Getting an Employment Permit

Managing the workforce of a small island populated by 60,000 people is no easy task and makes Guernsey a little unique when it comes to immigration. Let me take you through the basics of this strict but simple process.

The States of Guernsey (locally known as just “The States”) need to carefully regulate the skillset of those who call the Bailiwick home, ensuring that all the roles that contribute to a functioning society are filled. It’s no use to them to have an island full of accountants with no one to take care of the poor things…

Issuing employment permits to those who want to live and work in Guernsey means that the Population Management Department can control who comes to the island and fill the jobs that require skilled-workers. For example, healthcare.

However, you CAN’T apply for a permit yourself. Weird right?

An employer must apply for an employment permit on your behalf. This will usually occur if you’re the successful applicant for a job (or you get locum work through a recruitment agency).

Basically you’ve got to be invited in. No gatecrashers allowed on this island.

Employment permits will be granted with strict conditions that you must continue to meet to legally remain on the island. If you wish to change jobs or employers, you must get a new permit.

If you get the gig, you and your employer will have 3 options to pick from:


Short Term Employment Permit (STEP)

A STEP is valid for up to 1 year at a time, but can be renewed up to 4 times (i.e. you can stay and work for 5 years total). You must be in a full-time post (at least 35 hours per week), can only live in shared Local Market housing, or Open Market Part D housing (which I explain here), and can’t own the house.


Medium Term Employment Permit (MTEP)

A MTEP is valid for up to 5 years. You must be in a full-time job, and can live in a Local Market house which you may own and share with your family.


Long Term Employment Permit (LTEP)

A LTEP is valid for up to 8 years. You must be in a full-time position, and can live in a Local Market house which you may own and share with your family.

Simple right?

Now I reckon it’s worth explaining again here that an employment permit is different to a visa.

Your work permit is just your permission to take up employment in Guernsey. It’s looked after by Population Management.

Your visa is your permission to legally enter a foreign country. It’s looked after by the Immigration Office, Guernsey Border Agency.

One of the conditions of obtaining a work permit in Guernsey is having “appropriate immigration clearance” which just means a work visa. If you have a work visa for the UK, this will have you covered in the Channel Islands too.

If you don’t have a UK work visa or your visa is due to expire during the term of your work permit, you can apply for a Bailiwick of Guernsey visa – a nice easy way to extend your work time in Britain without having to go to the lengths of UK sponsorship or marrying an Englishman! I explain the process of getting a visa in a little more depth here.

You’re in now! Next, you’ll need to register as a health professional with the local Health and Social Care Committee, find out how here.


> Registration as a Health Professional

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