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Apply for or renew a work permit

Applying for a permit

An application for a work permit may be made to the Department by an employer to employ a specific individual or by a self-employed person on behalf of themselves. If granted, the permit will be limited to employment by the employer in a specified capacity; it may also specify a place of work and may be issued subject to conditions. Once issued, the permit cannot be varied other than by a new application (except in those specific circumstances set out in section 1.15 of the Guide to Work Permits) so an employee cannot usually change employment unless the employer first obtains a new work permit.

It is not necessary to make an application for a work permit where the position and/or individual you wish to employ are covered by an exemption. There are a range of exemptions in place to cover a variety of temporary, intermittent and some permanent employments. Please see the ‘Exemptions’ page for further information.

In addition, the spouse or civil partner of a permit holder or an exempt person may apply for a permit which is not limited to any specific employment (see Spouse or Civil Partner permits).

If requested by the Department, CVs of all applicants for the post must be submitted in redacted form. This will help to establish whether any suitable Isle of Man workers applied for the position.

The work permit office has a target to process 80% of work permit applications within 10 working days of completed submission. An application referred to the Work Permit Committee may take longer.

Renewing a permit

If the employment is to continue past the date of expiry of the work permit, an application to renew a permit is required. Normally, it is not necessary to fill out a new application form; the original permit includes a renewal slip which can be sent to the work permit office. 

The Control of Employment Act 2014 replaced the Control of Employment Act 1975 and came into operation on 1 October 2015. Where a permit was granted in respect of an application received before 1 October 2015, the application for the first renewal may still be made by way of submitting the renewal request section on the existing permit, or using the current online process. This transitional measure will remain in place until the end of 2016.

Online Services

The following online services are available to employers: 

  • apply for new permits
  • renew existing permits
  • monitor all current work permits
  • monitor progress of any new applications
  • cancel a work permit application

Employers who wish to use this service should register with Government’s Online Services in advance of the renewal being required. See further at  

Employers who are registered and wish to access online services should click here.  

The Department's decision

The Department will issue a written decision on each work permit application. If the Department decides:

(a)   to refuse to grant or renew a permit; or

(b)   to grant or renew a permit for a shorter period than that applied for; or

(c)    to include a condition in a permit,

it will include a statement of the reasons for the decision and information about how an appeal to the Work Permit Appeal Tribunal can be made.

Written notice of an appeal should be given to the Tribunal Clerk within 7 days of notification of the relevant decision.

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

Page last updated: 22 August 2017


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