Living and Working in the Isle of Man
Find out more about the Island
Locate.im is also a great resource for those thinking about moving to the island. They have many articles and guides on what life is like here, and advice on how to relocate.
The Talent Portal is an online networking site connecting you with Isle of Man employers who are interested in your skills. It is a great place to register your interest in relocating and working for the Isle of Man Public Service and is designed to help you engage with our teams here in the Public Service whether you’re ready to move now or sometime in the future. We’d love to hear from you!
Where is the Isle of Man, how do I get there and what is it like?
The Isle of Man is in the middle of the Irish Sea situated between Northern Ireland and England.
Travelling to the Island
You can travel back and forth to the Isle of Man via ferry from the port in the Island's capital, Douglas. The Steam Packet operates daily sailings to the UK and seasonal sailings to Ireland.
The Island's airport is situated in Castletown in the south of the Island. There are regular flights to the UK and Ireland. Airlines operating out of the Island include EasyJet, Flybe and British Airways amongst others.
What is it like?
Many factors contribute to the beauty of the Isle of Man, from the quaint streets of its historic towns to the breath-taking views from the hills.
Despite its compact size, the Island contains a wide variety of scenery. In the north of the Island you will discover long sandy beaches that wrap around the coastline with dunes and lighthouses dotting the shore. The further south you travel the higher the Island rises, with hills, rocky cliffs and sheltered bays.
It's easy to move from urban landscape to the beautiful countryside in a short journey, offering the best of both worlds for the Island's residents.
Those living on the Island, benefit from great lifestyle opportunities, open space, a safe environment, great education and a real sense of community.
Maintaining a quality lifestyle is a key element to Island life. You can choose to live in a flat in town, a new build on an estate, or a character property by the sea. To find out more about housing on the Island, visit www.locate.im where you will also find a list of the Island's Estate Agents.
At just over 33 miles long and with over 100 miles of coastline you can be sure you're never far from a spectacular view. While it is impossible to deny the Island is quite far north, average annual sunshine hours are consistently higher than London, thanks to our seaside location.
The average population density is below 150 people per square km, compared to England where that figure is over 400 people per square km.
Heritage and culture
A rich history is shown through the numerous national heritage sites across the Island including one of the best preserved medieval castles in the world, the largest working waterwheel in the world, a working crofting community and a magnificent medieval fortress.
There are several interesting museums including the Manx Museum which covers the Island’s history, as well as the national art gallery and the House of Manannan which focuses on the Isle of Man’s rich Celtic, Viking and maritime past.
The Island is home to three heritage railways which attract visitors from across the world and are an excellent way to see the Island.
Food and drink
Food and Eating out
The Isle of Man is spoilt for choice when it comes to high quality restaurants and cafes specialising in all types of cuisine, artisan producers and local delicacies. Along with our great local cafés, you can also sit back, relax and enjoy a coffee in cafes such as Costa, Starbucks, Coffee Republic or McDonalds.
Renowned for its fresh produce from flavoursome Queenies to succulent Loaghtan lamb and of course the famous Manx Kippers, the Isle of Man’s food scene excels in quality and variety.
From traditional Manx dishes to well-known family favourites, there are a wide selection of restaurants for you to discover.
The Island holds a food and drink festival each year which offers the chance to taste the best local produce and the agricultural shows offer the opportunity to meet the farmers and artisans behind the produce.
Pubs & Wine Bars
From cocktail bars to country pubs, there’s plenty of places to enjoy a well-deserved drink or a bite to eat on the Isle of Man.
As a small Island famous for its food, there’s something to suit everyone– whether it’s couples, families or groups of friends.
The Island’s country pubs offer picture postcard views, local quality food and a cosy environment to relax. There are also several nightclubs that are open until the early hours.
To add an authentic local flavour, look out for Manx crafted ales and ciders from one of the local breweries on the Isle of Man or with two distilleries some locally produced gin.
What is there to do?
Cycling, Driving and Motorsport
The Island is renowned for the famous Isle of Man TT Races which take place in June on a challenging 37 and ¾ mile Mountain Course. Thousands of visitors from around the world visit the Island each year to experience the exhilarating road race that’s put the Isle of Man well and truly on the map. It doesn’t just stop at the TT though, many motorsport fans return once again in August for the Festival of Motorcycling.
