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EU nationals to require visa for Jersey from 2021

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image captionEU nationals arriving after 31 December 2020 will have to make an application to the States of Jersey

EU nationals who plan to work, study, or settle in Jersey will have to apply for a visa from 1 January 2021.

The change has been announced by the Government of Jersey as part of its immigration policy in response to Brexit.

A separate migration policy proposed by ministers has set out how they plan to control the island's population growth.

Chief Minister John Le Fondre said the two policies would "interlock" as "key measures of control".

Under Jersey's Future Border and Immigration System (FBIS), both EU and non-EU nationals will be able to apply for a three-year permit as a "skilled worker", or a temporary nine-month visa.

The short-term visa will only be available to workers in the hospitality or agricultural industry, who must leave the island for at least three months before returning.

Such workers will not be allowed to bring dependants to the island, and cannot apply for settlement.

What is a skilled worker?

  • Earns a minimum of £30,000 per year
  • Speaks English to an acceptable standard, proven via a test
  • A qualification level equivalent to A-level
  • Opportunity to extend permit to a 10-year stay, or apply for indefinite leave to remain

Assistant Chief Minister Rowland Huelin said Jersey's growing population had led to "understandable tensions" in the community.

Numbers increased by 20% between 2001 and the end of 2019, he said.

He added current measures had left the government without an "adequate picture" of arrivals, preventing it from dealing with migration in a "holistic, strategic way".

In response, the new migration policy sets out five key changes including:

  • Amendments to Jersey's Housing and Work law to provide for new permits
  • Improved and transparent application process
  • Better data collection and expert panel to publish reports
  • Elected committee of States members to make decisions on unusual cases
  • A review of migrants' rights to island services

The proposals are due to be debated by the States Assembly on 1 December.

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