Business

Business Immigration

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Our specialist immigration team can provide you with advice and assistance in relation to all aspects of business immigration. We work with you to understand your needs and assist with navigating through the complex immigration laws, ensuring that you are in compliance with them.

We have expert knowledge and experience of the UK Visas and Immigration system and work with organisations who employ foreign nationals from all over the world. We also assist those looking to invest or start up a business in the UK.

We advise on all elements of the sponsored visa process, from the initial sponsor licence application for the employer through to providing a full service on obtaining a work visa for the new employee.

We support with business visit visas and visas under the Investor and Innovator routes, amongst others. Additionally, we assist employers with compliance, illegal working prevention and Home Office audits.

If you are an individual, we can also support and advise you on personal immigration matters such as British nationality, indefinite leave to remain, spouse of a British national and UK ancestry visas.

Listed below are our key services.

Additional Information

Sponsor licence applications

 

We can assist your organisation to apply for a sponsor licence to enable you to hire foreign nationals. We offer a full service, or we can provide a review of documents service. As part of this support, we can also carry out a pre-licence audit so that you are aware of the compliance duties required from a sponsor.

Audits

 

We offer a fixed costs audit to ensure that your organisation is complying with its sponsor duties. This includes reviewing your right to work checks to prevent illegal working and your HR systems to confirm that the correct documents are held and processes followed for all employees. This is particularly helpful should the Home Office notify you, or turn up unannounced (as they are permitted to do), that they are attending your business premises to carry out an official audit.

Training for ongoing compliance issues

 

We can provide training for sponsors on a range of compliance issues, including completing right to work checks, navigating the Sponsor Management System and advising on the documents that are required on file for each employee. If you have any specific training requests, we can accommodate these and provide a bespoke session for you.

Policies, procedures and HR processes

 

There are certain policies and procedures that an employer needs to follow when hiring foreign nationals. These include right to work check policies and the monitoring of visa expiry dates. We can review your current policies and advise on their effectiveness, or alternatively we can work with you to produce new documentation.

Sponsored work visas

 

We can provide a full service offering to assist any of your new hires, whether inside or outside of the UK, and current employees extending their visas with the whole visa application process under the Skilled Worker and Intra-Company Transfer routes. We provide an end-to-end service and can liaise with your employees directly to ensure a smooth process. Alternatively, we can offer an ad hoc review service to assess key documents prior to the visa application submission.

Being a sponsor carries a high level of responsibility - we can provide training and advice on the compliance requirements to ensure that you maintain your A-rating licence.

Frontier workers

 

Frontier worker permits are for individuals who live overseas but come to the UK to work. Brexit has caused complexities for those individuals who do not permanently live in the UK. The Frontier Worker permit can offer flexibility to individuals and business who rely on overseas personnel.

We can assist your business and advise on the documentation that an applicant would need to submit in their permit application. If you wish, we can also liaise with the individual to provide direct support in the application process.

Representative of an overseas business

 

This visa category is for organisations outside of the UK looking to set up a UK branch and who wish to do this by sending an overseas employee to the UK to establish the business. We can provide a full visa application service to the individual coming to the UK and engage with them directly to obtain their visa.

We would be able to provide further assistance once the overseas representative is in the UK and the organisation then wishes to apply for a sponsor licence in order to hire non-EEA nationals into the business.

Start-up visas

 

The start-up category is for a person seeking to establish a business in the UK for the first time. The person must have an innovative, viable and scalable business idea which is supported by an endorsing body approved by the Home Office.

We work with endorsing bodies and can put you in contact with them so that you can discuss your eligibility under this route. Endorsement is the first stage in the application process for an innovator visa.

Once you have been endorsed, we can assist you with the second stage of the process by providing a full visa application service which includes reviewing and advising on your documents.

The start-up category is not a route to settlement and individuals may be eligible to switch in the UK to the innovator category.

Innovator visas

 

The innovator category is for a person seeking to establish a business in the UK based on an innovative, viable and scalable business idea they have generated, or to which they have significantly contributed. The person is also expected to have at least £50,000 to invest in the business and hold a key role in the day-to-day management and development of the business.

We work with endorsing bodies and can put you in contact with them so that you can discuss your eligibility under this route. Endorsement is the first stage in the application process for an innovator visa.

Once you have been endorsed, we can assist you with the second stage of the process by providing a full visa application service which includes reviewing and advising on your documents.

Personal immigration matters

 

Our experienced immigration specialists provide support to private individuals. Our expertise includes advising on:

  • applications for British citizenship
  • indefinite leave to remain applications in the UK (also known as settlement or permanent residence)
  • UK ancestry visas
  • spouse of a British national applications
  • the Investor category

We offer a full end-to-end visa application service which involves assessing your eligibility for the visa, advising on and reviewing the required documents, drafting any supporting letters and assisting with administrative tasks such as booking the biometric appointment.

Contact Us

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Contacting Us

Monday to Friday:
09:00 to 17:00

Saturday and Sunday:
Closed

FAQs

I have an employee who may have lost their right to work, how do I approach this?
 
