08 December 2017
The Council of Ministers has presented a new migration policy, which proposes to strengthen Jersey’s controls by introducing a new work permit regime for lower-paid migrants, and criminal record checks for everyone moving to the Island for the first time.
The new policy is intended to help reduce migration and the long-term impact it has on Jersey’s public services, housing and infrastructure by being more selective about who can settle permanently in the Island.
Ministers also recognise the need to continue to attract skilled and experienced workers for our businesses, and front-line professionals, such as doctors and nurses, to provide valued public services. Too little immigration will damage the economy, make it difficult to support an ageing population, and put Islanders’ standard of living at risk.
Chief Minister, Senator Ian Gorst, said “Jersey needs to do what it has always done – adapt and prosper as the world around us changes, particularly as we respond to Brexit. Jersey can’t provide the expertise to fill every role in a sophisticated, modern economy, so some immigration will always be necessary to attract the skilled workers we need to grow our economy and the teachers, doctors and nurses we need to support our public services.
“This new policy will strengthen our controls, ensuring that migration is not too high or too low, enabling us to limit the impacts on our services, infrastructure and culture. It will also give us the flexibility we need to respond to fast moving technological developments and the challenges of an uncertain future.
“I understand the concerns of Islanders about the future of our small Island, but it’s also important that we welcome those who come to work for us, treat them fairly and show respect and tolerance.”
The policy is also proposing to introduce photographs on new registration cards to enhance compliance when people access work and housing, and to review the impact on newcomers of their restricted access to services, and how we might help them to better integrate into our society.