Setting up a 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 what you need to consider when relocating to the island.
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 always happy to help and are confident you’ll soon be enjoying the many benefits of island life.
Finding a home
To consider property in Guernsey, it’s important to be mindful of the island’s residency rules. By way of background, Guernsey has a two-tier property market, the Open Market and the Local Market, and there are rules in place that determine the type of property you can reside in.
Generally speaking, the Local Market is reserved for those with familial connection to the island or those holding Employment Permits. The Open Market is available to those looking to relocate to the island that do not have the right to live in the Local Market. If you are unsure about the island’s residency rules and what is applicable to you, please visit the following page:
If you do not have a UK or Irish passport, or Right of Abode in the UK, you will also need a visa to live in Guernsey. Please visit the above link for further information regarding visas.
Once you know whether you have access to the Local Market or Open Market, it’s time to look at property.
The island has several estate agents who can offer advice on Guernsey properties; Locate Guernsey can introduce you to them.
A short-term rental can be a good option while you find your feet and get to know the island’s different parishes and amenities, but some prefer to buy straight away – it’s completely up to you. Compared with other jurisdictions, renting and buying property in Guernsey is relatively simple.
Our guide to finding a home has lots of useful information about buying and renting property:
Unsure which part of the island you would like to live in? Read our handy Parish guide!
Registering with Population Management
Have you completed your online registration with the Population Management office? Everyone* residing in Guernsey, other than for the purposes of tourism, must hold a residency permit or certificate. All applications are made online, but if you are unsure of the type of permit or certificate you require, please contact the Locate Guernsey team.
*children do not need to apply for permits until they reach the age of 16 or start employment.
Registering with Revenue Services
New residents will need to register with Revenue Services for Income Tax and Social Insurance (Guernsey’s equivalent of National Insurance), but you can register for both using the same form:
This form can either be scanned and emailed to email@example.com or posted/ delivered in person to the address below.
Social Security, Edward T. Wheadon House, Le Truchot, St Peter Port, Guernsey, GY1 3WH
Once your form has been processed they will send you an income tax reference number and coding notice (income tax), and a GY number (social insurance).
Please note that, if you are non-employed or self-employed, you can elect to pay income-related contributions (if you do not, you are charged at the maximum weekly rate). The form to apply for income related contributions can be found here:
If you would like further information regarding the island’s tax and social insurance systems, please visit our dedicated page:
Professional tax advice is very often a good idea. Locate Guernsey has a list of Guernsey-based tax specialists which we can share with you.
Guernsey has an excellent healthcare system, however it’s worth noting that the system for accessing medical treatment in Guernsey differs to the UK as we do not have the National Health Service (NHS). We pay for all of our own primary care which includes GP visits, A&E and Ambulance. If you haven’t done so already, please take time to review the following webpage that explains Guernsey’s healthcare system:
Once you have moved to Guernsey, you will need to register with a GP. Guernsey has three GP partnerships, offering a total of nine surgeries across the island. It’s personal choice which practice you decide to register with.
You may also consider health insurance, to give you the 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. Locate Guernsey can share a list of providers.
It would also be worthwhile registering with a dental practice. A full list of dental practices can be found here:
Cars & Driving
Bringing your car
You’re welcome to bring your car to Guernsey with you.
You will need to re-register it in Guernsey within your first two weeks of residency. You will also need to pay an emissions fee surcharge, which is calculated based on your car’s emissions.
To re-register your vehicle, you’ll need to have its current and original registration documentation to hand.
You will also need to re-register your existing driving licence for a Guernsey licence within your first year of residency.
Driving licences from most countries can be exchanged for a local one. Guernsey's Driving and Vehicle Licensing has provided a list of countries where licences can be exchanged. Please review this list to ensure it is possible to exchange your existing licence:
Driving in Guernsey
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 come to understand.
Guernsey’s lanes are a pleasure to explore and, unlike the UK, there are no dual carriageways or motorways.
Guernsey’s education system has an excellent reputation and every child has access to free schooling up to the age of 18. We also have three excellent private schools.
If you are moving to the island with children, you will need to consider whether you plan to place them in a government-provided school or a private school, and complete the necessary registrations. Please visit our Education page for further information regarding schooling in Guernsey.
Locate Guernsey can advise on your specific education requirements and provide introductions to contacts at the island’s private schools.
Recent relocators often remark on how friendly and welcoming islanders are. Getting involved in the local community is a great way to explore the island and make new friends and, fortunately, it’s very easy!
Sports and hobbies
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. Joining an existing sport or social group is a great way to get to meet like-minded people. The team at Locate Guernsey are only too happy to provide you with a list of existing sports and hobby groups, but here are a few pages that may be useful:
Guernsey also had a jampacked events diary. Throughout the year the island hosts several markets, festivals, carnivals and concerts across its 10 parishes.
Moving with children
Guernsey with Kids is a fantastic free resource that provides lots of useful information for families in Guernsey - including family-friendly activities, events and a business directory.
If you don’t do so already, you can also follow us on social media where we post lots of information about Guernsey and how you can get involved in the community.
We’d love to introduce you to island life and help you get established on our beautiful island, so why not get in touch?
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