The Isle of Man Innovator visa is aimed at individuals who have commercial experience and want to set up or run a business on the Island. 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.
Each individual must have at least £50,000 in available funds and must genuinely intend to undertake, and be capable of undertaking, work for the business stated in their application. Applicants may need to prove their knowledge of the English language by passing an approved test with at least CEFR level B2 in reading, writing, speaking and listening or by having an academic qualification, taught in English, equivalent to a UK bachelor's degree, master's degree or PhD.
Those wishing to apply for an Innovator visa must be endorsed by the Department for Enterprise and have received a Letter of Endorsement which is needed to support the visa application. For consideration the applicant must meet the following requirements:
• Have an original business plan that meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage
• Has, or is actively developing the necessary skills, knowledge, experience and market awareness to successfully run the business.
The Department of Enterprise will need to be satisfied the applicant will spend the majority of their working time managing and developing their stated business on the Isle of Man. For the duration of the visa individuals can only be absent from the UK and Islands for maximum of 180 days during any consecutive 12 month period.
The applicant's business plan must also demonstrate that the proposed business expects to employ:
• A minimum of 1 full-time, permanent employee on the Island, in addition to the employment of the applicant, within the first 12 months of the period for which the Letter of Endorsement is issued
• A minimum of 3 full-time, including the above, permanent employees, in addition to the employment of the migrant within the first 36 months of the period for which the Letter of Endorsement is issued.
For the length of the visa the Department of Enterprise will have regular update meetings with the individual, at least every six months.
Once successful an applicant, who must be at least 18 years old, will receive a visa valid for three years. After three years the person may apply for a three-year extension – there is no limit on the number of times it can be extended. An application for indefinite leave to remain can be made after the individual has been in the Isle of Man for three years.