For many businesses, employing staff outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) is considered commercially beneficial. The law surrounding foreign workers and business immigration however is incredibly complex and governing regulations are known for being extremely stringent. Non-compliance can lead to serious penalties and far-reaching consequences.
If as an employer you feel reaching out to migrant workers could deliver commercial advantage, then it is vital to ensure that every member of your workforce is legally entitled to live and work in the UK.
At Freemans Solicitors, our specialist immigration solicitors provide expert advice to a variety of businesses, educational institutions and other bodies. We offer a comprehensive and technically in-depth knowledge of UK immigration law backed by a personalised approach. Our core aim is to ensure our clients are fully compliant in their quest to bring specialist skills into their businesses from outside of the EEA.
Our UK Immigration Law Support Services
Freemans is a multicultural and multilingual firm, recognised industry-wide for its top-level expertise and skill. Our immigration lawyers work closely alongside in-house colleagues specialising in other legal disciplines, bringing you a fully cohesive service that covers everything you need to settle your new workforce in the UK, from employment law to property, financial planning and family advice.
Our UK immigration legal advice services include:
Tier 1 (Investor)
As a Tier 1 Investor, non-EEA nationals are able to invest £2,000,000 or more into UK government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active, trading UK-registered companies. Holders of the Investor visa are allowed to work, study or engage in business activities in the UK, although this is not obligatory.
The investor is expected to intend to make the UK their permanent home. Permanent residency will only be granted if the main applicant and their spouse have not spent more than 180 days each year outside of the UK. The original visa is issued for 40 months and the required investment must be made within three months of entry into the UK, and maintained throughout the visa period.
The UK business visa application process, as with any immigration application, is not straightforward and there are various criteria to meet which are in addition to general immigration rules. Our dedicated immigration lawyers are known for their ability to efficiently and expertly manage Tier 1 Investor applications whilst delivering much-needed support to those who are making such a significant move.
Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)
A Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa allows non-EEA nationals to set up or take over the running of one or more businesses in the UK. As long as the type of work you do meets the criteria for self-employment, you can work for your own business, and there is also the opportunity to bring dependants and other family members with you.
Unfortunately, large numbers of Tier 1 Entrepreneurship visa UK applications are refused, resulting in great disappointment for those who were anticipating a move to live and work in the UK.
UK business visa applications can be incredibly complex and sometimes the incorrect category of visa is selected, which can be one of the reasons the application is rejected. If you are considering applying for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa therefore, the importance of investing in specialist advice from immigration solicitors who are dedicated to helping you realise your ambitions cannot be overemphasised, and this is precisely what Freemans Solicitors will provide you with. We also have an outstanding record in challenging negative decisions made by the Home Office and UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).
Under existing UK immigration law, any UK registered employer seeking to take on non-EEA workers must apply for a sponsorship licence, otherwise they will not be considered as legal workers. This applies even if you are employing unpaid labour, for example volunteer or charity work.
The sponsorship licence application is yet another process that is riddled with complexities, and fairly high numbers of them are refused. Your chances of a successful application will always be much enhanced by engaging the expert assistance of immigration lawyers.
At Freemans Solicitors we regularly guide employers through the process of obtaining a sponsorship licence. Once successfully obtained, we continue to advise our clients on the issuing of Certificates of Sponsorship to Tier 2 migrant workers, and in navigating the sponsorship management system so that their records and reports are kept in check.
Other UK Immigration Law Services
Our immigration solicitors are also able to assist employees with applications for Tier 2 General Work Permits; British Citizenship; Indefinite Leave to Remain and EEA Permanent Residence Cards.
Immigration Law Frequently Asked Questions
Am I eligible for a Sponsorship Licence?
Providing you can prove you have no unspent criminal convictions for immigration related offences or crimes such as money laundering or fraud; have no history of failing to undertake sponsorship duties and have the relevant systems in place to monitor sponsored employees, then you should be considered eligible.
What are the criteria for a Tier 1 Investor visa?
You must be able to demonstrate that you have funds of your own which should be under your control within a regulated financial institution. These funds must amount to no less than £2 million. You will have to invest for five years in UK government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK-registered companies which must not be primarily involved in property investment. Offshore company investment is not allowable. There is no need to demonstrate any experience in running a business, neither is there a need to speak English. For nationals from countries including Nigeria, Russia and China, and some others, there is a requirement to undergo a test for TB ahead of submitting the application.
What happens after the initial Tier 1 Investor visa 40-month period expires?
On expiry of the 40-month period, the investor must apply for an ‘extension of stay’. This will be granted for two years providing the investment has been maintained and the other general conditions for leave to enter have been adhered to. For those seeking Indefinite Leave to Remain, i.e. permanent residency in the UK, an increased investment will be required. For an investment of £10 million or more, permanent residency will be awarded after two years. For an investment of £5 million, the period is three years. Only the main applicant will enjoy these fast-tracked routes to permanent residency; any dependants must wait for five years before making their application. Our immigration lawyers can assist with this process in its entirety.
Top-Level UK Business Visa and Immigration Law Advice from Freemans Solicitors
Freemans Solicitors offers UK businesses and immigrating investors and entrepreneurs total reassurance in all aspects of immigration law. With our expertise and guidance, you can be sure of full compliance together with the best possible chance of a successful application for any of your sponsorship licence, UK business visa or work permit UK requirements.
To discuss your requirements with one of our highly experienced immigration solicitors please get in touch.