Which UK Business Visa Do You Need?

For true innovation and competitive edge comes a growing need for a diverse workforce, including foreign nationals from around the world. If you are a business or organisation that is considering creating a recruitment path to globalise your business, or a foreign national applying for work in London — you need to understand which UK business visa is applicable. As a job applicant, be sure to confirm that your employer is open to participating in the required visa sponsorship process. UK Business Immigration may seem complex, however as the top immigration law firm in London, we can help. To begin with, here is an in-depth look at the different types of UK business visas.

Tier 1 Innovator Visa (March 2019)

The new Tier 1 Innovator Visa has replaced the Tier 1 entrepreneur visa from March 29th 2019.

Tier 1 Investor Visa 

The Tier 1 Investor Visa is a method for high net worth individuals who wish to make the UK their main home as a result of that investment and live here permanently.

Tier 1 Start-Up Visa (March 2019)

The new Tier 1 Start-up Visa category has been described as an expanded version of the Graduate Entrepreneur visa route. The visa will be available to anyone who is going to, for the first time, start a business in the UK.

Tier 1 Exceptional Talent

If you are an industry leader or an emerging industry leader, you may find yourself being invited to speak, teach and present on a regular basis—or even hired to work on a long-term project. To ensure you can stay long enough to positively contribute to the work you excel in, a Talent visa is required.

Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa

If you are an international student who completed a degree course in the UK and would like to remain in the country to launch your new business—then this is the business visa you need.

Tier 2 Sponsorship General Visa

If you or the employee you wish to hire doesn’t quite fit the qualifications above for UK business immigration, a Tier 2 visa may be a better fit. This often applies to employees who fill vital, yet less specialised positions. First, you will need to grant the applicant a Certificate of Sponsorship which ensures the applicant is able, willing, and qualified to accept the position you are offering. Once you have provided a Sponsorship License, your employee can apply for their Tier 2 visa:

Tier 2 General Visa

This is for any position that is less specialised in nature than Tier 1 visas. This is not to say that a skill-set is less valuable or essential; but from an immigration standpoint, the position is less specialised.

Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer

If you would like to transfer one of your current overseas employees to work in your London offices, you will need an intra-company UK business immigration transfer. In most cases, you will need to have been employed for at least 12 months, and plan to remain in your position for more than 12 months. However, high salary professionals and executives (over $73,900) can be employed for a shorter period of time.

Sole UK Representative of an Overseas Business

This type of visa is ideal for a senior representative who will be coming to the UK to open up a UK branch of an existing foreign business. This is a common alternative to an entrepreneurship visa.

Business Visitors

If you will be working with an internal or external professional who will not be moving to London but needs to be in the UK for up to 6 months to complete their project—then this is the appropriate UK business visa. This visa also allows for multiple entries in the designated 6 months.

Tier 2 Sportspersons

Sports talent has become as globalised as every other industry. This visa is reserved for elite coaches and athletes, and their immediate families. This is a 3-year visa that can be extended up to 6 years.

Tier 2 Minister of Religion

This UK business visa is for ministers of religion, missionaries, and members of the religious order who have been offered a job within a faith community. This visa extends to spouse and children.

Tier 5 Visa

Not all work is long-term, but it may surpass a standard travel or holiday visa. In many cases a Tier 5 temporary visa is sufficient. You still need a Certificate of Sponsorship for a Temporary Category visa. Often sought out by artists, athletes, youth mobility workers, exchange students, professional training, and other short-term business visits.

To learn more about which type of visa is applicable to you or the employee you plan to hire or sponsor, reach out to Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors —the top immigration law firm in London, fully capable of handling your UK business immigration requirements.

Contact Us