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How to Move to Gibraltar for Work

How to Move to Gibraltar for Work
Image by Christian Bueltemann from Pixabay

If you have always wanted to work abroad or are just looking for a change of scenery, Gibraltar could be a fantastic choice. This overseas territory of the UK presents a unique opportunity to work abroad somewhere completely different that offers many unique opportunities. 

The official language is English which means all business here must be in English (although in practice, residents also speak a mix of Spanish and the local creole language). The tax situation in Gibraltar is also potentially favorable, which makes it potentially more profitable than working abroad in other parts of the world.

If any of that sounds interesting, Gibraltar might be a good choice for you. In this article, we will take a look at how you can move to Gibraltar for work. 

Why choose Gibraltar

Gibraltar benefits from a truly unique cultural and working position. It is a British overseas territory. This means that English is the official language. Many of the laws are the same as in the UK. However, due to its position bordering Spain on the southern tip of Europe, there is an unusual mix of British, southern European, and northern African culture. 

Of course, you have to consider not just business and culture when moving somewhere new. It’s worth pointing out that the quality of life in Gibraltar is exceptional thanks to a combination of virtually year-round sunshine, comfortable winters, and excellent facilities throughout. 

Popular industries

Getting a job in Gibraltar is undoubtedly easier if you have skills in some of the specific industries that make up the backbone of the Gibraltar economy. For example, holding qualifications and significant experience in finance, insurance, IT, or gaming can be a real focus. 

That doesn’t mean that there are no opportunities elsewhere, but it is important to ensure that Gibraltar is looking for your skills. 

Getting a visa and work permit

As mentioned earlier, Gibraltar is a British overseas territory. In practice, this means that if you need a visa to work in the UK.  You’ll also need a visa to work in Gibraltar. It should be noted that having a visa is not the same thing as having the right to reside or work. For British citizens and EU nationals, the process is relatively simple.

British citizens have the right to live and work in Gibraltar without needing a residence permit. EU nationals can apply for a 5-year work permit after living in Gibraltar for six months. Applying for a residence permit will include proving that you can support yourself for that duration and not burden the state. 

For non-EU citizens, things get a little more complex. You will need to find employment via a business in Gibraltar. Once you have this, you can apply to the Employment Training Board – which can grant a 12-month work permit. Your company may also need to prove that they could not find someone from the EU to fill the position. 

How does income tax work?

There are two types of tax systems in Gibraltar.  It is important to understand which is most beneficial in your specific circumstances. The traditional Allowances Based System (ABS) allows individuals to claim allowances against their gross income and pay tax on their net income. The Gross Income Based System (GIBS) also allows you to pay tax on your gross income but at a lower rate. 

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To use these tax systems, an individual needs to be an ‘ordinary resident.’ In this context, this means ‘an individual who, in any year of assessment, is present in Gibraltar for a period of at least 183 days in aggregate or is present in Gibraltar more than 300 days in three consecutive years. 

Tips for getting a job in Gibraltar

Getting a job in Gibraltar is not necessarily easy, and it can depend on various factors. As such, it is best to equip yourself with all of the most useful tools. Here are some tips for landing a job in Gibraltar:

  • Learn Spanish – it is sometimes assumed that as Gibraltar is a British territory, it is possible to get by with English as your only language. It is, but ‘getting by’ is not enough if you want to get a job and make your life easy. Many people in Gibraltar prefer to speak in Spanish, or even Llanito, a creole language that combines elements of Spanish and English. 
  • Budget properly – living in Gibraltar can be very expensive. Failing to budget when you move to Gibraltar can cause huge problems. It could leave your dream job more like a nightmare.

Many people who work in Gibraltar live in Spain – Gibraltar can be an expensive place to live, and for some people, who can make the situation work, it has proved easier to live in Spain and commute to Gibraltar. 

Featured Image by Christian Bueltemann from Pixabay

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