Enabling Commonwealth citizens with British ancestry to work in the Isle of Man
In this section
A visa for Commonwealth citizens with British ancestry who intend to work in the Isle of Man.
Often known as a “UK ancestry” visa, this route is for citizens of Commonwealth countries who have can prove they have British ancestry. To do this, you must show that at least one of your grandparents was born in either the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands or any country of the UK (England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland). People who have at least one grandparent who was born in southern Ireland before it ceased to be part of the UK in 1922 can also use this route. Even the descendants of people born on British-registered ships anywhere in the world can potentially use this route.
In order to qualify for the route, you may need to conduct family history research and obtain official documents such as birth and marriage certificates. In many cases, Kinley Legal or our partner firms overseas can assist, if any documents are still to be obtained.
You also need evidence that you are planning to work in the Isle of Man. This can be by way of, for instance, a job offer, or for self-employed people, a business plan. Being of retirement age is not necessarily a barrier: we will work with you to ensure you can properly demonstrate that you genuinely intend to work in the Isle of Man.
You cannot apply for this route from within the Isle of Man or UK. We can assist you to submit your application through the appropriate British immigration agency overseas.
This ancestry route often represents an easier alternative to conventional immigration routes such as the Isle of Man Worker visa, because it is not necessary to have a job offer with a specified minimum salary before travelling.
British ancestry, British nationality and British passports
Many people who qualify for the British ancestry route also qualify for British nationality and a British passport. However, due to the much longer processing time for nationality applications, we usually recommend that clients move to the Isle of Man first on the British ancestry route, before then considering a nationality applications with our support.
I’m pleased to let you know that my application has been successful and I have received my visa! I can’t thank you all enough for the support and effort made towards making this a reality, it really means a lot 🙂 I look forward to thanking everyone in person shortly!
How good does my English need to be?
This visa does not have any formal English language requirements. However, in order to have the best chance of finding work in the Isle of Man, Kinley Legal recommends that clients ensure they can demonstrate their English level, for instance by passing an IELTS for UKVI SELT test at CEFR level B1 across all four subjects.
Can I bring my family?
Yes, this category allows a spouse or partner and minor children to move with the main applicant, and they can work, subject to work permits and conditions set out in the Immigration Rules. Older children may need to be considered as a separate case: Kinley Legal can advise on this.
I'm American. Is this route open to me?
No, as the United States is not a member of the Commonwealth, you cannot apply under the British ancestry route. Depending on your circumstances, you may however still be able to apply for British nationality or another immigration route such as the Isle of Man Worker or Business Migrant routes.
Do I need a work permit in addition to my visa?
This type of visa does not automatically exempt the main applicant or dependants from the requirement to obtain an Isle of Man work permit. However, whether or not a work permit is required will depend on the job you intend to do, and your personal circumstances. Kinley Legal can help assess whether or not a work permit is required.
Do I need to pay NHS Surcharge?
No, there is no NHS Surcharge in the Isle of Man. This means that the costs of making an Isle of Man visa application are often considerably cheaper than in the UK.
Can I live in the UK on this visa?
This visa is based upon an intention to work in the Isle of Man, and so you must intend to work in the Isle of Man. Provided that you comply with the conditions of the visa, the UK recognises the right of the holder to visit the UK.
Do I need a criminal record certificate to obtain this visa?
No, but you and your dependants will be required to disclose any criminal convictions as part of the visa application.
Does this category lead to ILR and British citizenship?
Yes, you and your dependants may apply for ILR after five years, and for British citizenship after a further one year. You may have the ability to apply earlier for British citizenship by descent (you have a British-born parent) or by double descent (you have a British-born grandparent, and special circumstances apply). Nationality applications can be complicated, but Kinley Legal can advise on the options based upon your circumstances.
I applied for this visa, but have been refused. Can Kinley Legal help?
Yes, contact us as soon as possible so we can discuss your options. Unlike in the UK, in the Isle of Man applicants have a full right of appeal against immigration decisions, which means that if you have wrongly been refused, an appeal can often be heard by an independent immigration judge within weeks.