statement of Aims" in the States Strategic Plan 2013-2017.
    • In support of this strategic objective, wherever possible, Housing Control will limit the length of employment-related housing licences so that the holder does not live in Guernsey for more than five consecutive years.
    • Although it is possible to issue licences for longer than five years, this will normally only happen if the employer making the application can demonstrate that:
      • limiting the length of the licence would act to the detriment of achieving Economic, Social and Environmental objectives; or
      • long-term continuity in the post is essential to the community; or
      • the skills required for the post are scarce on a national or international basis so that recruiting is exceptionally difficult.
  • What is the administration fee and how can I pay?

    • The fee charged will be for the overall length of residence permitted under licence.
    • Duration              Fee charged                                
      1 year£148.80
      (£12.40 per month of licence)
      5 years£744
      15 years£2,232
    • The fee charged will be for the overall length of residence permitted under licence.  For example, if a 2-year extension to a 5-year licence is requested, the fee charged will be £1,041.60, i.e. 7 year total licence duration.
    • If you are unsure what fee will be charged for the application you are making, you can use online fee calculator the to ensure you submit the correct payment.
    • The States of Guernsey 'Online Web Payments' can be accessed here under the link 'Housing Control - Employment Related Document'.
  • How long does an application take to process?

    • Processing TimeNumber of applications completed
      8 weeks80% processed
      13 weeks90% processed
      20 weeks100% processed
    • Applications made for new licences either ahead of an applicant being appointed to the post or where an applicant has been identified but is new to this role for this employer will be processed in the timeframes above.
    • The same processing times apply to applications for 'extensions' to existing 'essential' employment-related housing licences.
    • Housing Control will process the application and confirm the outcome in writing.  If the application is successful, advertise the post off-Island.
    • If the application is unsuccessful, Housing Control will explain the reasons why in writing. You have a formal right to appeal against the decision if you think that the decision is unreasonable.
  • How long does an 'in principle' agreement last for? 

    • When a Statement in Principle is issued confirming that a licence can be released for a specific post, it is usually valid for a period of one year of the letter confirming in principle that a licence can be made available.  If you know that it is likely to take longer than one year for an off-Island appointment to be made and for the person to relocate to Guernsey, you should put this in writing as part of your initial application for a Statement in Principle so that consideration can be given to offering a longer Statement in Principle period.
    • If it becomes clear that the recruitment and relocation process will not be finalised within 12 months, you should contact the Housing Control Section as soon as you are able to request an extension to the Statement in Principle. If the request to extend the duration of the Statement in Principle is made before it lapses, there will be no administration charge for the application to extend it. 
  • How does an 'in principle' agreement change into to a housing licence?

    • When you have found the candidate you want to appoint, tell Housing Control:
    • - the name of the person you have appointed
    • - their salary package
    • - the date they will start work
    • Housing Control will confirm the accommodation options available with the licence so that your new employee can start looking for Local Market housing.
    • When the employee has found suitable housing, they apply for a housing licence with the 'Application for an employment-related housing licence' (H.C.5e) for that specific address.
    • The processing times for such applications are:
    • Processing TimeNumber of applications completed
      4 weeks80% processed
      6 weeks90% processed
      10 weeks100% processed
  • What other factors should I take into account when appointing individuals?

    • Immigration Clearance
    • For applications relating to persons from outside the European Economic Area, a Right to Work document can only be issued once the applicant has received immigration clearance to work in Guernsey. A Right to Work document will not be issued beyond the date of that clearance. You can find out more from the Guernsey Border Agency at
    • Criminal Convictions
    • Applications can be refused if the employee that will be coming to the Island has a criminal record, including motoring offences. However, 'spent' convictions, as defined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 2002, will not be taken into account when considering the application.
    • Registering with other States' Departments
    • Employers would be advised to contact the Social Security Department in respect of contributions to be made and the Income Tax Office    


Application Form for Statement in Principle - SIP SIP - Guidance Notes - Applying for an employment-related housing licence - Statements in Principle - May 2016 SIP - Supporting Notes - Principles of Primary and Secondary Benefits - May 2016 HC5e - Application for housing licence on grounds of employment

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