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Hayley’s Relocation Experience
If you are reading this, you may have already taken your first steps on your new journey to relocate to Gibraltar or Spain, or it may just be an idea or a proposal you have received and are currently considering and researching your new possibilities carefully!
I wanted to share my story with you, which you may resonate with your own experiences and decisions which you may or already have faced – hopefully, my experiences will help you feel reassured you are making or have made the right decision.
The results are in!
At the age of 37 and on 26th June, my final grade came through and that was it, I had achieved the most prestigious grade in my BA Honours Degree!
It was real, I had actually completed the 3-year course which meant I was now ready to go! I had planned the big move to Gibraltar as soon as my degree had been finalised.
Decisions, decisions, decisions!
During the last week of May, my husband and I with three children aged 8, 12 and 15 flew to Gibraltar for 10 days to make a final decision to if we really wanted to move abroad and where we would live, whether it be in Gibraltar or along the Coast of the Costa Del Sol.
When you scroll through the local chat groups, such as Gibraltar Community Notice Board or Manilva Coffee Chat, you will read lots of contrasting information. But of course, this is mainly due to everyone’s personal circumstances.
For my family, I knew I would need good schools, somewhere that would not be complicated to set up and run a business (if that is what I decided to do), and I really wanted to cut back on time spent driving each day. In the UK, I was studying by day and a taxi service by night as my boys had a long journey each day by coach to their secondary school.
Gibraltar seemed perfect, until we looked at the online property websites! In the small town I was leaving, £1000/month would allow you to afford a four-bedroom farmhouse, yet in Gibraltar you can just about get yourself a one-bedroom apartment with no outside space! Shocked and disappointed we looked at the option of living in Spain where we could rent a property with more space and agarden for ourselves, our children, and pets until we knew where we wanted to buy.
We viewed several properties within a 30-minute drive of Gibraltar, and although we could rent in Spain and have more space at home, we soon realised that we would have to pay for international schools because both my sons had started their GCSE’s and the oldest was about to start year 10 soon after our move. This added cost of private schools and the worry about long border queues and travelling time made us conclude that we would have to forfeit our beloved space, but at the same time explore the many benefits to be had from living in Gibraltar.
Before we returned to the UK, we decided upon two property opportunities that would allow us to reside in Gibraltar. When we arrived back in the UK, we decided to secure one of the properties which was within walking distance to the new schools and main shopping area.
The deposit was sent and that was it, in a matter of weeks we had to pack up our farmhouse and
It’s time to go!
My friends and family did not share our excitement of the huge new adventure we were about to embark on and were sad to see us go. However, I knew if I didn’t go now then I may regret it for the rest of my life, plus my oldest son’s GCSE timing meant either we had to go now or in two years’ time, coupled with the fact that there were very limited options to put my degree to good use in the small town we left behind.
The dreams of a warmer climate, shorter winters, beautiful scenery, career opportunities, more time at home and less travelling for all of us was overpowering any thoughts of changing my mind. On 16th July we arrived in Gibraltar. There were companies available who will move boxes on your behalf, or if you wish, you could also drive in a rental/private van - and of course, there are also traditional moving companies that will load, drive, and unload your belongings on arrival.
We brought 3 pets and decided to hire a company with a large van who are also certified for pet transportation. The first few days were full of excitement, exploring and, of course, the dreaded unpacking!
Learn more by visiting our About Gibraltar page.
There were so many things that I wanted to organise as soon as possible. For instance, school applications, sending CV’s, arranging healthcare, applying for I.D. cards, and buying a car.
However, it was not easy to find this information and anything I did find was not giving me instructions on the processes which I had to follow. I started with the I.D. card as I had learnt that with this card you could then access the healthcare and school systems. You will find all the forms you require via links on this website.
There are several options to be able to obtain an I.D.: self-sufficient, jobseeker, worker, selfsufficient pensioner, student, and self-employed. The criteria can be found in the guidance notes within the application form. The guidance notes also provide information about the required documentation, which includes tenancy agreement, photo, and utility bill. You must ensure that if you are renting a property that it comes with the option to register for I.D. purposes.
Our I.D. cards were ready to collect in 5 weeks. This time frame must be considered if you are bringing children who you wish to start at local schools as soon as possible. It is worth calling the I.D department to ascertain an approximate time scale if it is important that your child does not miss any schooling.
I timed my move with the school summer holidays; we moved mid-July which meant my children were able to start at the September Autumn term start date. Once you have your I.D. card you can contact the Education department. You can do this by printing the form which is also in my website link under Education. When completed, you can take the form into the office which is located on the edge of Commonwealth Park at Queensway, alternatively you can email the completed form to: [email protected]
Learn more by visiting our I.D. Cards and Education pages.
