Man immigrating to the UK

Advice on UK Immigration

Whilst the investor visa route has now closed, we are regularly helping people to come to the UK and there are a number of other visa routes available, including: (1) the Innovator Founder route, (2) the UK Expansion Worker route and (3) the Global Talent route.

All three routes would permit an applicant to work here and would enable their spouse and children under 18 years old to accompany them as their dependants.

1.1 Innovator Founder Visa

The Innovator Founder route is for overseas businesspeople seeking to establish an innovative, viable and scalable business in the UK.  All applications will require endorsement from an endorsing body. The endorsing bodies assess all Innovator Founder applications on three main points: Innovation, Viability and Scalability. These are defined as:

  1. Innovation – Do you have a genuine, original Business Plan that meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage? Are you able to demonstrate a clear and compelling unique selling proposition (USP) that is not easily replicable by others?
  2. Viability – Is your Business Plan realistic and achievable based on your available resources? Do you have, or are you actively developing, the necessary skills, knowledge, experience and market awareness to successfully run the business?
  3. Scalability – Is there evidence of structured planning demonstrating a credible path to growth and of potential for job creation and growth into national markets?

The applicant would need to have a key role in the day-to-day management and development of the business, and would need to have their business idea assessed by a relevant body before they would be able to embark on this route.

Successful applicants are granted leave for three years at a time and they can bring their family members to the UK. After three years, it may be possible for an applicant and their dependents to settle permanently in the UK.

1.2 UK Expansion Worker Visa (Global Business Mobility)

This route is for senior managers or specialist employees who are being temporarily assigned to the UK to set up a branch of an overseas business. This route can only be used when the business has not yet begun trading in the UK. If the business is already trading in the UK, the applicant may be eligible for a Global Business Mobility – Senior or Specialist Worker Visa instead. If the applicant is interested in setting up a new business in the UK, or owns an existing UK business, they may be able to secure a Skilled Worker visa via that UK  business.

In addition to evidence of the formation of a non-trading subsidiary, the applicant would need to produce extensive documentation to demonstrate that the overseas company has been active and trading for at least three years and has a credible expansion plan. Further, in order to secure a UK Expansion Worker Visa, the applicant will need to be sponsored to do a specific job, which meets certain skill and salary requirements, by an employer that has been licensed by the Home Office.

The Global Business Mobility – UK Expansion Worker Visa does not lead directly to settlement in the UK. However, the applicant may be able to switch into another immigration route which does lead to settlement once they are in the UK.

1.3 Global Talent

The Global Talent route is for people aged 18 or over in the field of science, engineering, humanities, social science, medicine, digital technology or arts and culture who can show they have exceptional talent or exceptional promise.

For most individuals there is a two-part application process. The first part is an application for endorsement. The second part is an application for entry clearance or permission to stay.  A person can make the application for endorsement before making the application for permission, or they can make both applications at the same time.

Alternatively, a person who has been awarded a prestigious prize listed in Appendix Global Talent: Prestigious Prizes is considered as showing exceptional talent and is therefore not required to apply for an endorsement.

A dependent partner and dependent children can apply under this route, and after three or five years (it depends on the application route) the applicant would be able to apply for settlement. Global Talent is also a route to settlement.

Should you wish to discuss any of the visa routes mentioned above or any other immigration issue, please contact a member of our Immigration team.