Isle of Man Innovator and Start-Up Visas 

Eligibility Criteria

Start-Up Visa – This is for individuals seeking to establish a business in the Isle of Man for the first time (Appendix X, Isle of Man Immigration Rules)

Innovator Visa – This is for individuals who already have business experience and are seeking to establish, join or take over one or more businesses in the Isle of Man (Appendix X, Isle of Man Immigration Rules)

In both categories you will be required to establish that you have an innovative, viable and scalable business idea (Appendix X, Isle of Man Immigration Rules): 

  • Innovation – You must have an original business plan that meets new or existing needs and/or creates a competitive advantage;
  • Viability – You must have, or be, developing the necessary skills, knowledge, experience and market awareness to successfully run the business; and 
  • Scalability – There must be evidence of structured planning and potential for job creation and growth into national markets. 

(Part 6.2, Appendix X, Isle of Man Immigration Rules)

Investment – If you are applying for an Innovator Visa, you will need have a minimum of £50,000 to invest into the business (Part 7.4, Appendix X, Isle of Man Immigration Rules). There is no requirement for investment for the Start-Up Visa. The investment funds for the Innovator Visa may include funds which have already been invested in the business within the last 12 months (Part 7.1(3)(c), Appendix X, Isle of Man Immigration Rules). The investment funds must be held in a regulated financial institution and disposable in the Isle of Man (Paragraph 6.11, Migrant Endorsement Policy): 

The investment finds can be used for various purposes including: 

  • Seed capital;
  • To provide financial support towards the business set up costs;
  • Purchase of equipment;
  • Ongoing regular expenditure (i.e. marketing, research and development etc.) and salaries of employees (though not your own salary! Paragraph 13.10, Migrant Endorsement Policy). 

You may apply as a team of migrants with a business partner (Part 7.1(4), Appendix X, Isle of Man Immigration Rules), however, each member of the team will be required to invest £50,000 (Part 7.4(2), Appendix X, Isle of Man Immigration Rules).  

If the funds are your own funds, you will need to prove that you have held these funds for a period of at least two years (Paragraph 6.12, Migrant Endorsement Policy). 

Job Creation – For both visa routes you will need to demonstrate (through your business plan) that your business expects to employ 1 permanent employee on the Isle of Man (in addition to yourself) within the first 12 months of period for which the letter of endorsement is issued. You must also demonstrate that during the first 36 months of the period for which the letter of endorsement is issued that you will create an minimum of 3 full time permanent employees (Part 7.3(2), Appendix X Isle of Man Immigration Rules). 

Maintenance – For both visa routes, you will need to have at least £945 (per person if you are bringing your dependents) in your account for your maintenance (Part 4.10, Appendix X, Isle of Man Immigration Rules).

English Language – For both visa routes, you will need to prove that you have a B2 level of English language ability (Part 4.9, Appendix X, Isle of Man Immigration Rules). 

Documents Required

Letter of Endorsement Application

  • A high quality colour copy of the photo page of your passport;
  • A comprehensive business plan; this will need to provide the following: 

For a Start-Up Visa

  • Full details of the business idea demonstrating a unique or innovative business proposition which will complement existing or new market needs;
  • The employment structure including expected numbers of employees, types of jobs, wage rates etc.;
  • Details of expected premises, including whether the intention is to rent or purchase commercial premises;
  • A marketing plan including whether customers are off-Island or on-Island; and
  • An analysis of why the business is suitable to be established and developed in the Isle of Man (Paragraph 12.4, Migrant Endorsement Policy);

For an Innovator Visa if starting a new business 

  • full details of the business idea, demonstrating unique or innovative business proposition which will complement existing market needs;
  • a business model, together with short and long term objectives, key customers, confirmed orders or customer interest etc;
  • the employment structure including expected numbers of employees, types of jobs, wage rates etc.;
  • details of expected premises, including whether the intention is to rent or purchase commercial premises;
  • a marketing plan including whether customers are off-Island or on-Island; and
  • an analysis of why the business is suitable to be established and developed in the Isle of Man ((Paragraph 13.12, Migrant Endorsement Policy)

