- June 22, 2022
- Posted by: Ben Begu
- Categories: Active Residency, Gibraltar, Passive Residency, Uncategorized
Are you thinking of moving to Gibraltar? Moving country is not only an expense but a change to your daily life. Therefore, this article will give a summary of the main points to consider before moving to the Rock.
Gibraltar enjoys a Mediterranean climate with mild winters and warm summers. Temperature can average 28 degrees during summer and rarely falls below 11 degrees during the winter. This is to be expected considering Gibraltar’s location on the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula.
Culture & Food
Gibraltar has been home to a diverse group of immigrants from various cultural origins, including Spanish, Genoese, Maltese, Moroccan, Jewish, Indian, and Portuguese, who have coexisted with British settlers to build a diverse and multi-racial community. Gibraltar’s major religion is Roman Catholicism, but other Christian denominations and faiths such as Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Bahai, and Jehovah’s Witnesses are also prevalent.
Gibraltar is a remarkable example of how people of different races and religions can live peacefully and harmoniously together. Gibraltar’s official language is English, however, in everyday discourse, a mix of English and Spanish is used. ‘Yanito’ is the name given to this local ‘dialect.’ Gibraltar’s educational system is modelled on that of the United Kingdom, and British qualifications are necessary for all vocations.
Gibraltar has a truly unique culinary culture for such a small place. Gibraltar’s cuisine, influenced by Spanish, British, Genoese, Maltese, and Jewish cooking, has given the world delectable dishes. Furthermore, Gibraltar’s diverse population mean you can take a bite from a traditional Moroccan meal to authentic Chinese.
History and things to Do
Gibraltar’s history is quite complicated. Named after the Moorish general Jabal Tariq (Mount Tariq) which eventually became Gibraltar, swapped hands almost 700 years later by modern-day Spain. However, despite its close proximity, Gibraltar would be ceded to Britain during the War of Spanish Succession.
Gibraltar would serve as a strategic base for most of the global conflicts and most of its civilian population evacuated during the Second World War. Since then, Gibraltar has held two referendums regarding sovereignty where the population almost unanimously voted to remain British.
Due to its military history, Gibraltar is filled with over 35 miles of tunnels, some natural occurrences and others dug during its various conflicts. Gibraltar is also home to the only wild apes in Europe, the Barbery Macaques. While we do not recommend trying to feed them, they roam free on the Rock, you are able to visit them as they go about their day. Gibraltar is also a Peninsular meaning you are able to enjoy the beautiful views of the marinas and even catch a boat to see dolphins in the bay.
Favourable tax regime
Gibraltarians have two alternative taxation schemes to choose from. They can select between a gross income tax system and an allowance-based system, resulting in an average tax rate of 20% that varies depending on a person’s income and personal taxation system.
There is no VAT, sales, Capital gains or inheritance tax. Furthermore, if you decide to retire to Gibraltar, you won’t have to pay any taxes on your pension, making it even more advantageous. Corporation tax is also low at 12.5%, providing an incentive to start your business in Gibraltar.
The Ministry of Defence and the Gibraltar government were once the main economic drivers in Gibraltar, but the economy has become more diverse. Financial services, IT, legal services, and accountancy are just a few of the industries where it has plenty of prospects. Another major employer is the internet gambling sector, which employs a considerable fraction of the workforce.
Gibraltar follows similar culture to the United Kingdom. All documents must be written in English, meaning Spanish is not as important unless you work in retail dealing with the millions of tourists that visit every year. Working hours and conditions will be similar to those in the United Kingdom, even if salaries would be lower depending on the region.
So how do you move to Gibraltar?
If you come to work, you may need to apply for a work permit. Only Gibraltar residents and British citizens are permitted to reside in Gibraltar without a residence permit. If their stay is longer than six months, all other European Union and non-European Union citizens must apply for a residence permit.
However, there are some options for those wishing to move to the Rock and not work. Gibraltar offers you two options, “Self-sufficient” which means you need to show evidence you can support yourself and have private medical insurance. Another option is for High Net-worth Individuals who own £2 million or more equity.
Where to live?
Unfortunately, Gibraltar does not contain many options to move as the small peninsular caters to many locals, businesses, and tourists. You may find a place to live amongst its many developments that seem to spring up every year, however, it is rather expensive. Spain does provide an alternative with many nearby towns only a short drive away, including the border town of La linea de la Conception.
Starting a Business?
Thinking of starting a business in Gibraltar? The simplest form is as a sole trader. Sole traders may operate under a business name they wish and must comply with the licencing requirements and are taxed as individuals rather than under corporation tax. Gibraltar enjoys a relatively low corporate tax of 12.5%, meaning the territory can be very attractive to people wanting to incorporate a company.
However, whether you are a sole trader or a legal entity, you must have an office or a commercial unit, with a premise waiver only granted to a few exceptions. Of course, signing a lease for 6 years as a new business can be a commitment that not everyone can or is willing to commit to. Therefore, coworking, a growing trend is often a great solution for the short term- medium term. It allows you to sign more flexible contracts, with the ability to upscale or downscale as needed.
Gibraltar is truly a unique place, often seen as Britain in the sun. While it may not be for everyone, it does provide many opportunities for businesses and individuals while maintaining a high quality of life. However, like any life decision, it is important to make an informed decision ad we hope this article gives you a little more insight into this small stretch of land.