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Business Migrant - Innovator Visa

Overview

You can apply for an Innovator visa if:

  • you want to set up or run a business in the Isle of Man
  • you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland
  • you meet the other eligibility requirements
  • your business or business idea has been endorsed by the Department for Enterprise of the Isle of Man Government.

You must have at least £50,000 in investment funds if you want to set up a new business. You do not need funds if your business is already established and has been endorsed for an earlier visa.

Getting endorsed

The Department for Enterprise is the only endorsing body in the Isle of Man for the Business Migrant route as prescribed in Appendix X of the Isle of Man Immigration Rules and is responsible for issuing the Letter of Endorsement you will need to support your visa application.

More information in respect of how to obtain a Letter of Endorsement including the Department's Endorsement Policy can be found by visiting the Department for Enterprise's webpage.

How long it takes to get a visa

The earliest you can apply is 3 months before you travel.

Example

You can apply from 6 April if you plan to travel on 5 July.

You should get a decision on your visa within 6 weeks when you apply from outside the Isle of Man and UK. This takes into account the time needed for UKVI to carry out their processes and checks and then refer the application to the Isle of man Immigration Service for decision and then for UKVI to return the travel document with the vignette.

Fees

How much you pay for an Innovator visa depends on your situation and where you apply from.

Who you’re applying forApply (outside the IOM and UK)Extend or switch (in the IOM or UK)
You £1,021 £1,277
All dependants £1,021 each person £1,277 each person

Healthcare surcharge

You do not need to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application. This is for those applying to the UK only.

How long you can stay

You can stay for 3 years if you:

  • come to the Isle of Man on an Innovator visa
  • switch to this visa from another permitted visa

You can apply to extend for another 3 years when your visa is due to expire. There’s no limit on the number of times you can extend.

You may be able to apply for settlement (known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’) once you’ve been in the Isle of Man for 3 years

If your endorsement is withdrawn

Your visa may be cut short if your endorsement from the Department of Enterprise is withdrawn.

If you want to stay longer, you must re-apply with a new endorsement before your current visa expires.

What you can and cannot do

You can:

  • set up a business or several businesses
  • work for your business - this includes being employed as a director, or self-employed as a member of a business partnership
  • bring family members with you

You cannot:

  • do any work outside your business, for example work where you’re employed by another business
  • work as a doctor or dentist in training
  • work as a professional sportsperson, for example a sports coach
  • get public funds

Eligibility

Before you apply you need to have your business or business idea assessed by the Department for Enterprise

They will provide you with an endorsement letter if your business is viable.

You must also:

  • meet the English language requirement
  • be at least 18 years old
  • be able to prove that you have enough personal savings to support yourself while you’re in the Isle of Man

You should read the specific requirements for the Innovator visa in the Isle of Man Immigration Rules before you apply.

If you want to set up a new business

You must have at least £50,000 in investment funds to apply for an Innovator visa if you want to set up a new business.

You do not need any investment funds if your business is already established and has been endorsed for an earlier visa.

Sharing investment funds

You can form a team with other Innovator applicants, but you cannot share the same investment funds.

Your team must have £50,000 for each Innovator applicant. For example, if you have 2 Innovator applicants, your team must have £100,000 to invest.

Supporting yourself

You need to have had at least £945 in your bank account for 90 consecutive days before you apply.

You cannot use either of the following to support yourself:

  • money from your investment funds
  • money earned while working in the Isle of Man or the UK illegally

Knowledge of English

You may need to prove your knowledge of the English language when you apply.

You can prove your knowledge of English by either:

  • passing an approved English language test with at least CEFR level B2 in reading, writing, speaking and listening
  • having an academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognised by UK NARIC as being equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or PhD

You do not need to prove your knowledge of English if you’ve already proved it to be level B2 or above in an earlier successful application.

Documents you must provide

When you apply you need to provide a Letter of Endorsement issued by the Department for Enterprise of the Isle of Man Government.

You also need to provide:

  • a current passport or other valid travel identification
  • bank statements showing you’ve had at least £945 in savings in your bank account for 90 consecutive days before you apply
  • proof that you meet the English language requirement
  • evidence of your investment funds (if you’re setting up a new business)
  • your tuberculosis test results if you’re from a country where you have to take the test

You need a blank page in your passport for your visa.

You’ll need to provide a certified translation of any documents that are not in English.

You may need to provide additional documents depending on your circumstances.

Apply

Entry Clearance

If applying for entry clearance for an Innovator visa, you must apply online through the UK Visas and Immigration website.

You’ll need to have your fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre (to get a biometric residence permit) as part of your application.

You will not have to apply for a biometric residence permit as the Isle of Man do not issue these. When applying you need to use postcode SW1H 0AX in the BRP collection section of UKVI’s website.

Find out how to get your visa application referred to the Isle of Man Immigration faster - this depends on what country you’re in.

Check if your visa application centre offers faster decisions and other services.

Extend or switch to this visa

If you are applying to switch into this category, you can use the appropriate application form from our website

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