Moving To Jersey as a Business, Successful Entrepreneur Or HNWI
Ordinarily you have to live in Jersey continuously for 5 years and gain Entitled for work status* before you can start a business or work in most jobs. You also have to live in Jersey continuously for 10 years and gain Entitled status* to access the full property market. However, there are exceptions, Jersey welcomes applications from:
- high value activity businesses and their principals, who are looking to move offshore
- skilled, economically active High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs).
For these individuals there are two routes that can be followed.
- Business Relocation. This is for businesses that want to establish on the Island. This route gives the business principals (or essential employees) the option to apply for a ‘Licensed’ permission. Individuals can then access the full residential market
- High Value Residency (HVR) scheme. This route is for HNWIs and is income based. It gives individuals ‘Entitled’ status so they gain full residential and employment rights, subject to specific conditions.
*See the table below for definitions.
Residency and Employment
The Control of Housing and Work (Jersey) Law has 4 main categories of residential and employment status. These determine where you can live and work in Jersey and are summarised in the table below.
- Under the Income Tax (Jersey) Law an individual applying for High Value Residency must be able to demonstrate that they have a comfortable and sustainable worldwide income in excess of £1,250,000 on which they would pay 20% income tax (£250,000 per year) and for anything in excess of £1,250,000, the tax is levied at 1%. The individual must also be able to demonstrate personal wealth in excess of £10,000,000 (excluding main residence and some liquidity required). Additional conditions which may be attached to the Entitled status of an approved high value resident include, but are not restricted to, the following:
• That they can only lease or purchase one single unit of residential accommodation for occupation as their main place of residence in Jersey, unless otherwise agreed by the Minister, and permission to retain ownership of, and occupy Qualified property will depend in future on them retaining Entitled status;
• That any property, or shares in a company owning a property, purchased by them either in their individual name, or via a body corporate, must be subject to Land Transaction Tax or Stamp Duty;
• That the Entitled status will be subject to a specified review period effective from the date of arrival. This will be to confirm sufficient income is generated so that there is confidence the minimum income tax liability will continue to be met going forward.
- Relocating businesses are required to provide a business plan in support of an application for a business licence. There are a number of criteria required to be addressed within this plan as well as specific information regarding the existing business and the proposed Jersey business. The progress of the proposed business will be assessed against this plan at the end of the term of the Licensed or Registered permission, and consideration given as to whether or not the business licence and/or personal permission will be renewed.
- To qualify as an eligible partner, applicants will need to provide the required evidence of an enduring relationship of 2 years or more as outlined on this page of the Government of Jersey website:
Immigration - Visas
If you are British, Irish or hold settled or pre-settled status, you do not require a visa to enter, visit, work, study or settle in Jersey.
An immigration permission in the form of a visa will be required for anyone else who wishes to come and work in Jersey.
Certain nationalities require visas regardless of the purpose of their stay in Jersey.
All nationalities require a visa if they wish to work, study or settle in Jersey.
The Jersey visa requirements are the same as the UK visa requirements. You can find out if you need a visa by visiting the UK visas website. Schengen visas are not valid in Jersey.
If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss national you do not require a visa to visit Jersey for up to 6 months.
If you require a visa to enter Jersey, you must apply for it before you travel.
To check if you need a UK visa and to apply for a UK visa follow the links at the bottom of this page to the gov.uk website.
Immigration - Work Permits
Employers may also need to apply for a work permit (under the Immigration (Work Permits) (Jersey) Rules 1995) for someone they want to employ, if that person needs immigration permission to enter or remain in Jersey for work.
Work permits are issued by the Jersey Customs and Immigration Service. See Recruiting Staff.
You don’t need a permit to work in Jersey if you are:
- a British or Irish citizen, or a British subject with the right of abode
- an EU / EEA passport holder who holds settled or pre-settled status
- a family member of an EU / EEA passport holder who holds settled or pre-settled status
- a Commonwealth citizen admitted on the grounds of UK ancestry
- a Commonwealth citizen with a certificate of entitlement to the right of abode
- a participant in the Youth Mobility Scheme
- a minister of religion
- a business visitor
- a non-EU / EEA passport holder who has no restrictions attached to your stay.
There are 2 types of Work Permits:
Skilled work permits are granted for an initial period of up to 3 years, which can be extended further. More details on the criteria and jobs that are eligible for a work permit in this category are detailed in the work permit policy. There are some roles which are eligible for this work permit type but exempt from the skilled worker salary threshold. These roles are listed in Appendix 3 of the work permit policy (see links at the bottom of this page).
Temporary work permits are granted for up to 9 months in the hospitality, agricultural and fishing industries. Temporary permits may also be granted to the construction industry for an initial period of 1 year and are renewable up to a maximum period of 4 years. More details on the criteria and jobs that are eligible for a work permit in this category are detailed in the work permit policy (follow the links at the bottom of this page).
When to Apply for a Work Permit
The employer should apply for a work permit before the prospective employee comes to Jersey.
If a work permit is approved, the employee must then apply for their UK Visa. The processing time for a permit is 3 weeks. The employer must allow enough time for the work permit to be issued and the prospective employee to apply for a visa before the employee travels to Jersey.
Follow the links at the bottom of the page for more information.
Residential/Working Status for Married Couples and Civil Partners who Move to Jersey
Each application is dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
Usually if you have:
- entitled status as a High Value Resident
- a Licensed permission as a business principal/essential employee
your husband/wife/civil partner will be granted Entitled for Work Only status so long as you retain that permission.
If you are granted a Registered permission, your spouse or Civil Partner will also have Registered permission.
The Residential and Employment Status Policy Guidance has more detailed information.
