Getting an Endorsement for Your UK Business Visa or Work Visa banner


Getting an Endorsement for Your UK Business Visa or Work Visa

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Knowing that you need endorsement before you can apply for your UK business visa or work visa can be off-putting. It can feel as if your credentials are not good enough or your resume has to be independently verified.

In this blog, our Immigration Solicitors look at when you need an endorsement and how to get an endorsement for a UK business visa or work visa.

UK Online and London-Based Immigration Solicitors and Business Visa Lawyers

For immigration advice on all your business and work visa needs call OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.

Do you need endorsement before you can apply for a business visa or work visa?

There are 3 types of business visa or work visa where you (or a company) needs to have been endorsed by an approved organisation as part of the visa application process.

The 3 visas are:

  1. The Innovator Founder Visa
  2. The Scale-up Visa
  3. The Global Talent Visa

With the Global Talent Visa, you may not need endorsement. That’s because the immigration rules say that if you are a prize winner or award holder you can skip the endorsement process and go straight to applying for your Global Talent Visa. The Home Office keeps a list of approved awards or eligible prizes.

The Innovator Founder Visa

This visa is for experienced entrepreneurs who want to set up a business in the UK and who have been endorsed by an approved endorsing body.

The endorsing body needs to verify that the business idea is:

  1. Viable
  2. Scalable
  3. Innovative

The endorsement process will check out these 3 criteria against your business plan. Although the business idea and plan need to be yours, you can get professional support with your business plan so it is presented in the best way to show off your business idea and growth plans.

The endorsing body will use your business plan and endorsement application to check that:

  • The business is new and innovative
  • The business is viable and has growth potential
  • The business can be scaled up to create jobs and market the products or services nationally or internationally

You do not need to prove that you have a set amount of money to invest in your business. However, you will need to show that you have the funds to create a scalable business. This could be through cash or business loans but you will need to be able to establish the source of the funds. Your Business Immigration Solicitors can talk you through the requirements for demonstrating the source of funds.

Once you have endorsement from an endorsing body you need to submit your visa application to the Home Office. Once your visa comes through the endorsing body will monitor your success. Under the immigration rules the endorsing body is required to meet with you after 12 months and after 24 months to check you are meeting your company is meeting its business plan goals.

The ongoing involvement of your endorsing body in monitoring your business and in providing endorsement for any further applications makes it essential to choose the endorsing body you think is the best fit for your business and the one that you will be able to continue to work with.

The Scale-up Visa

The Scale-up Visa allows visa applicants to work for rapid-growth businesses in the UK. The visa gets its name from the fact that the company a visa applicant is recruited to work for is a scale-up. For this visa, there are 2 options; sponsored and unsponsored.

The sponsored route requires the employer company to have an endorsement by an approved endorsing body to confirm the business meets the Scale-up Visa criteria. The endorsement is therefore very different to the endorsement for the Innovator Founder Visa where the endorsing body is looking at the individual visa applicant and their business plans.

An employer will only need endorsing body approval if they cannot demonstrate that they meet the scale-up criteria based on HMRC information. If this is not possible the company can use the endorsing body route. This may be necessary because your business is a relatively new company and it has not filed sufficient returns to evidence the scale-up.

The Global Talent Visa

Endorsement for the Global Talent Visa is offered to individuals who are either exceptionally talented or promising individuals in their specialist fields of architecture, science, engineering, humanities, medicine, digital technology, arts and culture, fashion design or film and television.

With such specialist fields, the endorsing bodies are experts in their area. Some visa applicants are put off from applying for the Global Talent Visa as they are not leaders in their field or because they will require endorsement by an endorsing body. Immigration Solicitors stress that the Global Talent Visa is also open to ‘promising individuals.’ An Immigration Solicitor can help you work out if the Global Talent Visa is the best route for you as whilst the endorsement process may be challenging the route offers greater flexibility than many other immigration routes.

What is a visa endorsement for a business visa?

A visa endorsement simply means that an independent organisation has approved or endorsed you for a visa or licence.

Endorsement does not mean you will succeed in getting your visa application or sponsor licence application approved. However, if you need endorsement as part of your visa or licence application process you will not be able to secure your chosen visa or licence without it.

The endorsement is a letter from your chosen organisation or endorsing body. The key to getting an endorsement is choosing the best endorsing body to suit your visa application and skills and preparing your endorsement application with care and specialist support.

Once you have secured endorsement from the endorsing body the endorsement letter must be used within 3 months of its date to submit the visa or licence application to the Home Office.

Endorsing bodies 

Each UK visa requiring an endorsement as part of the visa application or license process has several endorsing bodies. These are organisations approved by the Home Office as able to approve or endorse your visa application as they have been assessed by the Home Office as having the necessary skill and expertise to assess the merits of your endorsement application.

Endorsing bodies can be added onto or taken off the Home Office list of approved bodies. Your Business Immigration Solicitors can advise you on the list and your options.

Each endorsing body uses specific criteria to assess your application for endorsement. Where you have a choice of endorsing body it is important to choose the one that gives you the best chance of securing endorsement. That isn’t always an easy choice. Business advisers and Immigration Solicitors can advise you on endorsing body selection.

Many visa applicants are more fearful of the endorsement application process than the Home Office application stage of their visa application. Business Visa Lawyers understand that trepidation as you are being judged by your peers or leaders in your chosen field.

Business Immigration Solicitors warn that the second stage of the application process, namely the Home Office application for a visa, can be equally challenging for business visa applicants. That’s because unless you follow all the relevant immigration rules and specific visa guidance your business visa application will be refused. Unfortunately, the rules on the information and documents you need to provide are not always clear-cut or straightforward.

How OTS Solicitors can help you with your business or work visa application

At OTS Solicitors our team of Business Immigration Solicitors and Sponsorship Licence Lawyers can help with all types of business visa, work visa and sponsor licence applications.

We can assist with:

  • Advice on the best type of work visa or business visa for your circumstances and endorsing body selection advice
  • Advice on sponsor licences if you own a business. For example, a Scale-up sponsor licence and/or a Skilled Worker Visa sponsor licence may suit your business needs
  • Help with endorsement and your visa or license application to assist you in achieving your goals. We do this by making sure your endorsement application, visa application or sponsor licence application is the best it can be and ensuring you send the correct supporting paperwork to the endorsing body or Home Office
  • Guidance on your visa or sponsor licence journey – if you are an individual, we will help you with all your individual immigration goals, such as Dependant Visas for family members, visa extension applications and applications for Indefinite Leave to Remain when you meet the residence requirement or for British Citizenship when you meet the criteria to apply for naturalisation or dual citizenship. For individuals setting up a company in the UK we can assist with all your company, employment and business law needs as well as all your business immigration and sponsor licence needs

UK Online and London-Based Immigration Solicitors and Business Visa Lawyers

For immigration advice on all your business and work visa needs call OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.

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