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Visa Options For Iranian Nationals Doing Business in The United Kingdom

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Last week, OTS Managing Partner, Mr Oshin Shahiean and European Lawyer, Dr Lusine Navasardyan attended a seminar arranged by the Law Society of England and Wales entitled, Exploring Iran. The event featured several prominent speakers including:

  • Mr Vikas Aggarwal – Capital Investment Team and currently leading a large-scale capital investment scheme into the UK originating from the Gulf
  • Ms Christine Blacklaws – Vice President, The Law Society of England and Wales
  • Dr Amir Hossein Abadi – President, Central Bar Association of Iran
  • Dr Shokouh Hossein Abadi – Member of the International Commission and Central Bar Association of Iran (Tehran)
  • Ms Sue Millar – Finance litigation and sanctions specialist who has acted for Iranian entities for over 20 years.

Mr Oshin Shahiean is a dual Iranian and British Citizen, having been born in Iran. He and his family have strong personal ties with Iran and the surrounding region, visiting regularly. In addition, OTS Solicitors work with third-party consultancies which provide financial services to clients who may require it.

Investment opportunities in the UK

With the easing of international sanctions, Iranian investors and entrepreneurs are thriving. Tech start-ups are flourishing, aided by the absence of Amazon and Uber, which has allowed local equivalents such as Digikala and Snapp to experience rapid growth. Iranian nationals have also been credited with rescuing the UK luxury property market, with many newly liquidated investors buying multi-million-pound homes in London and the Home Counties.

From entrepreneurs wishing to launch their business in the British market, and talented workers who want to advance their career in a UK-based company, to investors looking for settlement, there are several visa options available. OTS Solicitors has years of experience working with Iranian nationals and can provide the best Immigration law advice and representation.

Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa

A Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa provides Iranian nationals with an opportunity to invest in and run an existing business or launch their own start-up. It can offer a route to settlement and ultimately, British Citizenship, for the applicant and their dependents if all conditions are met.

UK Visas and Immigration has strengthened the criteria required to gain a UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa. Not only must an applicant have access to funds of £50,000 or £200,000, but a good knowledge of English is also required.

In addition, there is a strict ‘Genuine entrepreneur Test’ which candidates will need to pass. Applicants will need to submit a detailed business plan to UK Visas and Immigration. Unlike a business plan designed to attract investment, the document needs to convince Immigration officials (who may not be commercially astute) that the applicant understands and can comply with the requirements of a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa.

These requirements include:

  • The applicant can and will set up a business or will take over or become a director of one or more businesses in the UK within six months of arriving in the country.
  • The investment funds of £50,000 or £200,000 are available and will remain available to the applicant until he invests in the business.
  • No other Employment will be undertaken by the applicant apart from being employed within the specified business.
  • Two-full time jobs for persons settled in the UK can and will be created by the applicant prior to applying for an extension to his Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa.

Our Immigration lawyers can demonstrate a very high success rate in advising Tier 1 entrepreneur applicants. In addition, we can engage business plan writers, who, on occasion, have delivered such a persuasive and accurate document to UK Visas and Immigration, the need for a face-to-face interview with Immigration officials has been waived and a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa granted automatically.

Tier 1 Investor Visa

For high-net-worth Iranians, a Tier 1 Investor Visa can provide a relatively simple path to obtaining British Citizenship. The eligibility requirements are minimal; applicants must have access to £2,000,000 in investment funds, held in regulated financial institutions, be over 18 years and have opened a UK bank account. There is no English language requirement, and dependent family members can join the applicant in Britain.

An experienced Immigration solicitor can provide the best legal advice regarding applying for and extending a Tier 1 Investor Visa. UK Visas and Immigration are likely to require extensive evidence of investments made via an investment portfolio upon application for extension. An applicant’s leave to remain in the UK may be curtailed if they do not maintain an expected level of investment. Our business immigration solicitors have extensive contacts in the UK wealth management sector. We can work with advisors over the length of a Tier 1 Investor Visa to ensure the holder meets compliance requirements and achieves Indefinite Leave to Remain and British Citizenship.

Tier 2 General and Intra-Company Transfer Visa

Talented Iranian nationals who wish to further their career may enter the UK on a Tier 2 General Visa or a Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer Visa. To be eligible, a Certificate of Sponsorship from an employer who holds a UK Sponsor Licence must be obtained.

In addition, an applicant will need to be offered an ‘appropriate’ salary for the position they are taking within the organisation and prove they can support themselves and any dependents during their first month in the UK. A good knowledge of English may also be required.

At OTS Solicitors, we regularly advise UK Sponsor Licence holders and Tier 2 applicants. Our Immigration lawyers have an in-depth understanding of the Home Office’s requirements and can, therefore, provide some of the best legal advice and representation available in London.

Building long-lasting relationships

We work with our business clients over the course of many years, taking great satisfaction in helping them achieve their commercial ambitions and desire for UK settlement. In addition to providing Immigration advice, we can advise on commercial law issues, Employment and family matters, providing high-net-worth clients with an almost complete legal service.

If you are from Iran, we would welcome the chance to talk with you and discover how we can be of service to you, your family, and your business.

OTS Solicitors is one of the most respected Immigration law firms in London. We can provide clear, practical advice and representation on all business immigration matters.

If you wish to discuss any of the points raised in this blog, please phone our London office on 0203 959 9123.

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