Relocating to the Isle of Man: a guide

Relocating to the Isle of Man: a guide

Relocation / January 29th, 2016

So you’ve spotted a job you like, but it’s on the Isle of Man. Maybe you know nothing about it, maybe you’ve heard a few things about mad motorsports or tailless cats; the important thing is you’re going to need a lot more detail before you start seriously considering the job, right? Well, here we are to help with a handy guide to relocations.

Immigration: If you’re coming from the UK, there are no immigration barriers to moving to the Isle of Man, although there are work permit restrictions – more on that below. If you’re coming from the EU or elsewhere, you need to know that the Isle of Man is not technically part of the Schengen Area of free movement. The Isle of Man does, however, have reciprocal arrangements with thirty seven countries regarding immigration. There is more information on the IOM Government website, which also explains things like National Insurance contributions.

Economy: The Isle of Man has a healthy economy which has enjoyed over thirty consecutive years of unbroken economic growth, a rare achievement in global terms. It has strengths in financial and legal services and eCommerce business in particular, with many internet based companies operating from the Island. The unemployment rate is extremely low, and many of these key sectors of the economy suffer from a skills shortage – particularly in the fields of tech and development.

Work permits: If you aren’t Manx (the word for people naturalised in the Isle of Man) you will need a work permit. However, this should be arranged for you by any employer that offers you a job – it is only really a concern for those wishing to move there without a job lined up. If you are planning on bringing a partner or family with you, be sure to discuss this with your prospective employer.

Tax: Personal tax on the Isle of Man is much lower than most other places in Europe. The first £12,500 of annual income is tax free, with a lower tax band of 10% and a higher tax band of 20%. As in the UK, however, employee national insurance (NI) contributions are paid on top of income tax. There are no inheritance or capital taxes. This table shows some example salaries and take-home income, but these are only approximate and may vary based on circumstances.

Benefits: The Island has universal high-quality healthcare and education, free at the point of delivery. The Island’s schools are particularly impressive, consistently performing very well compared to international standards, and qualifications offered are the same as those in the UK. However, several other benefits won’t be available to you until you have been resident for several years. The Island does have one excellent private school, King William’s College.

Cost of living: The Island’s cost of living is above-average when compared to the UK, although considerably less than large centres like London. It is also worth noting that any rise in the cost of living for new residents is usually more than offset by the relatively low personal tax rates. The cost of living varies slightly across the Island, but the table below gives an indication of costs for common average monthly expenses, split by inside and outside the capital where appropriate.

Transport: Life on the Island offers very short commutes compared to most other employment hubs. Public transport is clean and efficient, but the network coverage isn’t comprehensive and most people will walk or drive to work. Vehicles need to be re-registered, and UK, EU, and Channel Islands drivers’ licences can be transferred to Isle of Man licences very easily.

Quality of life: The Island offers a great quality of life. The population of around 80,000 supports a lot of great restaurants and bars, primarily in the capital, Douglas. The island has extremely beautiful countryside and outdoor pursuits are very popular – the Island is well known for its walking and cycling routes and outdoor sports. For history buffs, it has a unique Celtic heritage including a native language, Manx Gaelic, and several sites of great historical significance. It also offers clean air and water, several great beaches (although swimming is usually limited to the summer), and excellent dark sky spots for stargazers.

Climate: The Island has relatively mild weather for its latitude due to the Gulf Stream, and even boasts native palm trees. It rarely suffers from extreme heat or cold. Otherwise, the climate is similar to Northern England.

Accessibility: The Island is a short flight from almost anywhere in the UK. It takes less just over an hour to fly to London and even less to get to Liverpool, Manchester, Dublin, Belfast, and several other regional hubs. There are also ferry links to Northwest England and Ireland.

If there is anything else you would like to know about the Island, we are relocation specialists, so feel free to get in touch with us or view our latest jobs here