Residential/Working Status for Non-Married Couples
If you are not married to your partner, but you are granted Entitled or Licensed status and can meet the required evidence to show you have been in an ‘enduring’ relationship for a full 2 years or more, your partner will become Entitled for Work Only for work purposes. Strong evidence will be required to gain ‘eligible partner’ status. For more info, please go to the Government of Jersey website here: www.gov.je/Working/Contributions/RegistrationCards/Pages/GetRegistrationCard.aspx
If you are unable to satisfy the evidence requirements, your partner will have Registered status and will be required to live in Jersey for 5 years before achieving Entitled For Work Only status. If before that time they want to:
- apply for a role within a Jersey company, the company would need to have a permission to employ an individual who does not have 5 years residency
- start their own business, they would have to submit an application for a business licence as a registered individual.
When someone moves to Jersey as a dependent child, they may be able to utilise an exemption, which effectively allows them to work in any role and for any employer, where they meet 4 criteria upon first arriving in Jersey.
Those criteria are that:
- they are under 25 years old,
- they are in continuous full-time education,
- they have a parent who has Entitled, Entitled for Work Only or Licensed status, and
- they are ordinarily resident with and financially dependent on their parent
This exemption allows a person to be issued a ‘Registered Exempt’ status, meaning that an employer would not require specific permission to employ them. This exemption only applies where the person has been ordinarily resident in Jersey for less than 5 years. This is because once a person completes 5 years continuous residence, they will be eligible for Entitled for Work Only status in their own right and will no longer require the exemption to work in any role and for any employer.
After 5 years they will become Entitled for Work Only. After 10 years continuous they will achieve Entitled status.
E.g. University or other Higher Education
Time spent in full-time education outside of Jersey may be considered as continuous residence if:
- your child is under 25 years old when you move to Jersey
- the child was ordinarily living in Jersey immediately before beginning higher education
- both parents remain ordinarily resident in Jersey for the entire period of study.
There are also other circumstances where time spent outside of the Island may count towards continuous residence. You should always take advice from the Customer and Local Services Department (+44 (0)1534 444444) before leaving the Island, as individual circumstances will differ.
Residency and Change in Marital Circumstances
If you become:
you may be able to qualify for ‘entitled’ status on hardship, economic or social grounds.
Each case is assessed according to the individual circumstances and will take account of the Residential and Employment Status Policy Guidance (March 2018).
These are considered to be exceptional cases and the final decision is made by the Chief Minister.
For more information see the Links at the bottom of this page.
EU Citizens and Brexit
Jersey has its own EU Settlement Scheme to ensure that EU citizens who live in the Island are able to stay. The Jersey EU Settlement Scheme provides:
- settled status to successful applicants who have been living in Jersey continuously for 5 years or more by 31st December 2020. This allows them to continue living and working in Jersey. They will also be able to apply for British nationality
- pre-settled status to applicants who fulfil all the requirements of the application but have been living in Jersey for less than 5 years. This includes those who moved to Jersey between the end of 2018 and 31st December 2020. After they have completed 5 years residency they can then apply for settled status
- the ability for family members who are living with, or joined, EU citizens in Jersey by 31st December 2020, to apply for settled status, after 5 years in the Island
- for close family members (spouses, civil and unmarried partners, dependent children and grandchildren, and dependent parents and grandparents) to join EU citizens in the Island (where the family relationship existed on 31st December 2020).
Applying for Settled Status
To apply for settled status you need to provide the following to the Jersey Customs and Immigration Service:
- an identity document (Passport or National Identity Document)
- a recent photograph to confirm your identity and nationality
- declaration of any criminal convictions.
The application process is quick and user-friendly, and uses a mobile app. The application process will check three simple things:
- your identity
- the length of your residence in Jersey
- any criminal convictions. Only serious or persistent criminality will affect eligibility for the scheme.
If you already have either indefinite leave to remain or permanent residence you will have to apply to the Jersey EU Settlement Scheme in the same way as all other EU citizens.
Irish Citizens and Brexit
Irish citizens enjoy a right of residence in Jersey that is not reliant on any relationship with the EU.
Your ability to remain in Jersey is unaffected by Brexit. You do not have to apply for settled status under the Jersey EU Settlement Scheme.
Purchasing Property and Residential Status
Licensed individuals are only allowed to own and occupy one property as their sole or principal place of residence.
High Value Residents (2(1)e residents) are expected to buy or rent a high value property. High value property is considered to be of a minimum value of £3.5million for a house and £1.75million for an apartment. High Value Residents can also, subject to certain conditions:
- buy, develop and sell residential properties through a property development company. Any free-standing units of residential accommodation must be sold to Entitled or Licensed individuals on completion of the development
- buy residential properties in their own name which have been unoccupied, or have been on the market for sale, for more than 2 years. These properties must be leased to Entitled or Licensed persons
- buy a residential property that adjoins their main place of residence in Jersey if:
- the adjoining property more naturally falls within the same curtilage as the property already owned and occupied as their main residence
- it is approved by the Assistant Chief Minister
It is expected that the purchase would be completed in the same name, either person or company, as their main residence. There may also be other conditions placed on the purchase. (Please note that any income derived from Jersey property is taxed at 20%).
“Once we got a license to work on the Island, everything else fell into place. Locate Jersey were especially helpful assisting us in formulating a business plan to the practicalities of relocation and living in Jersey. The only real challenge was getting a visa for my partner, who’s American. However, Locate Jersey even helped guide us through that, so we were very impressed and relieved.”
Richard Parkinson (Co-Founder SM2)
Strategically positioned between the UK and Europe, Jersey opens up a world of connections.
- Enviable quality of life and work-life balance
- Highly regarded and well-regulated international jurisdiction
- Safe, secure community lifestyle
- Low personal and business taxes