Please note that this is general advice, and may not apply to all circumstances. The content below does not constitute legal advice as each case depends on merits.
It is wise to seek professional advice that takes into account your particular circumstance.
Which industries employ expats in the Isle of Man?
The Isle of Man has a diverse economy and expats may find employment in a number of different industries. According to Isle of Man Government’s Department of Economic Development key areas of industry in recent times have been in:
Where there is a shortage of Manx workers, there is opportunity for expats to gain employment. Foreign Nationals are also more likely to obtain a visa if they have skills which are required on the Shortage Occupation list.
What are the types of visas being offered?
British citizens or European Economic Area (“EEA”) Nationals do not require permission to live and work in the Isle of Man. However, British citizens and EEA Nationals are likely to require a work permit issued under the Isle of Man Control of Employment Acts before they can begin work.
The Control of Employment Acts require that anyone who is not an 'Isle of Man worker' must have a work permit before starting employment or self-employment in the Island. (There is a certain limited number of occupations for which permits are not required, e.g. doctors, dentists, ministers of religion or the police).
Qualification as an 'Isle of Man worker' includes being born on the Island, resident for at least five years, married to an 'Isle of Man worker', having received full-time education during residence (and having remained on the Island thereafter) or having a Manx-born parent who has spent the first five years of their life on the Island.
Applications for work permits are made by the employer. Employers may employ British Citizens or EEA Nationals who are not Isle of Man workers, provided that there are no suitable Isle of Man workers available to fill those specific roles.
A British Citizen or EEA National who intends to be a self-employed person can make their own application for a work permit. In each case, where successful, the permit will be granted for a set period at the discretion of the Work Permit committee. Where necessary, an application for renewal of a permit can also be made.
Entry in to the Isle of Man by Foreign nationals is governed by the Immigration Act 1971, (a UK Act of Parliament which extends to the Isle of Man) and is regulated by the Isle of Man Immigration Rules. The Rules lay down the requirements for the entry and stay of foreign nationals in the Isle of Man.
The Isle of Man Immigration Rules are very similar to the UK Rules. However, there are some provisions within the Manx rules that are unique to the Isle of Man and some of the provisions found in the UK Rules do not apply in the Isle of Man. However, if you need a visa for entry in to the United Kingdom you will need a visa for the Isle of Man. Appendix 1 of the Isle of Man Immigration Rules provides a list of the countries or territorial entities whose nationals or citizens require visas to enter the Isle of Man.
Foreign Nationals who wish to take up employment with an employer must obtain a Certificate of Sponsorship from their potential employer before making their visa application. Further, an employer must be a registered sponsor and must have a sponsor licence in order to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship to an applicant.
Foreign nationals can only be employed by Employers who are Licensed Sponsors. Once an applicant is in receipt of a Certificate of Sponsorship they should make an application for a visa.
Types of work visas available to Foreign Nationals
The main types of visa available for work on the Isle of Man are:
Tier 1: Entrepreneurs Investors and Post-Study Workers
Tier 2: Intra Company Transfer Migrants, General Migrants, Ministers of Religion, Sportspersons
Tier 5: Temporary Workers including those wishing to work under the Youth Mobility Scheme
How can I get a work visa?
All applications for Visa/Entry Clearance to the Isle of Man should be made at the nearest British post (Embassy, High Commission or Consulate) to the applicant’s place of residence. Most applications can be made online and the relevant UK Visa Application Form should be completed. The British post will then forward the application to the Isle of Man Immigration Office for consideration and decision.
A points based system has been introduced for each of the tiers listed above and each tier has its own specific requirements. In order to be granted a visa, an applicant must score the minimum number of points as set out in the Manx Immigration Rules.
Can I apply for a visa on my own?
However, the Immigration Rules are somewhat complex and in order to limit the chances of an application being rejected, it may be prudent to seek the assistance of a Manx Advocate.
Who can I hire to assist me in processing my papers?
The Isle of Man Immigration Office or the UK Border Agency may be able to give you some initial advice on the application process however for more complex matters you could speak to a Manx Advocate.
What are the documents I need to submit?
The application form will be dependant on your nationality and the type of work visa being applied for. A form finder can be found on the UK Border Agency website.
