Business visa services in the UK refer to the legal services provided by immigration solicitors to businesses and individuals who are seeking to enter the UK for business purposes. The services can include advice on the different types of business visas available, such as the Tier 1 Investor visa, the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa, the Tier 2 General visa, and the Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer visa, among others.
Business visa services can also include assistance with the application process, including the preparation of the necessary documents and forms, and guidance on the evidence required to support the application. Immigration solicitors can also help businesses and individuals to meet the eligibility criteria for the specific visa they are applying for, such as the financial requirements, the English language requirements, and the maintenance requirements.
In addition, immigration solicitors can assist businesses in complying with their obligations under UK immigration law, such as the requirement to maintain records of their sponsored employees, to report any changes in their circumstances, and to cooperate with immigration officials during compliance visits.
Overall, business visa services in the UK aim to provide businesses and individuals with a smooth and efficient application process, and to ensure that they are fully compliant with UK immigration law.
Skilled Worker Visa
A Skilled Worker visa allows you to come to or stay in the UK to do an eligible job with an approved employer.
To qualify for a Skilled Worker visa, you must:
- work for a UK employer that’s been approved by the Home Office
- have a ‘certificate of sponsorship’ from your employer with information about the role you’ve been offered in the UK
- do a job that’s on the list of eligible occupations
- be paid a minimum salary – how much depends on the type of work you do
The minimum salary for the type of work you’ll be doing is whichever is the highest out of the following 3 options:
- £26,200 per year
- £10.75 per hour
- the ‘going rate’ for the type of work you’ll be doing
Innovator Visa – Innovator Founder Route
The following should be noted
- Under the innovator founder route the applicant will not need £50,000 of funds to invest in their innovative, viable, and scalable new business
- Innovator founder route applicants will be able to work outside their innovative business provided that any additional employment is skilled in nature. The rule changes say the additional job must be to at least skill level RQF Level 3
The eligibility criteria for the new innovator founder visa are:
- Endorsement is required from an approved endorsing body
- With the Home Office application stage, you will have to score at least 70 points on the points-based immigration system. This can be achieved by securing 30 points for a suitable business plan, 20 points for having a business idea that meets the criteria of being innovative, viable, and scalable, 10 points for meeting the English language requirement, and the final 10 points are awarded for meeting the maintenance requirement
- Meet the English language requirement unless an exemption applies. For the innovator founder visa applicants must meet level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
- Meet the financial requirement by having at least £1,270 in personal funds held for at least 28-days before the visa application
- Meet the general eligibility criteria – for example, not have an adverse immigration record or a history of criminality.
To secure first-stage endorsement from an endorsing body the applicant needs to be able to demonstrate that:
- They are the business founder or a key member of the founder team
- They have a business plan that shows their business idea is innovative, viable, and scalable and that they have either created or made a significant contribution to the business plan ideas
- They will have a role in implementing the business plan and in the day-to-day management of the business
- They will have at least 2 meetings with the endorsing body during the visa
- The business venture is achievable based on resources available to the business whilst also being ambitious as the venture needs to have the potential for job creation and to achieve international and national market growth
The innovator founder visa lasts 3 years and, if the applicant meets the indefinite leave to remain eligibility criteria, they can apply to settle in the UK.
This category is for entrepreneurs who want to establish a business in the UK and have a a business idea which they wish to execute in the UK. The business idea and plan have to be endorsed by a Home Office approved endorsing body.
The eligibility requirements are that applicants must:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Meet an English language test
- Have the required maintenance funds that the applicant must hold for a consecutive period of at least 90 days as specified by the Home Office rules. (This requirement is not necessary if the endorsing body is certifying maintenance)
- Want to set up or run a business in the UK (the business or business idea will need to be endorsed by a Home Office approved endorsing body)
- An applicant needs to get endorsement from an endorsing body for their business plan or idea.
- Once a letter of endorsement is obtained, the applicant can submit their Start-up Visa application to the Home Office with all the necessary supporting documents.
There is no requirement under a Start-up Visa to invest a minimum amount of money into the business venture, but an applicant will need to prove to an endorsing body that the business plan will work. They will also need to satisfy the Home Office that they have a credible business plan under Home Office assessment criteria.
