UK Business Visas
The UK encourages people who will contribute to the British economy, and business people are key to this development. Investors and entrepreneurs are particularly encouraged to come to the UK. Even new workers from the expanding EU market are seen as a positive for the UK work force.
It is important to get the correct advice in this economically sensitive area. Our experienced immigration solicitors have specialised knowledge and years of experience in Business Immigration
You will need a solicitor who is committed to your individual case: our business immigration solicitors are not here just to process applications, and they are able to offer a dedicated and personal service to you.
Our business immigration lawyers are able to advise both corporate and private clients, international organisations, entrepreneurs and investors coming to live and work in the UK.
You should contact our expert immigration lawyers who will be able to advise you on all of your options and guide you through the UK’s Points-Based System, and other visa categories that might meet your business requirements.
Business Visa OptionsThere are a number of UK business visas available for people looking to migrate to the UK as part of the business immigration stream. There is not an all-encompassing set of basic requirements that covers the entire band of business visas, but each visa has different requirements to qualify.
Note that if you come from a country within the European Economic Area, you can come to the UK to set up a business or take employment without restriction. Non-European entrants will require a visa in most cases.
Tier 1 (Investor) VisaThe Tier 1 Investor visa is based on your wealth and your willingness to invest money in UK interests.
Top be eligible for this visa you must have at least £2 million in available funds and you must be willing to invest this money in UK government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active UK companies. Bank accounts, property-developing or offshore companies are not acceptable in place of these investments.
If you are granted a Tier 1 (Investor) visa you can work or study while you are in the UK. You must be prepared to spend at least 50% of your time in the UK, and to maintain your investments, if you want to become eligible for indefinite leave to remain.
You do not need to meet the English language requirement for this visa category.
Please contact one of our experienced Business Immigration solicitors to help you with your individual needs.
Options for settlement: Tier 1 (Investor)The Tier 1 (Investor) visa is initially issued for 3 years. You become eligible to extend your leave to remain in the UK, or to settle permanently, depending on the total amount you have invested and the continuing value of your investments.
An accelerated route for high level investors can lead to settlement within as little as 2 years.
Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) VisaThe Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa is for those people who wish to come to the UK to start or take over a new business and work at running that business.
The requirements for the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa are that you must have a minimum of £200,000 of your own money to start your proposed business. If you are already in the UK with a different visa you may be eligible to “switch” depending on your visa category and available funds.
If your funding comes from certain specified venture capital or seed-funding sources, then you will only need £50,000.
You may start or take over any type of business but must work full-time in the running of your business. You must also create at least 2 full time jobs after you start or take over your business, in order to be eligible to apply for further leave to remain.
You should have a controlling interest in the business and have a convincing and viable business plan. You will need to have a share of the business's liabilities and must have sufficient funds to maintain yourself until the business becomes profitable.
You will need to meet the English language ability requirements and you need to have sufficient funds, as specified by the UK Government at the time of application.
Options for settlement: Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)Generally a 3-year visa is given initially with an extension of a further 2 years as long as the business is operating, the investment has been made and jobs have been created.
After 5 years you may be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain. There is an accelerated procedure where at least 10 jobs have been created.
Representative of an overseas business
If you work for an overseas company that is setting up a branch office or subsidiary in the UK then you can apply for a visa as the representative of an overseas business.
Your employer will need to provide evidence about your employment and their proposed business in the UK.
You should be a senior employee, recruited outside the UK, and not a majority shareholder in the company. You must meet the English language requirement.
Options for settlement: Representative of an overseas business
The visa is usually issued for an initial 3 years. It can be extended for a further 2 years if you continue to be employed by the same company in the UK. You may then be eligible for settlement after you have been in the UK for 5 years.
Short-term visas for BusinessIf you are looking into starting up a business in the UK but you are still at the planning stage, you can apply for a temporary visa to come and attend meetings, meet potential investors or business-owners, or arrange financing.
Depending on the nature of your visit, you may consider a Business Visitor Visa, or a Prospective Entrepreneur Visa. The activities that you can carry out as a Business Visitor are limited, and you cannot apply to extend your stay in the UK beyond 6 months. As a Prospective Entrepreneur you can come to the UK to arrange financing for your business, and you may then be eligible to “switch” into the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category without leaving the UK