For an Innovator Visa if taking over an existing business

  • Full details of the existing business, including the business name, trading name, company registration information and details of all other directors, shareholders or other persons with beneficial ownership of the business;
  • A description of business activities, existing customer base, current turnover and corporate profits;
  • The employment structure including current number of employees, types of jobs, wage rates etc.;
  • Details of existing premises, including whether such premises are owned or rented;
  • Full details of the level of investment to be made by the Migrant and how that investment will be made;
  • Full details of the Migrants plans for the business or businesses, including any plans for expansion and further job creation (Paragraph 13.13, Migrant Endorsement Policy); 
  • A CV demonstrating your skills knowledge and experience relevant to the Letter of Endorsement application (Paragraph 12.5, Migrant Endorsement Policy) (Start-Up Visa only); 
  • Documents demonstrating availability of funds – this could be a portfolio report produced by an Isle of Man or UK regulated financial institution (if funds are held in a portfolio of investments); or official documents from a regulated bank (if held in a personal bank account. The documents must prove that the funds have been held for at least 2 years and the most recent statement must be dated no earlier than 31 calendar days before the date of the application (Paragraph 6.11, Migrant Endorsement Policy) (Innovator Visa only).

N.B. If the funds are held overseas, a letter from each financial institution holding the funds, issued by an authorised official of that institution. The letter must confirm the minimum balance available from the you own funds held in that institution on the date of the letter.

Innovator Visa Application

  • For FLR Innovator (Main Applicant);
  • Letter of Endorsement; 
  • Passport or other travel document; 
  • Police registration certificate; 
  • Documents proving maintenance funds (held for 90 days) ending no more than 31 days before the application (i.e. bank statements, letter from bank confirming funds etc.);  and
  • Document(s) proving English language requirement (i.e. UK NARIC Certificate, Degree Certificate etc.)

Application Process

STEP 1 – Contact the Isle of Man Department for Enterprise to discuss your business plan. 

STEP 2 – Submit an application for a letter of endorsement, along with the relevant supporting documents. The Isle of Man Department for Enterprise will determine whether your business plan meets the required criteria. 

STEP 3 – Should you pass the initial application stage, The Isle of Man Department for Enterprise will conduct a due diligence procedure on you and the source of funds and an assessment will be made of the business plans and/or investment proposals. 

STEP 4 – If the Isle of Man Department for Enterprise is satisfied they will issue you with a Letter of Endorsement. 

STEP 5 – Submit a visa application online, make the relevant payment and book an appointment at your local British embassy/consulate to submit your documents and provide your biometrics. Once, submitted a decision will be made on your application within 6 weeks (can be faster if you use the priority service). 

Can I Bring my Dependents? 

Yes, on both the Innovator Visa and Start-Up Visa routes you are permitted to bring your spouse or civil partner and any dependent children under the age of 18 (Paragraph 319, Isle of Man Immigration Rules). Your dependents will need to apply online. In addition to your own maintenance funds, you will need to have an addition £630 in your bank account for each dependent.

Your dependents will also have to abide by the 180 day rule (discussed below) for ILR. However, periods spent in the UK, Guernsey or Jersey will not count towards the 180 day limit (Paragraph 319E(d)(d)), Isle of Man Immigration Rules).

Route to UK Citizenship

Start-Up Applicants 

The Start-Up Visa route has no direct route through to ILR and citizenship. The Start-Up Visa will be granted for an initial period of 2 years and 4 months. At the two-year point you will be required to switch onto the Innovator Visa. This visa cannot be extended.

Innovator Visa

STAGE 1 – The Innovator Visa will be granted for an initial period of 3 years. After 3 years on the innovator visa you will qualify for ILR. In order to qualify you will need to: 

  • Have sufficient knowledge of the English language and pass the Life in UK and Isle of Man test (Part 5.2, Appendix X, Isle of Man Immigration Rules); 
  • Prove that you have spent a continuous period of 3 years in the Isle of Man. You are not allowed to be absent from the UK and Islands (Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey) for more than 180 days in any 12 month period (Part 5.5 & 5.6, Appendix X, Isle of Man Immigration Rules); 
  • Have invested at least £50,000 into your business; and
  • Have created roles for at least 3 full-time permanent employees (30 hours per week) on the Isle of Man that have existed for at least 12 months at the point of application (2 or more part time roles may be combined to equate to 1 full time role) (Part 7.6, Appendix X, Isle of Man Immigration Rules).

N.B. If you have applied as a team of entrepreneurs, the requirement to create 3 roles will apply to each applicant. For example, if you have applied as a team of 2 you will need to have created 6 jobs.

