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Gibraltar: Business Environment

Residence and Property

Nationals of EU member states have the right to enter, live and work in Gibraltar. Initially a six-month visa is given, and then a 5-year renewable residence permit, provided that they have found suitable employment or have started a business. Work permits cannot be denied to EU citizens.

Other nationals have to apply for residency under the Immigration Control Ordinance and permission is issued by the Governor. Government guidelines indicate that an applicant for residency must be ready and able to purchase a property of sufficient size to accommodate himself and his family, must be in good health, and must have adequate financial resources. The Government looks more favourably on those applicants who purchase luxury property in Gibraltar.

Property bought by a non-resident may be owned by an individual applicant or joint applicants, or alternatively, in the name of a company of which the applicant is the 100% beneficial owner and over which he/she has full and effective control. In fact there are tax advantages if the property is purchased through a Gibraltar company. It is not essential that the property be purchased prior to approval of an application. However, the property to be purchased must be nominated and a refundable deposit paid to reserve the property for the applicant until the application is considered by the Government. Once the application is approved the applicant, on completion of the purchase of the property, will obtain a permit of residence. A permit is renewable after a specified term providing the requirements are met and the property is owned by the applicant.

The holder of a residence permit need not live in Gibraltar and is not automatically entitled to social security or citizenship. However, the resident's children may attend local schools and are entitled to the same benefits as other local residents.

If a non-EU national wishes to stay in Gibraltar other than through the property 'doorway', he must usually try to find employment, for which he will receive a work permit only if there are no Gibraltarians able and willing to perform it. Such individuals will be given residence permits for shorter or longer periods depending on the nature of the work for which they have a permit. The government can deny a non-EU national the possibility of buying residential property.

In the June 2007 budget, passport issue and renewal fees were abolished for persons aged 65 and over.



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