Relocation to Gibraltar / Working in Gibraltar
Please find below some comprehensive details on working in Gibraltar and relocating to Gibraltar.
For a specific search for jobs in Gibraltar please click here.
Thinking of working abroad, in a sunny place and challenging professional environment? How about working and relocating to Gibraltar? Please find below a complete set of information about Gibraltar.Why Gibraltar?
It is not a surprise to people who live and work in, or near, Gibraltar that thousands more European expats are moving over to join them. Gibraltar provides a number of different industries to work in and ensures the balance between a professional environment, where you can grow and advance your career with the enviable outdoor lifestyle. Gibraltar is approximately two and a half hours from the UK and have on average 300 days of sunshine each year. Gibraltar is an English-speaking community and thus language barriers do not exist helping to make Gibraltar an ideal place for relocation.
With its subtropical Mediterranean climate, eclectic cultural influences, breath-taking landscapes, beautiful beaches, numerous outdoor activities such as biking, windsurfing and sun bathing, Gibraltar is a place cut from the pages of holiday guides. Probably the main reason why every year, more and more European expats choose to relocate in the southernmost point of the Iberian Peninsula."Mountain of Tariq" or the Rock of Gibraltar, formerly known as one of the Pillars of Hercules, was inhabited since 950 BC, during history being a great point of interest for Roman, Islamic, Spanish and British governors. Today Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory, but legend says that as long as Gibraltar will be populated by Barbary macaques, this place will remain under British rule. As far as macaques are concerned, they will probably live a long and joyful life up on the Rock, while being carefully monitored and fed by specialized institutions, staring in tourists’ photos, becoming a true symbol of Gibraltar. For more facts and information on Gibraltar click here
Where to work?
Working in Gibraltar can be a fulfilling professional experience, especially if your background is a gaming, financial, IT, insurance, legal or accountancy based one. Besides the main businesses carried out in Gibraltar, you may find other working opportunities in more casual places, like bars, restaurants or shops, located in the commercial heart of the city. Being home to a good number of international companies who operate in a professional environment not dissimilar to that of the UK, genuine job prospects exist now here, with many of the world’s largest online gaming companies choosing Gibraltar to base their head offices.
Gibraltar mirrors the UK employment system, so all contracts are in English and look very similar that you would expect from the UK. Most questions we answer about contract here are answered with the reply that 'it is the same as the UK'! Gibraltar has a distinct benefit for non Spanish speakers, in that being bilingual is not necessarily a prerequisite for employment and thus opens up many opportunities for a job if you only speak fluent English.
We cover a variety of different levels of jobs here including senior management, middle management, entry level and occassionally graduate opportunities. Contact us for a chat about the opportunities that may exist for you or use the job search page.
Where to live?
Relocating to Gibraltar poses one big question: should I live
in Gibraltar or should I rent a flat in Spain? Depending on your
future plans as well as your financial situation,
renting an apartment in Gibraltar is possible, although the prices have been steadily rising over the years to something close to London prices. Due to the open border that can easily navigated, you can easily live in Spain. There are many little towns near the frontier such as San Roque, La Linea, Santa Margarita or Alcaidesa distance being the only decisive factor that might influence your choice. That way, working in Gibraltar will involve your daily commute, just a walk (or a short drive) over the runway with a sea view to keep you company. Somewhat better than sitting on a dirty commuter train!
Around 20,000 people are permanently employed in Gibraltar, consisting of both locals, and foreigners living just across the border in Spain. It has been estimated that about 9,000 cross the border for work everyday and most of the time is without incident. Every so often there are delays but they are normally driven by political posturing by Spain in their continual drive to take over Gibraltar. To read more about a typical day in the life of a commuter to Gibraltar click here.
Over 50% of Gibraltar’s school leavers go on to further education in the UK, more often than not returning to the Rock once they have qualified. This conveniently means that local UK trained professionals are readily available to run local businesses, the most common being law, business and accountancy graduates.
With neighbouring Spain having earned a relatively poor reputation for the lack of good job opportunities, low wages and generally inferior employment conditions and contracts, many people come to Gibraltar in search of a comparatively stable and professional environment in which to operate. Here they can enjoy a Mediterranean lifestyle, crossing the border as often as they like, while benefitting from the reassuring ‘Britishness’ of Gibraltar’s working and living environment.
The process of relocating to Gibraltar need not be a big problem and with a number of companies helping, both financially and organisationally, with the relocation process it can be similar to just moving down the road! The availability of services to help in your relocation to Gibraltar process is wide from helping you source accommodation to pet relocation.