STAGE 2 – After a further 2 years on the Isle of Man you may apply for naturalisation as a British citizen (Section 6(1), paragraph (2)(c) British Nationality Act 1981). In order to apply for British Citizenship you must not have been absent from the UK (which is defined as including the Isle of Man) for more than 450 days in the preceding 5 year period and you must not be absent for more than 90 days in the preceding 12 months (Section 6(1), paragraph 2 (a) & (b) British Nationality Act 1981). You must also have passed the Knowledge of Life in the UK Test and have sufficient knowledge of the English language (Section 6(1), paragraph 1 (c) & (ca) British nationality Act 1981).

Travel to the UK

The UK, Channel Islands (which include Jersey), the Isle of Man and the Republic of Ireland collectively form the Common Travel Area (CTA). If you have been granted permission to enter Jersey, you will not require to apply for leave to enter another part of the CTA, you are therefore free to travel to the UK (Paragraph 15, Isle of Man Immigration Rules). 

Fees

Start-Up Visa

Application for Entry Clearance (Main Applicant): £363 

Application for Entry Clearance (Dependents): £363

Priority Service: £220 (additional)

Super Priority Service: £800 (additional)

Innovator Visa

Application for entry clearance (Main Applicant): £1,021

Application for entry clearance (Dependents): £1,021

Application for extension (Main Applicant): £1,277

Application for extension (Dependents): £1,277

Priority Service: £220 (additional)

Super Priority Service: £800 (additional)

Paragraph 15, Isle of Man Immigration Rules

https://www.gov.im/media/1369665/immigration-rules-from-24-august-2020.pdf 

Common Travel Area

  1. The Isle of Man, the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands and the Republic of Ireland collectively form a common travel area. A person who has been examined for the purpose of immigration control at the point at which he entered the area does not normally require leave to enter any other part of it. 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. This includes:

 (i) those who merely passed through the Republic of Ireland;

(ii) persons requiring visas;

(iii) persons who entered the Republic of Ireland unlawfully;

(iv) persons who are subject to directions given by the Minister for their exclusion from the Isle of Man, by the Lieutenant Governors of the Channel Islands for their exclusion from any of the Channel Islands or by the Secretary of State for their exclusion from the United Kingdom, on the ground that their exclusion is conducive to the public good;

(v) persons who entered the Republic from the Isle of Man, United Kingdom or Channel Islands after

entering there unlawfully or overstaying their leave.

(vi) persons who have been prohibited from entering the United Kingdom by the Secretary of State under section (2)(2) of the European Communities Act 1972 (of Parliament).

Paragraph 319(d), Isle of Man Immigration Rules 

(d) The applicant and the Relevant Points Based System Migrant, Business Migrant, or the Relevant Worker Migrant, must have been living together in the Isle of Man in a marriage or civil partnership, or in a relationship similar to marriage or civil partnership, for at least the period specified in (i) or (ii):

(i) If the applicant was granted leave as:

(a) the Partner of that Relevant Points Based System Migrant, or

(b) the spouse or civil partner, unmarried or same-sex partner of that person at a time when that person had leave under another category of these Rules under the Rules in place before 19 November 2012, and since then has had continuous leave as the Partner of that Relevant Points based System Migrant, the specified period is 2 years

(ii) If (i) does not apply, the specified period is a continuous period of 5 years, during which the applicant must:

(a) have been in a relationship with the same Relevant Points Based System Migrant, Business Migrant, or with the same Relevant Worker Migrant, for this entire period,

(b) have spent the most recent part of the 5 year period with leave as the Partner of that Relevant Points Based System Migrant, Business Migrant, or of that Relevant Worker Migrant, and during that part of the period have met all of the requirements of paragraph 319C(a) to (e), and

(c) have spent the remainder of the 5 year period, where applicable, with leave as the spouse or civil partner, unmarried or same-sex partner of that person at a time when that person had leave under another category of these Rules.

(d) not have been absent from the UK and Islands for more than 180 days during any 12 month period in the continuous period, except that—

(1) any absence from the UK and Islands for the purpose of assisting with a national or international humanitarian or environmental crisis overseas shall not count towards the 180 days, if the applicant provides evidence that this was the purpose of the absence, and

(2) any absence from the UK and Islands during periods of leave granted under the Rules in place before 29 October 2019 shall not count towards the 180 days.

Part 4.9 & 4.10, Appendix X, Immigration Rules

4.9 English Language

(1) The Migrant must have a B2 level of English language ability, as defined in the Council of Europe’s common European Framework for language learning.

(2) The Migrant must show they meet the English language requirement in one of the ways shown in the table below:

…..  table omitted for brevity …..

