Business Immigration

Tier 1|Tier 2|Tier 5|Sponsorship Licences|Sole Representatives

OTS Solicitors is widely regarded as one of the best immigration law firms in London.  Our solicitors are experienced in advising clients from a variety of business sectors and our clients range from individuals, start-ups, small and medium-sized enterprises, and multi-national corporations.

We are here to help you with all types of business immigration matters whether it is:


To speak to our award-winning business immigration solicitors based in the City of London, please contact us on 0207 936 9960 or contact us through out online enquiries form..


Corporate Immigration

OTS Solicitors is highly reputable in the legal field and specifically within immigration as we are one of the market leaders in the immigration sector.

We have a specialist team of immigration Solicitors who have vast experience in dealing with Corporate immigration matters as we understand the importance for corporations in the UK to secure the right people for the right employment opportunities. This is indispensable for the growth of any business and its ability to continue to provide its’ services successfully. 

We are one of very few immigration law firms to provide highly qualified, and eminently respected immigration Solicitors in the UK and EU, such as Mr Paul Gulbenkian, a Senior immigration Solicitor and former immigration judge of the Immigration Tribunal in the UK. Mr Gulbenkian is one of the country’s most influential business immigration lawyers and advises the UK Government’s Migration Advisory Committee on immigration legislation and laws affecting UK and foreign businesses and investors.

immigration law is frequently changing and becoming increasingly complex with the list of requirements and policy guidance issued by the Home Office causing uncertainty and frustration for many businesses and corporations in the UK. This has resulted in many corporations and businesses unable to meet the strict requirements which has in turn had a negative impact on profitability and the services that businesses can offer as their ability to hire foreign employees have been restricted.  Failure to adhere to the immigration rules can have serious consequences for a business and its employees, for example businesses can face substantial fines and have their Licence to sponsor revoked immediately without a right of appeal.

Understandably without the right employees, a business will fail and so, if a business is refused permission to sponsor the right workers, they will likely experience financial losses. It is therefore vital that the correct help and advice is sought from the outset to avoid any possible complications when submitting applications to the Home Office.

How we can assist with your Corporate Immigration needs?

We are a niche firm of immigration Solicitors with in depth knowledge and experience in all corporate immigration matters. Due to the outstanding advice and service provided to clients and through our increasing expertise in immigration, we have been awarded with the ‘immigration law firm of the Year 2017’ award which is a highly sought after award within the immigration sector.

At OTS Solicitors our head of business immigration team, Teni Shahiean has been a Legal 500 recommended immigration lawyer. Our business immigration department is made up of the UK's most knowledgeable and experienced immigration and employment lawyers who are highly influential with an ability to track and anticipate changes to the immigration rules. In turn this has proven to be highly valuable and beneficial to our clients who receive only the most up to date, accurate and reliable advice at the most earliest possible stage of their cases.

We assist corporations in all immigration matters to ensure that the right people are hired for skilled jobs and that employees are successfully retained to ensure that businesses continue to grow and profitability is always increasing. With the immigration rules constantly changing and becoming more ambiguous, we understand that businesses require a firm of specialist immigration Solicitors whom they can rely on at all times and as such we provide an array of corporate immigration services to meet our clients’ needs.

We are fully equipped to assist and advise on many corporate immigration matters including: 

  1. Advice on correctly hiring and retaining staff to help you grow your business
  2. Completing work eligibility assessments including undertaking the right to work checks in accordance with Home Office guidelines
  3. Prompt assistance in obtaining a Sponsorship Licence
  4. Advice on the revocation and suspension of a Sponsorship Licence
  5. Full support to Human Resources department to ensure that files are kept updated and recorded in the format required by the Home Office

Contact our team of experts on 0207 936 9960 to start the process of securing your future’s business.

Business Immigration

Our team of experts include Legal 500 solicitors and a former immigration Judge, Mr Paul Gulbenkian. OTS Solicitors are a highly experienced and forward thinking, established firm with inside knowledge of the immigration process and requirements.

We understand that the immigration rules can seem daunting and quite complex especially for those wishing to obtain Leave to Remain under the Points Based System due to the lengthy requirements and policy guidance imposed by the Home Office. We have established a business immigration team with experts that have dealt with all business immigration matters for numerous years to ensure that our team is able to deliver the precise, detailed and prompt advice that our clients require.

We are highly rated within the legal profession due to our niche expertise and increasing success rate.  We are able to effectively advise those seeking to make an application under the Points Based System including applications for Tier 2 (General) visas and a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visas.

We provide extremely detailed business immigration services including:

  • Ensuring supporting documents to be relied on are in accordance with Home Office guidelines

  • Completing all forms on your behalf so that you do not have to deal with the lengthy and ambiguous forms

  • We will draft custom detailed legal representations highlighting the reasons why you meet the requirements of the relevant visa, rely on the case precedents that strengthen your application and clearly provide all supporting documents in a professional manner

Following the submission of an application, our responsibilities do not end there as we will continue to advise and guide you on how to remain compliant with the immigration rules as it is constantly changing.

From experience, we have found that the key to ensuring a secure future in the UK is to instruct experts in the field from the very beginning who will competently assist you every step of the way, from the initial application in obtaining a visa to the very last step of applying for British Citizenship.

Contact our business immigration team today on 0207 936 9960 for further information.

Our team of highly accredited and dedicated business immigration solicitors can assit you or your company in relation to:

  • Compliance - Advice on the compliance requirements for Tier 1, 2 and 5 visa

  • Sponsorship Licence - Applying for a Tier 4 Sponsorship Licence

  • Global Mobility - the global movement of employees to multiple jurisdictions, including access to local expertise on procedures, standards and timescale

  • Tier 1 Visas: 

    • Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa applications

    • Tier 1 (Investor) Visa application

    • Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa applications

If you are thinking of employing, working, investing, starting or taking over an existing business in the UK, our business immigration lawyers at OTS Solicitors have the expert knowledge to provide legal advice and guide you through the UK points based immigration system. We therefore encourage you to get in contact with us at the earliest possible stage of your plans to migrate.

With our expert business immigration and employment advice on all types of compliance matters, points based applications, entrepreneur and investor applications, over 95% of our clients have continued sucessful businesses in the UK and take advantage of the economic benefits of doing business in the UK. If you would like to speak to one of our business immigration Solicitors, please call us on 0207 936 9960 or contact us online.

Business Immigration subsections

Tier 1 Investor Visa

The UK Tier 1 (investor) visa provides those of high-net-worth with entry into the UK and the opportunity to invest in one of the strongest economies in the world.

Our immigration Solicitors can advise you or your representatives on obtaining an Investor Visa.  We can also put you in touch with wealth advisors and investment companies here in the UK who can invest your funds for you.

The immigration lawyers at OTS Solicitors are led by Teni Shahiean, who has been recognised in the Legal 500 and by the Law Society of England and Wales for her in-depth knowledge of immigration law.  Our firm is fully regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and we have a proven track record of successfully obtaining Investor Visa for clients worldwide, including applicants from Russia, China, India and the Middle East.

Eligibility criteria for a Tier 1 (investor) visa

The investor route is for high-net worth individuals who will be making substantial financial investments in the UK. The main advantages of the Tier 1 (investor) visa are:

  • it allows for unrestricted self-employment and employment in the UK for you and your spouse/partner—with the exceptions that a Tier 1 (investor) migrant will not be eligible to work as a doctor or dentist in training (unless particular circumstances apply) or as a professional sportsperson (including as a sports coach)
  • it provides an accelerated route to indefinite leave to remain (ILR) after two years for those who are willing to invest at least £10 million, or after three years for those who are willing to invest at least £5 million
  • there is no English language requirement
  • you can buy property and register your children in schools straight away

Applicants must have control of £2 million of their own funds (they cannot be obtained via a loan), which must be held in a UK or overseas-regulated financial institution and be disposable in the UK. These funds must be invested within three months of arrival in Britain. Investment options include UK government bonds, or share or loan capital in active and trading UK-registered companies (these are termed 'qualifying investments'). If granted entry clearance, you can delay this three-month period so that it starts on the date you first enter the UK (provided that you keep evidence of your arrival). Failure to invest the minimum £2 million in qualifying investments within the relevant three-month deadline, or to maintain your investments at this figure from that point on can result in your leave to stay in the UK being cut short.

The portfolio of qualifying investments must be managed in the UK by a financial institution which is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and, where relevant, the Prudential Regulation Authority.  We can put you or your representatives in touch with registered wealth managers and investment experts.

Obtaining a Tier 1 (investor) visa can be a complex process, and with so much capital at stake, you need to engage a solicitor who is not only familiar with immigration law, but also understands business.

Why choose OTS Solicitors

Our specialist immigration Solicitors understand business and immigration law and how they interact together.  We have developed strong relationships with investment and wealth management advisors in London, who can help you find investments that offer the best return. 

