Employers need to be aware of new immigration laws - BDO

Employers need to be aware of new immigration laws - BDO

With the States of Guernsey announcing its Bailiwick Blueprint for lifting travel restrictions, many firms may be starting to think about hiring new employees from overseas. But anyone doing so should be aware of the island’s new immigration process.

Previously, citizens of the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland had freedom to live and work in the Bailiwick of Guernsey, but this has now changed as a result of Brexit.

Now that a trade deal between the UK and the EU has been reached employers need to consider its impact on the Bailiwick regarding the relocation of non-UK nationals.

Following the end of the Brexit transition period, on 1 January 2021, EU, EEA and Swiss citizens are now required to apply for a visa through the UK’s online system before traveling to work in the Bailiwick of Guernsey. Anyone coming to the Bailiwick to work will require an immigration work permit, which can be applied for under a simplified process that includes the joint application for a population management permit.

Employers need to be aware of this new process because the onus is on them to apply for a population management permit. The prospective employee then applies for their own visa, using a reference number provided by their employer.

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 – so it’s important to get this right first time.

Bailiwick immigration requirements are unchanged for British and Irish citizens, who are still able to come to Guernsey without any requirement for a visa – though a population management permit may still be required.

For nationals of any non-EU or EEA country, or Switzerland, there are no changes and the requirement remains that they have to make an application for an immigration permit and necessary valid working visa.