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Embassy contacts for Gibraltar

British embassies

  • British Embassy, Washington, DC, United States: +1 202 588 6500

  • British High Commission, Ottawa, Canada: +1 613 237 1530

  • British High Commission, Canberra, Australia: +61 2 6270 6666

  • British High Commission, Pretoria, South Africa: +27 12 421 7500

  • British Embassy, Dublin, Ireland: +353 1 205 3700

  • British High Commission, Wellington, New Zealand: +64 4 924 2888

Embassies responsible for Gibraltar

  • United States Embassy, London: +44 20 7499 9000

  • Canadian High Commission, London: +44 20 7004 6000

  • Australian High Commission, London: +44 20 7379 4334

  • South African High Commission, London: +44 20 7451 7299

  • Irish Embassy, London: +44 20 7235 2171

  • New Zealand High Commission, London: +44 20 7930 8422

Healthcare in Gibraltar

Expats will enjoy high standards when it comes to healthcare in Gibraltar. Many of the doctors and nurses have trained abroad (often in the UK) and hospitals are equipped with the latest facilities and equipment. 

It’s not always practical for medical specialists to be employed full time in Gibraltar, but they are flown in from the UK on a rotating schedule. Patients may also be referred out to the UK or a nearby Spanish hospital if their healthcare needs can't be met locally.

Public healthcare in Gibraltar

The government-funded Gibraltar Health Authority (GHA) manages the country’s healthcare facilities and services, which are closely modelled after those of the NHS in the UK. There are three main public facilities managed by the GHA, providing primary, secondary and mental health care.

Expats employed in Gibraltar make compulsory contributions to social services. This entitles them to the use of public healthcare. To sign up, expats must show proof of identity and will have to prove that their social security contributions are up to date. This is done by providing the GHA with one's tax number or obtaining a letter from the Contributions Unit confirming payment. 

Private healthcare in Gibraltar

Despite Gibraltar's small size, there are several private options available for expats who aren’t entitled to free healthcare at public facilities. Expats are advised to take out private medical insurance to cover the cost of using private clinics and doctors.

Pharmacies in Gibraltar

Normal pharmacy hours are from 9am to 6pm or 7pm during the week, and from 9am to about 1pm on Saturdays. However, there is always a pharmacy available after hours, on weekends and on public holidays.

The various pharmacies in Gibraltar work on a rotating duty roster to determine which pharmacy stays open. All pharmacies are obligated to have a notice in their window indicating the current duty pharmacy. It's also possible to download a copy of the duty roster from the GHA website.

Emergency services in Gibraltar

The Gibraltar Ambulance Service can be reached by dialling 190. Paramedics are highly trained in patient assessment and can carry out basic, intermediate or advanced life support as necessary. These ambulances will often take patients over the border into Spain for treatment, though less complex cases may be treated locally in Gibraltar instead.

Banking, Money and Taxes in Gibraltar

Gibraltar has long held a reputation as a banking centre, and expats can expect the full range of banking services from both local and international banks. It’s also a popular location for offshore banking.

Currency in Gibraltar

The official currency in Gibraltar is the Gibraltar Pound (GIP), which is divided into 100 pence. Its value is pegged to the British Pound. UK notes and coins are also accepted in Gibraltar.

Currency is available in the following denominations:

  • Notes: 5 GIP, 10 GIP, 20 GIP, 50 GIP and 100 GIP

  • Coins: 1 pence, 2 pence, 5 pence, 10 pence, 20 pence and 50 pence; and 1 GIP, 2 GIP and 5 GIP

Banking in Gibraltar

A good variety of local and international banks offer cheque and savings accounts, credit cards, online banking, ATMs and foreign exchange services.

Opening a bank account

To open a bank account in Gibraltar, expats must usually appear at the relevant branch in person. Required documents include identification (driving licence or passport) and proof of address (rental agreement or utility bill).

Credit cards and ATMs

ATMs are widely available, and are usually easy to find at banks and in shopping areas. These ATMs generally accept international bank and credit cards, so expats will still have access to their funds. 

Taxes in Gibraltar

There is no capital gains tax, VAT or sales tax in Gibraltar. However, other types of tax, such as income tax, do apply.

Expats classified as non-tax residents only pay tax on income earned in Gibraltar, while residents for tax purposes pay tax on their worldwide income. Expats are considered tax residents if they’re present in Gibraltar for at least 183 days of any tax year. Expat tax matters can be complex, so it is best to consult a qualified tax specialist if at all unsure.

