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Entering the Isle of Man through Ireland: the definitive guide

When immigration advice goes bad
23/02/2024
When immigration advice goes bad
23/02/2024
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Entering the Isle of Man through Ireland: the definitive guide

While most flights to the Isle of Man depart from UK airports, special rules apply when people travel to the Isle of Man by air from Ireland.

First things first: when we say “Ireland” we mean the independent state consisting of 26 counties in the south and west of the island of Ireland, excluding Northern Ireland which is a constituent country of the UK. In common with other people entering the Isle of Man from the UK and Channel Islands, people arriving from Belfast International and other airports in Northern Ireland are not subject to fixed immigration controls at the Isle of Man’s border.

At Ronaldsway Isle of Man Airport, there is no routine immigration control upon arrivals, meaning that much of the time, no Immigration Officers are present. Immigration Officers attend the airport to meet flights when arrivals are scheduled from outside Britain and Ireland.

The Isle of Man Immigration Service has installed signage (including the enormous banner pictured here) to remind travellers arriving from Ireland that there are certain rules that may nevertheless apply to them.

The rules can be complicated. The wording on the airport banner and signage may confuse travellers, rather than help them understand their immigration responsibilities.

Deemed leave to enter

The Immigration (Control of Entry through Republic of Ireland) Order 2016 (as amended) provides people legally entering the Isle of Man with “deemed leave to enter”, even though they typically will not actually encounter an Immigration Officer upon arrival or have their passports stamped.

Visitors who do not need a visa to visit the Isle of Man, such as citizens of the USA, Japan or Australia, do not have to report to an immigration officer upon or after arrival, and are automatically granted “deemed leave to enter” the Isle of Man for up to six months. This is reduced to two months where a person has entered Ireland from the Isle of Man at a time when they still held permission to be in the Isle of Man and that permission has since expired.

People arriving in the Isle of Man who already hold valid long-term leave to enter or remain, such as those with Worker or family visas, may arrive via Ireland and do not have to report to an Immigration Officer on arrival. The length of their stay must be in accordance with their visa.

No deemed leave to enter is given where a person either requires a visa for the Isle of Man and does not have one, or has been banned or removed from the Isle of Man. Those people are likely to be entering the Isle of Man illegally, and should certainly contact an Immigration Officer to declare their arrival.

British and Irish citizens

The Order does not apply any border controls on British citizens and others with the right of abode in the Isle of Man, or on Irish citizens.

EU Settlement Scheme status holders

People who hold settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme are not subject to normal immigration control upon arrival from Ireland.

It should be noted that most EU citizens who did not register under the Scheme, such as those were not present in the Isle of Man before 1 January 2021, cannot obtain status and will be treated as Visitors with deemed leave to enter for six months, or else will need to obtain a visa.

British-Irish Visa Scheme

Chinese (PRC) and Indian citizens on a 90-day C visit visa for Ireland endorsed with “BIVS” do not require a separate visa to travel onward to the Isle of Man.

Keep good records

Even though a person arriving from Ireland may not encounter an Immigration Officer at Ronaldsway Isle of Man Airport, it is always advisable to retain written evidence of the arrival date, or to arrange to attend the Immigration Service office in Douglas seeking to have the entry date stamped on the visa vignette. Kinley Legal always advises its clients only to attend the Immigration Service where accompanied by one of our lawyers.

Contact us

If you would like to make an appointment for a call, in-person meeting or online meeting to discuss your immigration position, get in touch by e-mail at immigration@kinleylegal.com or complete our simple contact form, and we would be pleased to help.