By engaging our immigration lawyers to help you secure a Tier 1 Investor Visa, you can be confident that the application process will go smoothly.  And when it comes to applying for settlement, we will assist you with obtaining both indefinite leave to remain and British Citizenship.

To discuss applying for a Tier 1 Investor Visa, please feel free to contact our best business immigration Solicitors on 0207 936 9960. We will gladly assist you in your application and dealings with UK Visas and immigration.

Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa

Our immigration lawyers understand the needs of entrepreneurs.  We understand the commercial pressures you face, the opportunities you want to take advantage of and the never-ending demands on your time.

Our immigration Solicitors are here to help you enter the UK through the entrepreneur route quickly and smoothly, so you can get on with business.

Are you eligible for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa?

If you want to setup and run a business in the UK, you will have to successfully apply for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa

You must have access to a certain level of funds. The standard level of funds required is £200,000, but this is reduced to £50,000 if:

  • the funds are being provided by certain UK venture capitalists, seed funding competitions or government departments
  • the applicant is applying for Leave to Remain and has or was last granted leave as a Tier 1 (Post-study work) migrant provided that since before 11 July 2014 and up to the date of the application:

a)    they have been engaged in business activity which was not, or did not amount to, activity pursuant to a contract of service with a business other than their own—i.e. they must not have been working in disguised employment

b)    they have been registered with HMRC as self-employed or registered with Companies House as a director of a new or existing company, and

c)    they have been continuously working in a skilled occupation at NQF level 4 or above as listed in the immigration rules, Appendix J; or

  • the applicant is applying for Leave to Remain and has or was last granted leave as a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) migrant

You also need to show you have a good knowledge of English.  To prove your competency, you must:

  • pass an approved English language test; or
  • having an academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognised by UK NARIC as being equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or PhD

UK Visas and immigration will want to know that you can support yourself without having to rely on benefits.

The Genuine Entrepreneur Test

All Entrepreneur Visa applicants are required to meet a 'genuine entrepreneur' test. The funds must be genuinely available to the applicant and they must intend to setup, join or become a director of one or more businesses within six months, invest the relevant funds, and not seek employment other than in the business(es) they are setting up or joining. The Home Office will consider various factors when making this assessment, including the viability and credibility of the applicant's business plans, their previous educational and business experience, their immigration history and previous activity in the UK. This will usually require the applicant to send in relevant evidence including a mandatory business plan, as well as evidence of their educational qualifications and previous employment experience.

Officials may also interview Entrepreneur Visa applicants about their plans and the viability of the business and request further evidence to be provided.

Staying in the UK

You will be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) after five years in the Entrepreneur Visa category provided that:

  • within three months of the date of application you have been registered with HMRC as self-employed or registered with Companies House as a director of a new or existing company
  • your business(es) has created the equivalent of at least two new full time jobs
  • you have not been absent from the UK for more than 180 days in 'any 12 calendar months during the period'; and
  • you pass the Life in the UK test and meet the English language requirements

Bringing family with you

You can bring dependent family members with you to the UK.  Dependents are defined as your spouse and children under 18 years of age. You must show you have enough funds to support them.  If you’re applying from outside the UK or have been in the UK for less than 12 months, you must have £1,890 for each dependant. If you’ve been in the UK for more than 12 months, you must have £630 per family member.

Why choose OTS Solicitors

Our specialist immigration Solicitors understand business and immigration law and how they interact together.  We have developed strong relationships with investment and wealth management advisors in London, who can help find the right business for you to work and invest in.  We will also ensure your business plan meets Home office requirements and advise and accompany you on any interviews you may be asked to attend.

By engaging our immigration lawyers to help you secure a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa, you can be confident that the application process will go through smoothly.

To discuss applying for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa, please feel free to contact our UK immigration Solicitors on 0207 936 9960. We will gladly assist you in your application and dealings with UK Visas and immigration.

 

Sponsorship Licence Application

If you wish to employ a non-EEA national, then your business will need to apply and obtain a UK Sponsor Licence.  This licence will allow you to issue Certificates of Sponsorship to international workers.  They can then apply for a Tier 2 work visa.

At OTS Solicitors we understand business immigration.  We are based in the heart of London’s business district and are alert to the latest changes that occur in relation to how UK Immigration Law affects commercial entities.

Our immigration Solicitors, is led by Teni Shahiean, a highly regarded immigration and employment solicitor who has been recognised in the Legal 500 and by the Law Society of England and Wales for her expertise in immigration law.  Teni and her team will listen to your recruitment requirements and provide you with full support when collating the required documentation and completing the application form.  We will also use our contacts at UK Visas and immigration to ensure any questions or concerns they may have about your application are answered efficiently and effectively.

Our service

We manage the Sponsor Licence process for many UK businesses.  Our clients range from SMEs to large, multi-national corporations.  We understand how busy owners, directors and managers are; our clients know they can trust our immigration Solicitors implicitly to manage their Sponsor Licence applications and advise them how to maintain their A-rating.

A Sponsor Licence lasts for four years (unless it is revoked) and we will endeavour to support you throughout that time.  A Sponsor Licence holder must comply with multiple duties set out by the Home Office.  Our immigration lawyers will ensure that you know what your responsibilities are and will conduct mock audits of your HR processes and procedures, swiftly identifying any weaknesses that could result in your licence rating being downgraded.

What you need to show to be approved for a Sponsor Licence

A potential sponsor must prove to the Home Office that they:

 

  • are a genuine business, operating or trading lawfully in the UK
  • are based in the UK
  • hold the appropriate planning permission or Local Planning Authority consent for the type of business operated at the trading address
  • are 'honest, dependable and reliable'
  • do not represent a threat to immigration control, and
  • are willing and able to comply with the sponsor duties and responsibilities.

 

If your organisation meets the above criteria, then the Home Office will examine whether your company has the resources and personnel required to comply with the duties and responsibilities of a Sponsor Licence holder.

These responsibilities include:

  • Monitoring and recording the immigration status of migrant workers employed by the organisation and actively preventing the illegal employment of migrants.
  • Keeping up-to-date contact details for migrants employed by the organisation.
  • Keeping appropriate and detailed records on any migrants employed by the organisation.
  • Monitoring migrants employed by the organisation and reporting violations to the Home Office where appropriate.
  • Maintaining appropriate hiring practices and ensuring that any migrants employed by the organisation are legally entitled and qualified to do their job.

Teni and her team of expert immigration Solicitors will provide you with the best legal advice available, empowering you to define and manage your HR processes to ensure you maintain compliance effortlessly. 

Why choose OTS Solicitors

Our immigration lawyers are dedicated to ensuring employers receive and maintain an A-rated Sponsor Licence.  Our immigration lawyers want to learn about your business so we can ensure your application for a Sponsorship Licence is approved.  By instructing us, you can have the confidence that you fully understand both the processes and responsibilities that holding a UK Employer Sponsorship Licence entails.

To discuss applying for a UK Employer Sponsorship Licence or if you have any questions in relation to recruiting skilled workers from outside the EEA, please feel free to contact our UK immigration team on 0207 936 9960. We will gladly assist you to obtain the best outcome for your matter.

Employers and Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Management

Employers who wish to hire talent from outside the EEA need to acquire a Sponsor Licence.  The application process and the ongoing responsibilities that come with having a Sponsor Licence can be daunting; however, you can rely on our immigration Solicitors to make obtaining and maintaining a licence simple, fast and stress-free. 

Getting to know your business 

Our immigration lawyers partner with businesses who engage us to manage their Sponsor Licence application and ongoing compliance matters.  We take the trouble to find out about your business, your commercial ambitions and how you want to structure your recruitment processes over the next two to five years.  This puts us in a position to advise you on: 

  • Whether the positions you need to fill are on the Shortage Occupation List.  If they are not, you will not have to advertise the position within the UK before recruiting from abroad. 

  • Applying for your Sponsor Licence

  • Your existing HR policies and procedures and steps that need to be implemented to ensure you can meet your sponsor obligations. 

  • Assisting successful applicants for the position on obtaining their Tier 2 work visa. 

  • How to maintain full compliance with Home Office regulations and maintain your A-rating. 

Why you need an experienced immigration solicitor 

The Home Office has consistently toughened up rules and regulations as they apply to Sponsor Licences over the past few years.  Not only do organisations have to meet strict criteria to be granted a Sponsor Licence, they must have strong HR systems in place to meet compliance requirements and be prepared for Home Office audits, which are often unannounced. 

Our immigration lawyers are led by Teni Shahiean, who has been recognised in the Legal 500 and by the Law Society of England and Wales for her in-depth knowledge of both employment and immigration law.  Teni has a degree in both business and law, and she and her team regularly assist clients by conducting mock audits.  By checking HR policies, and your Sponsor Licence Management procedures, our immigration lawyers can analyse the strengths and weaknesses of your current systems, and put in place a strategic plan to ensure they are fully up-to-date and can cope with Home Office compliance requirements. 