The GHA Health cards can be applied for once you have your I.D. card. Again, there is a link to the application forms on my Healthcare page, which you can print and take to the GHA with its office located on the ground floor side entrance called The Primary Care Centre. You also require several
documents and passport sized photographs.
It is such a relief when you have finally been approved for I.D. purposes and you have your children and healthcare covered. I felt like I could finally relax a little - celebrate almost! However, there were still more obstacles to overcome yet.
Learn more by visiting our Healthcare page.
Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!
We did have some income when we arrived due to our UK recruitment company. But with the cost of property in Gibraltar being high, we needed to work locally too.
Everybody has their own idea on whether to relocate with a job or find work once you have arrived. But this all depends on you, your skills, the amount of time and effort you put into it, and your financial situation in the event you do not find work quickly as applications for posts can be open for weeks and employers do not start the interviews until after closing dates, and then the interviews and start dates are not always immediate.
Networking can also be unbelievably valuable here to opening possibilities as people can provide you with ideas, connections, and friendships which help you to settle and discover.
To earn an income, your options are like the UK, either self-employed, employed, or starting a company. There are various companies in Gibraltar that can offer you advice and help you set up. My Services page has information on the available services, with prices and services varying, but you can also choose to do this yourself. You must consult with Gibraltar’s Office of Fair Trading (OFT) which is similar to Trade licencing in the UK.
There are, however, some different guidelines to follow. If you want to start a business from home you may not be able to if the property you reside in is classed as a main residence and is for residential use only. For example, some services, such as an estate agency, must have an office that your customer can visit. Information relating to self-employed and company formations is provided on the Gibraltar Office of Fair Trading (OFT) website: https://www.gibraltar.gov.gi/department-employment/employment-service-registrationexplained
Setting up a company is also a lengthy process and is not as straight forward as other countries. You must fill in application forms which are submitted into the local Gazette and one newspaper, and if nobody opposes your application you can then proceed with your application. It can take a minimum of a month.
Learn more by visiting our Recruitment and Company Formations pages.
Property Purchase & Banking
We had only lived in Gibraltar for a few months before I wanted to look at the options to make a property purchase. There are several banks, but you must check that they are taking new clients. Natwest, Bank of Gibraltar and Trusted Novus Bank are currently the main three to choose.
I required an 80% mortgage and was deflated to learn that you are required to be a resident in Gibraltar for at least three years before you can apply. But these three years have come around quickly and we will hopefully soon be able to find a property to call our own!
There are some properties here that have restrictions which you may only be allowed to purchase when you have been a resident for three years. But there are also properties suitable for high-networth individuals, and some that are unsuitable – but we can help you with this and there is more information on the website to read.
Learn more by visiting our Relocation page.
I am often asked if you need a car. You may need a car if you commute, but some people car share or use the buses which travel along the whole Malaga coast to Gibraltar. Although, the bus timetable may not be adequate if you work shifts that start early or finish late.
When you have an I.D. card in Gibraltar, the buses are free. They are cheap even if you do not have your I.D. card. If you already own a car you can bring this with you when you move, but you must import and register your vehicle as detailed on the Gibraltar Government website (https://www.gibraltar.gov.gi/transport-traffic-andtechnical-services/vehicle-registration).
It costs roughly 30% of the vehicle’s value to import, so some people choose to sell their car and purchase when they arrive in Gibraltar. Second hand cars tend to be a little more expensive in Spain and Gibraltar to buy, but they are said to last longer in this climate. There are options here to buy and lease cars, with companies listed at www.gibyellow.gi.
If you live in the South District of Gibraltar it is more likely you may feel you need to use the bus service, bikes, or a car. In the main town area transport is not essential as there are various Supermarkets, retail stores, schools etc. which are within walking distance. I know people who take a taxi once a week to do their food shopping. People used to take a trolly from Morrison’s to take their shopping home, until Morrison’s fitted a device to prevent trolleys leaving the car park! Ha ha.
If you own a vehicle, learn more by visiting our Driving License page.
Shopping and Restaurants
Shopping and Restaurants in Gibraltar are similar to London prices, you can venture to a smaller café and find cheaper alternatives, or head for the ports and beaches where you may be charged a location premium. There are so many places that you can choose to eat, with reviews available on trip advisor.
A typical Morrison’s shop here cost me approximately £180 a week which would have cost £140 in Lincolnshire, UK. Eroski, who offer Waitrose products, is similar in price to Morrison’s, and we have also just welcomed The Food.Co which offer Tesco products - again, at a small premium. I am happy to pay the premium as I am aware of the logistics. However, you can go into Spain and shop at Lidl, Aldi, and Mercadona which are on par with the UK pricing structure.
