Immigration is a topical subject around Europe at present as many countries try to deal with the influx of migrants and refugees from both within and outside of it's borders.
The topic will undoubtedly form a major part of the debate as the United Kingdom votes on whether or not to remain in the European Union. We have already seen a tightening of controls allowing people into the UK but on the Isle of Man the Government are taking a different approach. In fact they are positively trying to encourage growth in the population from the current c85,000 up to 100,000+.
The Tier 1 Entrepreneur and Investor routes are almost identical to the UK, in fact the application is submitted on the same platform. The Isle of Man's goal is to create more jobs locally and the entrepreneur scheme ties in nicely with this policy as within 3 years and 4 months you need to have employed at least 2 people.
We are even seeing changes to the work permit system for non-local workers. The system has always been in place to protect local workers with some notable exceptions such as doctors and teachers, but with the growth of the eBusiness sector it is sometimes difficult to find someone locally with the necessary skills. Changes to the work permit system will soon allow some non-local specialists in ICT or eBusiness to be employed without the need for a work permit.
The Government has recently established a £50m Enterprise Development Fund to help businesses of all sizes to create lasting employment on the Island. Support is available for new start up, accelerator and more established businesses.
The Island's Department of Economic Development has a strapline that says 'The Isle of Man – Where You Can' which seems very appropriate in this case.
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