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Isle of Man Passes Immigration Changes For Foreign Workers

by Jason Gorringe,, London

31 December 2009

Legislation to make immigration controls more lenient, approved on December 16 under the Control of Employment (Exemptions) Order 2009, is to come into effect in the Isle of Man on January 1, 2010.

The new legislation exempts certain employments, the great majority of a temporary or intermittent nature, from the requirement for a work permit. The Order is designed to make the island an easier place to do business by reducing the administrative burden upon employers while at the same time protecting the essential interests of Isle of Man workers.

One of the main changes will be to increase the general exemption period where a permit is not required from three days to 10 working days a year. With a very small number of exceptions – construction, mobile caterers and temporary retailers – this general exemption will apply across the board.

There is a longer exemption period for certain higher level employees of international companies. This is in recognition of the fact that such companies need to be able to move staff between jurisdictions; the exemption period is a maximum of 48 days year in this case. The exemption does not cover all employments, and is subject to certain conditions.

A further exemption category covers persons relocating businesses to the island or establishing a branch or subsidiary of a non-IOM business.

In total, 13 types of temporary and intermittent employments are exempted, along with three categories of permanent employment.

Minister for Trade and Industry, David Cretney MHK explained that:

“The Department listened very carefully to consultees and worked hard to produce a balanced package of measures aimed at increasing the attractiveness of the Isle of Man for employers – and hence overall employment opportunities – without diminishing protection for Isle of Man workers.”

A comprehensive report in our Intelligence Report series devoted to a study of the ways in which expatriate executives and employees can optimise their remuneration and taxation situations in a number of the main English-speaking countries is available in the Lowtax Library at and a description of the report can be seen at

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