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Isle of Man Work Permits

Anybody wishing to work on the Isle of Man must have a work permit, unless they hold "Isle of Man Worker" status or work in an exempt occupation.

Isle of Man Workers are people who fall into any of the following categories:

  • born on the Isle of Man
  • have lived on the Isle of Man for at least 10 consecutive years
  • have lived in the Isle of Man for at least 5 consecutive years and not lived elsewhere more than once in the following 15 years (Residence in the Isle of Man before 1963 does not count)
  • married to an Isle of Man worker
  • have been married to an Isle of Man worker, have lived in the island for at least 3 years immediately before becoming widowed or divorced and continue to live in the island thereafter
  • child of an Isle of Man worker who was serving in the armed forces at the time of the birth
  • child of a parent who was born in the Isle of Man, provided that the parent lived in the island for their first 5 years
  • received full time education, either in the island or elsewhere, whilst normally living in the Isle of Man and continue to live in the island thereafter
Exempt occupations are:

  • Employment as the Chief Constable or a member of the Isle of Man Constabulary
  • Employment in the service of the Crown
  • Employment in a diplomatic or consular capacity
  • Employment as a Minister of Religion
  • Employment as a registered dentist
  • Employment as a registered doctor
  • Employment in a vessel or aircraft
  • Employment as a commercial traveller for a non-island trader provided that it is for not more than 2 weeks at a time
  • Temporary employment for not more than 3 days. This is meant to cover the situation where someone comes to the Isle of Man, carries out a specific job and goes away not to return. Someone who makes repeated short term visits to the Isle of Man is counted as having built up a pattern of employment in the island and requires a permit
  • Temporary employment for more than 3 days where the Department is satisfied that there are good reasons to grant an exemption. This applies, for example, to persons directly involved in the TT races or other large and specialised events where it is obvious that there are no locals available
  • Self employment of a purely cultural nature
Special exemptions can be made for:

  • Persons in temporary employment mainly in relation to criminal investigation or similar e.g. in connection with court proceedings
  • Non resident, non executive directors who visit the Isle of Man for not more than 3 days in any calendar month. The intention of this is that they can come to the Isle of Man to attend board meetings
The main objective of the work permit legislation is to protect employment opportunities for local workers as can be seen in the factors that determine the awarding of a work permit.

The following five factors must be taken into account by the work permit committee:

  1. The likelihood of there being suitable Isle of Man Workers available for the employment concerned
  2. The likelihood of suitable Isle of Man Workers becoming available within 12 months, bearing in mind general employment prospects
  3. The family circumstances of the person concerned, provided that he has been working in the island on a permit for at least two years
  4. Any criminal convictions, on or off the island, of the person concerned
  5. In the case of a craftsman in the building trade whether he is registered under the Scheme for the Certification of Craftsmen 1990
Other factors commonly considered include:

  • The percentage of Isle of Man Workers already working for the employer concerned
  • The wages and conditions on offer
  • The size of the family of the person requiring the permit
  • The character of the person concerned and of members of his family
  • Whether or not the employer has made Isle of Man Workers aware of the vacancy
  • Whether a refusal would be harsh and oppressive to the employee
Work permits are issued for varying time periods dependent upon the seniority of the position, the duration of the work and the current employment climate. It is not uncommon for work permits to be issued which need to be renewed annually, although people taking up more senior posts may be issued a 5 year work permit after which they would become Isle of Man Workers.

Work permit application forms can be obtained from:

The Secretary to the Work Permit Committee
Department of Trade and Industry
Employment Services
Hamilton House, Peel Road
Douglas IM1 5EP

Phone: (01624) 682393
Fax: (01624) 682388

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