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For UK companies operating domestically or competing in international markets, being able to hire top talent from outside the EU is essential. Lexoo enables businesses across the UK to access the best business immigration advice, freeing up teams to focus on other areas.
Experienced immigration lawyers on Lexoo frequently undertake work from clients in a variety of areas, including Tier 1 Entrepreneur, Investor, and exceptional talent visas, obtaining a Tier 2 Sponsorship License and Tier 2 Visas for new employees or those stemming from transfers, mergers, or reorganisations.
Using the Lexoo network, our lawyers and customers are also able to easily access lawyers in other jurisdictions, who can provide global immigration expertise.
Areas of immigration work include:
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The UK’s Five-Tier Visa System
There are five tiers to the UK’s visa system for workers outside of the EEA (European Economic Area). British businesses, and companies operating in the UK, are likely to be concerned primarily with several key sub-categories in Tier 1 and 2.
Applications are scored based upon the applicant's ability, experience, and age - with a minimum threshold required to be successful.
Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)
If you’re a non-European, foreign national wishing to start up and run a business in the United Kingdom, the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa is the main ‘gateway’ to work and live in the UK. The entrepreneur visa lasts for up to 3 years and four months, beyond which you could also apply for an extension and eventually seek ‘indefinite leave to remain’ in the UK.
Not only are the rules complex, supplying the mountain of documentary evidence to support your application is a massive burden. Remember, you’ll also be relying on your investors and bankers to help you supply the paperwork, so knowing what’s required is super important. You can read more about the process here.
Tier 1 (Investor)
You can apply for a Tier 1 (Investor) visa if you want to invest £2,000,000 or more in the UK. Your funds must be held in one or more regulated financial institutions and free to spend (‘disposable’) in the UK.
Under this visa, you can invest £2,000,000 or more in UK government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies. You can work or study, and you can apply to settle in the UK after two years if you invest £10 million. You can apply to settle after three years if you invest £5 million.
Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent)
You can apply for a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa if you’ve been endorsed in your field in science, humanities, engineering, medicine, digital technology or the arts as:
There’s a 2-stage application process to get this visa. You first need to apply to the Home Office for endorsement as a leader or an emerging leader in your particular field. Then, after being endorsed, you can apply for the visa.
Competition is fierce, with just 500 places for this visa released every six months, but successful applicants can stay in the UK for five years.
Tier 2 (General)
Hiring the best talent can give your company an enormous edge. If you’re looking to hire someone from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland, your best bet might be to sponsor them under the Tier 2 Sponsored Visa Scheme.
Your company will first need a sponsor ‘licence’ from the UK Border Agency, then meet a number of strict hiring and job requirements. There’s a tonne of paperwork, and the rules are complex, but as a licenced sponsor you’ll be able to tap into a truly global workforce. You can read more about the process here.
Tier 2 (Intra company transfer)
You can apply for a Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) visa if your overseas employer has offered you a role in a UK branch of the organisation and you meet the other eligibility requirements. You would need to be sponsored (have a certificate of sponsorship from a licensed sponsor) and your work in the UK needs to relate to the work of your sponsor organisation.
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