UK Business Visas

It is important to understand how the points-based system (PBS) works and what it means for you, as United Kingdom-based employers, employing migrant workers and educational institutions teaching migrants. The points-based system only covers migrants from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. However, there are some restrictions on nationals of countries that have recently joined the EEA.

The Points-Based System (PBS)

Under the current system, migrants will need to pass a points-based assessment before they are given permission to enter or remain in the United Kingdom. The system consists of five tiers. Each tier has different points requirements.

The number of points the migrant needs, and the way the points are awarded, will depend on the tier they are applying under. Points will be awarded to reflect the migrant's ability, experience, age, and, when appropriate, the level of need within the sector the migrant will be working in.

The Role of the Sponsor

Migrants applying under any tier, except tier 1, will need to be sponsored in order for their application to be successful. If a United Kingdom organisation wishes to recruit a migrant under tiers 2, 4, or 5: Temporary Workers, they will have to apply to the Home Office for a sponsor licence.

Under tiers 2 and 5: Temporary Workers, the sponsor will need to be a United Kingdom-based employer. Under tier 4, the sponsor will need to be a United Kingdom-based educational institution. Migrants wishing to come to the United Kingdom under Tier 5: Youth Mobility do not require a United Kingdom-based employer.

The Five-Tier System

The points-based system consists of five tiers. In summary, these tiers are:

  • Tier 1 - Highly Skilled Workers
  • Tier 2 - Skilled Workers with a Job Offer
  • Tier 3 – Low-Skilled Workers Filling Specific, Temporary Labour Shortages
  • Tier 4 - Students
  • Tier 5 - Youth Mobility and Temporary Workers

HR Systems and Compliance

It is important, before submitting an application, that you have good human resource systems and compliance in place to allow you to monitor and keep records of the migrants you employ or teach. The Home Office will give your systems a ranking before they grant you a licence. We can offer you an extra consultancy service to ensure your human resources systems are prepared for a UKBA compliance visit.

Sponsorship Duties

Sponsors are expected to take responsibility for making sure that migrants comply with their immigration conditions by keeping records on each migrant and reporting any changes to the Home Office, such as if they do not turn up for work. A licence can be downgraded or even withdrawn if sponsors do not comply with their duties.

Sponsoring Employer

If an employer wishes to recruit a migrant under tiers 2, 4, or 5, they will have to apply for a sponsor licence online and send in payment and documents in support of their application. Employers can currently apply for licences to sponsor tier 2 workers.

Under tier 2, the sponsor will need to be a UK-based employer. The sponsor must have good human resource systems and compliance in place to allow them to monitor and keep records of the migrants they employ or teach.

As a licensed employer, you will be given an A rating or a B rating, and you will be added to a published register of sponsors. Sponsors that the Home Office thinks could be a risk to immigration control, or those who they consider do not have the correct systems in place, will be given a B rating. B-rated sponsors must follow a sponsorship action plan designed to help them become A rated or they risk losing their licence.

Certificates of Sponsorship

Sponsors are responsible for assigning certificates of sponsorship to migrants. As well as having a certificate of sponsorship, migrants must also pass a points-based assessment to come to or stay in the United Kingdom. These certificates will be restricted (for overseas applicants) or unrestricted (applicants from within the UK).

Leave to Remain / Entry Clearance for the Foreign National Worker

Migrants will need permission to come to the United Kingdom, or leave to remain from within the UK, before being allowed to commence work for the sponsored employer. This is a separate application, in addition to securing the sponsor licence, issuing the certificate of sponsorship, and then applying for leave to remain / enter. It is essential that leave to remain or entry clearance be secured.

Tier 1: Investor - A Visa to Make Investments in the UK

This category is for migrants wishing to make substantial investments in the United Kingdom. If successful, the applicant will be granted entry clearance for an initial period of three years. An applicant can apply for indefinite leave to remain in this category after a period of five years. However, following recent government announcements allowing accelerated route to settlement in this category, you should contact us to see whether you are eligible to apply.

Tier 1: Entrepreneur - A Visa to Establish a Business in the UK

This category is for migrants wishing to establish, join, or takeover one or more businesses in the United Kingdom. For the purposes of this category, a business means a sole trader, partnership, or company registered in the United Kingdom. Entry clearance is not mandatory as individuals can switch into this category from within the UK, depending on which existing category they fall into. Following recent government announcements allowing accelerated route to settlement in this category, we advise giving our lawyers a call to see whether you are eligible to apply.

Tier 2: Intra-Company Transfer - How to Get a Visa for a Transfer in Your Company

The sponsored worker (Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer) visa is for medium- and highly skilled workers with a job offer in the United Kingdom on the basis of a transfer or secondment with their existing employer.

In the first instance, a prospective sponsor will apply to the UK Border Agency in order to be granted a licence. When successfully licensed, a sponsor can apply for a number of certificates of sponsorship, which they can then present to the people whom they intend to sponsor. Once a prospective employee has been allocated a certificate of sponsorship, he or she will be eligible to apply for UK entry clearance or leave to remain in the UK.

Benefits of Choosing Visas & Immigration (UK) Consultants Ltd

  • Same-Day Visa Services Ensuring Your Passport Is Endorsed within 24 Hours
  • Fixed Fees So You Stay in Control
  • Direct Access to a Qualified Advisor with in-Depth Experience
  • Specialist Advisor Who Can Get the Application Right the First Time
  • Consultation with a Specialist Advisor to Assess Your Eligibility and Avoid Disappointment and Wasted Fees
  • Wealth of Experience and Knowledge as to the Best Way Forward for You and Your Family

Committed to You

Should you need an in-depth consultation, they are charged at £70 for 60 minutes. Our team is dedicated to your successful UK visa application, and we make this commitment to all of our clients:

  • Our Initial Free Visa Assessment Means We Select the Right Visa for You
  • Our Team Will Guide You through the Evidence and Paperwork Needed for Your Application
  • We Will Fully Complete Your Application Form and Collate All Necessary Documentation
  • We Will Submit Your Application, Documentation, and Evidence on Time and on Your Behalf
  • We Will Liaise with the Home Office Regularly to Check That Your Application Is Progressing
  • We Make Our Team Available to You 24 Hours a Day, Seven Days a Week

Contact our immigration advisor now, in Oldham/Manchester, Lancashire, for further details about UK business visas.

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