This is an article I wrote about what is it like to actually live in Gibraltar? Click here
Many people are caught with the question of whether they can relocate to Gibraltar with out having secured a job to go to. The answer is only answered by you, but the fact remains that in most cases to gain a job you have to be personally interviewed, and often have a strong preference to candidates already living in the area. RecruitGibraltar try to personally interview all its candidates prior to putting them forward for a vacancy but will certainly phone screen all people and ask their availability to come here for interview by a potential employer. Some companies will fly you over, subsequent to a phone screening but this tends to be for the more senior roles so cater financially for the fact that you may have to pay to come over. Other ways to get here are to let us know if you happen to be taking a holiday in the area and we can schedule interviews around these dates.
You may wish to take a few days holiday and come over to see if Spain or Gibraltar meets your expectations and have a few interviews while you are here. The alternative is that you fly over subsequent to a phone interview, when a vacancy that meets your expectation arises, to personally interview. Most candidates find that without being here though you will find it harder to gain employment.
How do I get to Gibraltar?
Gibraltar is approximately at a two and a half hours flight from the UK, flights being operated from and to Gatwick, Heathrow, Luton, Bristol and Manchester. Tangier, Morocco is the latest destination served by direct, twice-weekly flight from Gibraltar. The major Spanish airport linked to Gibraltar by a multiple-lane auto-route (approximately 2 hours’ drive through the spectacular Andalusian countryside) is located in Malaga, offering regular international flights to most parts of the world as well as links to many of Britain’s regional airports. Buses from La Linea de la Concepcion bus station depart towards Malaga four times a day. However, more connections to Malaga Airport are available from Algeciras, the biggest Spanish port from Bay of Gibraltar (25 minutes’ drive from Gibraltar).
Income Tax system in Gibraltar
There are 2 different types of income tax systems in Gibraltar the simplified system of a gross tax system (so no real allowance structure) makes it pretty easy to calculate. For more information see our comprehensive guide by clicking here.
Many of the people we work with find they are better off with a higher net (take home) pay that that in their home country but we strongly recommend that you visit the Gibraltar government website for specific information and a tax calculator - http://www.gibraltar.gov.gi/
Gibraltar is not income tax free unfortunately!
Salaries and working in GibraltarPlease note that if you work in Gibraltar but live in Spain then you pay income tax in Gibraltar.
The working hours in Gibraltar are very similar to those of the UK, albeit some hours can be from 9 - 6 or take the opposite of working 'summer hours' during July and August and finish at 3.30pm each day. The working conditions are also very similar as the legal treatment of employees is the same as the UK.
Salaries will depend on what industry you work in as the online gaming industry roles tend to pay pretty well but in the legal sector they tend to be lower than that of the UK. As a guide the average wages in Gibraltar are typically 20% lower than in the UK (sunshine tax!), for basic positions such as secretarial and administration pay of £12k - £17k with PAs taking up to £25k. As you would expect specifically skilled roles such as IT positions command higher wages and can be anything up to matching UK wages. There are some locally based industries that always need specific skill sets such as Company Administrators and those with Trust experience and thus these candidates tend to get snapped up immediately.
Work permits can be issued to foreign nationals, and there are two completely different groups of persons EU and non-EU nationals. After staying more than 6 months in Gibraltar, EU citizens can apply and receive a 5-year renewable work permit, while the non-EU nationals are only eligible if there isn't a local resident willing to do the same job, see below for further information.
The provision of health care and pensions are relatively standard and again similar to those of the UK but certainly not the norm in Spain. As you will be working in Gibraltar you will be paying social security here but you can 'passport' the payment back to Spain via form filling etc.
The availability of rental property in Gibraltar is fairly wide, from apartments with sea views to houses in town and prices vary massively depending on quality as you would expect. Access to rental property in Gibraltar is achieved via stroll along main street to the many estate agencies that line the path or a short search on the internet.
The lack of cheaper rental property has served to push prices up and led many people choose to seek accommodation across the border in Spain, in the La Linea area or down towards Estepona. Other areas to consider around Gibraltar are Alcaidesa, Duquesa, Torreguadiaro and Sotogrande but the location with depend on how far you wish to travel to work and the amenities you are looking for. A search online or through the local free papers such as the Friday Ad or the Sur in English normally will get you on the right track.
There are quite specific rules governing who can live in Gibraltar so for more information on work permits for Gibraltar click on this link.
When you arrive and start work you face the choice of living in Spain and commuting to work across the border or living in Gibraltar and walking to work. Below are the pro and cons of these scenarios
Living in Spain
Pros – Much cheaper than Gibraltar, more living space for the cost, more space to move about in outside of your home, easy access to the rest of Spain with no border crossing.
Cons – commuting to work, no train service in the local area although there are busses, Spanish spoken as the primary language, a need to register your existence with the local authorities.
Living in Gibraltar
Pros – English spoken as primary language, no commute to work as you can walk everywhere, all amenities are in a walkable distance
Cons – more expensive to rent that Spain, flat sizes are smaller, comparatively harder to access Spain in your free time
Whether you choose the comfort of living near your office or the idea of discovering true Latin spirit, by living in a small Spanish town, your journey to work will be generally stress free: either a short, refreshing morning walk (Gibraltar is 5km long by 1.6km at its widest point), or an energetic short drive on the uncluttered Spanish roads, enjoying the beautiful Andalusian sunrise. I parked my car in La Linea once, to see a small collection of people looking out to sea and realised they were watching a pod of dolphins jumping in and out of the water - that is the way to start a day!
The prices to purchase property in Gibraltar has been steadily rising, as has property globally, but the ever diminishing space available certainly means prices will continue to rise. There has been a swathe of newly erected property for both residential and commercial use mainly finished to a very high standard. The high end properties are mainly built with 'high net worth individuals' in mind who have to own a property in keeping with their wealth in order to qualify for the minimal tax category status.
There are still plenty of properties for the first time buyer to purchase however with many of the older tower blocks seeing internal makeovers reminiscent of 'Changing Rooms'. Many of the blocks come with swimming pools included albeit they tend to be fairly small.
Special tax incentives are available for individuals buying residences in Gibraltar and handling at least a portion of their investments through local financial institutions (High Net Worth Individuals) as well as for relocating executives. These incentives will not be affected by the current restructuring of corporate taxes which when implemented will provide a benign, low-tax climate for local and international companies. Gibraltar has no capital gains tax, inheritance tax, gift tax or wealth tax.
The cheaper cost of living means real savings. There is no VAT charged in Gibraltar. Interest is fully allowable on mortgages in Gibraltar, and property in Spain is cheaper than in the UK
As a British overseas territory, the sole official language of Gibraltar is English, and it is used by the Government and in schools. Most locals are bilingual, also speaking Spanish, due to Gibraltar's proximity to Spain. However, because of the varied mix of ethnic groups which reside there, other languages are spoken on The Rock.
Gibraltarians often converse in Llanito and is an Andalusian Spanish based vernacular and unique to Gibraltar. It consists of an eclectic mix of Andalusian Spanish and British English. However, it borrows words and expressions of many other languages, with over 500 words of Genoese and Hebrew origin. Among more educated Gibraltarians, it also typically involves code-switching to English.
All residents of Gibraltar are entitled to
health care, while British citizens will be treated for free. They
just have to present their valid passports at any healthcare
institution, like St Bernard hospital or public clinics. EU
nationals must possess a valid European Health Insurance Card.
If you work in Gibraltar, you are naturally paying social security and thus can use the healthcare system. You need to go to the Healthcare centre in the ICC building and register yourself and your family and you can then see a doctor etc. If you pay social security in Gibraltar you can transfer this to be able to use the healthcare system in Spain - after the normal Spanish form filling of course! See here for more info - Gibraltar Healthcare
Despite the fact that its surface isn’t
amongst the largest, Gibraltar presents an impressive variety of
religions, the predominant one being by far the Roman Catholic
denomination (around 72% of the population). The Church of
England, the Gibraltar Methodist Church, Church of Scotland,
some Pentecostal and independent churches, The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Gibraltar Evangelical Alliance,
a Plymouth Brethren and two Jehovah's Witnesses congregations
are all Christian faiths, present in Gibraltar.
Islam and Hindu practitioners, together with members of the Bahá'í Faith and a large Jewish community get along in perfect friendship and cooperation with Christians, which only means that Gibraltar is indeed an area of great religious harmony.
Education & Law
Gibraltar is certainly very family-friendly with a great community spirit and tollerance of children - in restaurants for example. There are 14 schools in Gibraltar, plenty of private nurseries and a newly established university with an expanding curriculum. At each secondary school there is a LSF, in addition to an Alternative Learning Centre at Bayside School, which aims to provide support for disaffected pupils. One college of further education is located in Gibraltar, while degree and higher national diploma courses are followed at United Kingdom universities, in the main. More on the topic here: https://www.gibraltar.gov.gi/new/department-education.