Rally Isle of Man also features daytime and evening timed stages for those on four wheels.
Although world famous for its annual motorsport events, the Isle of Man has a thriving sporting scene away from the race course. Having inspired a good number of current and upcoming cycling champions the Isle of Man is a popular destination for cyclists who want to challenge themselves on the Island’s scenic roads and trails.
There are lots of activities to get involved in on the Island; if you love the outdoors, you could get out walking, cycling, horse riding or have a go at kayaking around the Island’s beautiful coastline. If you enjoy being part of a team, the Island has lots of local clubs, including many local Rugby, Hockey, Football and Badminton teams.
There are also plenty of places to take part in indoor sports - You can head to the many gyms and health clubs on the Island, the climbing wall or the National Sports Centre.
If you enjoy the indoors, there are always shows and events on at our Villa Marina and Gaiety Theatre, you could try your hand at bowling or relax at the cinema.
If you enjoy a spot of shopping Douglas high street has well known shops, including Marks and Spencer, TK Maxx, Boots, River Island, Waterstones, New Look, JD Sports and Sport Direct along with many others.
For some family fun or for a day out with a group of friends the Island offers some great days out including the Wild Life Park, Laser Blast, Ape Mann and Glamping! To find out more about some of the great activities available on the Island visit Locate Isle of Man's Getting Involved page.
Below is a short documentary about some of the outdoor adventure activities in the Isle of Man.
UNESCO World Biosphere Region
In March 2016 the Isle of Man was awarded status as a UNESCO World Biosphere Region. The Island is the only entire jurisdiction in the world to be awarded this prestigious title and this status recognises the way in which the Island’s population exists alongside a plethora of diverse natural habitats.
With such a prestigious award comes the promise of wonderful scenery and views, as well as a mass of marine life, birdlife and wildlife which can be seen across this Island’s landscape all year round.
Visit www.biosphere.im to find out more!
Tax and National Insurance
Isle of Man residents benefit from lower tax rates than a lot of countries in the EU and a simpler, more efficient system of calculation.
The Isle of Man operates a simple taxation regime with a lower rate of tax on individuals of 10% and an upper rate of 20% on personal income.
This means that a single person earning £20,000 in the tax year starting 6 April 2017 would pay £850 in tax (versus the UK where an individual earning £20,000 would pay £1,700 in tax).
The personal allowance (tax free earnings) for a single person is £14,250 and for a married couple £28,500 (for the tax year starting 6 April 2020).
The Isle of Man is offering a National Insurance Holiday Scheme which allows newly employed, relocated or returning residents to apply for a refund on their National Insurance contributions for their first year of living or returning to the Isle of Man, with refunds capped at £4,000. To see how this scheme could benefit you visit www.locate.im
Education on the Isle of Man
The Isle of Man has a well-regarded education system, with high standards of teaching and a strong appetite for sports and culture.
The curriculum content is largely drawn from the English national curriculum, but also draws on the Island's unique geographical, cultural and historic features. Schools have the freedom to deliver lessons in an imaginative way and there is a commitment to teaching music, arts and design technology alongside the standard curriculum.
The Island's schools are not subject to Ofsted inspections. Instead, schools are active participants in a system called School Self Review and Evaluation and these are quality benchmarked by an independent validator. The system is seen as a more productive and inclusive way of developing school excellence.
The Island has 32 primary and 5 secondary schools, as well as a private primary and secondary school. University College Isle of Man also offers a range of further and higher education courses ranging from entry level through to degree level courses in a wide variety of subjects.
Working on the Isle of Man and Work Permits
Those wishing to work in the Isle of Man but who are not classified as an 'Isle of Man worker' will require a work permit before starting employment or self-employment in the Island. Your employer will take care of this for you.
There are a range of careers that are exempt from requiring work permits, including certain ICT and eBusiness workers, nurses, secondary school teachers and social workers.
Spouses and Cohabiting partners of people holding a work permit will be granted an automatic work permit.
10 rules for a better work life balance
The Isle of Man really lends itself to allowing you a fantastic work-life balance. This video highlights our tips on achieving that here on the Isle of Man.