Guernsey’s Population Management Law

Jo StoddartIf you are considering moving to Guernsey, one of the first questions you will probably ask is “where can I live?” If you have already done some searching on estate agents’ websites, you may have noticed that properties are either categorised as “Local Market” or “Open Market” but like most newbies, you might not understand what this means, nor what the implications will be for your particular circumstances. To find out about the differences between the two, read our article here

By Jo Stoddart, Managing Director at Quintessential Relocations

Open Market

Being a small island (25 square miles) there have been measures put in place to control population levels to ensure that the size of our population doesn’t increase to the extent that the island’s infrastructure can’t cope. Any British or EU Citizen can come to the island and live in an Open Market property and this has not changed at all. Open Market properties tend to be more expensive to buy or to rent, although the price differential between the two has narrowed considerably. There are a limited number of Open Market properties so this does not adversely affect population levels.

Open Market residents can live in any Open Market property in Guernsey, can work in any job or establish their own business should they so wish and they can live on the island for as long as they want to provided that they remain in Open Market property so it’s a great and easy way to be able to come and live here.

Local Licences

Guernsey does have skills shortages in some sectors so it is important that local businesses who can’t find a suitably skilled local candidate can hire someone who can come and live in Guernsey to fill this role. In April 2017 a completely new Population Management Law was introduced to simplify the process for Guernsey companies to bring in new employees to work here and to live on the Local Market. The rules and policies governing how long these “essential” employees can stay are also much clearer for everyone.

Depending on the type of work for which a permit is being sought, businesses can now apply for either a Short Term Employment Permit (STEP), a Medium Term Employment Permit (MTEP) or a Long Term Employment Permit (LTEP).

Medium Term Employment Permits (MTEP)

MTEP holders will be allowed to live in any Local Market property and can live and work on the island for up to five years. They can bring their family members with them to Guernsey who will be allowed to work in Guernsey as well. Normally the holder of an MTEP would be required to leave the island at the end of the five-year period for at least five years before being able to return to the island in the future. However, if the job which the MTEP holder evolves or they are promoted internally to a different job which would normally qualify the holder of that post for a LTEP, employers can apply for the permit holder to switch to a LTEP.

Long Term Employment Permits (LTEP)

LTEPs are valid for up to 8 years but the beauty of these permits is that if the holder is still resident on the island in the same job at the end of the 8 year period, they can expect to become an Established Resident on the island. LTEP holders are allowed to live in any Local Market property and can bring family members with them who will be allowed to work on the island. If the holder of a LTEP stays on the island for a total of 14 years, they become permanent residents of Guernsey.

MTEP and LTEP holders may also live in an Open Market property if they wish to do so.

Short Term Employment Permits (STEP)

STEP holders will have a permit for one year which can be renewable for up to a total residency period of 5 years, but they have to live in shared accommodation on either the Open or Local Market and are not allowed to bring family members to live with them on the island.

Do get in touch with the team at QRC ( or +44 (0)1481 257200) who will be happy to give you further information and explain exactly what the type of permit you have been given means for your specific circumstances. Guernsey is a fantastic place to live so if you are offered a job with a permit, grab it with both hands and enjoy all that the island has to offer!


For more information on this new legislation, go to