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Business Migrant - Application process overview

Overview of the application process.

The Department for Enterprise are the sole endorsing body for the Business Migrant route in the Isle of Man.

An application for a Letter of Endorsement is submitted by using the online application form, you will be required to upload your passport, detailed business plan including financial forecasts, CV and for the Innovator route proof of funds, as part of the application process.

Application Fee.

Isle of Man Business Migrant Route - Application for a Letter of Endorsement - Fee: £1,000 GBP (All Bank Fees and Charges must be paid by the Applicant). 
Upon receipt of an application for Endorsement, applicants will be notified of how to make the required payment. The processing of applications will only commence once payment has been received. 
The fee applies to all applications for Endorsement within the Start-up and Innovator categories of the Business Migrant route, including any subsequent applications for Endorsement required to support an application to the Passports, Immigration and Nationality Office for Further Leave or Indefinite Leave to Remain.   

On receipt of the fee the Department will carry out a detailed assessment of the proposed business ventures and may request further information to assist with the assessment of any application.

The Department will undertake any necessary due diligence on the Business 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 Business Migrant’s application meets the criteria within the Departments Endorsement Policy, then a Letter of Endorsement is issued. The Business 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 Business Migrant will be notified of this decision in writing.

About the 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 Business 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.

Business 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 Business Migrants plans for the business or businesses, including any plans for expansion and further job creation.

Investment Funds

A Business 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 Business 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.

A Business Migrant can be part of a team applying in the Business Migrant (Innovator) subcategory, although each member of the team will require at least £50,000 to invest in the

The investment cannot be used for the payment of salaries to the Business Migrant, or anyone directly connected to the Business 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.


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 Business Migrant to
ensure reasonable progress is being made in respect of the business ventures for which the Letter of Endorsement was issued. If the Business 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 Business 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.

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

Contact the Locate team

With a stable economy and financially rewarding ecosystem, the Isle of Man could be an ideal place for you, your family and your business to call home. If you have any Business Migrant enquires, get in touch with one of the Locate team members, who are always happy to assist. 


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