Guernsey is a self-governing British Crown dependency held by the monarch of the United Kingdom though it is not part of the UK. Together with the Bailiwick of Jersey, it forms part of the Channel Islands. To attract foreign investment, expertise, and talent to Guernsey, the government organization Locate Guernsey offers immigration routes for wealthy individuals and entrepreneurs. They encourage affluent individuals to relocate to the island and do business there, offering them tax and other benefits in exchange for contributing to the local economy.
The Guernsey passport is a British passport issued by the Passport Office of the Customs and Immigration Department in St.Peter Port to British citizens.
Non-EU passport holders who wish to relocate to Guernsey or run their business there have two immigration routes.
Investment Visa Route
To apply for Guernsey residency, the applicant must have ₤1M available and under their control. Make an investment of at least ₤750,000 for the benefit of the Bailiwick of Guernsey. There are three investment options offered:
∘ Deposit in a Guernsey bank;
∘ Purchase and maintenance of another Open Market property;
∘ Another opportunity approved by the States of Guernsey.
∘ Intention to settle in Guernsey.
∘ Self-sufficiency without recourse to public funds.
Entrepreneur Visa Route
Applicants must invest ₤200,000 in a new or existing Guernsey company under the entrepreneur visa route. The funds must be in the applicant’s name and ready to be invested.
∘ The applicant must manage the company themselves and be involved full-time.
∘ The applicant must have a controlling or equal interest in the business.
∘ Evidence that the business will create jobs and be economically beneficial for the state.
∘ Business experience.
∘ Valid business plan.
∘ Self-sufficiency without recourse to public funds.
∘ A new business must be registered with the Income Tax Office.
Requirements for Permanent Residence
Investors and entrepreneurs may apply for an Indefinite leave to remain to settle in Guernsey after 5 years of continuous and lawful residence there either in the investor’s capacity or running their business and complying with all the requirements. Applicants from 18 to 65 must pass the Citizenship Test to demonstrate they have sufficient knowledge of English and life in the UK and Guernsey. Children under 18 can be included in the permanent residence application.
Guernsey’s Citizenship Requirements
To apply for citizenship in Guernsey, you must spend there at least one year as a permanent resident. So you must have spent at least 6 years in Guernsey after your first entry as an investor or entrepreneur before you apply for Guernsey (British) passport. Guernsey permits dual citizenship, so you don’t have to renounce your current nationality.
Guernsey has a lot to offer to foreign investors and businessmen in exchange for their contribution to the local economy.
∘ Low tax regime
∘ Unique geographic and economic position
∘ Straightforward regulatory system
∘ World-class professional and financial services
∘ Pro-business government
∘ Skilled and highly qualified workforce
∘ High international credit rating
∘ A safe and stable environment with very low crime rates
∘ Top-class education system
∘ A wide choice of residential housing
∘ Proximity and easy access to financial and business hubs
For individuals with high worldwide income, Guernsey offers special high-income tax regimes.
Investor and entrepreneur visas are initially granted for 2 years subject to extension for another 3 years, provided the application complies with all the requirements.
∘ The principal applicant must be 18 and over
∘ Clean criminal record and no breaches of immigration law.
∘ Good character
∘ Available funds for investment.
∘ No minimum amount of tax contribution is required.
∘ Purchase or rent accommodation in the Open Market to live there.
∘ English language test for entrepreneurs.
Step 1: Apply for the Visa. Put together your pack of documents and send them by post to the Immigration Office of the island. The wait time is approximately 2-6 weeks, and you’ll receive your investor or entrepreneur visa then. It will be valid for three years.
Step 2: Move to Guernsey and Make the Investment. You will need to make arrangements to move to Guernsey. We would recommend booking a hotel for those initial weeks until you get settled and find your bearings. You’ll also be expected to register your arrival at the Border Agency (within 7 days) and stay in Jersey for at least 10 months of the year if you want to work your way towards permanent residence.
Step 3: Find Accommodation in Guernsey. No matter your investment route, you will need a place to live and you’ll only be legally able to find it via the ”open market”. It’s a market especially separated from the ‘local market’ that’s meant for people with a born right to live in Guernsey. Successful applicants for the residence program will soon find out that the island’s housing stock in the open market features prices that are quite inflated. But there are a couple of bits of good news too. First, some of the most desirable housing stock is available only via the open market. Second, you can also rent a property via the open market and don’t need to buy. This can lessen some of your up-front investment if you’re looking to do that.
Step 4: Renew Your Temporary Residence. Since the initial visa is only valid for three years, you will need to renew it for another two years just before it expires. It’s easily done, provided that you’ve kept up your end of the bargain and have maintained your investment, be it real estate or a business. Also, you should have spent no longer than two months per year away from Guernsey. In other words, it should be obvious that Guernsey is your permanent home.
Step 5: Get Guernsey Permanent Residence. After five years of living in Guernsey, foreigners can apply for permanent residence. It’s locally known as Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). To qualify for Guernsey permanent residence, you must have made Guernsey your primary home for the duration of the full five years. Applicants younger than 18 can simply be added to the main applicant’s residence application. If you have Guernsey permanent residence, you will need to continue being a tax resident on the island to retain this status, but you don’t have to apply for citizenship if you don’t want to.
Step 6: Apply for Guernsey’s Citizenship. Interestingly enough, Guernsey’s citizenship is considered to be British by most measures. So, if you think that you would like to apply for citizenship, you’d be getting a British passport, in essence. You will become eligible to apply for citizenship in Guernsey after six years of living on the island. The clock starts ticking after you first enter the country as an investor or an entrepreneur.
Privacy World offers its services to anyone, not only looking to obtain residency and citizenship processes but our experts figure out legal ways to:
Privacy World can also help you with incorporating your company in Guernsey, assisting in getting you settled in the country, and coordinating with you so that this experience will be less hassle.
Want Privacy World to handle your case? Have any questions? Contact us!
Guernsey permits dual citizenship, so you don’t have to renounce your current nationality.
You may include children under age of 18 as dependents, child aged 18 over cannot be included.
You need to be in Guernsey for 91 days or more in a calendar year, or if you are in the Island for 35 days or more and have been in Guernsey for at least 365 days in the previous 4 years.
Any tourist can stay up to 90 days in any 12 months without needing a permit.
There is no minimum income requirement to reside in Guernsey.
No interview required.
To apply for citizenship in Guernsey, you must spend there at least one year as a permanent resident. So you must have spent at least 6 years in Guernsey after your first entry as an investor or entrepreneur before you apply Guernsey (British) passport.
An individual who is ”solely” or ”principally resident” in Guernsey is liable to Guernsey income tax on their total worldwide income at a flat rate of 20% after personal allowances and deductions.
An individual who is neither resident only, nor solely or principally resident will generally be considered to be ”non resident” and is broadly only liable to Guernsey income tax on Guernsey source income such as employment or property income.
There are no net wealth/worth taxes in Guernsey.
There are no inheritance taxes in Guernsey.