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Non European Economic Area Workers

Workers from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) are dealt with under separate arrangements to those for workers from the European Economic Area and Switzerland. Persons who are not EEA nationals are subject to control under the Immigration Acts (of the UK Parliament) as extended to the Isle of Man, and will in most cases also require permission to work under the Points Based System.

A student who is a non EEA national, who wishes to work on the Island while studying will require a work permit under the separate Overseas Students Scheme 2006.

Employers need to be aware of some of the basic immigration rules that may restrict the employment that nationals from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) may take up. Employers should check that employees are permitted to take the type of employment that is being offered.

It is a criminal offence for a person to employ another person who is subject to immigration control where:

  • the employee has not been granted leave to enter or remain in the Isle of Man; or
  • the employee‘s leave is not valid and subsisting, or is subject to a condition precluding him or her from taking up the employment, and (in either case) the employee does not satisfy such conditions as may be specified by the Department of Economic Development.

Overview of the Points Based System (PBS)

There are a number of routes into employment that non EEA nationals wishing to come to the Isle of Man to work or study may take. Those nationals who have entered the Isle of Man through these routes have to abide by strict conditions on the length of time they can stay in the Island and in some cases there are immigration restrictions placed on the type of work they can do.

From July 2010 former routes were replaced by a new Points Based System (PBS). This system, which was already in operation in the UK, seeks to control immigration by requiring all applicants in a number of employment categories to have the correct number of points before entry clearance or leave to remain can be granted. The UK PBS consists of 5 separate tiers; the Isle of Man, like the UK, has introduced Tiers 1, 2, 4 and 5 so far. In all these categories applicants must achieve a minimum level of points in order to qualify. Points are awarded for age, professional and academic qualifications and previous earnings.

The 4 tiers of PBS which are in operation are as follows:

Tier 1: Highly skilled workers, businesspersons and investors

A person in one of these categories does not need a job offer when applying to enter or stay in the Isle of Man but will need to pass a points based assessment.

While there is no requirement for any Tier 1 applicant to have a prior job offer, a person accepted under Tier 1 will require a Control of Employment Act work permit before he or she can take up employment in the Island.

Tier 2: Skilled workers with a job offer etc.

Tier 2 is intended to allow skilled workers with job offers to work in the Isle of Man. This tier also covers ministers of religion, elite sportspersons and intra company transfers.

Isle of Man employers who wish to employ foreign nationals will need to apply to become Licensed Sponsors under PBS.

Further information on Tier 2 can be found in the documents on the right of this page.

Employees who have been issued a Certificate of Sponsorship by an Isle of Man licensed sponsor must either:

  • If still in their own country, apply for a visa at the nearest British Embassy or High Commission, completing the UK application forms (including the relevant self assessment form), or
  • If already in the Isle of Man (or UK) in a relevant category, apply to the Isle of Man Immigration Office for leave to remain, using the Tier 2 form which can be found on the Chief Secretary's Office website

In each case the employee will need to gain sufficient points. Applicants can check their own points on the UK’s Points Based calculator before submitting their application.

It is less onerous for the skilled worker to obtain the necessary permissions where the job in question is on the shortage occupation list.

The Department of Economic Development is responsible for administering Tier 2.

Tier 4 Students with unconditional offer of places on relevant courses

Tier 4 applicants must be sponsored by a licensed education provider in the Isle of Man.

A student may work while on the Isle of Man provided he or she has a work permit under the Overseas Students Scheme 2006 (OSS). For further information on the OSS see below.

Tier 5 Temporary workers

Tier 5 is intended to allow temporary workers with job offers to work in the Isle of Man. The prospective employer requires a sponsor’s licence from the Department of Economic Development.

Tier 5 includes the Youth Mobility Scheme. This scheme is limited to young people from Australia, Canada, Japan and New Zealand. Under the scheme, young people over 18 and under 31 years of age, can live and also work in the UK and the Isle of Man for a maximum of 24 months. A Control of Employment Act (CEA) permit is still required.

The Department of Economic Development is responsible for administering Tier 5.

Contact details

In general the Passport and Immigration Office deals with the immigration aspects of an application from a non EEA national seeking to work on the Isle of Man while the Department of Economic Development (DED) deals with those aspects of the application concerned with employment.

Enquiries regarding immigration matters relating to any of the tiers, and also regarding Tier 1 or Tier 4 should be directed to the Isle of Man Immigration Office.

Isle of Man Passport, Immigration and Nationality Office

Ground Floor

Government Office

Buck's Road



Telephone:+44 1624 685203

Fax:+44 1624 685210

Email:Send Email

Enquiries from sponsors, and applicants, regarding Tier 2 and Tier 5 of the Points Based System and about the Overseas Student Scheme should be directed to the Work Permit Office.

The Office Manager

Work Permits

Department of Economic Development

Nivison House

31 Prospect Hill



Telephone:+44 1624 682393

Fax:+44 1624 682388

Email:Send Email

(The Work Permit Office is in the same building as the JobCentre).

The Overseas Students Scheme 2006

Under Tier 4 of the Points Based System students from outside the EEA who are over the age of 16 are permitted to take some work on the Isle of Man providing that their conditions of entry to the Island allow this, and they are given leave as students in the Isle of Man for longer than 6 months. There are strict conditions on the type of work that students can take while they are studying in the Isle of Man. An employer can employ a student during term time, for up to 20 hours per week. (The only exception to this is where a student has been placed with the employer to meet the conditions of his or her sandwich course or internship). There is no restriction as to the hours a student may work during holidays.

An application for a permit is made by the student. A permit is not specific to any particular employer or employment. The application is subject to a £25 fee.

See downloadable documents for a copy of the Overseas Students Scheme together with an application form.

Page last updated: 2 October 2015

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