Best immigration routes to expand business in the UK


Now that you have decided to take your business to the UK, the next step is to identify the best immigration route to bootstrap your business presence. The UK government has taken several steps, which reflect the country appreciates entrepreneurship and talented and promising individuals. Over the years, some of the best immigration routes have been unveiled with the vision to maintain the UK’s position at the forefront of the global digital economy. This article will touch upon several immigration opportunities that the UK offers to expand business in the UK.

Please note that the country is all set to welcome the historic change in the form of Brexit. Brexit is the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. However, the concept is associated with the single & global immigration system, the end of freedom of movement, expansion of the Points-based system, and the introduction of visa categories that will come into force from 1 January 2021.

1.Sole Rep Visa

Under the current system, Sole Rep Visa is the business immigration for non-EEA (European Economic Area)  individuals who are already senior personnel of overseas business and planning to visit the UK with the objective to establish a UK branch or a wholly-owned subsidiary of that business. If they qualify, they will be able to apply for a Sole representative of an overseas business visa.

As soon as the application for Sole Representative Visa approves, he or she will be granted to enter and remain in the UK for up to 3 years, which can then be extended for another 2 years. Also note that the individual might be permitted to remain in the UK permanently if they have stayed 5 years in the UK under sole representative visa category. However, one must remain in the UK holding a senior position on the same business throughout the 5 years.

Who can be granted a sole representative visa?

To be eligible for the Sole Representative visa, the individual must have sufficient funds to support themselves without assistance from public funds. Also, he or she must prove the knowledge of the English language either with an approved English Language Test or having an academic qualification recognized by UK NARIC (The National Recognition Center for the United Kingdom).

The major consideration associated with Sole representative visa is that the prospective sole rep must be recruited and employed outside the UK whose principal place of business will remain outside the country (UK). The prospective applicant must have the required skills, experience, and knowledge to perform the job. The sole representative Visa Guidance also requires the prospective sole rep to hold an authoritative position to make operational decisions on behalf of the business.

2. Global Talent Visa

The Global Talent Visa is primarily aimed at bringing talented and promising individuals in specific sectors wishing to work/run a business in the UK. The Global Talent Visa allows for successful applicants to work in the UK for up to 5 years with the least entry requirements such as language test and minimum salary thresholds, which apply otherwise to other UK immigration categories.

Qualifying Criteria for Global Talent Visa

According to Global Talent Visa Guidance, the applicant needs to be endorsed as a leader (exceptional leader) or as an emerging promise (exceptional promise), or under the UK Research and Innovation Endorsed Funder Option.

 The endorsing bodies are The Royal Society (For Science and Medicine), The Royal Academy of Engineering for Engineering), The British Academy (For Humanities), Tech Nation (For Digital Technology), Arts Council England (For Art and Culture), and UK Research and Innovation (particularly for Research applicants). The application will be meticulously reviewed by the endorsing body respective to the qualifying field.

3. Start-up and Innovator Visa

Startup Visa and Innovator Visa are launched in March 2019. The current system is for non-EU citizens where the Start-up and Innovator are immigration routes designed to attract promising entrepreneurial talent and innovative business ideas to the UK. Start-up visa is for individuals who intend to set up a business for the first time, whereas the Innovator route is for individuals with substantial industry experience and at least £50,000 funding.

However, the individuals need support from an Endorsing body who will assess the business idea to be innovative, viable, and scalable.

Please note that after 1 January 2021, the immigration route will be opened for both EU and non-EU citizens.

 The Verdict:

Are you looking for an expert opinion regarding immigration opportunities or visa categories? Look no further than A Y & J Solicitors, which is a multi-award winning, 10+ years of experience recommended by Legal 500 boutique UK immigration law firm based in Central London. Our exceptionally qualified immigration solicitors take a genuine interest in clearing up your doubts regarding visa categories or immigration opportunities. Get in touch with one of our qualified solicitors to begin preparation well-in-advance. For further information about our immigration service, please email us at [email protected] or Whatsapp us on +44 7448 5656 70.


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