Any person who has commenced employment in Guernsey since 1 December 1989 must possess a Right to Work document.

The four principal categories of Right to Work documents are:

A Status Declaration

This is issued to a local person who is a qualified resident as defined in Guernsey’s Housing Laws. A qualified resident is typically a person born and brought up in Guernsey, or who has lived in Guernsey for many years and has close connections with the Island.

A Housing Licence

This is any licence issued by the Housing Authority to allow a person who is not a qualified resident to live in specified accommodation. Housing licences can be employment-related, or alternatively they may be issued on other “compassionate” grounds. Employment-related housing licences fall into two categories: short term licences, which recognise a need for manpower which is in short supply (typically unskilled or semi-skilled work); and essential workers licences, which are issued for skilled positions.
Short-term licences are typically granted for up to nine months. Essential workers licences are normally granted for a longer period, typically between three to five years. In limited cases (where an employer can demonstrate that continuity in the post is essential, or the skills of the post holder are in short supply on a national or international basis) an essential workers licence can be granted for up to fifteen years.

Employment-related housing licences are tied to an individual’s employment and are not transferable.

A Declaration of Lawful Residence

This is issued to a person not otherwise residentially qualified, but who is living legally in the Island, for example as the spouse or member of the household of a qualified resident or licence holder, or who is the lawful occupant of a certain type of property known in Guernsey as “Open Market” property.

Residential accommodation in Guernsey is divided into two distinct types: Open Market property and Local Market property. Occupation of Local Market property is restricted to those holding residential qualifications or a housing licence and members of their respective households. Open Market property is available to everybody with appropriate immigration status.

A Temporary Exemption Certificate

This may be granted pending issue of one of the categories of documents listed above.

Regulations require employers to keep a record of the Right to Work document held by every employee taken on since 1 December 1989. The record must cover the type of Right to Work document issued, its reference number and expiry date. Failure to possess a Right to Work document is a criminal offence for which both the employee and employer can be liable.

Further information on Guernsey’s Housing Control and Right to Work Laws is available on the States of Guernsey Housing Department website: