Sark – new visas, you can still get in!

Sark – new visas, you can still get in!
10 February 2021

Nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come.

In August 2020, I launched my initiative to repopulate the self-governing island of Sark in the Channel Islands. I had no idea what was going to hit me.

Attracting 10 to 20 new residents would have already been a huge success.

In the end, I helped register no less than 112 new residents over four months. The last ones arrived on 30 December 2020, just 24h before the free movement deadline for EU citizens.

Sark’s population has grown from around 400 to over 500. Rents shot up 50%. The local supermarket, which had previously been on the brink of bankruptcy, suddenly reported booming trade.

As I wrote previously, in terms of “total GDP”, Sark may well turn out the world’s fastest-growing economy in 2021.

It’s quite a story. I hear the mainstream media are looking to feature it yet again.

The question is, how will it continue?

As a reader of my website, you have a front row seat.

You are also first to learn about new possibilities to legally migrate to Sark – no matter your nationality!

Here is a sneak preview of what’s possible if you are keen to get in.

Get in as a creative or artist

Sark is an inspiring, quiet place for doing creative work.

The island has a history of attracting famous authors:

  • 19th century novelist Victor Hugo fell in love with Sark and visited the island numerous times.
  • 20th century writer Mervyn Peake, of Gormenghast fame, temporarily moved to Sark.
  • More recently, Andrew Doyle wrote his book about Titania McGrath on Sark.

Would you like to follow in their footsteps?

You can!

If you live off creative, artistic work, there is a visa category for you (even though no one had ever heard of it previously).

Even the authorities had forgotten about it. When I asked them, they had to look it up in their law book. As they confirmed to me in writing, the visa is “applicable in the Island of Sark“.

Yep!

The main requirement is that you generate sufficient income from your work.

The two-year visa is extendable to five years, and thereafter you can get permanent residency and even citizenship.

If you live off creative, artistic work, there is a visa category for you (even though no one had ever heard of it previously).

But that’s not all.

There are a variety of other possibilities that no one has ever written about in the context of Sark.

Get in as an entrepreneur who creates jobs

Entrepreneur visas are a common occurrence across the world. Guernsey, Sark’s neighbouring island, has had one for ages. As it turns out, the legislation for the Guernsey entrepreneur visa applies to Sark, too.

Such visas always involve a lot of detail, but the main features are:

  • You have to make a minimum investment of GBP 200k (USD 273k / EUR 227k) to create local economic benefits, e.g. jobs for existing residents.
  • You can set up a new company or buy an existing business.
  • The initial two-year visa can be extended to five years, thereafter you gain permanent residency and, potentially, citizenship.

This option is not just a smart route into Sark. It is an affordable backdoor to the entire “Common Travel Area”, the border-free zone comprising the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man. After six years of living on Sark, you can settle anywhere in the Common Travel Area.

E.g., you could make a fortune tax-free in Sark by building an online business and then move over to London to enjoy your spoils in Europe’s largest city – as Richard Jenkins has done.

You probably have the next 12-18 months to make use of it. Thereafter, I expect requirements to be upped.

Richard Jenkins is the founder of Moonpig, which is now a GBP 1.2bn company listed on the London Stock Exchange. While building his company, Jenkins based himself out of Sark. Moonpig moved significant parts of its physical operation to Guernsey, where corporate tax rates can be as low as 0% (and there is no VAT, either). Guess what Jenkins paid in capital gains tax when selling his stake for a triple-digit million amount? Zero!

Sark isn’t just one of Europe’s best places to live.

Relative to comparable visa programmes in other parts of the world, the investment requirement for this visa is relatively low.

However, it’s probably only a matter of time before the UK government asks Guernsey to increase the required amount. The immigration opportunities of Guernsey and Sark do deserve to be called a loophole, and we all know what happens when a loophole gets too popular.

Which is why I strongly advise you to get in now!

You probably have the next 12-18 months to make use of it. Thereafter, I expect requirements to be upped.

That may sound like a long way off.

However, the pandemic-related travel restrictions are currently slowing everything down, which is why I generally advise not to delay any preparations. You’d want to be able to slip in right away when a window of opportunity opens up.

Yet more possibilities – and 73m who automatically qualify

There are further possibilities to legally gain residence in Sark.

Work permit

You can come as an employee of a local firm that cannot fill a job with local applicants. Given the growing number of online businesses on Sark, there’ll be more such employment opportunities. The local labour pool isn’t very deep and professional firms based out of Sark will require bringing in staff. You could be one of them, and I actively connect the right parties to make this happen. One Internet entrepreneur who moved to Sark with my help has already employed three local residents and is now preparing to bring in a new employee using the work permit system.

Local investments

You might soon be able to invest at least GBP 750k (USD 1.03m / EUR 855k) into “local investments”, which can be rental properties or even locally issued equities and bonds. This possibility would be two times cheaper than the equivalent UK investor visa (and way cheaper than Austria’s EUR 3m investor visa). This programme is not yet available for Sark, but as a result of a coming harmonisation of rules within the group of islands that Sark is set in, it is likely to become available later in 2021.

UK and Irish citizenship

Last but certainly not least, citizens of the UK and Ireland continue to have the right to move to Sark without any restrictions. That’s 73m people who can live on Sark if only they found a place to rent or buy and had the means to feed themselves. Though even those 73m will struggle with the 1,001 details involved when moving to another jurisdiction.

How can you learn about all of these finer details and pitfalls?

That’s where my revised, expanded and re-priced “How (and why) to move to Sark” handbook comes into play.

A handbook published on the back of a 100% success rate

I am proud to say that every one of my 2020 clients who wanted to take up residence on Sark managed to do so. That’s a 100% success rate. If you ever see anyone else popping up who promotes Sark for residency, ask them about their track record. There is no one else who has brought in that many people within such a short period of time and without a single applicant falling by the wayside.

How (and why) to move to Sark has been at the heart of my 2020 relocation initiative. Over 85% of my clients have made extensive use of the handbook to help prepare their move to the island.

As one client described it: “This book is a bible. So helpful!”

I tend to agree – in my view, it is the ONLY source of information you require to move to Sark.

Which is why I’m currently preparing the second, revised and expanded edition. It’ll be the only up-to-date manual with detailed yet practical, hands-on advice on moving to the island and all the aspects relating to it.

You can now pre-order this second edition (including a support package) at an introductory price of USD 599 (GBP 449 / EUR 499).

That’s 15% off if you pre-order in February – and you will be first to receive your copy.

And just to give you another incentive: my 2020 relocation package came at a cost of USD 1,650 (GBP 1,250 / EUR 1,400). I’ll leave it to you to do the maths, but my new service looks like a bargain to me.

Interested to learn more?

I have just re-launched my website about emigrating to Sark.

Take a look for:

  • The case study of a 37-year old Internet entrepreneur who moved to Sark with his wife and children. Read how he describes his new life in his own words.
  • Why getting citizenship through Sark is so valuable.
  • The biggest legal change Sark’s real estate market has seen since 1611.

And a LOT more.

If you are interested in following the exciting developments currently happening in Sark, I advise you to check out this new website.

Or, even better, pre-order the handbook itself.

It’s all you’ll ever need to properly investigate the subject, and it’s entertaining and educating in its own right.

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