Transport and Driving in Gibraltar

Because Gibraltar is less than seven square kilometres in area, walking is often the best way of getting around. That said, many people living in Gibraltar use cars and motorcycles to get from one point to another. There is a sparse public transport system, consisting only of a bus service.

Public transport in Gibraltar

Gibraltar has a reliable, relatively inexpensive bus service consisting of a handful of bus routes. Buses are mostly run by the Gibraltar Bus Company, a government entity, with a few exceptions being operated by Calypso Transport (a private company). Gibraltar Bus Company buses are blue, while Calypso Transport runs red double-decker buses.

Taxis in Gibraltar

Taxis are easily found in Gibraltar and locals generally use them as their daily mode of transport. They can be caught at taxi ranks all around Gibraltar and can also be used for tourism purposes.

Driving in Gibraltar

Cars drive on the right-hand side of the road in Gibraltar. Most residents own a car, even though it’s fairly easy to get around solely on foot. All vehicles have to be registered with the authorities.

Expats with a driving licence from an EU country can drive in Gibraltar on this licence until it expires. Once it does, they can easily swap it out for a local Gibraltar licence. Expats with a non-EU driving licence should get an International Driving Permit before moving to Gibraltar. Once they have been in the country for six months, they'll need a local licence. Non-EU expats cannot do a direct driving licence swap and will have to take a two-part driving test to obtain a local licence.

Cycling in Gibraltar

Owing to its small size, Gibraltar is well suited to travel by bicycle. Expats can either buy their own bicycle (new or pre-owned) or can make use of the bike-sharing scheme known as Redibike. Redibike is managed by automated terminals and is operational 24 hours a day. Bicycles can be rented from and returned to any combination of terminals throughout Gibraltar.

Accommodation in Gibraltar

Expats can choose to buy or rent a property in Gibraltar, but many opt to rent because of the short-term nature of their assignments. Due to limited space, there is a high demand for housing in Gibraltar, prices are high, and the few new developments are mostly highly sought-after luxury units.

Many expats decide to live on the Spanish side of the border, in particular in Sotogrande, an upmarket resort town 15.5 miles (25 km) up the coast from Gibraltar. 

Types of accommodation in Gibraltar

The undersupplied market means that it can take a while to find somewhere to live. But given time and determination, expats moving to Gibraltar will be able to find a home that suits their lifestyle and needs.

Properties range from studio flats and townhouses to large standalone houses and villas. Many apartment blocks have shared facilities such as swimming pools and laundry rooms.

Renting accommodation in Gibraltar

The process of renting accommodation in Gibraltar is fairly easy. Expats will have to scour the internet and attend viewings. Once an expat has found the right property, they will need to make an application, which may require providing references and proof of income to the prospective landlord or real-estate agent.

Finding rental accommodation

Expats looking to rent or buy a property in Gibraltar have several options when it comes to finding the perfect home. Online property portals are a good place to start, as are the classifieds sections of local publications, for those who are already in Gibraltar. Social media neighbourhood groups are also an invaluable resource, as landlords typically share their rentals there to avoid incurring the costs of placing a listing on property portals. 

Expats can also approach a local real-estate agent to help navigate the sometimes difficult process of finding and securing housing. Real-estate agents often boast strong connections and extensive knowledge of the local property market.

Furnished vs unfurnished

Expats can find both furnished and unfurnished rentals in Gibraltar. Those who are in the British territory for the short term usually opt for furnished rentals for convenience. Furnished rentals typically include everything from furniture and appliances to utensils and decorative pieces, while unfurnished rentals will only include appliances such as a refrigerator and stove, as well as kitchen and bathroom fixtures. 

Furnished properties usually have higher rental prices than unfurnished homes. Expats who would prefer to bring a personal touch to their new rental needn't worry, as both Gibraltar and neighbouring Spain have a plethora of affordable furniture stores. 

Short lets and temporary housing

Temporary housing is one of the best ways for expats to get to know their new home before signing a long-term lease. Short-term rental websites such as AirBnB and MagicStay host a wide range of short-term rentals at reasonable price points for new arrivals to explore. 

Signing a lease

New arrivals will need to sign a lease agreement to secure a rental property in Gibraltar. Most landlords require tenants to sign a 12-month lease, but expats can easily negotiate a six-month agreement with the option to renew the contract. For long-term rentals, expats will need to give their landlords at least six months notice should they wish to terminate the lease.