An applicant will also be required to provide a number of supporting documents such as
An applicant may also have to undergo fingerprinting and photographs at a biometric centre in the country where the application is made.
How long do I have to wait for my papers to be processed?
It varies, but applicants are advised by the Chief Secretary’s Office to allow at least 6 months for applications to be dealt with. However, straightforward cases can sometimes be dealt with in a few weeks. If you are planning to apply for entry clearance you should ask the office you will be dealing with how long it is likely to take to process your application. You should tell them that you want to live in the Isle of Man.
Where can I check on the status of my application?
If an application is made through www.visa4uk.fco.gov.uk you can check the status of your application on this website. However an applicant can also contact the UK Border Agency or British Embassy to check on the progress of an application.
What will my proof of employment visa be?
Once a visa application has been approved, a visa label is usually inserted in to an applicant’s passport by the embassy.
What are the government fees I have to pay for while I am on my work visa?
This will be dependant on the type of visa you area applying for. The fees as at 30 April 2012 are as follows:
Tier 1: (Investor) Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Tier 1 (General) – for main applicant and dependants- £432
Tier 1 (Post-study work) – for main applicant and dependants- £459
Tier 2: For main applicant and dependants- £250
How long is the validity of the employment visa before it expires?
This is dependant on the Tier or category on which the visa was granted.
Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) entry clearance will be granted for a period up to 3 years and four months
Tier 1 (Investor) entry clearance will be granted for a period up to 3 years and four months
Tier 1 (Post Study) entry clearance will be granted for a period up to 3 years
Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) - Will be dependant on the terms of the transfer
If my passport expires before my employment visa expires what should I do?
You should apply for a new passport but retain your old passport with visa label. When travelling in and out of the Isle of Man (and UK) you should carry both passports. Alternatively you could arrange for your visa label to be transferred to your new passport. There is a fee for this transfer.
When my employment visa expires, how can I re-enter the Isle of Man and accept a new job?
You can extend your temporary permission to stay (also called 'limited leave to remain') in the Isle of Man. If you want to extend your stay, you must apply for permission to do so before your existing permission ends. If your permission has already ended, you are required to leave the country.
Before you apply to extend your permission to stay, you should ensure that you meet the requirements in your immigration category. To find out about these requirements you should check the Immigration Rules and the requirements outlined in the application form relevant to your category or obtain advice from a Manx Advocate. Forms to extend your stay on the Isle of Man are available online at www.gov.im/cso/Immigration/forms.xml.
Is there a grace period to renew my employment visa?
There is not usually a grace period to extend your visa. An applicant should make an application to extend their current visa prior to expiry or make a new application under a different tier.
Can I come to the Isle of Man on a tourist visa to search and apply for jobs?
A tourist visa is limited to visiting the Isle of Man for the purpose of tourism. It is usual practice for foreign nationals to search for and apply for jobs from their home country. However, if you are requested to attend the Isle of Man for a job interview, then you may be able to obtain a temporary business visa.
What happens when an employer asks me to work immediately without an employment visa?
You should not accept an invitation to work on the Isle of Man prior to obtaining a work visa and Sponsorship certificate as you and your employer would commit a criminal offence in doing so.
How do I make sure I don’t get banned from re-entry?
Ensure that you stay within the restrictions or conditions of your visa. When making any applications to extend your stay, ensure that this is done well before the expiry of your current visa. Ensure that you provide full and accurate information when making any application and do not participate in any illegal activity.
How can I transfer my employment visa from one employer to the next?
It is not possible to transfer a visa from one employer to another. You would need to make a fresh visa application and would need to obtain a new Certificate of Sponsorship from your new employer.
Aside from obtaining an employment visa, how can I have residency in the Isle of Man?
There are several other types of visa which will allow for residency on the Isle of Man, such as student visas or as a dependant of someone already working and living on the island. As mentioned previsouly, EEA Nationals do not require a visa to live and work on the island provided that they are able to maintain themselves without recourse to public funds.
How can my partner/ spouse or children who work and live in the Isle of Man sponsor my residency?
Foreign nationals can make an application for a visa for any dependants they may have. The foreign national who is or intends to work and live on the Isle of Man must prove that they have sufficient maintenance to meet their needs and their dependants’ needs without recourse to public funds. See below for instances where the spouse making the application is a British Citizen.
