FAQ About U.K.

How can I obtain a U.K. Tier 2 skilled visa or work permit?

As of November 2008, this category is referred to as the Tier 2 skilled category. It is under the points based system. The first essential step is to ensure that the prospective UK employer has a sponsor license necessary to bring foreign workers to the UK. This is still the most common vehicle for taking up employment in the U.K. Again, an applicant must have a firm job offer from an employer and the employer must initiate the sponsorship process for the employee. We can manage the entire process for the employer once the offer of employment has been made and accepted. Generally, a Tier 2 application can be obtained for most positions; however, there is an advertisement requirement that the employer must comply with before applying to the UK Border Agency.

How do I qualify as a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent person?

To qualify under this category, an applicant must score 85 points for your attributes as follows:

  • 75 points for endorsement by Designated Competent Body’ – listed on the UK Border Agency website; and
  • 10 points for English language (funds).

This category may potentially cover three situations: 1) Migrants who hold a designated award — e.g. the Nobel Prize – who may apply without endorsement by a competent body; or 2) Migrants who are internationally recognised in their field as world leading talent and who are endorsed by a designated competent body; or 3) Young Migrants who show exceptional promise and who are likely to become world leaders in their field and who are endorsed by a designated competent body.

What evidence do I need to show to enter the UK as a business person?

You need to provide a detailed business plan. This should include:

  • the object of the business
  • evidence that you have at your disposal in the UK at least £200,000 of your own money for investment in the business
  • evidence that you will create at least 2 full time jobs for people already settled in the UK and details of their employment conditions
  • the projected opening balance sheet following the start of the business.

If you are joining or taking over an established business, you must show audited accounts for at least 2 previous years.

As of April 2011, a new type of visitor visa has been created for prospective entrepreneurs. They will be allowed to enter the UK so that they can secure funding and make arrangements for starting their business before they transfer to a full Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa while they are in the UK.

What is the scheme for entrepreneurs?

The scheme is aimed at entrepreneurs with new and creative ideas who want to set up a business in the United Kingdom. As of recent, this category is part of the Tier 1 category and applicants must score at least 75 points to apply. The UK wishes to attract and select entrepreneurs whose business proposals will lead to exceptional economic benefits for the United Kingdom.

How do I qualify to come to the UK as an investor?

UK welcomes wealthy individuals as investors like most countries. If you have necessary funds then it is very simple and straightforward process to get a visa to come to the UK. The main requirements are:

  • You have at least £1,000,000 of your own money, in a regulated financial institution in the UK OR
  • You own personal assets for more than £2,000,000 in value, provided they are not subject to any liabilities and
  • You have money under your control held in a regulated financial institution and disposable in the UK.

I hold a visitor visa. Can I change into another category whilst in the UK?

No. It will be necessary for you to leave the UK to apply for entry clearance from your home country. There are certain categories that allow switching whilst in the UK; however, a person with a visitor status is not allowed to switch their status.

An individual already has a Tier 2 visa through a different employer – can he work for our company under this?

No. Tier 2 applications are issued to specific employers for a certain individual to undertake a specific role. It is not possible for a worker to undertake a variety of roles with several different employers under a single application. It is therefore necessary for each new employer to apply for permission to employ the individual.

How long will it take to get the Tier 2 visa?

The processing time for applications can vary depending upon the nature of each application, as some types of tier 2 applications are more complex. However, assuming the application is complete and all supporting documentation has been provided, the Border Agency will process the sponsor license application within four to six weeks of receiving it.
If the applicant is overseas, the tier 2 applicant will need to apply for entry clearance certificates for him or herself and any accompanying family members before travelling to the UK to take up employment.

I would like to apply to enter the UK to start my own business, however I have limited funds to invest in the business. Does this mean that I will not be able to make a successful application?

In the normal course of events an applicant must demonstrate that they are able to invest at least £200,000 in a UK business and that such investment is justified. In addition, they will have to employ at least two resident workers (workers who do not require work permits) in a full time capacity.

Alternatively, an applicant will score 75 points if they have access to at least £50,000 from:

  • 1 or more venture capital firms regulated by the Financial Services Authority;
  • UK entrepreneurial seed funding competitions listed as endorsed on the UK Trade & Investment website; and/or
  • 1 or more UK government departments, which have made the funds available for the specific purpose of establishing or expanding a UK business.

If I make a successful application to live and work in the UK, which of my family members may I bring with me?

This will depend, in part, under which immigration category you apply to enter or remain in the UK. You can usually bring your dependent spouse (or partner) and children under 18 (in the case of work permits, if it is an intra company transfer then dependent children under the age of 21 may be included). Apart from spouses/partners and children there are other dependent relatives such as parents and grandparents over 65 years old who may apply to come to the UK with you. However the rules relating to these other family members are restrictive and the relative in question must be genuinely dependent upon you and in many cases they must be living in the most exceptional and compelling circumstances clearly indicating their dependence on you.

How long does it take to get permanent residency or indefinite leave to remain in the UK?

In the United Kingdom you must first apply under one of the temporary visa classes before you are eligible to apply for permanent residence, known in the UK as Indefinite leave to remain. Every application is different and processing times largely depend on the type of visa being applied for. Once you have been living in the UK on this category (i.e. Tier 1 or Tier 2), then you will be eligible for indefinite leave in five years. If you came to the UK on the basis of marriage to a UK national, then the requirement is only two years before you qualify for indefinite leave to remain.

Under recent changes to the Immigration Rules, people who come to the UK under Tier 1 (Investor) of the points-based system will be able to settle here faster if they invest large sums of money. Those who invest £5 million will be allowed to settle here after 3 years, and those investing £10 million or more will be allowed to settle after 2 years. This compares with the current minimum 5-year requirement.