If an entrepreneur wants to start a new business in the UK and apply for a Start-up Visa the applicant’s business idea and plan must meet the following criteria:
The applicant must have a genuine, original business plan that meets a new or existing market need and/or creates a competitive advantage.
The applicant must have the skills, knowledge, and experience and market awareness to run the new business.
The applicant must be able to show evidence of scalability of the business with the potential for job creation and growth into national markets.
Applicants for a Start-up visa have to obtain an endorsement letter from a Home Office approved endorsing body to submit with their Start-up Visa. If the business meets the Start-up Visa criteria, an endorsement letter will be provided and the endorsing body will have the responsibility of monitoring the business performance at regular intervals. Without an endorsement letter an applicant for a Start-up Visa cannot go on to submit their Start-up Visa application to the Home Office.
An applicant for a Start-up Visa has to secure an endorsement letter from a Home Office approved endorsing body. The endorsing bodies for Start-up Visas are either approved higher educational institutes or business organizations.
The Home Office guidance states that an endorsing body has to have a proven record of supporting UK entrepreneurs and must be able to assess business plans against the endorsement criteria set out in the immigration rules.
The Home Office has published a list of endorsing bodies for Start-up visas and this list will be updated as endorsing bodies are added or removed from the list.
After an applicant for a Start-up Visa has secured an endorsement letter and met the general criteria for the Start-up Visa, they need to ensure that their visa application addresses the additional Home Office criteria.
The applicant has to be able to show that they genuinely intend to undertake, and are capable of undertaking, the business as set out in their business plan and application.
The Home Office considers an applicant’s work, education and immigration history when assessing if an applicant is genuine and it is therefore important that a Start-up Visa application is thorough and well prepared.
Every business visa category has complex guidance notes instructing applicants on the specific documents required as evidence to demonstrate eligibility; failure to adhere to these guidelines will result in the refusal of an application.
A Start-up Visa lasts for two years. A Start-up Visa cannot be extended. At the end of the Start-up Visa, an applicant can apply to switch to an alternative visa and can ultimately secure settlement in the UK if they meet the Home Office criteria for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
If an applicant has held a Entrepreneur or Graduate Entrepreneur visa, then time in the UK on that visa counts as part of the two-year Start-up Visa period. If an applicant secures leave to remain in the UK because they hold a Start-up Visa, Entrepreneur visa or Graduate Entrepreneur visa, they can apply to switch to an Innovator visa. The Innovator Visa can lead to settlement or Indefinite Leave to Remain.
UK expansion Visa
The UK Expansion Worker Visa (Global Business Mobility) is the new UK immigration route for anyone looking to come to the UK to start a new branch of an overseas business. It replaces the old Sole Representative visa.
This status is designed to allow for senior employees and others to come to and live in the United Kingdom in order to establish a UK branch of a company. The worker must have been employed for 12 months by the overseas company. There is an exception to this, if they are a High Earner, they do not need to have spent a minimum period working for the company.
Clients benefit from a top-class service at a fixed fee, meaning that all of our prices are transparent and upfront, helping your company budget accordingly for the legal fees. Post 5 years and you can apply for settlement, you are allowed to bring in dependants under the age of 18 and your spouse to the UK. Dependants under the UK are entitled to free education.
- Have a Sponsor in the UK who has common ownership with foreign based Company
- Must have been employed by the foreign based Company for more than 12 months or earning a salary of £73,900
- Be on the list of eligible occupations at RQF Level 6
- Paid at least £45,800 in the UK
Skilled Worker visa
- £26,200 is the new general annual threshold (Option A)
- £23,580 is the new general annual threshold (Option B)
- £20,960 is the new general annual threshold (Option C, D and E)
- £10.75 per hour is the new hourly threshold
Global Business Mobility Scheme
- As agreed in the UK – Australia Free Trade Agreement, Australian nationals and permanent residents coming to the UK to open a branch or subsidiary of their Australian employer will not need to demonstrate that they have worked for their overseas employer for 12 months before coming to the UK.
- Salary threshold changes:
- £45,800 is the new general annual threshold for Senior or Specialist workers and Expansion workers (GBM) (note – there is no change to the high earners threshold).
- Salary threshold changes:
- £34,600 is the new earning threshold for scale-up visas
Transitional arrangements apply for those showing earnings for an extension