4.10 Maintenance

(1) The applicant must have at least £945.

(2) If a Business Migrant and their partner or children are applying at the same time, there must be enough maintenance funds in total, as required for all the applications (as specified for the partner and children in Part 8 and Appendix E of these Rules), otherwise all the applications will be refused.

(3) The funds in (1) above must be held in a personal bank or building society account, where the applicant is the account holder (or one of the account holders in the case of a joint account).

…..

Part 5.2, 5.5 & 5.6, Appendix X, Immigration Rules

https://www.gov.im/media/1369665/immigration-rules-from-24-august-2020.pdf 

5.2 Knowledge of Language and Life in the Isle of Man

The Migrant must have sufficient knowledge of English Language and sufficient knowledge about life in the United Kingdom and Islands, as set out in Appendix KoLL of the Immigration Rules.

5.5 Continuous Residence

(1) The Migrant must have spent a continuous period lawfully in the Isle of Man (or UK and Islands as the case may be) counted backwards from whichever of the following dates is most beneficial to the Migrant:

(a) the date for indefinite leave to remain;

(b) the date of decision;

(c) any date up to 28 days after the date of application.

(2) The length of continuous period for each category is set out in the table below:

(3) The Migrant’s most recent grant of leave must have been in the category they are applying for indefinite leave to remain in. 

(4) Time spent in the UK and Islands with leave in an equivalent category may also be included in the continuous period.

5.6 Absences from the Isle of Man

(1) Absences from the UK and Islands will not break the continuous period if they occur while the Migrant had valid leave and they total 180 days or less during any consecutive 12 months.

(2) Absences which count towards the 180-day limit at paragraph (1) include any of the following:

(a) the time between a Migrant’s grant of entry clearance and entering the UK and Islands;

(b) trips taken for personal, family or social reasons;

(c) business trips, including secondments, training and conferences;

(d) absences during annual leave from employment in the Isle of Man; or

(e) absences where the Migrant had valid leave when they left the Isle of Man and they submitted a successful application for entry clearance before that leave expired.

(2) The decision maker may exceptionally allow absences which exceed the 180-day limit if the Migrant provides evidence that the reason was due to compelling, compassionate circumstances, such as:

(a) life-threatening illness of the Migrant or a close family member; or

(b) natural disaster.

(3) Where the purpose of the absence was for the Migrant to assist with a national or international humanitarian or environmental crisis overseas, this will not break the continuous period, regardless of the length of absence.

Part 6.2, Appendix X, Immigration Rules

https://www.gov.im/media/1369665/immigration-rules-from-24-august-2020.pdf

6.2 Endorsement Criteria

(1) The letter of endorsement must confirm both of the following:

(a) The Migrant’s business venture meets all of the requirements in the table below:

(b) The Department must be satisfied that the Migrant will spend the majority of their working time managing their business day to day in the Isle of Man on developing business ventures.

The requirement in (a) does not apply if the Migrant’s last grant of leave was in the Tier 1 (Graduate

Entrepreneur) category. Instead the letter of endorsement must confirm that the Migrant’s business venture is genuine and credible.

Part 7.1, Appendix X, Immigration Rules 

7.1 Endorsement

(1) All Migrants for entry clearance, leave to remain or indefinite leave to remain must have been

endorsed by the Department.

(2) The Migrant must provide a letter of endorsement, issued by the Department, which includes all of the following information;

(a) The endorsement reference number;

(b) The date the letter of endorsement was issued, which must be no earlier than 3 months before the date of application;

(c) the Migrant’s name, date of birth, nationality and passport number;

(d) a short description of the Migrant’s business venture and the main products or services it provides (or will provide) to its customers;

(e) Confirmation that the Migrant’s business venture meets the endorsement criteria in paragraph 7.2 or 7.3 below (as appropriate);

(3) If the letter of endorsement is under the new business criteria, the letter of endorsement must confirm:

(a) The Department is providing the funds;

(b) The Department has verified the funds are available from other sources (including the

Migrant themselves); or

(c) The Department has verified that the funds have already been invested in the Migrant’s business. 

(4) The Migrant does not need to be the sole founder of the business and may be a member of an entrepreneurial team.

(5) The Department must not have withdrawn the letter of endorsement by the date the application is considered by the decision maker. 

7.2 New Business or same business – definitions

(1) A Migrant may be endorsed under the “new business” endorsement criteria if either of the following apply:

(a) The application is an initial application; or

(b) The application is an extension application, and the Migrant is pursuing a different business venture from the one that was assessed in the endorsement which led to their previous grant of leave.

