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We provide a range of services to help with business immigration to the UK.
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Startup Visa
Startup Visa has replaced the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Programme. Startup visa is usually granted to early-stage, high potential entrepreneurs starting a business in the UK for the first time.
Requirements
  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • You need a business or business idea that is capable of successfully undergoing an assessment by an approved (endorsing) body.
  • You must meet English language requirements or a UK University degree.
  • You must provide evidence of personal savings to support yourself during your time in the UK.
Benefits
  • No requirement of securing Initial Funding.
  • Can work full time outside of your business.
  • Can have dependants.
  • Can switch to Innovator Visa in 2 Years.
  • Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in 5 Years via Innovator.
Process & Costs
  • You must have a complete business plan (before Visa application).
  • You must get supporting documents for endorsement (Most UK universities, along with some business sponsors, are endorsing bodies). This stage involves application for endorsement and interviews with the endorsing body, and has to be done before Visa application.
  • You can only apply for the Start-up Visa online (you will also need to provide your fingerprints and a photograph at a UK visa application centre in the country from which you are applying).
  • You will have to pay the UK Visa fee of ~£360-£490 & the UK Immigration Health Surcharge of £624 per year.
Innovator Visa
Innovator Visa has replaced the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa. However, unlike Startup Visa, this option is more suitable for experienced business people who are willing to set up a business or join an existing one in the UK. Startup Visas holders can switch to this visa.
Requirements
  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • Your business or business idea must undergo an assessment by an approved endorser body. Your business idea must be innovative, viable and scalable.
  • You must meet English language requirements or a UK University degree.
  • You must provide evidence of personal savings to support yourself during your time in the UK.
  • You must have access to a minimum of £50,000 in investment funds. If you are switching from Startup Visa to Innovator, then this is not a requirement.
Benefits
  • Can work on your own business only.
  • Can stay in the UK for 3 Years (can apply to extend for another 3 years).
  • Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in 5 Years.
Process & Costs
  • You must have a complete business plan (before Visa application). The business idea must be Innovative (Proof of a genuine, original business plan that meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage), Viable (Applicants must be able to demonstrate the necessary skills, knowledge and experience, plus market awareness, to run a business competently) and Scalable (Evidence of structured planning and the potential for job creation and growth into national and international markets).
  • You must get supporting documents for endorsement (Most UK universities, along with some business sponsors, are endorsing bodies). This stage involves application for endorsement and interviews with the endorsing body, and has to be done before Visa application.
  • You can only apply for the Start-up Visa online (you will also need to provide your fingerprints and a photograph at a UK visa application centre in the country from which you are applying).
  • You will have to pay the UK Visa fee of ~£1020-£1280 & the UK Immigration Health Surcharge of £624 per year.
Global Talent (Promise) Visa
Global Talent Visa encompasses a wide range of visa pathways; it has replaced the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa category. This option is suitable for a small number of applicants willing to work in the UK but having no particular employer (with background usually related to Technology or Innovation).
Requirements
  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • You must prove your unique contribution to business in the UK (usually by demonstrating your work experience in the area). For Promise subcategory, instead you would need to obtain recommendation letters.
  • You must meet English language requirements or a UK University degree.
  • You must provide evidence of personal savings to support yourself during your time in the UK.
  • You do NOT need to have access to any funds for investment.
Benefits
  • Can work freely for almost any employer or run your own business or be self employed.
  • You can work in almost any area.
  • For ILR, you will need to show that you have worked in your specialist area at least some of the time. For Talent route, can qualify after 3 years. For Promise route can qualify after 5 years.
Process & Costs
  • You must first acquire endorsement by a recognised designated competent body.
  • You must then apply for the Visa with all the required documentation (e.g. passport, photo, etc.) and the Letter of Endorsement.
  • You will have to pay the UK Visa fee of ~£152, plus the Immigration Health Surcharge of £624 per year.
Sole Representative of an Overseas Business
Visa made for those who are a sole representative of an overseas business planning to set up either a UK branch or wholly owned subsidiary.
Requirements
  • You must have enough money to support yourself without help from public funds.
  • You must meet the English requirement or a UK University degree.
  • You must be employed by an overseas company that you will represent in the UK (Be a senior employee of the overseas company (such as a manager or executive) but NOT own more than fifty percent of the shares).
Benefits
  • Can work for your employer, full time.
  • Can bring dependants with you to the UK.
  • Can stay in the UK for 3 Years and apply to extend for 2 more years.
  • Can apply for ILR to settle in the UK after you've been here for 5 years.
Process & Costs
  • Applicant can only apply for the Sole Representative Visa online.
  • You need a Proof of maintenance funds for themselves and any family members and Details of where you will be living in the UK, as well as the Proof that the applicant meet the English language requirement detailed above.
  • You will have to pay the visa application fee of £610.
  • You will have to pay the UK Immigration Health Surcharge of £624 per year.
Skilled Worker Visa (Tier 2)
Skilled Worker Visa (Tier 2) is the most common way to be employed in the UK.
Requirements
  • Job offer from a qualifying Tier 2 sponsor organisation & a relevant CoS number.
  • Role must meet the minimum skill & salary requirements.
  • You must meet English language requirements or a UK University degree.
  • You must provide evidence of personal savings to support yourself during your time in the UK (your organisation can potentially take care of it).
  • Pass TB test if applying from a listed country.
  • Provide a criminal record certificate from any country you've lived in for 12 months or more in the last 10 years, if you'll be working with vulnerable people.
Benefits
  • Can work for the main employer.
  • Can work up to 20 hours/week outside of main employment, subject to restrictions.
  • Can have dependants.
  • Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in 5 Years via Innovator.
Process & Costs
  • You must obtain a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from a Tier 2 sponsoring employer.
  • Prepare all documents for the visa application.
  • You can only apply for the Tier 2 Work visa online (you will also need to provide your fingerprints and a photograph at a UK visa application centre in the country from which you are applying).
  • You will have to pay the visa application fee of ~£600 - £700
  • You will have to pay the UK Immigration Health Surcharge of £624 per year.
Skilled Work Visa Guide (Tier 2)
We've written a comprehensive, easy to understand guide on Skilled Work Visa & Tier 2 License. Click to read more
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Disclaimer:
For general information purposes only. Should not be taken as a legal advice for any individual case or situation.
All immigration services are provided by Sterling & Law Associates LLP (Authorised to provide immigration advice and services by the Office of Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) Registration number: F201200514), Sterling Lawyers Ltd (Authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (No. 630147).