The Isle of Man is not part of the United Kingdom or European Union, but its immigration system is closely modelled on the United Kingdom system, and is designed to facilitate the legitimate migration of individuals and businesses likely to be of benefit to the Isle of Man. British Citizens and citizens of other European Economic Area countries can live in the Isle of Man without requiring a visa or other permission, although they are likely to require an Isle of Man work permit should they wish to take up employment or self-employment.
The Isle of Man is part of the Common Travel Area with the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Ireland, meaning, for example, that there are no fixed immigration checks on travel between the Isle of Man and the United Kingdom. Isle of Man residents are free to travel to the UK, provided they comply with the terms of any Isle of Man visa they hold.
Persons other than British and EEA citizens typically require an Isle of Man visa in order to live in the Isle of Man, although the holders of existing UK visas can travel to the Isle of Man without the requirement for further permission, provided they comply with the terms of their UK visa. Applications from persons with the dominant purpose of visit to the Isle of Man, who have so notified the British immigration authority in their country of residence, are forwarded to the immigration authorities of the Isle of Man. This process redistributes the burden from the British authorities and may expedite the issue of an Isle of Man visa, which gives the bearer the right to enter both the United Kingdom and the Isle of Man. An application for such a visa may be made to a British consulate anywhere in the world, typically in the country of the applicant’s residence, using the same procedures as would apply in the case of a UK visa. The British consulate forwards the application to the Isle of Man Immigration Office for a decision, which is then communicated to the applicant by the British consulate.
The Isle of Man visa system closely follows, but is not identical to, the UK system, and includes a Points Based System for long stay immigrants such as investors, workers and students, in addition to visitor visas and special categories for family members and persons of British descent.
Kinley Legal advises businesses and manages the migration of their owners and executives to the Isle of Man, either as part of the transfer of existing holding companies and trading structures to the island, or independently. We have particular experience in assisting individuals with preparing and checking their applications for Tier 1 (Investor) and Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visas, including assessment of business plans for the latter, but can advise on and manage any application in order to help ensure a successful outcome. We can further assist a client with establishing a base in the Isle of Man, for example, by selecting suitable advisers on commercial and residential property.
Long-term residents of the Isle of Man are entitled, in due course, to apply for naturalisation as British Citizens and to hold Isle of Man or UK British passports. If granted, this status entitles the person to remain in the Isle of Man or UK permanently without being subject to immigration control, as well as entitling them to visa-free travel to a large number of countries. Again, Kinley Legal can advise upon applications for citizenship and manage the application process, in order to help ensure that they will be approved.