Living and Working in Guernsey: Lifestyle

Once you’ve decided to make the move to relocate to Guernsey, it’s time to start considering your lifestyle and fulfilling everyday tasks.

Below we run through accommodation, healthcare and education – all core pillars of everyday life that you need to consider in Guernsey. 

Accommodation in Guernsey

There is a range of property available in Guernsey. There are, however, restrictions on who can live and work on the island. When relocating to Guernsey, you have two housing options available – the Local Market and Open Market.

Local market properties are occupied by those local to Guernsey. This includes those who were born on the island, those who have lived on the island for a certain period, and those whose relatives live on the island. You should consult the Housing Authority for advice on whether you qualify as there are regulations around local market housing.

Open market properties are occupied by local and non-local residents but are typically home to non-locals as they tend to be more expensive. For those who do not have an existing right to live in a local market property, the open market is a route in to establish residency.

Newcomers often take residency in the open market, and if employment is the main reason for living here, an Employment Permit may be given, entitling you to live in a local market property.

The 2017 Population Management Law states that everyone working in Guernsey must obtain a document from the population management team to ensure you are lawfully housed. Full details of this law can be found on the States of Guernsey Population Management website.

Next: Working in Guernsey

Discover everything you need to know about working in Guernsey.

Healthcare in Guernsey

Healthcare in Guernsey is different to the NHS in the UK. Healthcare is funded by the Guernsey Social Security Department, whereby those who pay social security are covered by the Specialist Health Insurance Scheme, which covers the cost of specialist medical care by the Medical Specialist Group.

Outside of the Specialist Health Insurance Scheme, residents are responsible for the cost of GP visits, A&E use, ambulance use, dentistry, physiotherapy, chiropody, and opticians. There are no charges for accommodation, nursing or drug prescriptions whilst in a hospital. It is advised to take out Annual Ambulance subscription with Guernsey Ambulance and Rescue Service, which covers all annual ambulance costs.

Education in Guernsey

Education in Guernsey is compulsory from ages 5-16. Education is free up to the age of 18, but there are also private education schools available. There are also 3 schools for special education needs.

Primary education starts at age 5, when children are allocated a place in their Guernsey Catchment Area. Children sit an 11+ exam to determine their place in secondary school at either a Grammar school, their nearest secondary school, or one of three grant-funded colleges.

There are many opportunities for further education post-16, including apprenticeships, the College of Further Education, and Sixth Form. There are also many opportunities for higher education. Although Guernsey does not have its own university, there are nearly 800 Guernsey students studying full-time higher education courses outside the Bailiwick, and even more studying through the Open University and on-island providers of Higher Education courses.

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