Under the immigration Act 2016, employers now face harsh penalties if caught employing illegal workers.  Prior to the introduction of the new Act, employers were liable to criminal prosecution for employing an illegal worker only if they had actual knowledge of having done so. The 2016 Act extends the existing criminal offence to also cover the situation where an employer has “reasonable cause to believe” that someone is an illegal worker. The Act also increases the maximum prison sentence for either offence from two to five years. 

The 2016 Act also gives the Home Office the power to shut down businesses for up to 48 hours if there is evidence of an organisation employing illegal workers and evading sanctions. If the employer can prove they have conducted the right to work checks, the closure notice may be withdrawn. However, if right to work checks have not been carried out, the business may be placed under special compliance requirements, as directed by a Court. This can include continued closure for a period, followed by re-opening subject to compliance inspections and the requirement to conduct right to work checks. 

Our team of immigration lawyers will ensure you are up-to-date with changes in the law and understand how and when to check employees’ immigration status.  By engaging us to advise you on your Sponsor Licence Management, you can be confident that your business is fully compliant with UK Immigration Law

Let us help you grow your business 

Our immigration lawyers are experts in their field.  We take away the time-commitment and stress of keeping up to date with ever-changing immigration regulations and Home Office policies, by ensuring that relevant staff in your organisation understand what is required to maintain an A-rating on a Sponsor Licence

We provide fast, proactive, friendly service to organisations ranging from small- operators to SMEs to large, multi-national corporations.  We invest heavily in legal research materials; so our clients are confident that we know about forthcoming regulation changes well in advance. 

If your Sponsor Licence has been downgraded, we will help you develop a plan to recover your A- rating as soon as possible. 

To find out more about our Sponsor Licence Management, please feel free to contact our UK immigration Solicitors on 0207 936 9960. We are here to help ensure you are in full compliance with your Sponsor Licence obligations. 

Sponsorship Licence Management Service

Our immigration Solicitors make managing the Sponsorship Licence process easy.  We will partner with your business, ensure we understand it and support you in not only getting your UK immigration Sponsorship Licence, but in keeping it.

Our services and support around Sponsorship Licences are all encompassing.  They include:

  • Acting as Key Contact and Level 1 User for your organisation.  The Key Contact is the person responsible for liaising with the Home Office when they require documentation, or require questions to be answered.  The Level 1 user manages the Home Office Sponsorship Management System, which collates the day to day activities and records of non-EEA nationals working for an organisation.
  • Auditing your HR policies and procedures in preparation for applying for a Sponsorship Licence.  We will review your HR processes and ensure you have policies and procedures in place to fulfil your sponsorship obligations.  The five main areas in which sponsors need to show compliance are:

a)    monitoring immigration status and preventing illegal employment

b)    maintaining migrant contact details

c)    record keeping duties

d)    migrant tracking and monitoring

e)    recruitment practices and professional registrations and accreditations

We will ensure your HR department can manage these extra responsibilities efficiently and effectively.  They can rely on our support whenever it is required and can contact us with questions anytime.

  • Issuing Certificates of Sponsorship on your behalf.
  • Advising on advertising requirements if the position you need to fill is not on the Shortage Occupation List
  • Ensuring that prospective employees are supported through their application process for a Tier 2 entry visa and preparing and submitting their applications.

Applying for a UK Sponsorship Licence

To be eligible for a UK Sponsorship Licence you must prove to the Home Office that:

  • your organisation is genuine and operating or trading lawfully in the UK
  • is based in Great Britain
  • has the necessary planning permission or Local Planning Authority consent for the type of work you are doing
  • is 'honest, dependable and reliable'
  • is no threat to current immigration control
  • can and will comply with required sponsorship duties and responsibilities.

Applicants for a UK Sponsorship Licence are rigorously questioned by officials to establish whether or not they are capable of complying with relevant duties and responsibilities.

You may be asked questions about the structure of your organisation, the nature of your business, why you need to recruit non-EEA nationals and your HR policies and procedures.  Our immigration Solicitors will review your organisation and alert you to any weaknesses that could jeopardise your chances of gaining a Sponsorship Licence.   

Assisting with the suitability assessment

The Home Office will consider whether an organisation is suitable to be granted a Sponsorship Licence by examining whether or not they can comply with four broad suitability categories. These are:

  1. whether it has effective human resources systems to be able to fulfil its sponsor duties
  2. whether it or any of its associated persons have:
    1. been given a civil penalty for employing an illegal worker
    2. been given a civil penalty within the last five years under any of the legislative provisions listed in Appendix C other than in relation to illegal working
    3. have any unspent convictions for a relevant offence or any of the offences listed in Annex 7of the Points-Based System Sponsor Guidance (SG)
  1. whether the organisation has a previous record of non-compliance or poor compliance with the duties of sponsorship or is employing any migrants (whether sponsored or not) who are in breach of their conditions of leave
  1. whether it is able to offer 'genuine employment' which meets the Tier 2 (General) criteria on skill level and appropriate salary rate

Your organisation will also be assessed on its honesty and dependability, and compliance with the law in areas other than immigration.

Home Office visits

If the Home Office decides to visit your organisation to assess its capability of fulfilling sponsorship duties, we will be on hand to manage the process.  Our immigration lawyers will work with you to prepare for the visit, ensuring that all documentation and procedures are up-to-date and easily accessible.

Our immigration Solicitors will ensure the visit is stress free and successful.

Support if your licence is downgraded

If your Sponsorship Licence is downgraded from an A-rating to a B-rating, we will devise a fast and effective strategy to implement any action plans set out by the Home Office.  Our immigration lawyers will utilise their vast experience to ensure you re-acquire your A-rating as soon as possible.

Let us provide you and your organisation with the support and service it needs to comply with its UK Sponsorship Licence duties through our dedicated Sponsorship Licence Management Service.

To find out more about our Sponsor Licence Management Service, please feel free to contact our UK immigration Solicitors on 0207 936 9960. We are here to help you achieve your commercial ambitions.

Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) Visa

Our immigration Solicitors understand the UK Visas and immigration office requirements for obtaining a Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) visa.  We know that international corporations often need to move swiftly to transfer employees to the UK, whether it be to set up a new branch or oversee a specific project.

If you need an efficient, effective immigration law service, our immigration lawyers will provide it.

The immigration team at OTS Solicitors is led by Teni Shahiean, who has been recognised in the Legal 500 and by the Law Society of England and Wales for her in-depth knowledge of both employment and immigration law.

At OTS Solicitors, we listen to our clients.  We want to understand the commercial ambitions and objectives of your organisation, so we can support your Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) visa applicant and get them into the UK so they can hit the ground running.

By engaging our immigration lawyers, you can be assured of top-quality service, tailored to your organisation’s requirements.

All about the UK Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) visa

There are four types of intra-company transfer visas:

  • Long-term staff – for those who will be transferred for more than 12 months to fulfil a position in the UK that cannot be done by a UK resident
  • Short-term staff – for placements of less than 12 months, where the job cannot be fulfilled by a new UK staff member
  • Graduate trainee - for transfers into graduate trainee programmes for specialist roles
  • Skills transfer -  for transfers that allow people to gain skills and knowledge needed to perform their role overseas, or to pass on their skills to UK colleagues

To be eligible for an intra-company transfer, you will need to have a Certificate of Sponsorship from a licensed sponsor.  You will also need to be offered an ‘appropriate’ salary and have £945 in savings.

If the organisation sponsoring you has an A-rated Sponsorship Licence you will be exempt from the savings requirement.

Appropriate salary

Applicants must prove to UK Visas and immigration that they will be paid an appropriate salary by their employer.  As of August 2016 the rates were as follows:

  • Long-term Staff applicants - at least £41,500 or the ‘appropriate rate’ for the role (whichever is higher)
  • Short-term Staff, Graduate Trainee or Skills Transfer applicants - at least £24,800 or the ‘appropriate rate’ (whichever is higher)
  • staff already in the UK on a Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) visa or work permit issued before 6 April 2011 - at least the ‘appropriate rate’, which will depend on the particular sector applicable to the position

 

 

 

The ‘Genuine Vacancy’ test – what employers need to know

From 6 November 2014, applications for leave to enter and remain in the Tier 2 (General) and Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) categories have been subject to several subjective genuineness tests. 

UK Visas and immigration officials have the power to refuse entry clearance to Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) visa applicants if:

  • the role is not a genuine vacancy (unless the applicant is applying in the Graduate Trainee or Skills Transfer sub-categories)
  •  the applicant is not appropriately qualified to do the job in question

If UK Visas and immigration has doubts about the genuineness of the vacancy or the applicant’s qualifications to do the job, they may request that the sponsor provide additional information to quell their concerns.

Our immigration lawyers will assist you at the beginning of the application to ensure that the process for applying for an intra-company transfer visa is not delayed due to questions surrounding ‘genuineness’.

