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Unlocking the Potential of the UK: A Comprehensive Guide for High Net Worth Individuals

Head of Immigration Charles Avens presents a comprehensive guide that breaks down the key criteria for the majority of UK visas, helping applicants understand what they need to fulfil in order to successfully achieve their chosen visa path.

3 minute read

Published 9 August 2023

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The United Kingdom, with its centuries-old traditions, dynamic business environment, and world-renowned educational institutions, has always held a distinctive allure for high net worth individuals (HNWIs) around the globe. Whether the goal is to offer their children a top-tier education, establish a thriving business in both a stable market and one of the world’s leading economies, or invest in a valuable property, the UK continually beckons those seeking to expand their horizons.

Why the UK?

While the UK’s unpredictable weather and high taxes might give pause to some, its prestigious educational system, world class capital city, economic stability, and secure environment make it a destination of choice for many. Parents are often drawn by the high standards of UK universities and schools, wanting their children to benefit from the quality and diversity of the education on offer.

And there is opportunity to be found for business-minded individuals, as the stability and security of the UK, particularly the stability of the capital, London, provide an attractive landscape for investment and growth. Whether one is looking to establish a subsidiary of a successful overseas company or set up a new business, the UK offers an ideal platform and a world of opportunities.

Key Considerations

Navigating the complex UK immigration system can be an intimidating prospect that requires careful planning. Particularly for those seeking non-domiciled (non-dom) status, it is crucial to meticulously examine overseas assets and make pre-immigration tax and estate planning a priority. The non-dom regime can potentially allow for a tax-efficient lifestyle for up to 15 years. However taking advantage of this regime requires a pot of clean capital before relocating to the UK. If that pot is created, and done so carefully, incoming HNWIs can live off their clean capital for that 15 year period and not pay tax on their offshore income and gains, provided they pay the appropriate remittance basis charge (a flat tax of up to £50,000 per year).

If relocating to the UK is pursued from a business perspective, setting up a business in the UK is often a promising route. In many cases, overseas business owners can use the UK Expansion Worker Visa, which allows them to send someone over (which can include the owner/founder) to establish a UK subsidiary of the overseas company and grow their operations within the UK. When using the Expansion Worker Visa, these HNWs will most likely already have an established and successful overseas business (must have been trading for a minimum of 3 years) and are therefore coming here with the key focus of establishing a UK subsidiary and growing their UK operations. For those who want to start an innovative business in the UK from scratch, there is the new Innovator Founder Visa, which can be used by the overseas entrepreneur to do so.

Navigating the Complexities of Immigration Rules

The UK’s immigration rules are detailed, complicated and subject to constant change, often making self-navigation a challenging endeavour. However, the heavy lifting can be alleviated by seeking professional advice and having a thorough understanding of all the potential visa routes. The goal is to identify a visa that fits one’s circumstances, with all necessary criteria met to secure it successfully.

Charles’ carefully curated info sheet – entitled “Coming to the UK – Visa Categories” – details the majority of the UK visa routes most pertinent to prospective applicants. “The document has these routes laid out in bite-sized chunks, carefully set out, a bit like a menu. I have set out all the key criteria the possible applicant would need to fulfil in order to be able to achieve that particular visa. All a reader needs to do is look at the menu and see whether the visa works for them and whether they can tick the boxes.”

The Expertise at Hand

The range of options available to individuals seeking to migrate to the UK can be quite specific and is determined by the Home Office. For instance, they may release a new investor visa this September, which would open up another exciting avenue for potential immigrants but we shall have to watch this space, as nothing has been released on this yet.

Currently, for a large segment of overseas individuals wishing to migrate to the UK, their options are somewhat limited unless they have UK ancestry, are sponsored by a UK employer or are married to a British citizen. The most common pathway is through sponsorship by a UK company, either one already established in the UK or one they are setting up themselves, with someone already based in the UK, who is either a citizen or holds permanent residence. This significantly narrows the field as it mainly caters to individuals who are either running a business or are being employed by one.

Speaking about the more unique opportunities, there are a few less conventional options available, like the Global Talent visa. This visa is suitable for exceptional individuals who are preeminent in their fields, be it engineering, science, medicine, humanities, social science, the arts / culture, architecture, fashion design, digital technology or film and television. However, as the term suggests, this visa is exceptional and would require the applicant to be at the pinnacle of their field and recognised as a leading expert.

While it may seem overwhelming, it’s crucial for interested individuals to examine the visa options carefully. “If the UK is a potential destination, I’d highly recommend exploring our simplified ‘visa menu‘ and if anyone wants to make an enquiry, I am always happy to have an initial conversation.”

This article was first published by Hubbis on 8 August 2023.

For more information, visit our Immigration Lawyers page.