(2) A Migrant may be endorsed under the “same business” endorsement criteria if both of the following apply:

(a) The Migrant’s last grant of leave was in the Tier 1 (graduate Entrepreneur), Start-up or Innovator category; and

(b) the Migrant is pursuing the same business venture that was assessed in the endorsement which led to that grant of leave.

(3) A Migrant may be endorsed under the “new business” or “same business” criteria if both of the following apply:

(a) The Migrant’s last grant of leave was in the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) or Start-up category; and

(b) The Migrant is pursuing the same business venture that was assessed in the endorsement which led to that grant of leave.

7.3 Endorsement Criteria – new business

(1) If the Migrant is relying on endorsement under the new business criteria, the letter of endorsement must confirm both of the following;

(a) The Migrant’s business venture meets all of the requirements below:

(i) has an original business plan that meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage;

(ii) has, or is actively developing, the necessary skills, knowledge, experience and market awareness to successfully run the business; and

(iii) there is evidence of structured planning and potential for job creation and growth into national markets.

(b) The Department is satisfied that the Migrant will spend the majority of their working time managing their business day to day in the Isle of Man on developing business ventures.

(2) In addition to (1) above the letter of endorsement must also confirm:

(a) The Migrant’s business plan demonstrates that the proposed business expects to employ:

(i) a minimum of 1 full-time, permanent employee in the Island, in addition to the employment of the Migrant, within the first 12 months of the period for which the letter of endorsement is issued; and

(ii) a minimum of 3 full-time, including (i) above, permanent employees, in addition to the employment of the Migrant, within the first 36 months of the period for which the letter of endorsement is issued.

(b) The job(s) created in (a) above must:

(i) comply with all relevant Isle of Man legislation in effect at the time; and

(ii) each job must involve at least 30 hours paid work per week. Two or more part time jobs that add up to 30 hours per week may be combined to represent the equivalent of a single full time job.

7.4 Investment funds – new business

(1) If the Migrant’s letter of endorsement was issued under the new business endorsement criteria in paragraph 7.3 above, the letter of endorsement must confirm that at least £50,000 funds are available to the Migrant to invest in the business. This may include funds which have already been invested in the business.

(2) If the business venture has one or more other team members who are applying form, or have been granted, leave in the Business Migrant (Innovator) sub-category they cannot share the same investment funds. There must be at least £50,000 investment funds available for each Innovator team member. These additional funds are not needed for team members who are settled workers

or who have leave under another category of the Immigration Rules, which allows them to engage in business.

7.5 Endorsement Criteria – same business

(1) If the Migrant is relying on endorsement under the same business criteria, the letter of endorsement must confirm all of the following:

(a) The Migrant has shown reasonable progress, judged against the business plan assessed in their previous endorsement.

(b) The Migrant has fully established their business or businesses as outlined in the initial application for a letter of endorsement.

(c) The Migrant’s business or businesses are actively trading hold all necessary registrations, approvals and permissions as required.

(d) The Migrant’s business or businesses are compliant with all obligations to the Isle of Man

Government in respect of Income Tax, National Insurance and Value Added Tax, if applicable.

(e) The Migrant’s business or businesses have a realistic prospect of continuing success against the business plan(s) submitted for the letter of endorsement.

(f) The Migrant’s business or businesses employ a minimum of those prescribed at paragraph

7.3(2).

(g) The Migrant has demonstrated an active key role in the day to day management and development of the business in the Isle of Man.

(h) The Department must be satisfied that the Migrant will spend the majority of their working time managing their business day to day in the Isle of Man on developing business ventures.

7.6 Endorsement Criteria – Indefinite Leave to Remain

(1) If the Migrant is making a Indefinite Leave to Remain application, the letter of endorsement must confirm all the following requirements are met:

(a) The Migrant meets all of the criteria set out in paragraphs 7.5(a)-(h).

(b) The Migrants business venture meets all of the following requirements:

(i) At least £50,000 has been invested into the business and actively spent furthering the business plan assessed in the Migrant’s previous endorsement; and

(ii) The business or businesses are actively trading, hold all necessary registrations, approvals and permissions as required; and

 (iii) The business or businesses are compliant with all obligations to the Isle of Man

Government in respect of Income Tax, National Insurance and Value Added Tax, if applicable; and

(iv) The business or businesses employ a minimum of 3 full-time, permanent employees in the Island, in addition to the Migrant. Those jobs created must:

(aa) have existed for at least 12 months and comply with all relevant Isle of Man legislation in effect at the time; and (bb) involve an average of at least 30 hours paid work per week. Two or more part time jobs that add up to 30 hours per week may be combined to represent the equivalent of a single full time job; and

(v) The Migrant intends to continue to operate the business or businesses in the Isle of Man.

