Population Management

Throughout your time in Guernsey you will hear the terms “Open Market” and “Local Market” bandied about. This is an important one to wrap your head around as it dictates where you can and can’t live.

Guernsey is a small, but very attractive place to live for a whole heap of reasons (it’s safe, has a high standard of living, good wages, low taxes and an awesome lifestyle).

For this reason the States have to control how many people come to live and work on the island so the poor little place isn’t swamped!

Enter Population Management Law, a piece of legislation introduced to help ensure that people with the right skills are allowed in to meet workforce shortages, contribute to the economy, and ensure a functioning society.

The first part of these controls is your work permit.

The second part is the division of the housing market into Open Market and Local Market properties.


What are Open Market and Local Market exactly?

As the name suggests, Local Market properties are set aside for “locals” and make up the majority of the houses on the island. People with specific work permits can reside in these homes too.

There are also a small proportion of Open Market homes in Guernsey, which are properties open to anyone who has clearance to live and work in Guernsey. These homes are much more flexible, you’re not tied there by a specific work permit, but they are much more expensive. Open Market properties may be categorised as:

  • Open Market Part A: a family home
  • Open Market Part B: a hotel
  • Open Market Part C: a nursing home
  • Open Market Part D: a house of multiple occupation


So where can I live?

This will be described on your specific work permit, but I’m sure your employer will help you out with finding the right accommodation.

As an example, if you come to the island as a physiotherapist on a short term work permit and plan to stay for 90 days, your permit might state that you can “live in any Local Market or Open Market property, but you must live in the household of a lawful resident on a lodging basis and cannot be a householder.”

Just keep in mind that rent and housing is pretty expensive here, so take some time to suss out a few options. Expect to pay £600-800 per month to rent a room off someone.


Do I need to apply for a housing permit?

No, there’s no need to apply for a separate permit. The conditions of your accommodation are tied to your employment permit and outlined on this document already.

If you’re going to change jobs or stay longer you’ll need to get a different permit for your different circumstances.


What do I need to do then?

Your only job is to register with the Population Management Office via their Population Management Portal.

When your employer applies for your work permit they will also submit your details to Population Management. They’ll send you an email link to register your details online, giving them all the info they need to process your employment permit and advise you on what accommodation you can stay in.


So that’s it! It seems like a lot of information to absorb, and in a way it is, but it’s not really something you need to know or understand in depth as it kind of all just happens in the background without too much input on your behalf.

All you’ve got to do is get the job, and your employer will walk you through the rest.


> Guernsey Employment Status Explained

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