Expats will also need to pay a deposit (usually equivalent to one or two months of rent) as well as the first month's rent in advance. At the end of the lease, the deposit is returned in full as long as the property is returned in a good condition. Tenants should ensure that they take a comprehensive inventory of the property when they move in and share it with their landlord to ensure they do not incur unfair costs at the termination of the lease. 

Expats renting a property in a new development should ensure their landlord has the legal right to rent to them, as most of these developments were bought in conjunction with the government. This means that there are restrictive covenants on sub-letting flats in these developments. 


Pets are generally not allowed when renting a home in Gibraltar, but expats can negotiate with their landlord. Should the property owner agree to a tenant keeping a pet on their property, expats must ensure their pet is microchipped and registered at the Gibraltar veterinary clinic. 


Utilities, which include water, electricity and internet, are generally for the tenant's account in Gibraltar. Expats are responsible for changing the contracts to their name and cancelling their agreements with the respective companies at the end of their lease. Aquagib, Gibraltar's water supplier, is responsible for sending residents dual water and electricity bills. The company takes electricity readings and collects the funds on behalf of the Gibraltar Electricity Authority.

The Department of the Environment is responsible for the collection of refuse and recyclable materials in Gibraltar. The department provides residents with yellow, green, blue and pink recycling bins for plastic, glass, paper and electronic waste. These items are then sent to recycling plants in Spain. Expats also have the option to deliver bulky household waste such as mattresses and hazardous waste to the Civic Amenities Site. 

Termination of the lease

Tenants will need to have the property professionally cleaned at the end of their lease to avoid losing out on their deposit, as this is a stipulation in most lease agreements in Gibraltar. Expats should also ensure they thoroughly go through the initial inventory they made upon moving into a property to ensure they leave the home in the same condition. 

Landlords will generally not charge tenants for normal wear and tear, while damage beyond this is likely to lead to deductions from the deposit. That said, tenants should expect to receive their deposit back in full within 15 days of vacating the property, should everything remain in order. 

Education and Schools in Gibraltar

Education in Gibraltar largely follows the British model with a few structural differences, and expats can choose from a small selection of state schools. There are also a couple of private schools and while there are no international schools in Gibraltar, many expats working in Gibraltar live over the border in Spain and send their children to nearby international schools there. 

Public schools in Gibraltar

Education in Gibraltar is compulsory from ages four to 15, during which time it is provided free of charge. Nursery school is optional and can be attended from age three, prior to the start of formal schooling.

First school (otherwise known as primary school) is compulsory and children attend from ages four to seven. Middle school is from ages eight to 11, while secondary school with sixth form is for ages 12 to 18. Though students can legally stop attending school at age 15 after the completion of the GCSEs, most students continue to attend school and move onto the sixth form.

It's worth mentioning that public primary schools in Gibraltar are co-educational, while public secondary schools are single-sex. There are around a dozen public primary schools to choose from, but only two public secondary schools.

Private and international schools in Gibraltar

Private schools in Gibraltar include Loreto Convent School, a co-educational primary school, and Prior Park School, a co-educational secondary school. Both are Roman Catholic schools, with teaching taking place through the Catholic lens and conventions.

Due to the extremely limited availability of private schools in Gibraltar, parents who want to pursue this route should apply well ahead of time to secure a spot.

As there are no international schools in Gibraltar, expats who are set on sending their child to one of these will have to extend their search beyond the border and into Spain. The nearest international school is in Sotogrande, and there are a few in Marbella as well.

Some of Spain's international schools offer boarding facilities, but with the availability of regular and cheap flights to the UK, many expats and local Gibraltarians choose to send their children to boarding schools in England.

Special-needs education in Gibraltar

As a small territory, Gibraltar has limited special-needs resources available, though the government continues to make an effort to provide support for students who need it.

Gibraltar's secondary schools, and two of its primary schools, Notre Dame School and Bishop Fitzgerald, have dedicated Learning Support Facilities designed to provide assistance to students with special needs. Should more comprehensive support be required, there is a dedicated special school in Gibraltar, St Martin's School.

Tutors in Gibraltar

Tutors in Gibraltar are useful for both expats and locals. Some hire tutors to help students with problem subjects, such as maths or science, while others make use of language tutors to help children pick up English faster or maintain their mother tongue.

There are few tutoring companies in Gibraltar itself, but as the territory largely follows the British curriculum, it is fairly easy to find a tutor online.

Working in Gibraltar

Gibraltar’s local economy is largely based on tourism, logistics and the financial sector, with plenty of opportunities available to expats with skill and experience in these areas.