Bringing family members to the UK on a Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) visa

You can bring your spouse or partner with you to the UK along with any children under 18 years.

Unless you have an A-rated sponsor who states that they will support you for the first month you are in the UK, you will need to show evidence of at least £630 in savings for each of your dependents.  These funds need to be present in your bank account at least 90 days before you arrive in the country.

Let our immigration lawyers help you

Teni and her team are committed to assisting individuals and organisations with the movement of staff between different company locations.  We understand how important it is for successful businesses to have the freedom to transport skills and labour to the UK when it is needed, and the advantages in terms of skills transfer and being able to place the right staff in the right positions.

Let our immigration Solicitors assist you with applying for a Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) visa.  We make the process easy and cost-effective, so you can get on with business.

To discuss applying for a Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) visa, please feel free to contact our UK immigration Solicitors on 0207 936 9960. We will gladly assist you in your application and dealings with UK Visas and immigration.

Tier 2 (General) Visa Application

OTS Solicitors has a strong reputation for providing quality advice on Tier 2 (General) visas (or work visas as they are often known).  Our immigration lawyers have the experience and expertise to assist both employers and employees in understanding the processes and procedures for obtaining a UK work visa.

The immigration team at OTS Solicitors is led by Teni Shahiean, who has been recognised in the Legal 500 and by the Law Society of England and Wales for her in-depth knowledge of both employment and immigration law.

Unlike many immigration Solicitors, we take the time to listen to our clients to understand any weaknesses in their application for a Tier 2 (General) visa and strategise how to overcome them.  We also work closely with UK Visas and immigration, and will answer any questions they may have regarding your application on your behalf.

By engaging our immigration lawyers, you can be assured of fast, efficient, cost-effective service. 

UK work visas – the essentials

To be eligible for a UK work visa, you must have a genuine offer of employment from a UK employer who holds a Sponsorship Licence.  Your employer will offer you a Certificate of Sponsorship which will allow you to apply for a Tier 2 (General) visa.

Other eligibility requirements include:

  • you must be offered an ‘appropriate’ salary
  • you must have the required knowledge of English
  • you must have £945 in savings

Appropriate salary

To qualify for a UK work visa, your employer must offer you an appropriate salary.  The thresholds are as follows:

  • the minimum salary threshold for all Tier 2 General employees is £20,800
  • jobs that are exempt from the requirement to advertise through Jobcenter Plus require a minimum salary of £72,500
  • jobs exempt from the resident labour market test must pay a minimum of £155,300
  • Tier 2 ICT employees whose jobs qualify for Short Term Staff; Skills Transfer or Graduate Training category must pay at least £24,800
  • Tier 2 ICT employees under Long Term Staff qualification, the minimum salary threshold is £41,500

Knowledge of English

To submit a successful application, you will need to show UK Visas and immigration that you have a good knowledge of English.  You can do this by:

  • passing an approved English language test with at least CEFR level B1 in reading, writing, speaking and listening
  • having an academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognised by UK NARIC as being equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or PhD

If you are from certain countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada or the United States of America, you will not need to provide evidence of your knowledge of English.

Savings

UK Visas and immigration will want to be assured that you can support yourself when you first come to Britain without having to rely on benefits.  Therefore, you must show you have savings of at least £945 and these funds must have been in your bank account for at least 90 days prior to your arrival.  However, if your sponsor has an A rating and they can certify that you will not claim any benefits during your stay you will be exempt from this requirement.

Bringing you family to the UK on a Tier 2 (General) visa

Your dependent family members can come with you to the UK if you are successful in obtaining a Tier 2 (General) visa.  Dependent family members are defined as:

  • your husband, wife or partner
  • children under 18

You will need to show you have enough funds to support your family whilst you are waiting for your first pay.  In addition to the £945 you must have to show you can support yourself, you must have an extra £630 for each dependent.

If your employer has an A-rated Sponsorship Licence and states that they will provide £630 for each of your family members, you will be exempt from this requirement.

Documents required for a UK work visa application

Along with your application you will need to prove:

  • a current passport or other valid travel identification
  • a passport-sized colour photograph
  • bank statements proving your savings
  • evidence that you meet the English requirement
  • your tuberculosis test results if you’re from a country where you have to take the test

Let our immigration lawyers help you

Teni and her team are dedicated to helping those who have a Certificate of Sponsorship from a UK employer obtain their Tier 2 (General) visa so they can start their new position.  We know you are excited and eager to get here – let us assist you in making it easy to apply for your visa and collate the necessary documentation.

To discuss applying for a Tier 2 (General) visa, please feel free to contact our UK immigration Solicitors on 0207 936 9960. We will gladly assist you in your application and dealings with UK Visas and immigration.

Sole Representative of an Overseas Business

If you are considering establishing a branch office or a wholly-owned subsidiary in the UK with just one employee, then you may wish to consider sending them to the UK on a Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa.

Our immigration Solicitors will advise you as to whether this type of visa would suit the needs of your organisation.  We understand the complexities of a Sole Representative visa and will take the time to find out about your organisation and establish whether this visa or another Tier 2 entry route would be best for you.

The immigration team at OTS Solicitors is led by Teni Shahiean, who has been recognised in the Legal 500 and by the Law Society of England and Wales for her in-depth knowledge of both employment and immigration law.

The essential elements of the Sole Representative visa

To send an employee to the UK on a Sole Representative visa, you must demonstrate to the UK Home Office the following:

  • your organisation’s main location is outside the UK and does not have a presence in the UK via a branch office, subsidiary or representative
  • the person you plan to send to the UK is a senior member of your organisation and will have full authority to run the UK operation
  • the employee sent to the UK will be the only representative of your organisation in the country
  • the employee meets the English language requirements and can support themselves without having to rely on UK benefits

The application for a Sole Representative will also need to include a notarised statement declaring:

  • the applicant will be their sole representative in the UK
  • the company has no other branch, subsidiary or representative in the UK
  • its operations will remain centred overseas, and
  • the applicant will not engage in business of their own nor represent any other company

Home Office considerations

The Home Office will carefully consider all applications under this route.  It will be most concerned with whether or not the business is a genuine commercial venture.  As well as examining the organisation’s business activities, turnover and profitability, it will be looking for signs that the visa is for more for the benefit of the individual rather than the company.  If certain elements of the company’s business activities are not in-line with what the Home Office would expect of an organisation looking to establish a presence in the UK, the visa application is likely to be rejected.

 

 

 

Things that will cause the Home Office to question the application include:

  • your business is less than 12 months old
  • the number of employees your organisation has—where this number is small this may cast doubt on whether the overseas business will remain the headquarters and/or main business
  • if it is clear the UK branch will become the main office of the business – this will not automatically mean the application for a Sole Representative visa will fail, but the overseas business must continue to trade at all times
  • if the sole representative is the driving force in the overseas business moving to the UK

Care should be taken to identify the most appropriate overseas business entity to support the application where a complex corporate structure exists overseas. For example, it may be appropriate for a specialised subsidiary of a large corporate group to support the application where the UK business will be specialised in the same area, whereas a higher level/more general entity may be more appropriate where it is intended that the UK operations will be more diverse.

Let our immigration lawyers help you

Teni and her team are committed to assisting international organisations with opening a branch office or subsidiary in the UK.  We understand how important it is for successful businesses to have the freedom to trade in the UK and take advantages of commercial opportunities by having a person based in the country.

Let our immigration Solicitors assist you with applying for a Sole Representative of an Overseas Company visa.  We make the process easy and cost-effective, so you can get on with business.

To discuss applying for a Sole Representative of an Overseas Company visa, please feel free to contact our UK immigration Solicitors on 0207 936 9960. We will gladly assist you in your application and dealings with UK Visas and immigration.

Immigration Services for UK Businesses

OTS Solicitors is widely regarded as one of the best immigration and employment law firms in London.  With outstanding commercial acumen and attention to detail, our dynamic, down-to-earth team will ensure you receive the most comprehensive and practical immigration and employment advice available.

To talk to us about our services for UK businesses, please phone our London office on 0207 936 9960.

Helping Your Business Grow and Meet Targets

As the UK economy continues to improve, businesses are under greater pressure to recruit and retain talented employees who are committed to helping organisations grow.

