BUSINESS MIGRANT (INNOVATOR) & (START UP)

For people starting, joining or taking over one or more businesses in the Isle of Man

Business Migrant (Innovator) & (Start Up)


The Isle of Man is launching its own Business Migrant route, with options for both people with business experience (“Innovator”) and those seeking to establish a business in the Isle of Man for the first time (“Start Up”).

The Isle of Man Business Migrant route offers significant advantages over the equivalent Innovator and Start Up routes in the UK, for those who choose the Isle of Man as the location for their business. As well as the Isle of Man being an attractive business-friendly environment with a high quality of life, it has excellent access to UK markets.

Unlike in the UK Innovator and Start Up routes, for the Isle of Man Business Migrant routes it is not necessary to persuade a registered endorsing body such as a university or tech incubator to endorse the business plan. Instead, there is a single endorsing body, the Isle of Man Government Department for Enterprise, which is the government body with the mission of encouraging inward investment and business migration into the Isle of Man.

For established business people with investment funds of at least GBP50,000 and the intention of creating a set number of jobs in the Isle of Man, it is possible to enter the Business Migrant (Innovator) route directly. This is a fast-track route which potentially allows acquisition of Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the Isle of Man and UK after only three years.

For less experienced business people without the specified investment funds, it is possible instead to start on the entry-level Business Migrant (Start Up). This is a route that does not give direct access to ILR, but it allows up to two years in the Isle of Man to prove the concept of a new business, before switching into the Business Migrant (Innovator) for three further years leading to ILR.

After obtaining ILR and having been resident for five years as a Business Migrant, or a shorter period if married or in a civil partnership with a British citizen, it is possible to apply for naturalisation or registration as a full British citizen.

Following the closure of the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) route in the UK on 29 March 2019 and in the Isle of Man on 6 April 2020, the Isle of Man Business Migrant routes are now the flagship routes for business people and job creators to move to the UK area.

The business idea does not need to be “innovative” in the sense of a technology project or being a completely new idea, no element of which has been tried previously. Instead, the business idea must simply be a genuine, original business idea that meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage.

Applications from overseas are made through the relevant British immigration agency, while applications from people already in the Isle of Man and UK are made directly to the Isle of Man Immigration Service.

Please note that this category will not open to applications until 6 April 2020, and that application procedures for endorsement will only be published nearer that date.

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