Whether it is a case of the pandemic giving potential applicants more time to reflect on making a move to Jersey or the ongoing ramifications of Brexit, Jersey is set to record one of its highest numbers of new ‘high-value’ residents this year. To the end of May, seventeen applications from wealthy individuals have been approved, with fifteen being the annual target. But how are such applications made and what criteria have to be met by individuals seeking to relocate to Jersey?
The Chief Minister can grant ‘entitled’ status to a high value resident if he is satisfied that doing so will have a social or economic benefit and is in the best interests of the community. Such status confers the right to own or lease property in Jersey as a main place of residence and gives access to the local employment market.
The criteria against which applications can be made for ‘Entitled’ status include both social and economic grounds. For applications on economic grounds, the following factors are considered:
- likely contribution to tax revenues;
- the business and social background of the applicant;
- the number of dependants;
- other non-economic benefits which the island may receive if consent is granted;
- total net-worth; and
- the possibility of the applicant bringing a business to the island which will generate tax revenues and provide employment.
In terms of contribution to tax revenues, the current requirement for applicants for Entitled status on economic grounds is for individuals to be able to demonstrate the ability to generate an annual minimum tax contribution of GBP 145,000 and an annual sustainable, worldwide income comfortably and sustainably in excess of GBP 725,000 per annum. Total net-worth should be not less than GBP 10 million.
As part of the relocation process applicants will be required to purchase a property locally. From September it will be necessary for the property to be valued in excess of GBP 2.5 million or GBP 1.25million for an apartment. The object of this requirement is to ensure that high value residents do not compete for housing with the vast majority of the local population. There is an expectation that applicants will purchase a property within two years of arrival to demonstrate commitment to the island.
Applicants should be aware that Jersey’s system of conveyancing is unique and differs substantially to the process in the UK. One of the key differences is that there is no system of registered land backed by state guarantee. What this means in practice is that it is the responsibility of your property lawyer to ensure that the property you acquire has ‘good and marketable title’, is free from any title defect, benefits from all of the necessary legal rights and services and is not subject to any adverse interests. It usually takes between four to six weeks to complete a conveyance in Jersey. Unlike in England & Wales, there is no concept of exchange and completion; it is the passing of the sale contract through the Court which is the process by which title is transferred from the vendor to the purchaser.
If you are looking to relocate to Jersey, our high-value residential property team is made up of experienced practitioners with a commitment to delivering a high-quality, cost-effective service in a friendly and approachable manner. We have established a reputation for excellent client service over decades advising high net worth individuals relocating to Jersey. As well as our established private client and trusts practice, that are well placed to assist with any wealth planning requirements that may arise during relocation, we have access to an extensive local network of tax advisors, architects, surveyors and banks, all of which enables us to deliver a seamless process from initial enquiry through to completion of your purchase.