Obtaining permission to work in the Isle of Man
In this section
The Isle of Man maintains a system of Work Permits, with the aim of protecting the rights of certain local workers.
All people intending to work in the Isle of Man, even British, Irish and European citizens, need to consider whether they need to obtain Work Permits prior to starting work.
People connected to the Isle of Man may qualify as Isle of Man Workers and so not be required to obtain a Work Permit. Kinley Legal can assist in clarifying Isle of Man Worker status.
In addition, there are exemptions from the requirement to have a Work Permit for certain employment. This includes certain positions in the e-gaming and information technology sector.
The Department for Enterprise issues a Work Permit for a one-year period and for a specific employment. Permits are renewable. The spouse or partner of a Work Permit holder or exempt person may typically obtain an automatic Work Permit valid for any employment.
Work Permits and immigration
For workers subject to immigration control, the interaction between immigration law and Work Permits can often be complex. Certain visa categories, but not all, exempt the worker from the separate Work Permit requirement.
A Work Permit is not a visa or immigration permission. This means qualifying as an Isle of Man Worker may not in itself be sufficient permission to live and work in the Island.
Some people may require an immigration permission such as a British ancestry visa in addition to their Isle of Man Work Permit. Kinley Legal is particularly experienced in advising clients on navigating compliance with both systems.
I'm British, surely I don't need permission to work in the Isle of Man?
You will still need a Work Permit unless you otherwise qualify as an Isle of Man Worker or you or the job you will be doing meets the exemption requirements. Kinley Legal can advise you on the qualifications for Isle of Man Workers and the exemptions.
I have an Isle of Man passport, does that mean I am an Isle of Man Worker?
No. The Isle of Man passport can be issued to any person with British nationality living in the Isle of Man, which means it is not necessarily proof that you are exempt from the Work Permit requirement.
I have a work visa, is it the same thing as a Work Permit?
No - they are two separate and potentially overlapping requirements.
I am on a work visa, do I need a Work Permit too?
You may need a separate Work Permit, depending on the exemptions. Some, but not all, categories of work visa exempt the holder (but not usually his/her dependants) from the Work Permit requirement. It's best to seek our advice to ensure you remain in compliance with both the immigration and Work Permit requirements.
How long will I be subject to the Work Permit requirement?
People living in the Isle of Man for more than five years become Isle of Man Workers, and so typically if you need a Work Permit, you will not need to renew it for more than that period. If your circumstances change, for instance if you marry or enter into a civil partnership with an Isle of Man Worker, you may become an Isle of Man Worker more quickly.