There are plenty of fee-paying English-based International Schools nearby in Spain.
Although Gibraltar is self-governing, its legal system is based on English common law, its Chief Justice is appointed by the Crown, and judgments are recognised and upheld internationally. Access to the courts is swift, efficient and less costly than in the United Kingdom - factors that, coincidentally, attract growing numbers of ship arrests and similar Admiralty matters to the jurisdiction. For more information on schools in Gibraltar please click here
Tourism forms a large part of the economy in Gibraltar and there are many hotels and tourist attractions on the rock. Before you embark on a Gibraltarian sightseeing adventure, you might want to start properly, by having a small coffee break. Either you choose a nice cafe in Grand Casemates Square or you prefer the “to go” option, the offer is quite overwhelming. Once you’re ready to explore Gibraltar, bear in mind the “must-see” spots: the Upper Rock, St. Michael’s Cave, Gibraltar’s military heritage as well as the World War Tunnels. After meeting the macaques, you can take a walk through Alameda botanical garden, eventually getting to Europa Point. If the weather is clear skies you will get a marvelous view of the African coast across the Straits of Gibraltar.
Gibraltar’s spectacular underwater waits to be discovered through diving activities, while birdwatching tours or dolphins trips are constantly organized during summer. Kite surfing, biking, swimming, sailing and even fishing can keep you busy during afternoons and weekends.
When it comes to gastronomy, Gibraltar is quite an eclectic place, a foodie’s paradise so to be said. Fresh seafood, Indian, German, British, Spanish, Moroccan, Jewish, Sicilian or Nepalese cuisine influences can be found in elaborate dishes served in fancy restaurants. If you’re in for Kebabs, chilli based stews, the typical British “Fish & Chips”, Pinchitos, French pastry, “take away” sushi or German sausages, small bistros and nice little restaurant along the Main Street kindly invite you to take a seat at their terraces. If food is your thing, you would not miss ‘Calentita’ food festival, which takes place every spring in Casemates Square.
Wining (with or without Dining), enjoying live music, going for a challenging dancing night or hitting a casino for some adrenaline-rush gaming session? Gibraltar has them all, you just have to know where to look for an entertaining experience! For more information on nightlife in Gibraltar please click here
Tourism in Gibraltar
Tourism forms a large part of the economy in Gibraltar and there are many hotels and tourist attractions on the rock. The main attraction here are the monkeys or apes and you can find out more about them by clicking here.
Moving over to Gibraltar to work
Why not read some of our stories form other peoples relocations by clicking here
So in principle you have secured the job of your dreams but what happens next?
We will help organise an offer letter and a contract for you to ensure you are happy with the security of the role. We will help you with where to live based on what you expect to have as part of your daily life (for example if you cannot drive then this changes your accommodation options etc). We can send you some information on the places to live in the local area and what there is to do in your leisure time etc. After this you can start organising the flights with the employer and start packing up your life!
Most employers will pay for your flights and some baggage allowance but given the flexibility of Easyjet or Ryanair to take extra luggage you are potentially going to need some extra help!
Below is a short film that was filmed in, and about, Gibraltar.
Lifestyle Links for Gibraltar
- Facts about Gibraltar
- General Information on Gibraltar
- Gibraltar Internet and E-Commerce Facilities
- Healthcare in Gibraltar
- Nightlife in Gibraltar
- Property in Gibraltar
- Recruitment agencies in Gibraltar
- Schools in Gibraltar
- Income Tax in Gibraltar
- Work & Residence Permits in Gibraltar
Jobs in Gibraltar
- Accountancy & Insurance jobs in Gibraltar
- Administration & Office jobs in Gibraltar
- Banking & Financial jobs in Gibraltar
- Customer service & Call Centre jobs in Gibraltar
- HR jobs in Gibraltar
- Insurance jobs in Gibraltar
- IT & Technology jobs in Gibraltar
- Legal jobs in Gibraltar
- Marketing, PR & Web Design jobs in Gibraltar
- Online Gaming jobs in Gibraltar
- jobs in Gibralter
- Sales jobs in Gibraltar
- Secretarial & PA jobs in Gibraltar
- Jobs in Gibraltar
For a up to date list of jobs in Gibraltar click here