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Obtaining Your Guernsey Residency By Investment

Guernsey is a part of the “Channel Islands” and has mild temperatures year round, never getting very hot or cold. Life on the island is quiet and serene and a perfect place if you are looking for a more relaxed lifestyle.

While the cost of living is relatively expensive, you will get great value for your money while having access to modern amenities and enjoying a high standard of living. Guernsey has many historical attractions that you can visit, such as forts dating back to the 18th century or the Little Chapel, an intricate little church that was built in 1923. There are also many great views of nature on the island.

 

Castle Cornet St. Peter Port, Guernsey

Castle Cornet St. Peter Port, Guernsey

GUERNSEY OVERVIEW

Financial services are the largest part of its economy, accounting for about 40% of GDP. Despite a modest population of 62,792 people as of the 2019 census. Its economy is quite strong, with a GDP per capita of £51,868 ($59,000 USD). There is an airport with daily connections to London, although, at £130 ($150 USD), it is more economical to take the ferry to Portsmouth and then the train, which will cost you around £50 ($58 USD) if you book in advance.

 

Guernsey on a Map

Guernsey on a Map

GUERNSEY RESIDENCY BY INVESTMENT VISA

Guernsey, an independent Bailiwick, is part of the Common Travel Area (CTA). There are no internal immigration controls if you come from anywhere else within the Common Travel Area. Like any part of the Common Travel Area, you must either be a citizen or a resident of the United Kingdom (or of Guernsey) to live there long-term. Guernsey does not have its own citizenship, instead, they have British citizenship, even though they are not part of the United Kingdom. In addition to valid immigration status, the island of Guernsey also engages in a program of “Population Management.” In order to either live or work there, you must have the appropriate permit or certificate issued by the Population Management Office.

 

Related content: Becoming A Resident Of Gibraltar

 

Temporary visitors can live in Guernsey for up to 90 days without a permit. Still, they are not allowed to seek employment, work remotely, or engage in freelance activities online.  

Aside from having the appropriate paperwork to live on the island of Guernsey, you must also have the legal authority to live or reside in the United Kingdom. Although the bailiwick of Guernsey is subject to the crown, it is a fiscally autonomous region that is not part of the United Kingdom and has its own taxation system.

If you are not a citizen of the United Kingdom, then you will need to apply for a visa if you want to reside there long-term. There are several visa options for students, workers, families, and expat investors seeking new visas and passports. There are many options if you can find an employer to sponsor you or a school that will admit you for studies. You may also qualify for residency if you have U.K. ancestry or if you are an internationally renowned academic, artist, or expert in digital technology.

 

For Everything you need to know about Residencies, Second Passports and Wealth Protection, read this amazing article: The Basics of How To Get a Second Passport Or a Second Residency.

 

St. Peter Port, Guernsey

St. Peter Port, Guernsey

RESIDENCY BY INVESTMENT VISA REQUIREMENTS IN GUERNSEY

Guernsey offers two different routes to residency by investment for any expats that are interested and willing to invest large amounts. They have different requirements and different values.

So let’s look at both of these options:

Investors:

Minimum investment: £750,000 ($853,000 USD)

The investment value is a little steep and requires a deposit of £1m ($1,140,000 USD) in a Guernsey bank account, £750,000 ($853,000 USD) of it has to be invested “to the benefit of the Bailiwick.” the following options are seen as suitable investments by Guernsey’s Committee for Economic Development:

  • 1. £750,000 ($853,000 USD) placed on deposit in a Guernsey Financial Services Commission regulated Guernsey bank, or;
  • 2. Not including your home property, you must buy and hold possession of an Open Market property with a value no lower than £750,000 ($853,000 USD), or;
  • 3. You must invest £750,000 ($853,000 USD) into another Guernsey investment opportunity of your choosing that the States of Guernsey considers.

Entrepreneurs:

Minimum Investment: £200,000 ($227,500 USD)

This route is cheaper, and you can qualify for residency if you intend to live and actively run a business in Guernsey.

You must show you have at least £200,000 ($227,500 USD) in your name in a bank account and be prepared to invest in an existing Guernsey business.

You can also start your own business with a minimum of £200,000 ($227,500 USD) investment.

At first, you will receive a two-year residency permit. You can extend this visa for another three years if the investment, entrepreneurial business, and financial investment are still active. After five years, you may apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), Guernsey’s permanent residency. One year after you acquire the Indefinite Leave to Remain in Guernsey, you may apply for British citizenship. Applicants aged 18 to 65 must pass a citizenship test to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of English and life in the UK and Guernsey. Dual citizenship is allowed.

For both residencies by investment, you must remain in Guernsey for a minimum of 183 days per year to obtain the visa.

 

St. Peter Port, Guernsey

St. Peter Port, Guernsey

TAX IMPLICATIONS OF RESIDENCY IN GUERNSEY

Guernsey has a well-founded reputation as a tax haven. Although income is taxed at a flat rate of 20%, there are no capital gains or wealth taxes and no sales tax (although duties are imposed on imported goods). There is also a personal allowance of £11,875 ($13,700 USD), which is not subject to income tax and additional allowances for housekeepers or dependent relatives. For high-income individuals, there is also a cap on taxable income in the form of either a £130,000 ($150,000 USD) cap for Guernsey sourced income or a £260,000 ($300,000 USD) cap for income sourced worldwide.

Related content: Residency In The British Virgin Islands A Tax Haven Option

There are three tax rates for companies. The standard rate is 0%. However, financial services are taxed at 10%, and a 20% tax rate is applied to the cultivation of marijuana, the import of fossil fuels, rental income, and property development.  

Guernsey also has double taxation treaties, both full and partial, with several different countries.

 

Marina St. Peter Port, Guernsey

Enjoy both nature and luxuries in Guernsey

TAKEAWAYS OF RESIDENCY IN GUERNSEY

Aside from the favourable tax situation, Guernsey also possesses some beautiful views of harbour fronts, natural scenery, and excellent social services like health care and education. We also offer an international school program. Because it is an island with the population of a small town, there is a real sense of community among the people who reside there, and it is a very safe place to live.

As a resident of Guernsey, you can enjoy living in Europe without being subject to the high taxes usually associated with that privilege. You are close to England and France, and as part of the Common Travel Area, you can enjoy travel throughout the U.K. without going through any immigration controls. As most companies do not have to pay taxes in Guernsey, you can save a lot of money by locating your business there, and the income tax rate is at least reasonable with generous personal exemptions. High-income individuals, in particular, can also benefit from the low marginal tax rate and tax cap.

 

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Mikkel Thorup

Written by Mikkel Thorup

Mikkel Thorup is the world’s most sought-after expat consultant. He focuses on helping high-net-worth private clients to legally mitigate tax liabilities, obtain a second residency and citizenship, and assemble a portfolio of foreign investments including international real estate, timber plantations, agricultural land and other hard-money tangible assets. Mikkel is the Founder and CEO at Expat Money™, a private consulting firm started in 2017. He hosts the popular weekly podcast, the Expat Money Show, and wrote the definitive #1-Best Selling book Expat Secrets - How To Pay Zero Taxes, Live Overseas And Make Giant Piles Of Money.

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