SMALL AND MEDIUM BUSINESSES
Whether you wish to establish a new business in the UK, recruit a talented foreign worker or check if your business is reviewing its employees’ rights to work correctly, our UK immigration barristers are well versed in the immigration rules for small and medium businesses.
General visa information for small & medium businesses
In the UK, employers have to balance their business needs with their duty to prevent illegal working. If you wish to employ a worker from outside the European Economic Area, the employee must obtain, or already have, permission to work. You will be required to check that all your employees have the required immigration permission to work for you in the UK.
The following categories of people have the right to work in the UK:
- British Citizens (This is the only form of British nationality where the holder automatically has the right to work. British Nationals, British Nationals (Overseas), British Overseas Territories Citizens, British Overseas Citizens, British Subjects and British Protected Persons do not normally have the automatic right to work in the UK);
- EEA citizens and citizens of Switzerland;
- Those with the right of abode in the UK;
- Those with no time limit on their stay in the UK; and
- Those with a visa or permission to remain in the UK which permits work (This may be subject to conditions, such as a maximum number of hours to be worked in a week, which must be complied with).
Students may have permission to work, but if they do, this will be limited during term time. Some individuals with applications pending with the Home Office may also have permission to work in the UK. In this case you will need to obtain a Positive Verification Notice from UKVI’s Employer Checking Service.
If your employee does not already have permission to work in the UK, there are several visa options available to your business:
- Visit (Standard) – Business
- Sole Representative of an Overseas Business
- Tier 2 (General)
- Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer)
- Tier 5 (Temporary Worker)
How our immigration barristers can help
Our specialist immigration barristers work closely with small and medium sized businesses to ensure that their immigration requirements are met. Providing a completely outsourced immigration service, our immigration barristers design tailored immigration solutions that enable SMEs to meet their business objectives in full compliance with UK immigration law.
We can also assist with
Applications for Visit (Standard) – Business Visas
The Visit (Standard) – Business visa is designed for non-EEA nationals who wish to come to the UK for the purpose of undertaking business activities. A Visit (Standard) – Business visa will allow you to stay in the UK for up to 6 months. Within the period for which your visit visa is valid, you may enter and leave the UK multiple times, unless the visit visa is endorsed as a single or dual-entry visa.
Applications for Sole Representative of an Overseas Business Visas
The Sole Representative visa category is for businesses that would like to send a senior employee to the UK in order to establish a commercial presence for the company in the UK. You will need to have a genuine business which is based outside of the UK and hold not more than 50% of the shares in the business.
Applications for Tier 2 General Skilled Worker Visas
The Tier 2 General category is for individuals who have an offer of a skilled job in the UK from a licensed Tier 2 Sponsor. This category includes applicants coming to the UK to fill shortage occupations. You will need to have an offer of employment before applying for a visa.
Applications for Tier 2 Intra-company Transfer Visas
The Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer category is for existing employees of multinational employers who need to be transferred to their UK branch for training purposes or to fill a specific vacancy. You will need to have an offer of employment in the UK from a licensed Tier 2 Sponsor before applying for a visa and the overseas employer must be linked by common ownership or control to the UK branch.
Applications for Tier 5 Temporary Worker Visas
The Tier 5 Temporary Worker category is for certain types of temporary worker whose entry to the UK will help to satisfy cultural, charitable, religious or international objectives. You will need to have an offer of a position before applying for a visa.