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Manxman and Islander status

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The Isle of Man Passport Office issues Isle of Man variant British passports to British citizens and British subjects. Whether a person has a claim to British nationality is determined by the British Nationality Act 1981.

Manxman status

You will be defined as a Manxman under Protocol 3 if you were:

  • born, adopted, registered or naturalised in the Channel Islands or Isle of Man and you do not have a link with the UK (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland)

or

  • born abroad and acquired your British nationality through a parent born, adopted, registered or naturalised in the Channel Islands or Isle of Man and you do not have a link with the UK (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland)

Note: If married to a British citizen who has established a right of residence in another Member state, they have the right to reside and work in that state on the same conditions as the spouse.

If you are defined as a 'Manxman' under Protocol 3, Article 6, you will have the observation below placed in your passport (on the back of the bio 'photo' page) to recognise this: 

Islander status passport notice

Islander status

Islander status means that you do not have the automatic right to live or work in Europe. The Islander status will be printed on the back of the bio data page (the page with your photo and personal details) of your passport.

This Islander status is placed in British passport because the Islands (Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey) are not member states of the European Union. When the UK joined the European Community in 1973, the Islands chose not to become full members.

I was born in the Isle of Man, but don't have that phrase printed in my passport. Why not?

If this phrase is not printed in your passport, but you were born in the Isle of Man, then you may have links with the UK that make you exempt from Islander status. Examples of links with the UK include:

  • a mother who was born, adopted, registered or naturalised in the UK
  • a father who was born, adopted, registered or naturalised in the UK
  • a grandparent who was born, adopted, registered or naturalised in the UK
  • residency in the UK for a continuous period of five years or more

I have previously had an Islander status in my passport but have recently discovered or acquired a link to the UK – how do I have it removed?

You will need to make an application for a replacement passport, declare the link to the UK in section 5 and supply the necessary proof (see below).

If you have recently discovered a relative was born, adopted, registered or naturalised in the UK we can remove your Islander status providing you can evidence this claim. We will require documentation that confirms the place of birth, adoption, registration or naturalisation i.e. birth certificate, British passport, Naturalisation certificate, registration certificate, adoption certificate.

If you have recently completed 5 year residency in the United Kingdom you will need to make a declaration on your form that you have now completed 5 years continuous residency which provides the dates of residency and addresses for the previous 5 years. Please note: it is a criminal offence to make a false statement to get a British passport.

If you have previously completed 5 years residency in the United Kingdom, but have never previously declared this on your application form, we will require evidence of your residency i.e. HMRC records, tenancy agreements etc.

How can I apply to live or work in a European country?

If you have links with the UK (as above), then you need to let us know by completing section 5 of your application form when applying for your passport. You will be entitled to the same benefits as a British citizen in respect of working and living in Europe.

If you do not have links to the UK and wish to live or work in a European country, you should first get permission from the relevant embassy in the UK.

Alternatively, if you have a link with another European Union country, then you may be able to apply for a passport issued by that country. You could then live and work in Europe on that passport. You will need to contact the embassy of that country for advice.

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