(c) If the business venture has one or more other team members who are applying for, or have been granted, Indefinite Leave to Remain in the Business Migrant (Innovator) sub-category, they cannot share the same means of meeting these criteria. For example, if two Migrants are both relying on the requirement to have created 3 jobs, 6 jobs must have been created in total.

Section 6(1) British Nationality Act 1981

1(1) Subject to paragraph 2, the requirements for naturalisation as a British citizen under section 6(1) are, in the case of any person who applies for it—

(a) the requirements specified in sub-paragraph (2) of this paragraph, or the alternative requirement specified in sub-paragraph (3) of this paragraph; and

(b) that he is of good character; and

(c) that he has a sufficient knowledge of the English, Welsh or Scottish Gaelic language; and

(ca) that he has sufficient knowledge about life in the United Kingdom; and

(d) that either—

(i)his intentions are such that, in the event of a certificate of naturalisation as a British citizen being granted to him, his home or (if he has more than one) his principal home will be in the United Kingdom; or

(ii)he intends, in the event of such a certificate being granted to him, to enter into, or continue in, Crown service under the government of the United Kingdom, or service under an international organisation of which the United Kingdom or Her Majesty’s government therein is a member, or service in the employment of a company or association established in the United Kingdom.

(2) The requirements referred to in sub-paragraph (1)(a) of this paragraph are—

(a) that the applicant was in the United Kingdom at the beginning of the period of five years ending with the date of the application, and that the number of days on which he was absent from the United Kingdom in that period does not exceed 450; and

(b )that the number of days on which he was absent from the United Kingdom in the period of twelve months so ending does not exceed 90; and

(c )that he was not at any time in the period of twelve months so ending subject under the immigration laws to any restriction on the period for which he might remain in the United Kingdom; and

(d )that he was not at any time in the period of five years so ending in the United Kingdom in breach of the immigration laws.

Extracts for the Isle of Man Migrant Endorsement Policy

https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/locate.im/business-migrantendorsmentpolicyisleofman.pdf

6 Source of funds

6.1 A Migrant must demonstrate that they have the required funds, under their control and held in a regulated financial institution.

6.2 Funds in paragraph 6.1 must be disposable in the Isle of Man, and amount to the level of funds required by the sub-category under which the application is made.

6.3 Funds may be held overseas at the time of application, or may already be in the Isle of Man.

6.4 Funds will not be accepted if they are held in a financial institution as listed in Appendix P of the Immigration Rules.

6.5 A Migrant may rely on money that is owned either jointly with, or solely by their husband, wife, civil partner, unmarried or same-sex partner. A Migrant must have unrestricted right to transfer and dispose of the money and have permission from their husband, wife, civil partner, unmarried or same-sex partner to have control of this money in the Isle of Man. A Migrant must provide the evidence of their relationship and the permission to use the joint funds given in the section on supporting documents.

6.6 If the funds are not held in pounds sterling, the Migrant must convert its value into pounds sterling on the application form. The Department will check the conversion using the exchange rate shown on the Oanda website on the date on which the application was made.

6.7 A Migrant may use, as evidence of funds, investments made in the Isle of Man or UK within the 12 months immediately before the date of the application, provided they are held in an Isle of Man or UK regulated financial institution.

6.8 A Migrant may not use assets or possessions such as property as evidence of funds for investment.

6.9 In all cases the Migrant (or in the case of paragraph 6.5 above, a Migrant and/or their husband, wife, civil partner, or unmarried or same-sex partner) must be the beneficial owner of the funds and not holding the investments on behalf of anyone else.

6.10 The money must:

(a) be held in a regulated financial institution;

(b) be disposable in the Isle of Man; and

(c) amount to the level required, or more, as specified under the route which the application is made.

6.11 A Migrant must provide at least one piece of evidence from the table below with their application. If the documents submitted with the application do not contain all the required information, a Letter of Endorsement will not be issued:

Table removed for brevity.

6.12 The Migrant must have held the funds for a minimum period of 2 years prior to making an application for a Letter of Endorsement, unless the circumstances in paragraph 6.13 apply.