 

You will need to deal with this situation very carefully and be certain the employee does not have the right of work before taking further action. You will still need to follow a fair process and ensure that if you are terminating employment that the dismissal falls within the band of reasonable responses and you have a fair reason for dismissal.

Going forwards, you should ensure that proper record-keeping and monitoring processes are in place, to identify when immigration permissions will expire, be aware of the circumstances that could lead to an employee losing their right to work in the UK and put procedures in place to prevent illegal working.

Please ensure that you contact us for specific legal advice if you find yourself in this situation.

We have a skill shortage and are looking to recruit from outside of the UK, what do we need to do?
 
 

From 1 January 2021, in most circumstances, employers wanting to recruit EEA nationals will need a Sponsorship Licence. The same applies if you wish to employ NON-EEA nationals from elsewhere in the world.

Anyone that an employer recruits from outside the UK for the Skilled Worker route will need to demonstrate that:

  • they have a job offer from a Home Office licensed sponsor;
  • they speak English at the required level;
  • the job offer is at the required skill level of RQF3 or above (equivalent to A level);
  • that they will be paid at least £25,600 or the "going rate" for the job offer, whichever is higher.
What are the categories of UK Worker Sponsor Licence?
 
 

The Worker Licence is divided into four different categories:

  • Skilled Worker
  • Intra Company Transfer
  • Sportsperson
  • Minister of Religion
How do you apply for a Sponsorship Licence?
 
 

The application is done via an online form. You need to pay a fee when you apply. The fee depends on the type of licence you're applying for and what type of organisation you are. Most applications (8 out of 10) are dealt with in less than 8 weeks. UKVI may need to visit your business.

If you need assistance completing a sponsorship licence application, we are able to advise further on the process and supporting documentation needed.

What documents do I need to retain in relation to sponsored workers?
 
 

Updated guidance has been published on the documents which sponsor licence holders must retain for their sponsored workers. These documents are outlined in Appendix D of the sponsor guidance. Although the Resident Labour Market Test has not been a requirement for sponsorship from[AS1] 1 December 2020, the updated guidance details that evidence of the recruitment activity undertaken must be retained for all sponsored migrants from this date or reasons why a recruitment process was not conducted.

All documents must be retained for the duration of the migrant's sponsorship as well as for at least one year thereafter or until a UKVI audit has reviewed them (if earlier). This retention requirement will take precedence over other GDPR policies.

Please contact us if you have further questions regarding this.

As an employer do I have an obligation to ensure that my employees have applied for the EU Settlement Scheme?
 
 

For EU citizens who are currently living and/ or working in the UK, the Government guidance emphasises that it is the responsibility of the employee to complete a Settlement Scheme application and ensure this is in place by 30 June 2021. However, you should ensure that you are familiar with key dates to enable to you to carry out effective right to work checks and follow up checks.

What does it mean for business travel now that the Brexit transition period has ended, and the new UK immigration system has been introduced?
 
 

UK nationals no longer have an automatic right to move to work within the European Union and similarly, EU nationals hoping to come to work in the UK no longer benefit from this right.

Whilst the specific rules will depend on the EU27 country being visited, visa-free travel will generally only be possible for UK passport holders for a limited number of permitted business activities. This is likely to cover business meetings with colleagues, clients, or customers, attending conferences and exhibitions connected with trade, industry or work and providing services (even with a charity). However, even in these circumstances, travel will be limited to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa.

What is the newly introduced Frontier Worker permit and how long will it last?
 
 

On 10 December 2020, the UK Government published guidance on the new Frontier Worker Permit. This is for those Europeans based outside the UK but who travel to the UK to work if they have not already obtained status under the EU Settlement Scheme.

From 1 January 2021 to 30 June 2021, frontier workers will be able to enter the UK and carry on their activities without a permit or visa. From 1 July 2021 onwards, they will be required to present a frontier worker permit or other visa permission under UK law, to evidence their right to work in the UK.

Frontier workers can apply now from outside of the UK. They can also apply now from inside the UK if they use the 'UK Immigration: ID check' app. Otherwise they will need to wait until 22 January 2021 to apply online from within the UK.

For further information on eligibility and the application process, please contact us.

I am an entrepreneur looking to relocate to the UK and start up a new business, do I need a visa?
 
 

The Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa is no longer available if you do not already live in the UK. If you want to set up or run a business in the UK you might be able to apply for an Innovator visa or a Start-up visa. There are a number of eligibility requirements that we can advise on further.

Need more help?

Get in touch to see how our experts could help you.

Call0800 689 0831

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Our dedicated Business Immigration team

Amy Stokes

Amy Stokes

Partner & Head of Business Immigration

Employment & HR

PinCentral Lancashire

Call0333 207 1157

Marianne Hessey

Marianne Hessey

Solicitor

Employment & HR

PinLancashire

Call

Charlotte Black

Charlotte Black

Paralegal & Business Immigration Specialist

Employment & HR

PinCentral Lancashire

Call0333 207 1130

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Call0800 689 0831

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Contacting Us

Monday to Friday: 09:00 to 17:00
Saturday and Sunday: Closed