Immigration in the aftermath of Brexit
29 January 2021
With the welcome news of a trade deal between the UK and the EU, thoughts turn to the impact on the Bailiwick of Guernsey and in particular the ability of certain non-UK Nationals to relocate to Guernsey.
Prior to 1 January 2021, EU citizens, including citizens of the European Economic Area (Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) and Switzerland had freedom to live and work in the Bailiwick of Guernsey. This was due to the Bailiwick being within the common travel area with the UK, and the UK being within the EU.
With effect from 1 January 2021 the UK‘s transition period following its departure from the EU has ended and free movement for EU/EEA/Swiss citizens within the UK common travel area will cease (it should be noted that EU/EEA/Swiss citizens already living and working in Guernsey can apply for settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme by 30 June 2021).
From 1 January 2021, EU/EEA/Swiss citizens will be required to apply for a visa through the UK‘s online system before travelling to work in the UK and Bailiwick of Guernsey. A person coming to Guernsey for employment purposes will require an immigration work permit which can be applied for under a simplified process that includes the joint application for a population management employment permit.
The process begins with the employer applying for a population management permit and through this obtain a reference number. The prospective employee than applies for a visa reflecting the population management permit reference number. Once the visa is granted, the employment permit is then issued prior to travel.
It is not possible to apply for an employment permit and visa following an earlier arrival in the Bailiwick as switching from visitor category to employment category permits are not permitted.
There are no changes for British or Irish citizens who are able to come to Guernsey without any requirement for a visa, although a population management permit may still be required.
It should be noted that there are no changes for non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationals where the requirement to make an application for an immigration permit and a valid working visa to work in Guernsey. In addition to immigration clearance, it will also be necessary to obtain a valid population management employment permit or certificate to live in Guernsey and this remains a separate process.