How can I get a job soon after my family sponsors my residency?
If you obtain a visa as a dependant of another-provided that you have a valid work permit under the Control of Employment Acts and subject to any restrictions or conditions of your visa- you should be permitted to start looking for a job on arrival.
How can I apply for permanent residency and acquire citizenship when I get my employment visa?
Foreign nationals must make an application for an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) visa.
Foreign nationals applying for ILR in the Isle of Man must pass the Citizenship Test. The original certificate will also be required for Naturalisation applications.
EEA nationals do not need to meet this requirement in order to become settled in the Isle of Man. However, if an EEA nationals wishes to be naturalised as a British Citizen they must pass the Citizenship Test.
It is not possible to become a Manx citizen. Manx people are actually British citizens deriving their nationality from the provisions of the British Nationality Acts.
Applications from foreign nationals to be naturalised as British citizens involves, amongst other things, the requirement of a period of residence in the Isle of Man, United Kingdom or any of the Channel Islands of 5 years or 3 years if the applicant is married to a British citizen.
In additional to the British Application forms there are also some additional forms for those who wish to remain on the Isle of Man. These forms can be found at www.gov.im/cso/immigration/nationality.xml.
Does the Isle of Man provide single and multiple visa entries? How do I get a multiple visa entry?
It is possible to apply for a multiple entry visa. You should state this on your application at the first opportunity.
Will an expat’s child born in the Isle of Man acquire citizenship?
As stated above, it is not possible to become a Manx citizen. An expat’s child would also not automatically become a British citizen. However, if an expat family is successful in their application for ILR then a child born on the Isle of Man may apply to become a British citizen.
I am a Manx citizen currently living overseas with a foreign nationality. What are the requirements for my partner to be able to reside with me in the country?
You can make an application for your partner to enter as a spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner provided that you have been with your partner for a minimum period of two years. You must be able to demonstrate that you and your partner plan to settle in the Isle of Man. The British Embassy will need information on your finances, your relationship and where you plan to reside. You will also need to show that you will be entering the Isle of Man either before or at the same time as your partner.
Where can I find more information on work visa, residency and citizenship?
For information on immigration and visas visit the Chief Secretary’s website at www.gov.im/cso/immigration. For information on work permits visit the Department of Economic Development’s website at www.gov.im/ded.
What should I do to have a successful relocation?
Once expats have obtained their visa for living and working on the Isle of Man they should ensure that they are registered with local authorities such as the income tax office and a GP. They should also obtain a Manx driving licence. Expats holding current driving licences issued in the UK, EU, Channel Islands and certain other countries can obtain an Isle of Man driving licence by presenting their existing driving licence to the Vehicle Licensing Office.
In which countries are the citizens of the Isle of Man exempted from visa when travelling? – For tourism purposes only?
As there is no ‘Manx’ citizenship and Manx people are considered British citizens, the same permissions and restriction on entry to foreign countries as those living in the UK will apply to Manx people. If you are in doubt as to whether a visa is required for entry in to a particular country, you can check that country’s requirements on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s website.
| ◄ IMMIGRATION EXPERT IN THE ISLE OF MAN►
M&P Legal has three departments: litigation, commercial and private client. The lawyers and support staff make it their priority to tackle their client’s legal problems without losing sight of the financial and commercial imperatives.
The Isle of Man is part of the British Isles but immigration can be an issue depending on the circumstances of the relocation involved. Our employment unit is experienced in giving advice on immigration issues and can refer those relocating to the Isle of Man to the appropriate authorities or conduct the work ourselves. We also have experience in conducting immigration appeals.
Isle of Man Work Permits
The Isle of Man is not part of the European Union and even workers from the United Kingdom generally require a work permit to work in the Isle of Man. Our employment unit team has very wide experience of dealing with this area having appeared before the Work Permit Committee, the Work Permit Appeal Tribunal and the Isle of Man High Court on point of law appeals from a work permit application. We can advise on the procedure and assist in the necessary drafting (including a local advertisement) and the application.
ExpatCareers.com nor the author guarantee the accuracy of the information on this page. It is recommend that particularly prior to your travels you check with the relevant government authority.
Please contact us with any updates you may have.