Thinking of making the move to the Isle of Man? Trainee Advocate with Simcocks Advocates, Leanne Hinds, looks at the various immigration routes.
The Isle of Man, the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands and the Republic of Ireland collectively form a Common Travel Area (“CTA”). This means that any applicant who has entered the CTA and been examined for the purpose of immigration control does not require leave to enter any other part of the CTA. The IOM Immigration rules (“the Immigration Rules”) align closely with the UK rules in order to ensure the integrity of the CTA and allow travel between the Isle of Man and the United Kingdom to be treated as an internal domestic journey, and therefore no requirement for separate immigration or other control. However certain persons subject to the Immigration (Control of Entry through Republic of Ireland) Order 2016 who enter the Isle of Man through the Republic of Ireland do require leave to enter.
The Isle of Man Immigration Service manages visa applications from people who are seeking to come to the Isle of Man or to vary their leave to remain in the Island. As a British Crown Dependency, the Isle of Man is entitled to, and uses the services of the Visa Application Centres (“VAC”), British Embassies and other diplomatic offices around the world. One of the services provided by the VAC is to handle the ‘entry clearance visa applications' submitted for the Isle of Man.
Worker Migrants and Worker (Intra Company Transfer) Migrants
Applicants living overseas who wish to come to the Isle of Man to work and who hold a valid Confirmation of Employment (“CoE”), must apply for Entry Clearance online on the UK Visas and Immigration (“UKVI”) website from their country of residence. The UKVI online application system informs the applicant what documents to provide to complete the application and generates a Biometric appointment for the applicant to attend. They then need to attend a British Embassy/High Commission to attend a biometric appointment and hand in any supporting documents. The British Embassy/High Commission should after some initial processes, refer the visa application to Isle of Man Immigration Service for decision.
The Worker Migrant route enables non-British and non-Irish nationals to come to the Isle of Man in order to undertake a full time employment position which cannot be filled by a Settled Worker.
The Worker (ICT) Migrant route enables multinational employers to transfer their existing employees from outside the UK and Islands to their Isle of Man branch for training purposes or to fill a specific vacancy.
To qualify for entry clearance as a Worker Migrant or Worker (ICT) Migrant, an applicant must meet the requirements listed within Appendix W of the Immigration Rules and must not fall for refusal under the general grounds for refusal under Part 9 of these Rules.
An application made under this route must be supported by a valid CoE which has been issued by the Isle of Man Immigration Service to work in the Isle of Man. A CoE must be applied for by an Isle of Man employer on behalf of their employee before they start a new job and before the employee can make an application for entry clearance or to extend their leave to remain in the Isle of Man. Confirmation of Employment will only be issued if the vacancy falls into one of the Eligible Employment categories set out in the Tables at Part 7 of Appendix W. The gross annual salary offered must be at least £20,800 or the appropriate rate for the employment and the contracted working hours for the migrant worker must be at least 30 hours per week.
A Business Migrant is a person who is coming to the Isle of Man for business related reasons, who will have an innovative, viable and scalable business idea. The Business Migrant rules in Appendix X of the Immigration Rules contain the Start-up and Innovator sub-categories, which were introduced on 6 April 2020.
The Start Up sub-category is for individuals seeking to establish a business in the Isle of Man for the first time. The Innovator sub-category is for individuals with business experience seeking to establish, join or take over one or more businesses in the Isle of Man.
The Department for Enterprise is the only endorsing body in the Isle of Man for the Business Migrant route as prescribed in Appendix X of the Immigration Rules and is responsible for issuing the Letter of Endorsement you will need to support your visa application.
Relevant Points-Based System Migrant
To qualify for entry clearance under a Relevant Points-Based System Migrant route, an applicant must meet the requirements listed in Part 6A and Appendix A of the Immigration Rules.
Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Migrants: This route is for exceptionally talented individuals in their particular fields, who wish to work in the Isle of Man. These individuals are those who are already internationally recognised at the highest level as world leaders in their particular field, or who have already demonstrated exceptional promise and are likely to become world leaders in their particular area.
Tier 1 (Investor) Migrants: This route is for high net worth individuals making a substantial financial investment to the Isle of Man (at least £2million).
Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) Temporary Migrants: This route is for sponsored young people from participating countries and territories who wish to live and work temporarily in the Isle of Man.
Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) Migrants: This route is for certain types of temporary worker whose entry helps to satisfy cultural, charitable, religious or international objectives, including volunteering and job shadowing.
Tier 4 (General) Student: This route is for migrants aged 16 or over who wish to study in the Isle of Man at an institution that is not an Academy or a school maintained by a local authority.
Tier 4 (Child) Student: This route is for children at least 4 years old and under the age of 18 who wish to be educated in the Isle of Man at an Independent School. Schools maintained by the Department of Education and Children are not permitted to sponsor students under this route.
Those people already in the Isle of Man who wish to extend their stay and who hold a valid Confirmation of Employment must complete and submit the relevant application for leave to remain (completed forms, supporting documentation and the application fee) to the Isle of Man Immigration Office.
When applying for either entry clearance to the Isle of Man or to vary their leave in the Isle of Man, applicants must demonstrate a certain level of English language ability, in a way prescribed under the Immigration Rules. Most settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain) applicants must pass the relevant Knowledge of Life and Language or Knowledge of life in the UK and Islands test, as set out in Appendix KOL IOM and Appendix KOLL of the Immigration Rules.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.