This requires employers to have access to commercially astute legal advice, delivered quickly and accurately.  The head of our immigration and employment law teams, Teni Shahiean, a law and business graduate, has been ranked by the Legal 500 as a recommended immigration solicitor from 2012 to 2015 and has been highly accredited by the Law Society for her immigration knowledge and advice through the Law Society immigration and asylum Accreditation Scheme.  Teni and her teams collaborate to provide employers with advice on the following:

  • Applications for a Sponsorship Licence
  • Shortage occupations
  • Tier 2 and 5 Sponsorship Applications
  • Training on sponsorship obligations for HR, in-house counsel and compliance departments
  • Drafting employment contracts and dealing with employee disputes
  • Preparation for Home Office visits and audits
  • Day to day advice on business immigration law best practice
  • Inter-company transfers
  • Lobbying the Home Office on your businesses or non-EEA employees behalf
  • Prevention of illegal workers
  • indefinite leave to remain and minimum salary requirements

Why Employers Need a Legal Partner When Employing non-EEA Workers

Tier 2 and 5 sponsorship obligations and responsibilities can be a compliance nightmare.  Dynamic, success-focused organisations need access to legal advice they can rely on and trust implicitly.  With our experience in both immigration and employment law, we can offer UK businesses a complete service, which encompasses the initial application of a Sponsorship Licence, through to negotiating an employment contract with successful recruits.

Teni and her team will take the time to talk to you about your plans for recruiting non-EEA nationals, the goals you wish to achieve by doing so and outline details of the commitment you will be taking on.  They will then ensure that the process runs smoothly and effectively, allowing you to carry on with your ordinary course of business.

A Quick Guide to Hiring Foreign Workers in the UK

If you are planning to employee someone from outside the EEA, there are a number of processes and procedures you must follow.  Teni and her team can advise you on this process in a timely, cost-effective manner.

In order to hire a foreign worker under the Tier 2 (General) or Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) Visa, you will need to complete a number of steps which include:

  • Apply for a Sponsorship Licence so you can issue Certificates of Sponsorship
  • Ascertain whether or not the position you have available is listed on the Shortage Occupation list
  • Advertise the job (if it does not appear on the Shortage Occupation List)
  • Ensure that you provide the correct salary and conditions to the individual you recruit
  • Have plans, policies and procedures in place to meet the UK Border Agency’s compliance requirements for sponsors
  • You can read more in our step by step guides to obtaining a Sponsorship Licence and hiring non-EEA workers here :

-          OTS Solicitors: A Step-by-Step Guide for Employers Wanting to Obtain Sponsorship Licence

-          OTS Solicitors: Immigration Law Guide To Employing Non-EU Citizens


Why Chose OTS Solicitors

Our immigration and employment teams are widely regarded as well-informed, practical and commercially minded.  We collaborate with our clients when it comes to their legal matters, forming enduring partnerships, which allows us to get to know their commercial goals and ambitions in detail.

When you engage our services you can expect the following standard of service:

  • Based on the information you provide us, detailed advice as to the UK immigration laws that apply to your business requirements
  • A clear, concise discussion with your Solicitor, outlining the strengths and weaknesses of your application
  • Advice as to what documentation you will need to provide to support your application
  • Assistance with filling in the relevant application forms
  • Full follow-up with the UK Border Agency if there are any questions or problems with your application
  • Your immigration Solicitor will prepare strong, detailed legal representations setting out the legal framework to support your application 
  • A full explanation of the compliance obligations pertaining to your sponsorship application

 OTS Solicitors is registered with and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Our Fees

We can offer a fixed fee service for business clients in some circumstances.  We can also offer payment options if required.

To find out more on how we can advise your business, please phone our office on 0207 936 9960 to talk to one of our team.  We would be happy to offer an initial consultation over the phone, or you can make an appointment to see us in our London office.

Immigration Audit and Compliance Services

OTS Solicitors are dedicated to keeping clients up-to-date with their immigration compliance obligations. Our dynamic, down-to-earth team will ensure you receive the most comprehensive and practical advice regarding complying with your sponsorship responsibilities.  We are regarded as one of the best immigration and employment law firms in London and we have earned this reputation through providing professional, competent and collaborative legal service to every client who instructs us.

To talk to us about our services for immigration audits and compliance, please phone our London office on 0207 936 9960.

How we Assist Organisations with immigration Compliance

At OTS Solicitors we provide tailor-made legal advice to our clients, designed to fit with their organisation’s business goals and ambitions.  The head of our immigration team, Teni Shahiean, a law and business graduate, has been ranked by the Legal 500 as a recommended immigration solicitor from 2012 to 2015 and has been highly accredited by the Law Society for her immigration knowledge and advice through the Law Society immigration and asylum Accreditation Scheme.  Teni and her teams collaborate to provide employers with advice on the following:

  • advice on the compliance requirements for Tier 1, 2 and 5 visas
  • third party independent audits
  • compliance training to HR professionals, compliance officers, recruitment teams and SMS users
  • advice in the prevention of illegal workers
  • strategic compliance and risk management advice to board members

We are dedicated to providing clients with accurate, up-to-date compliance advice, to enable them to feel confident that their risk assessments and due diligence procedures are performed in a way that fully protect their business.

If we identify any compliance issues within your company, we will act swiftly to advise you on how to rectify them, and if necessary, we will liaise and negotiate with the Home Office on your behalf using our contacts and business partners.  Our primary focus would be to protect your Sponsorship Licence and your firm’s reputation.

Business immigration Compliance Training

In today’s highly regulated business environment and with the UK Government clamping down on illegal immigration, it is no longer enough for companies to simply ensure ‘all the boxes are ticked’ when it comes to compliance.

If your organisation is granted a Sponsorship Licence, it will need to comply with a number of obligations to maintain its A-rating.

These include such things as:

  • checking that any migrant workers you recruit have the necessary skills, experience and qualifications to do the job required of them
  • monitor your employee’s immigration status
  • keep the employee’s contact details up to date
  • report to the authorities if your employee ‘disappears’
  • keep documentation so you can provide evidence that all of the above obligations are being met

A dedicated staff member or members must be appointed to fulfil the immigration compliance role within any organisation as a requirement of being granted a Sponsorship Licence.  With access to up-to-date legislation and case law, our immigration Solicitors have the experience and expertise to provide your staff with the information they need to fulfil their compliance responsibilities competently.  We can also update HR managers and compliance officers regularly, in a format that suits them, of any latest changes they should know about regarding immigration compliance.

Why Chose OTS Solicitors

Our immigration and employment teams are widely regarded as well-informed, practical and commercially minded.  We collaborate with our clients when it comes to their legal matters, forming enduring partnerships, which allows us to get to know their commercial goals and ambitions in detail.

When you engage our services you can expect the following standard of service:

  • based on the information you provide us, detailed advice as to the UK immigration laws that apply to your sponsorship obligations
  • direct lines and email addresses of our compliance advisors
  • a clear, concise discussion with your Solicitor, outlining the strengths and weaknesses of your compliance knowledge and training
  • full explanation of the compliance obligations pertaining to your sponsorship application and retention of your A-rating
  • precise, up-to-date information on regulation changes that could affect your business
  • well-researched and well-prepared compliance training sessions created specifically for your organisation’s unique requirements

OTS Solicitors is registered with and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Our Fees

We can offer a fixed fee service for business clients in some circumstances.  We can also offer payment options if required.

To find out more on how we can advise your business on its compliance and audit obligations, please phone our office on 0207 936 9960 to talk to one of our team.  We would be happy to offer an initial consultation over the phone, or you can make an appointment to see us in our London office.

 

Immigration Advice on Global Mobility and Intra-Company Transfers

Companies who require immigration advice on a multi-jurisdictional level need to be confident the legal advice they receive is accurate.  Widely regarded as one of the best immigration and employment law firms in London, OTS Solicitors can provide you with the assurance that when it comes to moving your employees between global offices, you have all your immigration compliance basis covered.

With outstanding commercial acumen and attention to detail, the dynamic, the down-to-earth team of highly accredited immigration Solicitors at OTS we will ensure you receive the most comprehensive and practical immigration and employment advice available.  We advise both UK companies who need to transfer employees to foreign jurisdictions and overseas-based companies who want to send staff to the UK.

To talk to us about our services for UK businesses, please phone our Fleet Street office on 0207 936 9960.

Keeping Your Business on the Move

The world’s economy is now more global than at any other time in history.  Corporations require the ability to react to emerging opportunities quickly and get staff swiftly on the ground, with the freedom to be productive from day one.

This requires employers to have access to commercially astute legal advice, delivered quickly and accurately.  The head of our immigration and employment law teams, Teni Shahiean, a law and business graduate, has been ranked by the Legal 500 as a recommended immigration solicitor from 2012 to 2015 and has been highly accredited by the Law Society for her immigration knowledge and advice through the Law Society immigration and asylum Accreditation Scheme.  Teni and her teams collaborate to provide companies who need guidance on intra-company transfers with legal advice on the following:

  • the global movement of employees to multiple jurisdictions, including access to local expertise on procedures, standards and timescales
  • development of bespoke global networks to be operated via a single point of contact or through local contacts
  • assistance with Schengen visas
  • obtaining accommodation, factory and/or office space, plant equipment and vehicles
  • tax implications in foreign jurisdictions
  • prevention of illegal working/right to work compliance checks and best practice advice across all jurisdictions
  • visa and security requirements for employees working in developing countries and conflict zones

UK Intra-Company Transfer Visa

If you wish to transfer employees to your UK-based office, and they are a non-EEA national, they will need a Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) Visa to enter the UK. 