Gibraltar is an ideal assignment for many expats, owing to its convenient location and the fact that English is the language of business. EU and EEA citizens looking to live and work in Gibraltar do not need a visa. However, non-EEA citizens will need work and residence permits to legally take up employment in the British territory. 

Job market in Gibraltar

Thanks to Gibraltar's favourable tax conditions, the country's financial services – particularly offshore banking – is a thriving industry.

Tourism is another major sector. With millions of visitors heading to Gibraltar each year, there's plenty of work for expats in this industry, especially during the busy summer months.

Gibraltar has also become a global leader in the online gaming industry. This is once again due to its favourable tax climate, as well as other aspects such as reliable internet connectivity and a well-developed regulatory system. Companies running online gambling are particularly prominent in Gibraltar.

Finding a job in Gibraltar

Word of mouth and personal recommendations are the best way to secure a job in Gibraltar, but those who haven't yet made the move should explore online job portals, expat forums and recruitment agencies.

The difficulty of obtaining a job depends very much on the industry. Those with specialised skills in one of Gibraltar's main industries stand a good chance of finding work.

As English is commonly spoken throughout Gibraltar, it's possible to get a job without knowledge of Spanish. That said, Spanish skills can sometimes set applicants apart from those that don't speak the language.

Work culture in Gibraltar

Gibraltar's work culture is similar to that of the UK in many ways. Politeness, punctuality and respect are important cornerstones of working life. Expats should ensure they arrange all meetings in advance, as preparing for meetings is key in Gibraltar. 

The standard working week is 40 hours, with 48 hours a week being the legal maximum. Employees are allowed 15 days of annual leave. After eight years of service, this increases to 25 days of leave per year.

Doing business in Gibraltar

Thanks to its generous tax policies, EU membership and economic stability, Gibraltar is in many ways an ideal place to start a new business or expand an existing business. This is especially true for those with an interest in one of Gibraltar's major industries such as financial services, tourism, shipping or online gaming.

Just as the contrasting Spanish and British influences are evident in everyday-living in Gibraltar, so have they affected the business culture in different ways too. While the social life of Gibraltar is casual, most business is conducted in a formal British manner.

Fast facts

Business hours 

9am to 5pm from Monday to Friday.

Business language

English is the official language of business in Gibraltar. Spanish may be used in dealing with companies from Spain that operate in Gibraltar. 


Businessmen and women are expected to dress smartly in Gibraltar, with most men wearing suits to the office. In summer, short-sleeved shirts and lightweight slacks are commonly preferred. 


A firm handshake is recommended when expats greet locals. Despite the friendliness of local businesspeople, do not presume to be on a first-name basis from the initial meeting – rather take the lead from local counterparts.

Gender equality

There are women in management positions in Gibraltar and many work in the thriving service sector, but they’re still underrepresented in politics. 

Business culture in Gibraltar


Businesspeople in Gibraltar tend to be direct and to the point. Expats are advised to take the same approach. In addition, it's important to remain calm even under pressure. Emotional displays such as raising one's voice are regarded negatively and are sure to have an adverse effect on business outcomes.

Business meetings

Appointments must be made in advance, and expats should never arrive without one – even the most informal meetings are prearranged. Going into business meetings, expats should be well prepared and ready to answer any questions.


Punctuality is essential – it's better to be early than late, as lateness is regarded as a sign of disrespect. If something has come up, and it's impossible to arrive on time, expats should let associates know immediately.

Dos and don'ts of doing business in Gibraltar

  • Don't dress sloppily, even on hot days

  • Do be well-prepared for meetings

  • Do arrive on time

  • Don't interrupt other speakers during meetings, especially those who are more senior

Moving to Gibraltar

Located on the very southern tip of Spain, Gibraltar is a tiny British Territory covering an area of less than 4 square miles (7 km). Locals fondly refer to their home as 'The Rock' in tribute to the soaring Rock of Gibraltar that dominates the space. Expats moving to Gibraltar are in for a relaxing and largely fulfilling experience in the British territory. 

Living in Gibraltar as an expat

Surrounded almost completely by water, Gibraltar is joined to Spain by a land border of just 0.75 miles (1.2 km) as a comparatively long coastline of 7.5 miles (12 km) winds around Gibraltar. At first glance, Gibraltar may not stand out as an expat destination, but it has long held a reputation as an international banking centre, especially when it comes to offshore banking. While some expats are attracted by lucrative employment offers within the financial industry, others come here to spend their twilight years on the Mediterranean coast. It’s especially popular among British retirees.

