The Isle of Man Start Up Visa

Start up visa

The Isle of Man Start-up visa category is designed for individuals who is seeking to establish a business in the Isle of Man for the first time. Applicants of this category must have an innovative, viable and scalable business idea supporting by an endorsing body. You are only allowed to work for the business(es) that you will be establishing. This route does not lead to Indefinite Leave to Remain but the Applicants may progress into the Innovator visa category.

If successful, the Applicants and dependants will be granted a visa for 2 years and 4 months only. You will be eligible to switch into Innovator visa category in the Isle of Man.

Basic Requirements

The applicant must be at least 18 years old.

Eligibility to apply inside the Isle of Man.

You are allowed to make an initial application in the Isle of Man for leave to remain as an Innovator visa holder if you are currently in the Isle of Man with permission to stay as:

  • a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) migrant; a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrant;
  • a Tier 2 migrant;
  • a Tier 4 General student (with restrictions);
  • a visitor who has been undertaking permitted activities as a prospective entrepreneur as set out in Appendix V

Credibility Assessment

For all applications,

The Applicant must genuinely intend to undertake, and is capable of undertaking, any work or business activity in the Isle of Man as stated in their application.

You must not intend to work in the Isle of Man in breach of your conditions.

Any money that you are claiming to be available is genuinely available as described, and that you intend to use it for the purpose described in your application

The decision maker may request additional information from yourself, or your endorsing body, and they can also decide to carry out an interview.

English Language Requirement

There are 4 ways in which you can show you meet the English language requirement. These include:

  1. Being a national of a majority English speaking country; or
  2. Passing an English language test level at level B2 of the CEFR  in all four components (reading, writing, speaking and listening) and had taken the test at a Secure English Language Test centre (refer to Gov.UK website for up to date approved test centres) – note that you must achieved the required scores in all relevant component in a single sitting; or
  3. Holding a degree that was taught in English and is equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree or
  4. If you have previously been granted an entry clearance or leave to remain in any of the following categories:
    • Innovator
    • IoM Worker migrant
    • Tier 1 (General)Tier 1 (Post-Study Work)
    • Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) under the rules in place before 13 December 2012 Tier 2 (Minister of Religion)
    • Tier 4 (General), supported by a CAS assigned on or after 21 April 2011


In order to qualify for entry clearance or leave to remain under the Innovator visa, you must show that you have enough money to support yourself (and any dependants). The maintenance requirement is detailed below:

You must have at least £945 of personal savings in cash, held for a consecutive 90 days before the date of application;

You may satisfy the maintenance requirement if the endorsing body produces a letter confirming that you have been awarded at least £945 in addition to the £50,000 investment funds. If the main applicant and their partner or children are applying at the same time, there must be enough maintenance funds in total of the required amount(£630 for each dependant).


The Department of Enterprise is the responsible endorser for this program. The Department will completely assess the applicant’s business venture(s) against the relevant endorsement criteria and the Department will stay in contact with the endorsee at checkpoints of maximum intervals of 6 months from the date the letter of enforcement is issued.

Unlike the UK’s program, the Applicant does not need to be the sole founder of the business and may be a member of an entrepreneurial team.

Applicants wishes to apply under this category must be endorsed in this category by the Department for Enterprise.

You are required to submit a valid letter of endorsement issued by the Department as part of your application. The endorsement letter must not be issued more than 3 months before the date of application.

Endorsement Criteria

To satisfy under this requirement, the Applicant’s business venture must meet all of the requirements below:




The Applicant has an original business plan that meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage.

The Applicant has, or is actively developing, the necessary skills, knowledge, experience and market awareness too successfully run the business.

There is evidence of structured planning and potential for job creation and growth into national markets.

The Department will need to be satisfied that the Applicant will spend the majority of their working time managing and developing their business day to day in the Isle of Man.

Why this is the right visa for you?

The Start-up visa program is the perfect bridge for enthusiastic start-ups to explore the market in the Isle of Man. With no investment requirement and with full support from the Department of Enterprise, this visa is suitable for start-up wanting to build and scale at speed.

We at Sincere Immigration have a wide knowledge on how to assist you with this application. Get in touch at for more information and speak to one of our specialist lawyers.

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