6.13 If the Migrant has not held the funds for a minimum period of 2 years, the Migrant must provide additional evidence as to the source of funds and where such funds are derived from. The following sources may be considered as permissible:

(a) a gift;

(b) deeds of sale;

(c) a will;

(d) a divorce settlement.

6.14 If the Migrant is relying on funds in accordance with paragraph 6.13 they will be required to supply evidence as specified in paragraph 64-SD of the Isle of Man Immigration Rules.

6.15 The Department must not have reasonable grounds to believe that:

(a) notwithstanding the Migrant holds a visa issued under Appendix X of the Immigration Rules the Migrant is, or was, not in control of and at liberty to  freely invest the money specified in the Migrant’s application for the purposes of meeting the requirements of Appendix X of the Immigration Rules; or

(b) any of the money specified for the purposes of meeting the requirements of the Immigration Rules held by:

(i) the Migrant; or

(ii) where any of the specified money has been made available to the Migrant by another party, that party; has been acquired by means of conduct which is unlawful in the Isle of Man, or would constitute unlawful conduct if it occurred in the Isle of Man, or has been transferred internationally by means which are unlawful in any of the countries involved.

12 Requirements for the Issue of a Letter of Endorsement – Business Migrant (Start- up) Endorsement Criteria

12.1 A full business plan will be required demonstrating innovation, viability and scalability of the proposed business:

12.2 If the Migrant’s last grant of leave was in the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) category this requirement does not apply. The Migrant must demonstrate that the business venture is genuine and credible.

12.3 The Migrant must confirm they have not previously established a business in the UK or Isle of Man (unless the Migrant’s last grant of leave was under the Start-up or Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) category in the UK or Isle of Man.

12.4 The business plan must include:

(a) full details of the business idea, demonstrating an innovative business proposition which will complement existing market needs;

(b) business model, together with short and long term objectives, key customers, confirmed orders or customer interest etc.; 

(c) employment structure including expected numbers of employees, types of jobs, wage rates etc.;

(d) details of expected premises, including whether the intention is to rent or purchase commercial premises;

(e) marketing plan including whether customers are off-Island or on-Island;

 (f) analysis of why the business is suitable to be established and developed in the Isle of Man.

12.5 The Migrant should include a Curriculum Vitae/résumé, demonstrating their skills, knowledge and experience relevant to the application for a Letter of Endorsement.

12.6 The Migrant must confirm they will become resident in the Isle of Man for the purposes of Income Tax and will spend the majority of their day to day working time managing and developing their business ventures conducted from premises in the

Island.

12.7 Migrants must be at least 18 years old.

12.8 The Department reserves the right to request further information as it may deem relevant.

13 Requirements for the Issue of a Letter of Endorsement – Business Migrant

(Innovator)

New Business or same business – definitions

13.1 A Migrant may be endorsed under the “new business” endorsement criteria if either of the

following apply:

(a) the application is an initial application; or

(b) the application is an extension application, and the Migrant is pursuing a different business venture from the one that was assessed in the endorsement which led to the Migrant’s previous grant of leave.

13.2 A Migrant may be endorsed under the “same business” endorsement criteria if both of the following apply:

(a) the Migrant’s last grant of leave was in the Tier 1 (graduate Entrepreneur), Start-up or

Innovator category; and

(b) the Migrant is pursuing the same business venture that was assessed in the endorsement which led to that grant of leave.

13.3 A Migrant may be endorsed under the “new business” or “same business” criteria if both of

the following apply:

(a) the Migrant’s last grant of leave was in the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) or Start-up category; and

(b) the Migrant is pursuing the same business venture that was assessed in the endorsement which led to that grant of leave.

New Business

13.4 A Migrant applying for an Innovator new business Letter of Endorsement must demonstrate

compliance with each of paragraphs 13.5 to 13.18.

13.5 The Migrant’s intention to register the proposed business, or businesses, to be established, in the Isle of Man. The nature of the business must create economic benefit and not be one which in the opinion of the Department will cause reputational harm or other detriment to the Isle of Man.

13.6 At least £50,000 funds must be available to the Migrant which is free to invest in the business or businesses. This may include funds which have already been invested in the business.

13.7 The Department will require evidence in respect of the identity and source of funds as set out in paragraph 6 of this Policy and will carry out relevant due diligence checks in accordance with paragraph 7.

13.8 The £50,000 investment can be used for seed capital for the business or businesses, to provide financial support towards business set up costs, purchase of equipment, ongoing regular expenditure (i.e. marketing, research and development etc.) and salaries of employees, subject to paragraph 13.10.

