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Practicalities about relocating to Guernsey

11th December 2017

Found in: Blog  -  

Author: Robbie Le Messurier, Operations Executive

Setting up home in a new place is exciting, but we know it can sometimes also be a daunting prospect. Rest assured, Guernsey is known for its warm welcome and Locate Guernsey will provide you with all the advice on the practicalities you need to consider regarding relocation.

We’ve outlined a few practicalities to think about when arriving on-island. Of course, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any particular queries or concerns, we’re happy to help and are confident you’ll soon be enjoying the benefits of island life.

Property
A short-term rental is a good option while you find your feet and get to know the island’s different parishes and amenities. Some people do prefer to buy straight away but, compared with other jurisdictions, renting and buying property in Guernsey is really simple.

The island is unique in having a two-tier property structure, with a Local Market and an Open Market. The Open Market is for any families, businesses and individuals arriving from overseas or the UK who are looking to make Guernsey their home. The Local Market is available for local residents and employment permit holders.

The advantage of buying or renting an Open Market property is that, if you want to, you are free to work for any employer, or indeed yourself, for any length of time – it’s flexible and you are not reliant on a employment permit.

The island has several estate agents who can offer advice on Guernsey properties; Locate Guernsey can introduce you to them, and there’s a wealth of information about living in Guernsey at: gov.gg/populationmanagement.

Social Security and Income Tax

New residents will need to register with Social Security and Income Tax, which is relatively straightforward and can usually be done online.

Social Security
Payment of Social Security contributions is compulsory and gives both employer and employee insurance protection. It also provides individuals with a number of benefits. The contribution rate for employees is 6% of gross earnings, whilst employers pay 6.5%. Self-employed individuals pay 10.5% and non-employed individuals pay 9.9%. You’ll just need to register with the Social Security services team to get started.

Applying for a registration or contribution card can be done here: gov.gg/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=101167&p=0.

With more general Social Security information available at: gov.gg/SScontributions

Tax
Tax doesn’t have to be complicated. At Locate Guernsey we can provide you with a helpful document called ‘Tax in Guernsey – an Introduction’. Please get in touch to receive your copy and further assistance.

The forms to be completed by new arrivals are available
through these links:

Income Tax: eforms.gov.gg/NewArrivals.asp

More general income tax information about arriving in Guernsey can be found here: https://gov.gg/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=98829&p=0.

Professional tax advice is very often a good idea. The Guernsey Society of Chartered and Certified Accountants has a number of expert contacts who can provide this advice.

Medical Services
Guernsey has an excellent healthcare system, delivered through its numerous medical centres and the Princess Elizabeth Hospital (PEH).

However, it’s worth noting that the system for accessing medical treatment in Guernsey differs to the UK as there is no National Health Service (NHS) and no reciprocal health agreement

GP practices are private so you’ll need to pay for your consultation and any emergency medical treatment you receive is also paid for. Registering with a GP is relatively easy and you can usually find one close to home.

Guernsey has three GP partnerships; Healthcare Group Guernsey: www.healthcare.gg, Queen’s Road Medical Practice: www.eqrmp.com and Island Health: www.islandhealth.co.uk , offering access to a total of nine surgeries throughout the island.

You can also consider health insurance for the whole family, just to give you peace of mind that you’re covered for all eventualities. This is widely available from a range of private providers both locally and further afield.

Cars & Driving
You’re welcome to bring your car to Guernsey with you.

To re-register your vehicle, you’ll need to have its current and original registration documentation to hand. You also have a year to register for your Guernsey driving licence. There’s no need to sit an exam, you can just exchange your current licence for a local one.

For most, driving in Guernsey will be a new experience although, like the UK, we do drive on the left! The lanes and roads are narrower, road names are often in French and the island has some unique and quaint traffic systems that you will quickly get to understand.

Guernsey’s lanes are a pleasure to explore and, unlike the UK, there are no dual carriageways or motorways. Drop us a line for further advice or visit:gov.gg/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=102057&p=0

Education
Guernsey’s education system has an excellent reputation and every child has access to free schooling up to the age of 18.

Primary school is decided by catchment area but there is an element of flexibility. The island also boasts top-class private education via its three independent colleges.

The education system in Guernsey is very similar to that in the UK. Children stay in primary education until they are 11 years old, when they move on to secondary school.

“Guernsey’s education system has an excellent reputation”

Locate Guernsey can advise on your specific education requirements and provide introductions to contacts at the Island’s private schools. gov.gg/education is also a very helpful link providing much more information.

Community
Many people are attracted to Guernsey thanks to its community vibe, low crime rate and excellent sports and recreation facilities.

From water, track and field sports to vintage car clubs and literary societies, there’s an activity to suit everyone, whatever your interest or age group.

If St Peter Port’s buzzing nightlife and mix of boutique and big-brand shops aren’t enough to keep you entertained, throughout the year the island hosts several markets, festivals, carnivals and concerts across its 10 parishes

We’d love to introduce you to island life and help you get established on our beautiful island, so why not get in touch? We’d be happy to chat over coffee.

For more information please contact the team on +44 (0)1481 743834 or at enquiries@locateguernsey.com

Download the full factsheet here: Locate Guernsey – Practicalities of Arriving in Guernsey