School, Clubs, and further education
So here I am, the three children are attending the local comprehensive schools (two are surpassing my expectations with the other testing my patience as he insists he does not like school and it is wasting his time!), and they have formed relationships with local children and have a circle of friends each.
There are not as many school clubs as there were in the UK - but there are plenty organised outside of school. My advice is to join local Facebook groups, browse the internet, look on www.gibyellow.gi and ask other parents.
There are certain subjects in schools which are not being taught yet, such as GCSE Computer Science (January 2021). I have chosen to educate one of my children online with a UK computing school, he has an hour a week and this course so far has been excellent, and he will go onto study computer
science at A Level.
Apprenticeships in Gibraltar are not as common as they once were. I am still searching for options after A levels or secondary education. If your child is moving schools it is useful to check this, both secondary schools have a website providing this information:
There is the private school, Prior Park, which also has alternative options:
A list of all schools can be found under ‘Education’ on my website. Not many people are aware but once you have had your I.D. here for 5 years, children are provided with the opportunity to attend UK universities free of charge. More details can be accessed through the department of education.
Learn more by visiting our Education page.
My Route to survival
After going through the whole relocating process myself, I decided to form my own company in Gibraltar. I had lots of knowledge from my Degree, and had also managed and ran companies before, but I also soon realised the need for providing support, advice, and assisting other people with relocating.
I knew I could offer something ‘extra’, a value-added service with the ideas I had and the drive to be the best through my caring and people focused nature. I already had the UK recruitment company, and with landlord, property sales, and rentals knowledge I knew could bring this all together to provide a complete support package. I have a long way to go, but with the fantastic team I have made up (senior recruiter, marketing consultant, UX/UI developer, Business Lead Generator, property consultant) we have already been able to achieve outstanding results in a short space of time.
Sadly, some people have already decided it is just too much to comprehend and have returned to their previous country, which is such a shame because Gibraltar is a wonderful place to live. The people, the lifestyle, the long sociable summer nights, the community spirit, the lighter nights, the low crime, and the warmer climate are just some of the wonderful attributes Gibraltar has to offer.
Learn more by visiting our Relocation page.
Living in Spain
If you choose to live in Spain and work in Gibraltar, live and work in Spain, or even retire in Spain, my company website also offers properties to purchase and rent along the Costa Del Sol.
There are, however, pros and cons to both. There are Spanish free schools, and paid international schools, and the cost of property is much cheaper. You can no longer live in Spain and pay for Gibraltar government schools, but you can pay privately. I found that it comes down to personal preferences, but it was not an easy decision to make!
For residency advice you can consult Citizens Advice Bureau Spain for free by visiting:
Help & Support
If you require help and guidance, then please read through the following websites:
Gibraltar and Spain properties to buy and rent:
Gibraltar recruitment and careers:
I hope my website and the services which the team provides will help you to make your journey as least stressful as possible and allow you to make more informed and focused decisions.
The whole team at Property Promise and Purple Chilli Recruitment wish you every success to come in Gibraltar and hope you make a new life that is full of opportunity, prosperity, health, and happiness!
Welcome to Property Promise. Here you can learn more about us and how you can benefit from our services in this unprecedented time.
It is safe to say 2020 has been a rollercoaster of a year. We have had a global pandemic, Brexit uncertainties and economic downturns for both businesses and people. For many, running a business in this difficult year has been challenging to say the least. For others however, new ventures have been formed and are thriving – Property Promise is testament to the latter.
Relocation is never a straightforward process. It involves careful due diligence to find the right property for your needs, and it can be a time-consuming process. Moreover, expatriating overseas creates even more challenges and pressures from culture shock (personal disorientation from moving to an unfamiliar environment/culture) to financial pressures and apprehensiveness of moving abroad. Property Promise aims to alleviate these pressures, helping people find their perfect home whether it be local relocating or expatriation. Having experienced expatriation (Relocating and living overseas) first-hand, our team of professionals are always on hand to provide the utmost exceptional service, finding you your perfect property and helping you move home and settle in with ease.
It is important to note that as a business, we do not stop there. We also provide an extensive portfolio of relocation services, including offering a recruitment service and impartial advice on anything from taxes and pensions, to schooling and I.D applications. Our unrivalled customer service creates a seamless process for all clients, and we work with experts in these fields to ensure you receive up-to-date and accurate information.
A very good question to ask yourself is "How can I benefit from using this company?". Here is an answer to that question. We offer a solution. In fact, we offer a range of solutions to your problems and/or concerns with relocating. We help all our clients through every stage in their relocation journey, whether it be securing their perfect property to offering advice or finding them their perfect career – We do it all, and we do it with pride and passion.
To find out more information on our business, please check out the rest of our website or get in touch with us at [email protected]
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