Changes to the existing Worker Migrant visa have been announced, with the introduction of a Worker (Seasonal) Migrant visa for local hospitality businesses. The route was introduced directly in response to the needs of the sector and requests from the hospitality industry and is not a route that is currently available in the UK.
Dr Alex Allinson MHK, Minister for Enterprise, commented:
‘This route is a significant and positive step for the hospitality sector, enabling many businesses to employ workers from outside of the UK and Ireland to satisfy local vacancies which are proving difficult to fill with Isle of Man workers.
‘I believe this will be welcome news for our local hospitality businesses and it is hoped that this new visa will help businesses with their workforce planning in the lead up to the busier months, by enabling the employment of seasonal workers from outside the UK and Ireland, including those workers impacted by Brexit. It will allow businesses to attract workers from EU countries who may have previously wished to work seasonally in the UK but are now unable to do so.
‘Our ability to adapt our policy and legislation allows us to do things differently and is one of our great strengths. The new route will help us to lower the barriers to business as we continue to build a strong and diverse economy.
‘The addition of the Seasonal Migrant Worker route has been made possible by collaborative working and the swift actions of the Immigration team in the Cabinet Office.’
The new Seasonal Migrant Worker visa enables local hospitality businesses to employ non-settled seasonal workers for a maximum of nine months and is available for individuals who have not already held the equivalent visa in the Isle of Man, UK, or Channel Islands within the three months prior to applying.
As with the Worker Migrant visa, the employee must also hold a valid Confirmation of Employment provided by an Isle of Man employer and must be paid a minimum salary of £20,800 (pro-rated for the nine months).
Unlike the Worker Migrant visa, applicants for the Seasonal route do not need to meet the English Language requirements and can ‘switch’ to a Worker Migrant visa while working on the Island if they meet the requirements. The fee for the new route is also significantly less at £244.00, in comparison to the fee payable for the Worker Migrant Visa.