Though it has a small population of just a little more than 33,000, Gibraltar's diminutive size means that it's far from spacious and accommodation is hard to find. Residents on the island are far outnumbered by tourists, who frequently exceed 10 million visitors a year. It follows that tourism is a thriving industry, with plenty of opportunities for seasonal workers or those looking to start a business.

Gibraltar is a British colony with a local government. They are entirely self governing aside from matters of defence and international affairs, which are handled by Britain. Despite this, Gibraltar's culture is largely influenced by its Spanish neighbours rather than its British rulers. Those unused to the relaxed, languid lifestyle typical of Spain may take a while to adjust to life in Gibraltar.

Cost of living in Gibraltar

Despite the lack of value-added and sales tax in Gibraltar, the cost of living in the territory is high. Owing to Gibraltar's small size, accommodation will be the biggest expense expats must prepare for. Living further out from the city centre and securing shared housing are some of the ways to minimise this cost. 

Almost everything has to be imported into Gibraltar, which makes for pricey groceries, furniture, clothing and electronics. Most expats and locals choose to shop in neighbouring Spain to save on some items. A major advantage of Gibraltar's size is that the territory is compact, making it easy to get around, so expats can save some money on their commute. 

Families and children in Gibraltar

Expat families are more likely than not to enjoy their time in Gibraltar, owing to the plethora of family-friendly attractions and excellent public education on offer. State schools in Gibraltar are free to attend between the ages of four and 15, but most students choose to continue their sixth form education thereafter.

While there are no international schools in Gibraltar, expat parents have the option of sending their children to international schools in Spain. Parents who would like for children to learn a globally recognised curriculum or continue in their home country's syllabus typically choose this option. There are also two private schools in Gibraltar that teach through a Roman Catholic lens, although parents interested in this option will need to apply well ahead of time to avoid disappointment. Private and international schools are generally associated with high fees, expats are advised to negotiate an education allowance in their relocation package where possible. 

Climate in Gibraltar

Gibraltar is blessed with 11 hours of sunshine a day. The weather in Gibraltar is characterised by dry (May to September) and wet seasons (October to April). Fortunately, temperature variations are rare and expats can expect warm weather year round. 

The lifestyle on The Rock is generally excellent, and even expats moving to Gibraltar for career-related reasons are sure to find some time to kick back, relax and enjoy their beautiful surroundings.

Fast facts

Population: Approximately 33,600

Neighbouring countries: Spain is to the north and is the only land border of Gibraltar, Morocco lies across the Strait of Gibraltar to the south, and the Mediterranean lies to the east.

Geography: Gibraltar is a small territory on a peninsula at the southern tip of Spain. The peak of the Rock of Gibraltar is its highest point, and the rest of the territory is sea-level lowlands.

Political system: Devolved representative democratic parliamentary dependency under a constitutional monarchy

Main languages: English and Spanish

Major religions: Roman Catholicism

Money: The Gibraltar Pound (GIP) is divided into 100 pennies and is pegged to the British Pound. To open a bank account, expats will usually have to present a valid passport and proof of address.

Tipping: A service charge is generally included in restaurant bills, and a 10 percent tip for good service is standard.

Time: GMT+1

Electricity: 230V, 50Hz. Plugs most commonly in use are the round two-pin type or the rectangular three-pin plug typical of Europe and the UK respectively.

Internet domain: .gi

International dialling code: +350

Emergency contacts: 190 (medical and fire) and 199 (police)

Transport and driving: Thanks to Gibraltar's small size, it's quite easy to get around on foot. Others prefer to drive cars or motorcycles. For public transport, there is a well-established bus network, which makes it easy to get around, and there are taxis available as well.

Weather in Gibraltar

Gibraltar has a Mediterranean climate, with a hot, dry season from May to September and a cool, wet period from October to April. Temperatures don't vary much throughout the year. Winters are cooler but mild, and summers are warm but not scorching.

Sunshine lovers are sure to enjoy the summer months – especially June and July, when there are typically 11 hours of sunshine a day. Even in the deep winter months of November, December and January, there are usually at least a few hours of sun a day to break up the overcast skies.

Public Holidays in Gibraltar




New Year's Day

1 January

1 January

Commonwealth Day

13 March

19 February

Good Friday

7 April

29 March

Easter Monday

10 April

1 April

Workers' Memorial Day

28 April

28 April

May Day

1 May

1 May

Spring Bank Holiday

29 May

27 May

King's Birthday

19 June

17 June

Late Summer Bank Holiday

28 August

26 August

Gibraltar National Day

11 September

10 September

Christmas Day

25 December

25 December

Boxing Day

26 December

26 December