Business Migrant Endorsement

The Department for Enterprise ("the Department") 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.

The Department is responsible for issuing a Letter of Endorsement in support of the Migrant’s visa application following an assessment of the proposed business ventures in accordance with the Department’s Endorsement Policy in force at the time of the application.

All Migrants must obtain a Letter of Endorsement from the Department before making a visa application under the Business Migrant Route.

Migrants should refer to Appendix X of the Isle of Man Immigration Rules and the Department's Endorsement Policy prior to considering submitting an application for a Letter of Endorsement.

Information on Isle of Man Advocates who specialise in immigration law can be found on the Isle of Man Law Society website.

Available Categories

The Business Migrant has two sub-categories.

Start Up

This sub-category is for Migrants seeking to establish an innovative, viable and scalable business. 

This category offers leave for 2 years and 4 months and does not lead to indefinite leave to remain.

Migrants may progress into the Innovator sub-category.

Innovator

This sub-category is for Migrants with business experience seeking to establish, join or take over one or more businesses in the Isle of Man.  Unless progressing from the Start-Up sub category, Migrants will have a minimum of £50,000 to invest in the business.

Migrants seeking to establish a new business under this sub-category will have an innovative, viable and scalable business idea.

Migrants seeking to join, or take over an existing business or businesses, will be required to demonstrate how the investment will be made and the Migrants plans for the business.

This category leads to indefinite leave to remain.

Application Process Overview

Initial Application Stage and Formal Assessment

Migrants are encouraged to contact the Department first to discuss their business plans prior to submitting a formal application for a Letter of Endorsement.

An application for a Letter of Endorsement must be submitted on the relevant application form, together with business plan and any other supporting documentation, in order for the Department to carry out a detailed assessment of the proposed business ventures.

The Department may request further information to assist with the assessment of any application.

The Department will undertake any necessary due diligence on the Migrant and enquiries will be made on both the source of funds and source of wealth regarding any investment being made into the proposed business.

If the Department is satisfied that the Migrant’s application meets the criteria within the Departments Endorsement Policy, then a Letter of Endorsement is issued.  The Migrant can then use this letter to commence their formal Visa application.

If the Department is not satisfied that the applications meets the criteria for Endorsement, the application will be declined and the Migrant will be notified of this decision in writing.

Business Plan

Applications for a Letter of Endorsement must be accompanied by a comprehensive business plan.

The business plan is an important document that will give the Department a detailed insight into the workings and expectations the Migrant has for their business and how this meets the requirements of the Endorsement Policy.

The business plan will be required to show that the Migrant’s business ventures are genuine and credible.

Migrants seeking to establish a business in the Isle of Man will be required to demonstrate that their business idea is innovative, scalable and viable.

The business plans should contain, as an absolute minimum, the following:

Establishing a new business

  • Full details of the business idea, demonstrating a unique or innovative business proposition which will complement existing or new market needs;
  • The business model, together with short and long term objectives, key customers, confirmed orders or customer interest etc;
  • The employment structure including expected numbers of employees, types of jobs, wage rates etc.;
  • Details of expected premises, including whether the intention is to rent or purchase commercial premises;
  • A marketing plan including whether customers are off-Island or on-Island; and
  • An analysis of why the business is suitable to be established and developed in the Isle of Man.

Joining or taking over an existing business or businesses in the Isle of Man 

  • Full details of the existing business, including the business name, trading name, company registration information and details of all other directors, shareholders or other persons with beneficial ownership of the business;
  • A description of business activities, existing customer base, current turnover and corporate profits;
  • The employment structure including current number of employees, types of jobs, wage rates etc.;
  • Details of existing premises, including whether such premises are owned or rented;
  • Full details of the level of investment to be made by the Migrant and how that investment will be made;
  • Full details of the Migrants plans for the business or businesses, including any plans for expansion and further job creation.

Monitoring

If the application is successful and a Letter of Endorsement is issued, the Department will maintain regular contact (at maximum intervals of 6 months) with the Migrant to ensure reasonable progress is being made in respect of the business ventures for which the Letter of Endorsement was issued.

If the Migrant fails to make reasonable progress, this may result in withdrawal of the Letter of Endorsement by the Department and this may lead to curtailment of leave by the Isle of Man Immigration Service.

A Migrant may be deemed not to be making reasonable progress for one or more of the reasons below:

  • The Migrant fails to invest funds in accordance with the proposals for which the Letter of Endorsement was issued;
  • The Migrant fails to establish the business, or businesses, as outlined in their application for a Letter of Endorsement;
  • The Migrant fails to respond within the timeframe specified in the request, for information, to invitations to meetings, to provide clarification on the progress of the planned investment and / or establishment of business, or businesses;
  • The Migrant fails to adequately demonstrate that they are playing an active role in the day to day management of any businesses established in the Isle of Man.

Investment Funds

A Migrant applying for a Letter of Endorsement under the Start-Up sub category does not require a minimum level of funds to invest in the proposed business, however, the business plan will be expected to demonstrate how necessary finance will be raised to ensure the business venture is viable.

A Migrant applying for a Letter of Endorsement under the Innovator sub-category will require a minimum of £50,000 funds which is free to invest in the business or businesses (unless they are moving from the Start-Up category and have successfully established their business).

The investment may include funds which have already been invested in the business (within the last 12 months). The investment can be used for various purposes, examples of which are detailed below:

  • Seed capital for the business or businesses,
  • To provide financial support towards business set up costs,
  • Purchase of equipment,
  • Ongoing regular expenditure (i.e. marketing, research and development etc.) and salaries of employees.

The Migrant can be part of a team applying in the Business Migrant (Innovator) sub-category, although each member of the team will require at least £50,000 to invest in the business(es).

The investment cannot be used for the payment of salaries to the Migrant, or anyone directly connected to the Migrant by way of family, social or other connection.

The required funds need to have been held for a period of two years prior to the application if they are the Migrant’s own funds. Where the funds have been held less than two years, they may be considered permissible if they are from a gift, deeds of sale, a will or a divorce settlement. Details will be required of how and where the funds are being held at the time of the application for a Letter of Endorsement.

The Department will undertake any necessary due diligence on the Migrant and enquiries will be made on both the source of funds and source of wealth regarding any investment being made into the proposed business.

Further details in respect of investment funds and the Department's due diligence process is set out in the Endorsement Policy.

Contact the Team

Email: endorsement.DFE@gov.im 

The Department for Enterprise – Delivering a diverse economy where people choose to work, live and invest

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