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The following information is written in general terms and is not intended as a complete or authoritative statement of the law. OSA Recruitment cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions, or their consequences.
Understanding Work Permits
Work permits were introduced some 40 years ago and at first applied only to manual workers. The present system is governed by the Control of Employment Act 1975 as amended and the Control of Employment Regulations 1993 and applies to almost everyone who comes to the Island to take up employment including self employment.
Work permits are seen as a means of protecting employment opportunities for local workers. They are not intended to act as a restraint of trade. The system applies only to work carried out in the Isle of Man.
British and European Passport Holders
How do I know if I qualify as a Manx Worker?
Applicants with the following circumstances are exempt from requiring a work permit:
An “ Isle of Man worker” is an individual:
- who was born in the Isle of Man
- who has been ordinarily resident in the Isle of Man for at least 10 consecutive years
- who has been ordinarily resident in the Isle of Man for at least 5 consecutive years and not having lived elsewhere more than once in the following 15 years; (residence in the Isle of Man before 1963 does not count for this purpose;)
- who is married to an Isle of Man worker
- who has been married to an Isle of Man worker, has lived in the Isle of Man for at least 3 years immediately before becoming widowed or divorced and continued to live in the Isle of Man thereafter
- who is a child of an Isle of Man worker who, at the time of the child's birth, was serving, or married to a person serving, in the armed forces
- who is a person, one of whose parents was born in the Isle of Man, where that parent was ordinarily resident on the Isle of Man for 5 consecutive years immediately after their birth; or
- who, whilst ordinarily resident in the Isle of Man, has been receiving full time education either in the Isle of Man or elsewhere; (a person who ceases to be resident in the Isle of Man ceases to be an Isle of Man worker under this heading).
To find out if you qualify as a Manx Worker and do not require a work permit read the guide to work permits.
How do I get a work permit?
It is the responsibility of the employer to apply for a work permit once you have been offered a job. You are not allowed to take up employment until the work permit has been granted.
The Employer has to advertise the vacancy and to ensure that there is no suitable Manx Worker who can carry out the role. A work permit is normally then granted for a 12 month period and is renewed every twelve months up to and including a five year period. Once you have worked continuously on the Isle of Man for five years you no longer need a work permit.
What happens if I want to change jobs during the first five years?
Your new employer will need to go through the same process as above.
Do all jobs require a work permit?
There are some roles that do not require a work permit i.e. a Minister of Religion, Dentist and Doctor. Find out the full list and read the guide to work permits.
What if I am married to someone who has a work permit?
The Department must grant a one year permit (sometimes known as a “section 3A permit”) on application to anyone who is married to a permit holder or an exempt person. The permit is renewable annually provided that the permit-holder's spouse is still working on a permit or is an exempt person and the couple are still married. Note that there is no entitlement to a 3A permit where the spouse is exempt because he or she is in temporary employment or because of a temporary exemption (see 1.4).
Please contact the work permit office below for more information.
Non EEA Nationals
Persons who are not EEA nationals are likely to be subject to control under the Immigration Acts (of Parliament) and may require a work permit granted under the Overseas Labour Scheme. For details contact:
Overseas Labour Section
Department of Trade & Industry
Isle of Man
Phone: (01624) 682390
Fax: (01624) 682388
For more information please contact the work permit office as shown below or find out more information here.
Phone: (01624) 682393
Fax: (01624) 682388