Imagine the serenity of living and working in the picturesque Channel Islands. With breathtaking landscapes and temperate climates, the British Crown Dependencies of Guernsey, Isle of Man, and the Bailiwick of Jersey offer a unique opportunity for those seeking a tranquil yet fulfilling life. These islands, although independent jurisdictions, are closely connected to the UK. The UK manages certain aspects of their international relations, offering a unique blend of autonomy and connectivity.
Visas available to Live and Work in the Channel Islands
Spouse/Unmarried Partner Visa
If you are married to or have a partner that is British Passport holder or someone settled in the UK, such as Irish or EU nationals with pre-settled or settled status, you’re in a prime position to seize this unique opportunity. You may be eligible for a Spousal/Unmarried Partner Visa, granted you meet the required financial criteria. This visa not only allows you to live and work in one of the Channel Islands, but also grants you the privilege to visit the UK as a tourist. If you wish to work and live in the UK, specific visas for that purpose are available.
Skilled Worker or Ancestry Visa for the Channel Islands
Moreover, if you’re lucky enough to have a grandparent born in Britain, you could qualify for an Ancestry Visa for the Channel Islands. Alternatively, if you have a job offer from an eligible employer in an eligible occupation, you could apply for a Skilled Worker Visa. Dependents can accompany you on these adventures, if they meet all the requirements.
On the Spousal/Unmarried Partner Visa, your initial stay in the Channel Islands would be for 33 months. This is renewable for another 30 months, provided your relationship remains genuine and ongoing. The Ancestry Visa lasts a full five years. The duration of your Skilled Worker Visa depends on your employer’s sponsorship period.
Importantly, you can work in the Channel Islands without restrictions under the Spousal/Unmarried Partner or Ancestry Visa. However, your employer will need to obtain local work permits. Unlike other UK Visas, there’s no National Health Surcharge (“NHS”) payable when you apply for a Spousal/Unmarried Partner, Ancestry, or Skilled Worker Visa for the Channel Islands.
Obtaining Indefinite Leave to Remain
After five years in the Channel Islands, you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain for both the specific island and the UK. This opens the opportunity to apply for British Citizenship and a British Passport, provided you meet the necessary requirements. Rest assured, your time spent in the Channel Islands won’t count as time outside the UK, as these islands are part of the UK’s common travel area.
How Breytenbachs can help you with your visa for the Channel Islands
Wondering how to navigate this exciting journey? Breytenbachs Immigration Consultants are here to guide you. We assess your circumstances and provide advice to help you apply for these visas. Whether you have any questions or wish to discuss UK immigration issues, feel free to contact us. Our offices are conveniently located in Durban, Cape Town, Pretoria, and London.
Please note that the information provided here is for general informational purposes and does not constitute professional advice. While we strive for accuracy, we cannot guarantee it, as immigration rules can change and each case may be unique.