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UK Business Immigration

Eligible Categories for Business Immigration to UK

You can apply as a business person under the UK Immigration Rules if you are running business full time in the UK or outside, either: as a sole trader/ representative; as an Investor; as an Innovator; Before you can file for business immigration and to be considered as an eligible business person, you must have at least £200,000 under your direct control to use in the UK and which is held in your name (it is not held by trust or other investment arrangements), with the aim of investing it in a business in the UK ; have enough extra funds to support yourself and any dependants, and live without needing any help from public funds or taking employment (other than work for the business) until the business earns you income;
intend to be actively involved full-time in trading or providing services on your own account or in partnership, or in promoting and managing the company as a director; keep a level of financial investment proportional to your interest in the business; have either a controlling or equal interest in the business, and any partnership or directorship must not amount to disguised employment (this is when a person claims to be running the business but is really an employee); be able to afford your share of any liabilities while in UK.

Sole Representatives of Overseas Firms

You can go to UK to act as a sole representative to establish a wholly owned subsidiary or register a branch in the UK for an overseas parent company. The company must have no branch, subsidiary or other representative in the UK. If the firm has a legal entity in the UK but this does not employ staff or transact business then you may be able to enter the UK as their sole representative.

A sole representative’s role is to establish a commercial presence for the company in the UK in the form of a registered branch or a wholly owned subsidiary. You are expected to work full-time for one firm. You may not do business of your own or represent any other company's interests.

What happens if the company's circumstances change?

If you have been in the UK as a sole representative for two or more years, you may continue to stay here as a sole representative even if your overseas company appoints a superior. You may also eventually qualify for indefinite leave to remain as long as you continue to fill a genuine vacancy and the company wishes to retain your services.

However, if you have been in the UK as a sole representative for less than two years, you would need to apply for a work permit to continue working in the UK if a superior was appointed.

Investor category

This category is for people who have at least £1 million to invest in the UK and who want to make UK their main home. There are restrictions on the investments you can make if you go to UK in the Investor category. Restrictions on the type of investment are designed to channel funds into areas which stimulate economic growth and productivity in the UK.

Eligibility to qualify for UK as an investor

You must prove that you:

have a minimum of £1 million of your own money under your control in the UK or own personal assets of more than £2 million and have money (which may include loans from a FSA regulated institution) under your control of at least £1million;

intend to invest at least £750,000 of your capital in UK Government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies;

are able to maintain and accommodate yourself and any dependants without taking other employment or recourse to public funds. Meet us for a free consultation and See if you qualify - FREE SKILLS ASSESSMENT

What can I include as personal assets?

The calculation of your personal net worth can include property, offshore trusts, and assets held by you or your spouse or civil partner, if they are joining you in the UK as your dependant.

What type of investment can I make?

You can invest in the following:

Unit Trusts – regulated collective investment schemes that meet the requirements of the investor regulations.

Private companies – you must give us evidence of the shareholding or loans you have in the form of legal documents that are signed by or on behalf of the company, for example, audited accounts.

You cannot invest in the following:

Property Companies – this means companies whose main function is to own or manage land or buildings. It does not include, for example, construction firms, manufacturers and retailers who own their own premises. However, once you have invested at least £750,000, you can invest the remaining £250,000 in property companies.

Offshore companies - you cannot invest in or through offshore companies. You must invest your money in the UK . However, you may invest your money in a wholly-owned subsidiary of an offshore company, although the investment must be in the form of loan capital. The subsidiary must be registered in the UK , active and trading, and directly benefit from the loan.

Banks and Building Societies – you cannot keep all your capital in a bank or building society. Once you have invested at least £750,000 in the UK as required, you can keep the rest of your capital in a UK bank or building society.

Can I undertake any other kind of work while I am in the UK?

Not as an employee, but you may, for example, be a non-executive director or consultant, or own your own business.

Innovators scheme

The Innovators scheme is for the outstanding entrepreneurs with new and creative ideas from overseas whose business proposals will result in exceptional economic benefits for the UK. Although it is open to applicants who want to set up UK businesses in any sector, it is mainly aimed at those specializing in high-tech areas like science and technology based sectors. A successful applicant, therefore, will usually have not only an entrepreneurial track record or evidence of potential but also technical skills. The successful business proposal will aid the development of e-commerce and other new technologies in the UK.

Do I need to submit a business plan?

Yes. This should detail the object of the business, the investment and employment involved, and financial projections.

Can I change to a different business whilst in the UK?

You could be granted permission to stay as a business person for a specific business. You must therefore submit a fresh application should you subsequently wish to change to a different business.

What if my business fails in the first 24 months?

You should inform the Home Office of the circumstances including your current means of support and your future plans. You may be refused further leave but the caseworker will take into account all relevant information before reaching a decision.




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