You must provide your employee with the following for them to be eligible:

  • a certificate of sponsorship reference number
  • an ‘appropriate’ salary
  • the employee must have £945 in savings - this is to prove they can support themselves and they must have had this in their bank account for 90 days before the visa application is made

If your company has a fully approved (‘A-rated) Sponsorship Licence and you can certify that you can support and accommodate the employee for the first month they are employed, they will not need to show £945 in savings.

Appropriate salary definitions are as follows:

  • Long-term Staff applicants - at least £41,500 or the ‘appropriate rate’ for the role (whichever is higher)
  • Short-term Staff, Graduate Trainee or Skills Transfer applicants - at least £24,800 or the ‘appropriate rate’ (whichever is higher)
  • staff already in the UK on a Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) visa or work permit issued before 6th April 2011 - at least the ‘appropriate rate.'

Family members of the employee can also come to the UK; however, they will require appropriate visas if they are non-EEA nationals.

Why Chose OTS Solicitors

Our immigration and employment teams are widely regarded as well-informed, practical and commercially minded.  We collaborate with our business clients when it comes to their legal matters, forming enduring partnerships, which allows us to get to know their commercial goals and ambitions in detail.

When you engage our services you can expect the following standard of service:

  • Based on the information you provide us, detailed advice as to the UK and/or international immigration laws that apply to your business requirements
  • A clear, concise discussion with your Solicitor, outlining the strengths and weaknesses of your application
  • Advice as to what documentation you will need to provide to support your application
  • Assistance with filling in the relevant application forms
  • Full follow-up with the Home Office if there are any questions or problems with your application
  • Your immigration Solicitor will prepare strong, detailed legal representations setting out the legal framework to support your application 
  • A full explanation of the compliance obligations pertaining to your intra-company transfer application

OTS Solicitors is registered with and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Our Fees

We can offer a fixed fee service for business clients in some circumstances.  We can also offer payment options if required.

To find out more on how we can advise your business with intra-company transfers, please phone our office on 0207 936 9960 to talk to one of our team.  We would be happy to offer an initial consultation over the phone, or you can make an appointment to see us in our London office.

Immigration Solutions for the Technology Sector

OTS Solicitors is widely regarded as one of the best immigration and employment law firms in London.  Our experience in the technology sector is extensive, and our clients range from those in the start-up phase of their business to multi-national corporations.

With an innovative approach to finding legal solutions and a laser-like attention to detail, our dynamic, down-to-earth team will ensure you receive the most comprehensive and practical immigration and employment law advice available in the UK.

To talk to us about our immigration solutions for technology clients, please phone our London office on 0207 936 9960.

The head of our immigration and employment law teams, Teni Shahiean, a law and business graduate, has been ranked by the Legal 500 as a recommended immigration solicitor from 2012 to 2015 and has been highly accredited by the Law Society for her immigration knowledge and advice through the Law Society immigration and asylum Accreditation Scheme.  Teni and her teams collaborate to provide business owners, suppliers, employers and employees working within the UK technology sector with legal advice on the following:

  • Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa applications
  • Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa applications
  • Advice on the Tier One Exceptional Tech Talent scheme
  • Applying for and obtaining a Tier 2 sponsor licence
  • Applications to come to the UK as the sole representative of an overseas business
  • Advice on sponsor compliance obligations
  • Day to day advice on business immigration law best practice
  • Inter-company transfers
  • Lobbying the Home Office on your behalf
  • Prevention of illegal workers
  • indefinite leave to remain and minimum salary requirements

The Tier One Tech Talent Scheme

Last year technology companies in Britain raised a staggering $3.6bn from venture capitalists. Strong investor appetite for London-based start-ups and fintech groups resulted in record levels of tech investment flowing into the country, and the growth shows no sign of abating.

In 2010, in response to the rapid growth in the technology sector, the Government set up Tech City UK.  The organisation’s mission was to support businesses in the technology sector and attract the most talented people from around the globe to come and work in the UK tech industry.

The Tech Nation Visa Scheme

Following consultation with business leaders in the technology section, the Tech Nation Visa Scheme was created. 

To make it easier for businesses in the technology sector to attract and retain top talent from outside the EEA, four new qualifying criteria were added.

The new qualifying criteria are:

  • Building UK scale-ups
  • Recognising “exceptional promise.”
  • Powering the Northern Powerhouse
  • Recruiting teams of up to five individuals at any one time

Teni and her colleagues can assist you in taking advantage of this opportunity to recruit the talent you need to scale up your business and increase its profits.  Not only can we assist you with the two-stage application process, but we can also draft your employment contracts and staff handbooks, so you can concentrate on building your team.  We can also assist you with any employment disputes which may arise in the future.

Why Chose OTS Solicitors

Our immigration and employment teams are widely regarded as well-informed, practical and commercially minded.  We collaborate closely with our clients in the technology sector, forming enduring partnerships, which allows us to get to know their commercial goals and ambitions in detail.

Our Solicitors understand how fast things can move in the tech industry and therefore manage legal issues with speed, accuracy and efficiency.  Many of our Solicitors are multi-lingual, allowing us to swiftly deal with cross-jurisdictional matters.

When you engage our services you can expect the following standard of service:

  • Based on the information you provide us, detailed advice as to the UK immigration laws that apply to your business requirements
  • A clear, concise discussion with your Solicitor, outlining the strengths and weaknesses of your application
  • Advice as to what documentation you will need to provide to support your application
  • Assistance with filling in the relevant application forms
  • Full follow-up with the UK Border Agency if there are any questions or problems with your application
  • Your immigration Solicitor will prepare strong, detailed legal representations setting out the legal framework to support your application 
  • A full explanation of the compliance obligations pertaining to your sponsorship application

OTS Solicitors is registered with and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Our Fees

We can offer a fixed fee service for business clients in some circumstances.  We can also offer payment options if required.

To find out more on how we can advise your business, please phone our office on 0207 936 9960 to talk to one of our team.  We would be happy to offer an initial consultation over the phone, or you can make an appointment to see us in our London office.

Immigration Advice for Educational Establishments

OTS Solicitors is widely regarded as one of the best immigration law firms in the United Kingdom.  With a deep knowledge of the education sector and strong attention to detail, our dynamic, down-to-earth legal team will ensure you receive the most comprehensive and up to date immigration advice available.

We have many years’ experience advising higher and further educational establishments, independent schools and English language schools.  Our immigration team are experts in explaining complex immigration law pertaining to the education sector in a practical manner, free from legal jargon.

To talk to us about our services for UK businesses, please phone our London office on 0207 936 9960.

The head of our immigration team, Teni Shahiean, a law and business graduate, has been ranked by the Legal 500 as a recommended immigration lawyer from 2012 to 2015 and has been highly accredited by the Law Society for her immigration knowledge and advice through the Law Society immigration and asylum Accreditation Scheme.  Teni and her teams collaborate to with educational establishments to the following:

  • Applying for a Tier 4 Sponsorship Licence
  • Regulatory changes to Tier 4 (Student) Visa eligibility and procedures
  • Compliance obligations of educational institutes
  • Negotiating with the Home Office and/or UKVI
  • Lobbying for policy change
  • Appealing sponsor licence suspensions, revocations and HTS refusals
  • Staff training on immigration matters
  • Drafting internal and external policies, procedures and contracts
  • Risk management and due diligence
  • Preparation for Home Office visits

A Brief Guide to Applying for Tier 4 Sponsorship

If you want to enrol students from outside the EEA then you must apply for a Tier 4 Sponsorship Licence.

The licence is granted for four years unless it is revoked for some reason.  To be issued a Tier 4 licence, an education provider must be:

  • a genuine education provider that has acceptable educational quality standards, and is operating lawfully in the UK, complying with all appropriate rules and regulations;
  • considered eligible and suitable to hold a Tier 4 licence; and
  • capable of carrying out its duties as a sponsor.

An education provider must meet these criteria in order to be granted a Tier 4 licence, and continue to meet them in order to retain its licence.

As a Tier 4 sponsor, an education provider has a number of sponsorship responsibilities and will need to allocate the following four roles to members their staff:

  • authorising officer – a senior and competent person who is responsible for the actions of staff and representatives who use the sponsor management system (SMS)
  • key contact – your main point of contact with UK Visas and immigration (UKVI) about your institution’s application
  • level 1 user – responsible for all day-to-day management of your licence using the SMS
  • level 2 user – an SMS user with more restricted permissions than a level 1 user

These roles can all be filled by the same person or by a combination of different people.

When you successfully apply for a Tier 4 licence, UKVI will give you a probationary sponsor licence. This is a transitional period lasting 12 months whilst you demonstrate you can fulfil all of your duties as a Tier 4 sponsor. You must apply for a basic compliance assessment after 12 months.

