1. What is a Tier 2 visa and how do you apply for it?
As a skilled worker looking to work in this country, you may be eligible to apply for a Skilled Worker visa. To qualify for this visa, you must have an official job offer from a UK employer, meet the minimum salary requirement, and be starting a job on the approved list set out by the UK government.
You can apply for your Skilled Worker visa up to three months before your start date at your job in the UK. In some cases you can apply to bring your family members with you. You can discuss this further with a member of our Immigration team.
2. How do I go about extending my UK visa?
Regardless of the type of UK visa you hold, it is very important to ensure you apply for an extension before your current visa expires. This also includes your spouse/partner and any other dependents you may have, paying particular attention to children who may have turned 18 since arriving in the UK. No matter which visa type you are extending, including if you are the sole representative on an Overseas Business visa, there are important steps you must take to allow for a smooth extension of your visa and to limit the risk of delay.
3. How do I obtain a UK Student visa for my child?
If your child is attending an independent school in the UK, you must apply for a Child Student visa. This covers children between the ages of 4 -17 who have an unconditional offer at a private school and access to money to support themselves whilst in this country.
4. How can I add my family to my visa?
The government recognises a ‘dependent’ as being either your spouse, civil partner, unmarried partner, or child under the age of 18. Your dependent(s) could already be living in the UK, waiting to move, or have been born during your time living here. If you are currently in the UK, you can add dependents to your visa online. If you are currently living in another country, they will be required to visit a visa application centre to provide their fingerprints and a photograph.
5. Can I add my partner to my visa?
Yes, you can add a husband, wife, civil partner, or unmarried partner to your visa. It is important to be aware that, if you hold a Representative of an Overseas Business visa, you cannot add your partner to your visa if they own or control a majority of the business. If this is the case, they would need to apply for their own visa and a member of our team can assist you with this.
6. Are there visa benefits for entrepreneurs setting up in the UK?
Yes, if you are an entrepreneur looking to set up a business in the UK, there are several benefits. The Start-up visa is for early stage yet high potential entrepreneurs looking to establish an enterprise in the UK for the first time. An applicant doesn’t require any funding at this stage but does need to be endorsed by an authorised endorsing body on the prescribed list. If you are accepted on the Start-up visa, you are granted entry to the UK for up to 2 years. Switching to an Innovator visa is then a viable option if you wish to continue developing your business in this country.
7. How do I obtain a UK visa for my UK startup?
A Start-up visa differs from an Innovator visa, for which the applicant will generally be an experienced businessperson who wants to establish themselves in the UK. A start-up applicant will not be expected to have this experience.
The Innovator visa applicant must be looking to set up and run a business with potential for growth which is different from anything else on the market and is endorsed by an endorsing body. The individual is required to have funds of at least £50,000 available to invest in their business. This visa grants entry to the UK for 3 years and can be extended. You may also be able to apply for settlement once you’ve been in the country for 3 years.
8. What is a Tier 1 Investor Visa?
A Tier 1 Investor visa is for individuals who have sufficient capital (a minimum of £2m) to invest in active and trading UK businesses. This residency lasts for 3 years and 4 months and applicants can apply to extend this residency for a further 2 years. Investors can then apply for permanent residence after 5 years (or after as little as 2 years, depending on the amount invested in qualifying businesses) and for British citizenship thereafter. Under this option, you are also able to bring your partner and children below of the age of 18 to the UK.
9. What are the different types of UK visa?
When looking to move to the UK, it can be difficult to work out which visa is the best option for you as there are several types available including Work visas, Business visas, Study visas, Visitor visas, Family visas, Settlement visas and Transit visas. Each of these have their own sub-categories to cater for different circumstances and family members can sometimes be added to these. In order to have a smooth application, it can be worth speaking to an immigration lawyer about your situation.
10. I have a number of dependents I want to add to my UK Visa. What are the steps?
The steps you take depend on the type of visa you entered the UK on and how long you have left on it. If you are looking to add children or a partner to your visa, it would be best to contact a member of our Immigration team who can explain the best way to go about doing this.
11. Do I need to apply for a visa to move my employee or is that their responsibility?
As an employer, you have a number of responsibilities when it comes to either hiring foreign workers or your employees moving to the UK for work.
As a UK employer, you will need to ensure that the employee has the requisite skills and will be paid the appropriate salary for the role. You will also need to provide them with a certificate of sponsorship and have appropriate human resources processes in place to keep account of all sponsored employees.
Immigration law can be complicated and there is the risk that your licence may be revoked or downgraded for non-compliance. To ensure you are fully compliant and acting in the best interests of your business, you should seek advice from our Immigration team.
12. If I am relocating to the UK with my family, when do I need to apply for my visa?
If you are applying for a spouse or children then you should check which visa is relevant to you. Some visas will only allow family to visit for up to 6 months so your situation and how long you want them to stay will impact your options.
13. Do I need to reapply for visas for my employees after Brexit?
As immigration law is constantly changing, you will need to regularly review the visa status of your employees. If they are EU workers, you will need to ensure they have applied for residency or (pre-)settled status before 1 July 2021 in order to avoid disruption to your business. Of course, depending on the type of employee and their situation, it is likely they will need to apply for a Skilled Worker visa if they were not living in the UK before December 2020.