UK Work Visas

From Monday 8 January 2018, Simpson Millar LLP (‘Simpson Millar’) closed its immigration law practice. After that date, Simpson Millar are not undertaking any immigration law work.

The team of Simpson Millar immigration lawyers have joined Freeths LLP (‘Freeths’) and will be dealing with any existing work.

Any questions or queries should be directed in the first instance to Emma Brooksbank at Freeths or telephone number 07974 257 071.

For multinational businesses, being able to seamlessly transfer your employees between your international offices and the UK is crucial.

Whether your employees need to transfer to the UK or come to work on a temporary basis, our business immigration solicitors can help you prepare and submit applications and manage the entire application process.

We can also help you obtain a sponsor licence, which is compulsory for your business to be able to recruit staff from outside of the European Economic Area (EEA), or international staff living in the UK.

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Tier 2 (General) Visa

A Tier 2 (General) visa must be secured by a worker who is coming to the UK from outside the EEA to work in a skilled role that cannot be filled by a UK- or Europe-based worker.

It is important to keep in mind that there are certain requirements your business must meet before recruiting a worker from overseas, including advertising the job in the UK if it is not on the shortage occupation list.

We can offer you more guidance on these requirements, as well as advising you on the Tier 2 immigration skills charge introduced by the Government in April 2017.

Employee And Employer Requirements

To be considered eligible to come to the UK, a worker must:

  • Have a valid certificate of sponsorship for the job
  • Demonstrate that they are being paid an appropriate salary for the role
  • Prove their knowledge of English
  • Have access to personal savings so that they can support themselves unless their employer is providing this support
  • Show that they are able to travel and their travel history (over the past 5 years)
  • Have tuberculosis test results if they are from a listed country
  • Be able to provide a criminal record certificate from any of the countries they have lived in for 12 months or in the past 10 years (if they will be working with vulnerable individuals)

As an employer, your responsibilities include:

  • Ensuring that any of your international workers have the skills, qualifications or professional accreditations needed to do their job – you must also have copies of these documents
  • Ensure that the salary offered is at the correct level
  • Assign a certificate of sponsorship to a worker when the job is suitable for sponsorship
  • Inform UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) if any of your sponsored workers do not stick to the terms and conditions of their visa

If your business does not meet these conditions, you could face serious consequences, which might involve your sponsor licence being downgraded, suspended or revoked.

We have helped an international charity to successfully recruit from the global market by securing a Tier 2 licence and an entry clearance visa to enable them to employ a new CEO.

Our team can help you ensure that you consistently meet these requirements and if you find that your business' sponsor licence is under threat we can offer you guidance on what to do next.

Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) Visa

If one – or more – of your employees is coming to work in a UK branch of your business and they are from outside of the EU, our business immigration solicitors can help them secure a Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) visa.

Under the Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) category, the following types of visas would be suitable for your employees:

  1. Long-term staff – this is suitable for an employee who is coming to the UK to fill a specific role for more than 12 months. To qualify for this visa, they will have to have been working for your business for at least 12 months.
  2. Short-term staff – if your employee is filling a role for up to – and including – 12 months, and they have worked for your business overseas for at least 12 months, they might be eligible for this visa.

Our immigration lawyers are experienced in providing immigration support for multi-national businesses. We have helped a Japanese company bring its senior management team to its manufacturing base in the United Kingdom, using the Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) category of the points-based system.

Find out how we can help your business by speaking to us on 0808 129 3320.

Tier 2 (Sportsperson) Visa

Passionate advocates of football, our business immigration solicitors have built strong relationships with different sports associations and have helped clients secure Tier 2 (Sportsperson) visas.

In 2013, Arshia Hashmi was appointed by the Football Association as Chairman of its National Anti-Discrimination Panel to chair discrimination cases. She was then appointed by the FA as a General Board of Appeal Chair on a national level in 2016.

We can help you secure a Tier 2 (Sportsperson) visa if:

  • You are classed as an elite sportsperson or a qualified coach, and are recognised by your sport's governing body as being at the highest level of your profession on an international basis
  • Your application is being endorsed by the governing body of your sport
  • Your employment in the UK will enable you to develop your sport to the highest level
  • You are from outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland
  • You meet certain other eligibility requirements set by the Home Office – our solicitors can explain which conditions you will need to meet

Tier 5 UK Visas

If any of your staff need to come to work in the UK on a temporary basis, we can help them apply for a Tier 5 visa.

Depending on the reason for their visit, they can apply for one of the following Tier 5 visas:

  • Creative and sporting
  • Charity and religious workers
  • Government authorised exchange programmes
  • Youth mobility

Under a Tier 5 visa, your staff will be able to:

  • Enter the UK up to 14 days before they are due to start working
  • Live and work in the UK for 12 – 24 months, depending on the length of time stated on their certificate of sponsorship and the type of visa they have applied for
  • Bring members of their family with them to the UK

As each of the above categories have different conditions your staff must meet and cover different lengths of time, our immigration solicitors will be able to advise them on which type of visa would be appropriateKD

When Should My Employees Apply For Tier 2 Or Tier 5 Visas?

Your employees have up to 3 months before the day on which they are expected to start working to apply for a Tier 2 or Tier 5 visa.

It will take around 3 weeks for a decision to be made about their visa.

How Can Simpson Millar's Business Immigration Solicitors Help Me?

Known as leaders in the field, our award-winning immigration solicitors come highly recommended by the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners.

We have also received recognition from the Law Society for maintaining the highest standards of expertise and knowledge of all areas of immigration law.

We have helped businesses from different industries successfully secure Tier 2 and 5 visas for their employees, ensuring that their staff are able to lawfully enter, live and work in the UK.

Trusted by clients across all industries, we regularly offer legal support and advice to:

  • Universities
  • The healthcare sector
  • Digital and tech companies
  • Manufacturing companies

If you would like one of our experts to review one – or more – of your staff's applications before they are submitted, we can offer you a healthcheck service to ensure your business complies with the Immigration Rules.

We can also take the burden of Tier 2 and Tier 5 applications off your hands through our exclusive application management service, where we will complete and submit applications and manage the entire process for you.

As a multilingual team, we can offer you immigration advice and support in a variety of languages including Urdu, Punjabi, Polish, Italian, French, Kicongo and Lingala.

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