Why Chose OTS Solicitors

Our immigration team is widely regarded as well-informed, practical and solutions focused.  We collaborate with education institutes when it comes to their legal matters, forming enduring partnerships, which allows us to get to know their commercial goals and academic ambitions in detail.

When you engage our services you can expect the following standard of service:

  • Based on the information you provide us, detailed advice as to the UK immigration laws that apply to your educational institution’s requirements
  • A clear, concise discussion with your Solicitor, outlining the strengths and weaknesses of your application for a Tier 4 Sponsorship Licence
  • Advice as to what documentation you will need to provide to support your application
  • Assistance with filling in the relevant application forms
  • Full follow-up with the UKVI  if there are any questions or problems with your application
  • Your immigration Solicitor will prepare strong, detailed legal representations setting out the legal framework to support your application 
  • A full explanation of the compliance obligations pertaining to your Tier 4 sponsorship application

OTS Solicitors is registered with and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Our Fees

We can offer a fixed fee service for educational institutions in some circumstances.  We can also offer payment options if required.

To find out more on how we can advise your organisation, please phone our office on 0207 936 9960 to talk to one of our team.  We would be happy to offer an initial consultation over the phone, or you can make an appointment to see us in our London office.

Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Visa

For those international students who have finished their course of study in the UK and have a strong business idea, a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa provides a way to stay in Britain and launch your new venture.

OTS Solicitors are experts in business immigration law.  Our immigration lawyers are based in the centre of London and we collaborate with a wide range of financial advisors who can assist our graduate entrepreneur clients obtain funding and investment for their business venture. 

Our immigration Solicitors are led by Teni Shahiean, who has been recognised in the Legal 500 and by the Law Society of England and Wales for her in-depth knowledge of immigration law.  Our firm is fully regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and we have a proven track record of successfully assisting graduates to apply for and obtain a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa.

UK Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Visa – the basics 

To apply for a Graduate Entrepreneur Visa, you need:

  • a genuine, credible business idea endorsed by an authorised Higher Education Institution (HEI)
  • a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or PHD
  • £945 in savings if applying from inside the UK, or £1,890 if applying from outside the UK
  • the required level of English language competence
    • permission to remain in the UK from your financial sponsor if they’re a government or an international scholarship agency and have paid your course fees and living costs in the past 12 months

The above criteria are only the basic requirements that you will need to demonstrate to successfully gain an endorsement from a HEI.  Your will need to show that your business has the potential to add to the British economy and not just be a standard venture that simply replicates existing business models.  You will also be expected to demonstrate your business development skills and commit to spending your working time in the UK launching and growing your venture.

Your HEI sponsor will be responsible for checking on your progress and ensuring that you are on track according to the goals set out in your application and business plan.

A Graduate Entrepreneur Visa is granted for 12 months, with the option to extend for a further 12 months.  After this, you may have the option to apply for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa, but you must have £50,000 available to invest in your business.  This will allow you to remain in the UK for a further three years and four months, with an option to extend and apply for indefinite leave to remain after five years.

Your family (partner and dependent children) will be able to join you in the UK, but they will have to apply for a visa in their own right.

Why choose OTS Solicitors

Our specialist immigration Solicitors understand business and immigration law and how they interact together.  Our immigration lawyers understand the pressure involved in putting together an application and business plan in the hope of getting endorsement from a HEI. To help you, we will look at your application and supporting documents and advise you on the strengths and weaknesses of your proposal.  We will then provide you with clear, concise advice, based on our many years of experience, on how to draft a present a fact-based, well-researched and influential proposal.

By engaging our immigration lawyers to help you secure a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa, you can be confident that your application has the best chance of success.

To discuss applying for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa, please feel free to contact our UK immigration Solicitors on 0207 936 9960. We will gladly assist you in your application and dealings with UK Visas and immigration.

Tier 1 General Visa

OTS Solicitors has a strong reputation for providing excellent immigration law advice.  Our immigration lawyers are well qualified, highly experienced and are committed to providing friendly, professional legal service to all our clients. Clients often comment on our efficiency, professionalism and organisation – by engaging us they are confident they are in good hands.

The immigration team at OTS Solicitors is led by Teni Shahiean, who has been recognised in the Legal 500 and by the Law Society of England and Wales for her in-depth knowledge of both employment and immigration law.  As senior partner in the firm, Teni oversees the work of all our immigration Solicitors and guides them on how to achieve the best outcomes for their clients.

By engaging our immigration lawyers, you can be assured of fast, efficient service and value for money throughout every stage of our work.

Tier 1 (General) Visa – A History

Tier 1 (General) is a former Points-Based System category for which no sponsor is required. The intention of the category is to enable highly-skilled people to be employed and/or self-employed in the UK. It is a category leading to settlement after five years of residency.

The category was closed to new applicants from abroad on 23rd December 2010 as part of the Coalition Government's drive to reduce net migration and was closed to new in-country applicants on 6th April 2011, with the following exceptions:

  • people who hold/last held leave under Tier 1 (General) may extend under the category
  • people who hold/last held leave under the (Highly Skilled Migrant Programme) HSMP may switch into Tier 1 (General)
  • people who hold/last held leave under the Writer, Composer or Artist category may switch into Tier 1(General), and
  • people who hold/last held leave under the Self-Employed Lawyer concession may switch into Tier 1(General).

The Tier 1 (General) route was closed on 6th April 2015 for applications for further Leave to Remain as a Tier 1 (General) migrant.

Applications for indefinite leave to remain under a Tier 1 (General) visa

The Home Office will not accept applications for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) under the immigration rules for Tier 1 (General) migrants on or after 6th April 2018.

The closure of ILR applications under the Tier 1 (General) category from 6th April 2018 means that those who cannot satisfy the requirements for ILR on or before 5th April 2018 may need to consider whether they are eligible for further Leave to Remain in another visa category.

If you currently hold a Tier 1 (General), visa our immigration Solicitors can help you apply for ILR or advise you on switching to another visa.  You should look at doing this sooner rather than later, or you may risk being deported.

Why choose OTS Solicitors

We understand how the Tier 1 (General) visa works and the history behind the closure of the route.  We can assist both you and your family members on switching your visa to another category or applying for settlement. 

OTS Solicitors is fully regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.  You can be confident when you engage us that we will provide you with up-to-date and relevant immigration law advice.  Our immigration Solicitors are approachable and sensitive, and many of our staff are multi-lingual.  If you require an interpreter, we can easily arrange one so you fully understand the advice we give you.

Contact our London office today to talk about your next steps in regards to your Tier 1 (General) visa.

To discuss applying for a Tier 1 General visa, please feel free to contact our UK immigration Solicitors on 0207 936 9960. We will gladly assist you in your application and dealings with UK Visas and immigration.

Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Applications

If you wish to employ a non-EEA national, then your business will need to apply and obtain a UK Sponsor Licence.  This licence will allow you to issue Certificates of Sponsorship to international workers.  They can then apply for a Tier 2 work visa.

At OTS Solicitors we understand business immigration.  We are based in the heart of London’s business district and are alert to the latest changes that occur in relation to how UK Immigration Law affects commercial entities.

Our immigration Solicitors, is led by Teni Shahiean, a highly regarded immigration and employment solicitor who has been recognised in the Legal 500 and by the Law Society of England and Wales for her expertise in immigration law.  Teni and her team will listen to your recruitment requirements and provide you with full support when collating the required documentation and completing the application form.  We will also use our contacts at UK Visas and immigration to ensure any questions or concerns they may have about your application are answered efficiently and effectively.

Our service

We manage the Sponsor Licence process for many UK businesses.  Our clients range from SMEs to large, multi-national corporations.  We understand how busy owners, directors and managers are; our clients know they can trust our immigration Solicitors implicitly to manage their Sponsor Licence applications and advise them how to maintain their A-rating.

A Sponsor Licence lasts for four years (unless it is revoked) and we will endeavour to support you throughout that time.  A Sponsor Licence holder must comply with multiple duties set out by the Home Office.  Our immigration lawyers will ensure that you know what your responsibilities are and will conduct mock audits of your HR processes and procedures, swiftly identifying any weaknesses that could result in your licence rating being downgraded.

What you need to show to be approved for a Sponsor Licence

A potential sponsor must prove to the Home Office that they:

  • are a genuine business, operating or trading lawfully in the UK
  • are based in the UK
  • hold the appropriate planning permission or Local Planning Authority consent for the type of business operated at the trading address
  • are 'honest, dependable and reliable'
  • do not represent a threat to immigration control, and
  • are willing and able to comply with the sponsor duties and responsibilities.

 

If your organisation meets the above criteria, then the Home Office will examine whether your company has the resources and personnel required to comply with the duties and responsibilities of a Sponsor Licence holder.