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Longer Reads

Unlocking the Potential of the UK: A Comprehensive Guide for High Net Worth Individuals

Head of Immigration Charles Avens presents a comprehensive guide that breaks down the key criteria for the majority of UK visas, helping applicants understand what they need to fulfil in order to successfully achieve their chosen visa path.

Published 9 August 2023

Associated sectors / services

Authors

The United Kingdom, with its centuries-old traditions, dynamic business environment, and world-renowned educational institutions, has always held a distinctive allure for high net worth individuals (HNWIs) around the globe. Whether the goal is to offer their children a top-tier education, establish a thriving business in both a stable market and one of the world’s leading economies, or invest in a valuable property, the UK continually beckons those seeking to expand their horizons.

Why the UK?

While the UK’s unpredictable weather and high taxes might give pause to some, its prestigious educational system, world class capital city, economic stability, and secure environment make it a destination of choice for many. Parents are often drawn by the high standards of UK universities and schools, wanting their children to benefit from the quality and diversity of the education on offer.

And there is opportunity to be found for business-minded individuals, as the stability and security of the UK, particularly the stability of the capital, London, provide an attractive landscape for investment and growth. Whether one is looking to establish a subsidiary of a successful overseas company or set up a new business, the UK offers an ideal platform and a world of opportunities.

Key Considerations

Navigating the complex UK immigration system can be an intimidating prospect that requires careful planning. Particularly for those seeking non-domiciled (non-dom) status, it is crucial to meticulously examine overseas assets and make pre-immigration tax and estate planning a priority. The non-dom regime can potentially allow for a tax-efficient lifestyle for up to 15 years. However taking advantage of this regime requires a pot of clean capital before relocating to the UK. If that pot is created, and done so carefully, incoming HNWIs can live off their clean capital for that 15 year period and not pay tax on their offshore income and gains, provided they pay the appropriate remittance basis charge (a flat tax of up to £50,000 per year).

If relocating to the UK is pursued from a business perspective, setting up a business in the UK is often a promising route. In many cases, overseas business owners can use the UK Expansion Worker Visa, which allows them to send someone over (which can include the owner/founder) to establish a UK subsidiary of the overseas company and grow their operations within the UK. When using the Expansion Worker Visa, these HNWs will most likely already have an established and successful overseas business (must have been trading for a minimum of 3 years) and are therefore coming here with the key focus of establishing a UK subsidiary and growing their UK operations. For those who want to start an innovative business in the UK from scratch, there is the new Innovator Founder Visa, which can be used by the overseas entrepreneur to do so.

Navigating the Complexities of Immigration Rules

The UK’s immigration rules are detailed, complicated and subject to constant change, often making self-navigation a challenging endeavour. However, the heavy lifting can be alleviated by seeking professional advice and having a thorough understanding of all the potential visa routes. The goal is to identify a visa that fits one’s circumstances, with all necessary criteria met to secure it successfully.

Charles’ carefully curated info sheet – entitled “Coming to the UK – Visa Categories” – details the majority of the UK visa routes most pertinent to prospective applicants. “The document has these routes laid out in bite-sized chunks, carefully set out, a bit like a menu. I have set out all the key criteria the possible applicant would need to fulfil in order to be able to achieve that particular visa. All a reader needs to do is look at the menu and see whether the visa works for them and whether they can tick the boxes.”

The Expertise at Hand

The range of options available to individuals seeking to migrate to the UK can be quite specific and is determined by the Home Office. For instance, they may release a new investor visa this September, which would open up another exciting avenue for potential immigrants but we shall have to watch this space, as nothing has been released on this yet.

Currently, for a large segment of overseas individuals wishing to migrate to the UK, their options are somewhat limited unless they have UK ancestry, are sponsored by a UK employer or are married to a British citizen. The most common pathway is through sponsorship by a UK company, either one already established in the UK or one they are setting up themselves, with someone already based in the UK, who is either a citizen or holds permanent residence. This significantly narrows the field as it mainly caters to individuals who are either running a business or are being employed by one.

Speaking about the more unique opportunities, there are a few less conventional options available, like the Global Talent visa. This visa is suitable for exceptional individuals who are preeminent in their fields, be it engineering, science, medicine, humanities, social science, the arts / culture, architecture, fashion design, digital technology or film and television. However, as the term suggests, this visa is exceptional and would require the applicant to be at the pinnacle of their field and recognised as a leading expert.

While it may seem overwhelming, it’s crucial for interested individuals to examine the visa options carefully. “If the UK is a potential destination, I’d highly recommend exploring our simplified ‘visa menu‘ and if anyone wants to make an enquiry, I am always happy to have an initial conversation.”

This article was first published by Hubbis on 8 August 2023.

For more information, visit our Immigration Lawyers page.

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