Our experienced and highly ranked team advises both corporate and private clients, including major international organisations, entrepreneurs and investors coming to live and work in the UK, on the routes of immigration available to them and on the UK’s Points Based System as well as family reunion including spouse, children and parents. We often help private individuals of substantial means with their complex moves of families and staff to the UK.
The Investor category provides a simple way for Investors to qualify to come and live in the UK.If you are a non-EU National and wishing to reside, and obtain permanent residence, in the UK you may do so where you have at least £1 million available and intend to invest at least £750,000 into specified investments, such as government bonds or shares in UK listed companies. The funds can be either your own or loaned from a UK regulated bank where you have net assets in excess of £2 million. You will need to apply for visasin your country of residence. The application is considered under Tier 1 of the UK’s Points Based System and requires the applicant to score sufficient points based on their investment funds.
If you wish to set up or take over a UK business to live and work in the UK the Tier 1 Entrepreneur category may allow you to do this. You must show that you have at least £200,000 available for investment into a new or existing business where the investment will create at least two new full-time jobs for UK residents. Funds made available by third parties, such as family or investors, may also be taken into account. Applicants can also qualify if they have access to at least £50,000 obtained from regulated venture capital firms. A Prospective Entrepreneur visitor category has been introduced for entrepreneurs to come to the UK for discussions to secure funding. You will need to apply for visas in your country of residence. Your application will be considered under Tier 1 of the UK’s Points Based System which requires you to score sufficient points based on investment funds available, English language ability and personal funds to support you and any family that will be coming with you.
Tier 2 of the Points Based System allows employers to bring foreign migrants to the UK to work for their organisation. Under Tier 2, employers are required to “register as a sponsor” and prospective employees are required to pass a “points assessment”. An employer sponsors a migrant and is accountable for ensuring their eligibility and compliance.
Tier 2 (General)for overseas skilled workers coming to the UK that cannot be filled by a settled worker. This category includes applicants coming to the UK to fill shortage occupations. Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) for skilled workers moving from a branch of a company located outside the European Economic Area (EEA) to a UK branch of the same company. Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) for people to work as religious workers with recognised religions. This subcategory includes preachers and pastoral workers. Tier 2 (Sportsperson) for people and their coaches who are established at the highest level internationally in their sport.
The necessary points for attributes under Appendix A of the Tier 4 policy guidance are awarded to applicants seeking entry clearance on the basis of their “Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies” which is issued by the applicant’s sponsoring education provider.
Entry clearance is issued to applicants in the Tier 4 (General) student subcategory for the duration of the course, with a flexible period of additional leave for the period before the course. It is open to Tier 4 (General) students to apply for further leave to remain in the UK, but by changes in the Immigration Rules (HC 1888) which are operational from 6 April 2012 the maximum amount of time for which a person may spend studying at degree level as a Tier 4 (General) migrant has been fixed at five years (with some minor exceptions)
In the case of applicants in the Tier 4 – Child category who are under 16 years old they must be studying at a fee paying independent school. For other applicants the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies will, as with applicants in the (General) subcategory, itself provide the necessary 30 points for attributes. Children under the age of 16 will be granted up to six years’ leave to remain or the duration of the course, plus one month before the course starts and one month after it ends. For children aged 16 or over the maximum period of leave granted is two years. If children are to be looked after by a foster carer or a relative in the UK instead of by their parents the arrangements for their care must meet the requirements for their care which are published in the The Home Office’s guidance.
This category replaces the Working Holidaymaker route. It enables people from Australia, Canada, Japan and New Zealand, as well as British Overseas Citizens, British Overseas Territories Citizens or British Nationals (Overseas) who are aged between 18 and 30 to experience life in the UK for up to two years. Successful applicants have unlimited access to employment in the UK during this period.
Tier 5 (Youth mobility) migrants must show that they can support themselves. Currently the requirement under Appendix C is for savings of at least £1,600.
This subcategory does not lead to settlement. It is not possible for people with leave as Tier 5 (Youth mobility) migrants to apply to switch into any other work or study visa category.
This subcategory enables people to come to the UK for:
• Up to 12 months in order to work or to perform temporarily as sportspeople, entertainers or creative artists or as charity workers doing temporary and voluntary work for a charity;
• Up to 24 months as a temporary religious worker, as part of a Government Authorised Exchange, or under contract to do work that is covered under various international agreements. This last category includes private servants in diplomatic households.
These periods of leave can be made up of consecutive shorter periods, each of which must be of not more than three months.
There are many different types of visit visa in the UK, depending upon the purpose of the visit. Not everyone who is coming for a short holiday or to visit friends or family requires a visa: whether or not you do will depend upon your country of origin. Visits may also be for business purposes, for study, or medical treatment or for marriage. EU nationals and their family members benefit from different arrangements. There were major changes in the Immigration Rules relating to visitors in November of 2008.
Introduced in April of 2011 the Immigration Rules creating the Prospective Entrepreneur visitor category enable people who wish to become Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Migrants to enter as visitors. The Prospective Entrepreneur enables applicants who wish to come to the UK to seek funding or to create a team for a new business idea to be granted visit visas provided that they can show that they personally have access to £50,000 to qualify for entry clearance as a Prospective Entrepreneur, and that either a venture capitalist, a UK entrepreneurial seed funding competition or a government department is committed to providing a further £50,000 for the applicant’s proposed business. Unlike the other myriad Visitor Immigration Rules from which no switching is permitted – people entering as Prospective Entrepreneurs are entitled to apply to switch from that route into leave to remain as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Migrant.
Entertainers and Sportspeople:
These are now, since November of 2008, subject to specific provisions in the Immigration Rules. They are granted a maximum of 6 months leave to enter and must intend to participate in particular events. The question of whether they can receive any fees for such events – beyond board and lodging and reasonable expenses is not clear and has to be determined by careful examination of the Home Office’s Immigration Directorate Instructions (the IDIs). The UK has special arrangements for Chinese nationals who visit the UK, under the Approved Destinations Status (ADS) Agreement between the UK and China. The visa is for a maximum of 30 days, and is for people travelling as a member of a tour group approved for the purposes of the agreement.