These responsibilities include:

  • Monitoring and recording the immigration status of migrant workers employed by the organisation and actively preventing the illegal employment of migrants.
  • Keeping up-to-date contact details for migrants employed by the organisation.
  • Keeping appropriate and detailed records on any migrants employed by the organisation.
  • Monitoring migrants employed by the organisation and reporting violations to the Home Office where appropriate.
  • Maintaining appropriate hiring practices and ensuring that any migrants employed by the organisation are legally entitled and qualified to do their job.

Teni and her team of expert immigration Solicitors will provide you with the best legal advice available, empowering you to define and manage your HR processes to ensure you maintain compliance effortlessly. 

Why choose OTS Solicitors

Our immigration lawyers are dedicated to ensuring employers receive and maintain an A-rated Sponsor Licence.  Our immigration lawyers want to learn about your business so we can ensure your application for a Sponsorship Licence is approved.  By instructing us, you can have the confidence that you fully understand both the processes and responsibilities that holding a UK Employer Sponsorship Licence entails.

To discuss applying for a UK Employer Sponsorship Licence or if you have any questions in relation to recruiting skilled workers from outside the EEA, please feel free to contact our UK immigration team on 0207 936 9960. We will gladly assist you to obtain the best outcome for your matter.

Tier 2 (General) Visa

The Tier 2 (General) visa is an employer-led process which allows businesses who hold a Sponsorship Licence to recruit workers from outside the EEA if a particular position/s cannot be filled by someone settled in the UK.

Our immigration Solicitors assist both businesses and applicants in obtaining a UK work visa.  We have the skills and experience required to ensure visa applications are submitted correctly, reducing the time it takes for them to be processed by UK Visas and immigration.

The immigration team at OTS Solicitors is led by Teni Shahiean, who has been recognised in the Legal 500 and by the Law Society of England and Wales for her in-depth knowledge of both employment and immigration law.  Our immigration lawyers are well-recognised for providing quality legal advice to employers and employees and for listening and establishing the needs of both parties to the visa application.

A full service

If you are a business looking to recruit international workers, we can assist you throughout the life-cycle of the process.  From obtaining a UK Sponsor Licence, to assessing whether or not the position you wish to recruit for is on the Shortage Occupation List, through to helping you conduct the Residential Labour Market Test, we will offer you practical advice from beginning to end.

The Shortage Occupation List

Not every job can be filled by a foreign worker.  To protect the UK labour market, the Government has created a Shortage Occupation List.  This list contains jobs that cannot be adequately filled by people already settled in Britain, because there are not enough individuals with the skills, qualifications and/or experience.

If the position you need to fill appears on this list, then you can automatically start recruiting a person from overseas.

For jobs not appearing on the Shortage Occupation List, a Residential Labour Market Test will need to be conducted.

Residential Labour Market test

If the position you wish to recruit for is not on the Shortage Occupation List then you will need to advertise the job before you issue a Certificate of Sponsorship.

To advertise the position in compliance with the Tier 2 Sponsorship rules, you need to ensure you:

  • Place two adverts within acceptable publications or by acceptable methods.  For example, advertising in a national newspaper or trade journal, or using a recruitment agency.  With many jobs it will be mandatory to advertise the position online using the Jobcentre Plus Universal Jobmatch service.
  • Advertise the position in two stages, with both stages being no less than seven days, so the total time the position is advertised for is 28 calendar days.
  • Have an advertisement that contains the relevant information pertaining to the position, such as the job title, experience and qualifications required and salary.

Before you can apply to sponsor a foreign worker, you must provide evidence that you could not find a suitable worker via the Residential Labour Market Test.

Minimum salary ranges

For most positions, you will have to pay a minimum salary of £20,800 (some occupations require higher pay).  On top of this, employers must plan for the future.  From April 2016, Tier 2 (General) visa holders who wish to apply for indefinite leave to remain must earn a minimum of £35,000 per year.  If you plan to invest time and money into training a non-EEA national employee, it would be uneconomical not to pay them a sufficient salary so they could remain legally entitled to work in the UK after five years.

Our immigration lawyers can assist you with identifying the correct salary range for a prospective foreign employees and help you plan an HR strategy to ensure that you retain talented recruits after their Tier 2 (General) visa expires.

Let our immigration lawyers help you

Teni and her team are dedicated to assisting employers recruit non-EEA talent in a way that is fully compliant with the UK immigration rules and regulations.  Our immigration Solicitors will ensure that you are fully informed of your responsibilities to the Home Office, and that you adequately complete the Residential Market Labour Test.

To discuss recruiting an employee on a Tier 2 (General) visa, please feel free to contact our UK immigration Solicitors on 0207 936 9960. We will gladly assist you in your application and dealings with UK Visas and immigration.

Family Members’ of UK Business Visa Applicants
Moving to the UK for business or employment opportunities is an exciting time.  Naturally, if you are married or in a long-term relationship and have dependent children, you will want to bring them to Britain with you.
The UK allows successful applicants of Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visas, Tier 1 (investor) Visas, Tier 2 (General) Visas, Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) Visas and other Tier 2 visa categories to bring family members with them to the UK.  
OTS Solicitors has helped hundreds of business visa applicants to secure visas for their spouse, partner, and dependent children.  Based in the heart of London’s West End, our business immigration law team is considered one of the best in the UK.  Our lawyers are smart, innovative and business savvy, with a wealth of experience of working with a range of business visa applicants.  We assist a range of client types, from high-net-worth investors and entrepreneurs, CEOs, CIOs, and other executives, through to talent being recruited for the booming UK tech sector through to domestic and temporary workers.
The definition of a dependent
Most visa application forms will use the word ‘dependent’ when referring to family members.  A dependent is classified as:
• your spouse or unmarried partner
• any children you have under 18 years
• any child over 18 if they are currently in the UK as a dependant
Although the word used is ‘dependent’ in most cases, once you and your family members successfully obtain your visa, your spouse or partner will be able to seek employment in their own right.
Supporting family members financially
Business visa applicants who bring family members to the UK must prove to UK Visas and immigration that they can financially support them while they are in the country.
For all business visas except the Tier 1 (investor) Visa, the business visa applicant must show they have at least £630 available for each family member.  For Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa applicants, this amount is increased to £1,890 for each dependent if you’re applying from outside the UK or have been in the UK for less than 12 months. The funds available for dependents are in addition to the £945 you currently must have to show you can support yourself when you enter the UK.
For some Tier 2 visa applicants, proof of funds may be waived if they have an A-rated sponsor who can endorse in writing that they will provide funds and accommodation to you and your family if required.
Healthcare surcharge
Most business visa applicants and their family members need to pay a healthcare surcharge (called the ‘immigration health surcharge’ or IHS) as part of their immigration application.
The healthcare surcharge is required by all non-EEA nationals coming to the UK for longer than six months so they can access the UK public health system (known as the National Health Service).
The health surcharge amounts to £200 per year per applicant and must be paid in full at the same time you and your family members submit your visa application. Applicants are required to pay up-front for the total period of their UK visa.
For example, if you are applying for a Tier 2 (General) Visa and wish to bring your spouse and three children with you, you will have to pay the following amount:
£200 x 5 (people) x 5 (years) = £5,000.
Supporting documents required by UK Visa and immigration for family members of business visa applicants
The following is a sample of the supporting documents UK Visa and immigration will require (these vary depending on your individual circumstances and the type of visa you are applying for):
Spouse/Partner
• marriage or civil partnership certificates
• evidence that you have lived together for two years if unmarried
• bank statements
• Council tax/ bills
• medical registration
• utility bills
Children
• full birth certificate
• proof that your child is not living an independent life (if over a certain age)
In most cases, family members will be able to apply for settlement (known as indefinite leave to remain or ILR) at the same time as you.  They will normally have to pass the English language test and Life in the UK test.
How We Can Help
 
Our experienced and highly-qualified immigration Solicitors will take the time needed to put together the best application for your family members if you are coming to the UK on a business visa.  We will ensure your case has the best chance of succeeding and will answer any questions UK Visas and immigration have regarding your application on your behalf.
 When you engage our services, you can expect the following standard of service:
• Based on the information you provide us, detailed advice regarding the immigration laws that apply to your case
• A clear, concise discussion with your solicitor, outlining the strengths and weaknesses of your application
• Advice regarding the necessary documentation to support your application
• Assistance with filling in the relevant application forms
• Full follow-up with the UK Visas and immigration if there are any questions or problems with your application
• Advice on appeals or applications for administrative or judicial review should your application be denied
• Your immigration lawyer will prepare robust, detailed legal representations setting out the best legal framework to support your application 
 OTS Solicitors is registered with and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
By making an appointment with one of our immigration Solicitors, you can be assured of receiving some of the best legal advice available in the UK today. To find out more on how we can advise you regarding bringing your family members into the UK, please phone our office on telephone:telephone.  We would be happy to offer an initial consultation over the phone, or you can make an appointment to see us in our London office.
 

Business Immigration Success Stories

For a more detailed discussion regarding your case, or to book an appointment with a member of our immigration team, please call us now on 0207 936 9960 

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