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

Start Up & Innovator

The Isle of Man has its own Business Migrant routes, 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 routes offer significant advantages over the equivalent Start Up and Innovator 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 and business-friendly environment with a high quality of life, it has excellent access to UK markets.

For the Isle of Man Business Migrant routes, unlike the UK’s Innovator and Start Up routes, there is no need to persuade a registered endorsing body such as a university or tech incubator to endorse the business plan. There is a single endorsing body, the Isle of Man Government Department for Enterprise. The Department is responsible for encouraging inward investment and business migration into the Isle of Man.

The popular Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) route has closed to new applications in the UK and in the Isle of Man. As a result, the Isle of Man Business Migrant routes are now the flagship routes for business people and job creators wishing to move to the UK area.



Direct access to Innovator is for established business people with investment funds of at least GBP50,000 and the intention to create jobs in the Isle of Man. It is also possible to enter the Innovator route via the Start Up route. 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.

After obtaining ILR and being resident for five years, or a shorter period of three years 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.


Start up

For less experienced business people without the specified investment funds, it is possible instead to start on the entry-level Business Migrant (Start Up). While this route does not give direct access to ILR, it allows up to two years in the Isle of Man to prove the concept of a new business. It is then possible to switch to the Business Migrant (Innovator) for three further years and then ILR.


The Business Migrant routes opened to applications on 6 April 2020, since which time Kinley Legal has been working with clients seeking Department for Enterprise endorsement and applying for Innovator and Start Up visas. Contact us for more information.

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