800 foreign nationals apply to live in Isle of Man

Tynwald buildings, Douglas

Tynwald buildings, Douglas

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The island’s immigration service dealt with more than 800 applications last year - of which just over 60 were refused entry.

But this figure is not necessarily a true reflection of the numbers of foreign nationals living, working or studying here - as an unknown number of others will have secured entry clearance to the UK and then travelled on to the Isle of Man with valid leave to enter.

Figures dealt with by the Crown and External Relations Passport, Immigration and Nationality Services are outlined in an annual report to be presented at next week’s Tynwald sitting.

It shows that there were 816 applications, ranging from first application to indefinite leave to remain, dealt with by the immigration service in 2013/14.

This figure was down on the 991 total applications the previous year, and the figure of 1,292 in 2011-12.

The 816 applications was made up of 513 for entry clearance (of which 61 were refused), 214 seeking further leave to stay or a variation of their conditions of stay and 89 seeking indefinite leave to remain.

Three illegal immigrants were identified in the Isle of Man last year who the immigration service will seek to send back to their home country. A further five, located in the island illegally, departed voluntarily.

There were no deportations in 2013-14.

The immigration service manages visa applications from foreign nationals seeking to come to the Isle of Man from countries outside the European Economic Area.

It has a computerised system for recording immigration cases. But its report notes there are no figures available for those who have been granted entry clearance through the UK, as there is no border control between the two jurisdictions where arrivals can be monitored.

The report states: ‘It is important to note that because of the integration of UK and Isle of Man immigration law, the figures obtained locally are not necessarily a true reflection of the numbers and types of foreign nationals living, working or studying on the Isle of Man.’

New residents, whether or not subject to immigration control, are not automatically entitled to claim benefits as they must have either made appropriate National Insurance contributions or lived here for five years to qualify.

Anyone subject to immigration control found to be claiming benefits to which they are not entitled would be in breach of their immigration conditions and may be liable to be removed from the island.

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