13.9 If the business venture has one or more Migrant team members who are applying for, or have been granted, leave in the Business Migrant (Innovator) sub-category they cannot share the same investment funds. There must be at least £50,000 investment funds available for each Innovator Migrant team member. These additional funds are not needed for team members who are resident workers or who have leave under another category of the Immigration Rules, which allows them to engage in business.

13.10 The £50,000 investment cannot be used for the payment of salaries to the Migrant, or anyone directly connected to the Migrant by way of family, social or other connection.

13.11 Migrants seeking to establish a business in the Isle of Man will be required to provide a full business plan demonstrating innovation, viability and scalability of the proposed business:

13.12 The business plan must include:

(a) full details of the business idea, demonstrating unique or innovative business proposition which will complement existing market needs;

(b) a business model, together with short and long term objectives, key customers, confirmed orders or customer interest etc;

(c) the employment structure including expected numbers of employees, types of jobs, wage rates etc.;

(d) details of expected premises, including whether the intention is to rent or purchase commercial premises;

(e) a marketing plan including whether customers are off-Island or on-Island; and

(f) an analysis of why the business is suitable to be established and developed in the

Isle of Man.

13.13 Migrants seeking to join, or take over, an existing business or businesses in the Isle of Man will be required to provide a business plan, demonstrating how the investment will be made and the Migrant’s plans for the business. The business plan must include all of the following:

(a) full details of the existing business, including the business name, trading name, company registration information and details of all other directors, shareholders or other persons with beneficial ownership of the business;

(b) a description of business activities, existing customer base, current turnover and corporate profits;

(c) the employment structure including current number of employees, types of jobs, wage rates etc.;

(d) details of existing premises, including whether such premises are owned or rented;

(e) full details of the level of investment to be made by the Migrant and how that investment will be made;

(f) full details of the Migrant’s plans for the business or businesses, including any plans for expansion and further job creation.

13.14 The Migrant’s business plan must forecast the employment of a minimum of 1 full-time equivalent, permanent employee in the Isle of Man, in addition to the employment of the

Migrant, to work from premises in the Island within the first 12 months of the period for which the letter of endorsement is sought.

13.15 The Migrant’s business plan must forecast the employment of a minimum of 3 full-time equivalent, which includes the 1 full time equivalent permanent employee in paragraph 13.14, in addition to the employment of the Migrant, to work from premises in the Island within the first 36 months of the period for which the letter of endorsement is sought.

13.16 In all cases, employees of the business or businesses must be classed as resident in the

Isle of Man for the purposes of Isle of Man Income Tax.

13.17 Migrants must be at least 18 years old.

13.18 The Migrant must confirm they will become resident in the Isle of Man for the purposes of

Income Tax and will spend the majority of their day to day working time managing and

developing their business ventures conducted from premises in the Island. 13.19 The Department reserves the right to request further information as it may deem relevant.

Same Business

13.20 In order to be issued a Letter of Endorsement under the “same business” criteria, Migrants must demonstrate all the following criteria are met:

(a) the Migrant has fully established their business or businesses judged against the business plan assessed in their previous endorsement;

(b) the Migrant’s business or businesses are based in the Island and actively trading, holding all necessary registrations, approvals and permissions as required;

(c) the Migrant’s business or businesses are compliant with all obligations to the Isle of Man Government in respect of Income Tax, National Insurance and Value Added Tax, if applicable;

(d) the Migrant is resident in the Isle of Man for the purposes of Income Tax;

(e) the Migrant’s business or businesses employ the number of employees as required by the sub category under which the Migrant was originally endorsed;

(f) all employees of the Migrant’s business or businesses, including the Migrant, are resident in the Isle of Man for the purposes of Isle of Man Income Tax; and

(g) the Migrant’s business or businesses have a realistic prospect of continuing success against the business plan(s) submitted for the Initial Letter of Endorsement. The Department will require evidence to support this by way of copies of management accounts, corporate bank statements and any other relevant information requested by the Department.

Fee Information

https://www.gov.im/categories/travel-traffic-and-motoring/immigration/business/business-migrant-start-up-visa/

https://www.gov.im/categories/travel-traffic-and-motoring/immigration/business/business-migrant-innovator-visa/

Letter of Endorsement Application Forms

https://www.iomdfenterprise.im/why-the-isle-of-man/business-migrant-endorsement/ 

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