Sanctuary Law Corporate Services

Corporate & Business Visas

Here are the Corporate & Business Visa application services that Sanctuary Law can offer.

Home Office Sponsorship & Points-based Visa Sponsorship

If you’re a British company registered or other appropriate organisation in the UK and you’re looking to employ someone from outside of the European Economic Area (EEA), then we can certainly help you to overcome your skills shortages. It is most likely that your company or organisation will need to go through a sponsorship process for your prospective employees so that they can legally enter the UK to work, even if the work they intend to carry out is unpaid (for example, charity and volunteer work), the normal route for this is usually through visa sponsorship. Sanctuary Law has great experience of assisting applications to gain a Home Office sponsorship licence and we have the in-house skills in place to provide you with the professional support and guidance when seeking legal protection to help you through maze of requirements necessary for you to become an approved Home Office sponsor company/organisation.

There are many issues which your company will need to consider and address when seeking to sponsor non EU employees to come into the UK – some of them will require individuals to take on board specific roles and responsibilities and reporting responsibilities to the Home Office. We will offer valuable hand on support and training to key personnel as part of our service offering. We will help to build the capacity of your organisation to report and engage with the Home Office as per their requirements.

With the current high level of Home Office refusals of Non-EU visa applications, it is important as an employer that you ensure you gain professional help and support to put forward a strong and successful application for a sponsorship licence – we can help you with that process and we have a track record of success. Our immigration advisers are able to draw upon years of experience to help make your application a successful one. Please get in touch with Sanctuary Law today to see how our experts can help.

Business Visitor Visa

The business visitor category is for people who want to come and do business in the UK for a short time. This includes academic visitors, visiting professors, overseas news media representatives and film crews on location.

Disclaimer: The information provided above only provides general guidelines on Immigration Law and these rules change regularly (last update 3 January 2013). It is highly recommended that you call our office for more in depth advice and assistance.

Sole Representative

To come to the UK as an overseas parent company’s sole representative you must be a senior employee (but not a majority shareholder in the company) who intends to establish a commercial presence for the company in the UK. This may be a registered branch or a wholly owned subsidiary concerned with the same type of business activity as the parent company.
The company must have no branch, subsidiary or other representative in the UK. If the company has a legal entity in the UK but this does not employ staff or transact business you may still be able to come here as its sole representative. You must also be able to demonstrate your English language ability.

Investor visas

The Tier 1 (Investor) visa is a highly valued immigration route for high net worth individuals with access to at least £2,000,000 to invest in the UK. This visa route to British Citizenship is only applicable for applicants from outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland.

The initial investment visa is granted for 3 years and 4 months (3 years if processed in the UK). Following this time and provided they meet the eligibility criteria applicants can apply for a 2 year extension. Once an applicant has spent a continuous period of 5 years in the UK, they are able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). Important to note is that accelerated routes to settlement can be sought after 3 years if investments total £5 million, or 2 years if investments total £10 million. Another important point to note is that knowledge of the English language is not a specific requirement for the initial visa but is certainly required for subsequent ILR applications.

All investment has to be through fully active and trading UK registered companies, by way of share capital or loan capital.

Sanctuary Law can assist and guide you with all aspects of your investor visa application.

Innovator applications

The Innovator visa is the follow-on replacement for the now retired Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category. It is for the more qualifies and experienced, proven business entrepreneur who aims to establish a viable business in the UK with real prospects of growth.

What are the key criteria to being granted an Innovator visa?

  • A high quality and original business plan demonstrating innovation
  • Support from an Endorsing Body
  • Minimum business investment of £50,000
  • An acceptable level of English
  • Adequate maintenance funds (unless under certain circumstances exempted)

Entry clearance is for three years. It is after this stage that you can apply for ILR (settlement) in the UK providing you meet various conditions.

Gaining support from a relevant Endorsing Body is absolutely most vital to the success of the application and is designed to make sure your application will bring real innovation and benefits to the UK economy.

Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent)

Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) is for people who are internationally recognised as world leaders or potential world-leading talent in the fields of science and the arts, and who wish to work in the UK. The Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) is a points-based system, which is for migrants from outside Europe. You must score 75 points to qualify. You will score 75 points if you have an endorsement from a ‘designated competent body’. This is an organisation that can judge whether you are internationally recognised in your field as a world-leading talent, or have demonstrated exceptional promise and are likely to become a world-leading talent.

Temporary Worker Visa (Tier 5)

Under Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) you must score 30 points for Certificate of Sponsorship and 10 points for Maintenance.

Resident Labour Market Test (Tier 2)

You must complete a Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) before sponsoring a migrant unless the job is listed on the UKBA Shortage Occupation List (SOL), the migrant is an existing employee, or in a switching immigration category.

Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS-Tier 4)All Tier 4 students inside or outside the UK will require a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) which is applied for by the College/University and issued by the Home Office.

Certificate of Sponsorship (Tiers 2 & 5)

Once a Sponsorship Licence has been granted a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) may be granted by the Home Office as per the employer’s request. It is sometimes possible that a company will receive a zero allocation after obtaining a licence.

A Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) is a virtual document, issued by the UKBA to a Level 1 or 2 User via the Sponsorship Management System (SMS). All relevant information about the sponsored employee, their role, and details of whether the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) has been carried out, if appropriate to the application, must be included at this stage.

Sponsorship Licence Process (Tiers 2,4 & 5)

The application process is done online for which we can either complete on your behalf or provide the support required. The questions are complex and require a detailed assessment of records and data of your company before proceeding. Once the online application is complete all supporting documents and the appropriate fee must be submitted to the Home Office within 10 working days. If all requirements have been met then current guidance is that the Sponsorship Licence will be granted in 17 – 18 weeks but this is likely to vary depending on the Home Office backlog.

The Home Office may visit your company before reaching a decision. It is essential that all employees, paperwork and records relating to your company are available on the date of inspection. We would advise you on compliance to ensure that this goes smoothly.

A Sponsorship Licence is currently issued for 4 years.

Pre-Sponsorship Licence Assessment

As a first step we would normally recommend an audit of your existing foreign employees and premises to ensure that your company meets the relevant requirements set out by the Home Office to qualify for a Sponsorship Licence.

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We are a firm of UK immigration solicitors regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and well known for the excellence of our service. (SRA 649650) Our clients come from across the whole of the UK and indeed internationally. We support our clients with every type of UK visa application and employment for migrants in the UK. Registered with Companies House under Registration Number: 11280669.

Authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under SRA Number: 649650