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Business Immigration Advice

Immigration laws and processes are a maze.  You can trust Menzies Law to steer you through.

Our Business Immigration lawyers provide your organisation with a comprehensive Immigration law service for your UK staff visa & work permit needs as well as for your global talent moves.

In partnership with specialist business immigration colleagues, we provide you with a personal and stress-free service to allow you to hire non-UK nationals, bring colleagues into the UK from overseas sites and move UK and non-UK employees to overseas locations.  Regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) which regulates immigration advisers, our immigration lawyers are highly experienced, assuring you of excellent advice and always acting in your best interests.

For UK employers we can fully manage your application for Sponsorship status and your sponsored employee’s visa application.  Our colleagues skill and experience significantly increases the likelihood of a Visa application being successful.

Employing non-UK citizens (including those from EU, EEA & Switzerland)

Since Brexit, any non-UK citizen must obtain a permit or visa to work in the UK.  If you are employing a citizen of any country outside the UK you are required as the UK employer to act as a sponsor, under the UK government’s sponsorship scheme.   A UK employer must apply to become a sponsor by applying for a Sponsor Licence.  We offer a free consultation for clients wishing to consider applying for a sponsorship licence.

1. Skilled Worker (or Intra Company Transfer Licence)

Formerly the Tier 2 Sponsor Licence, workers are sponsored through a Skilled Worker Licence or Intra Company Transfer Licence.

This is a formal application which must be submitted to the Home Office, valid for 4 years once granted. This is a complex and detailed process and you should seek professional advice at an early stage to ensure that the application is fully prepared and lodged correctly.

Our Business Immigration Solicitors specialise in assisting UK Companies with the entire sponsorship licence process. We present you with advice on what options are available, discuss any relevant immigration or timing issues, assess your case, detail the evidence you’ll need to gather and advise on the most appropriate way forward.

We manage your application from initial assessment to submission, advising on HR areas the Home Office will consider when assessing your application.  We monitor and track your application process and provide ongoing support and management of your sponsorship licence, acting as your UK based Representative.

There have been some positive changes since the end of the Tier 2 scheme ensuring employers in all industries can recruit the talent they need.  These include;

Removal of the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT)

You no longer need to first advertise your vacancy on two approved mediums and confirm that they have been unable to fill the position advertised by a local worker.  You are now free to choose who you wish to fill a vacancy.

Lower skill threshold

Formerly employers could only employees if the job in question has a minimum skill level equivalent to NQF level 6 (think Graduate level and above), unless the role fell within ‘The Shortage Occupation List’.  The new rules mean ALL positions that are at a skill level of NQF level 3 will be roles under which foreign employees can be sponsored.  The Home Office have a published list of roles that are considered to be at NQF level 3.

The Shortage Occupation List sets out jobs which are in short supply in the UK and therefore may need migrants to fill these positions. This list is constantly monitored and reviewed.

Lower salary thresholds

There is now a minimum salary of £25,600 annum and further flexibility if the potential employee is under 26 (or switching from a student visa), effectively reducing the minimum salary to £20,480 (in line with average wages for graduates).

No annual cap

There is now no annual cap on the number of people you can sponsor under the skilled worker route. Employers will be given a certain number of certificates every year depending on their recruitment needs and further certificates should be made available within 24 hours if needed.

2. Tier 5 Temporary Worker (Charity, Creative & Sporting, Government Authorised Exchange, Religious), Youth Mobility Scheme

This is for skilled workers you wish to employ on a temporary basis, allowing an individual entry to work in the UK in a number of different circumstances.  Tier 5 category is split into:

  • Creative and Sporting. This is for individuals to work as a sportsperson (up to 1 year), entertainer or artist (up to 2 years).
  • Charity Worker. For individuals to undertake unpaid work (up to 1 year)
  • Religious Worker. For those doing preaching, pastoral and non-pastoral work (2 years)
  • Government Authorised Exchange. This category is for people coming to the UK through approved schemes that aim to share experience, best practices and knowledge, and to experience the social and cultural life of the UK. Work experience (1 year), research projects or training, e.g. practical medical or scientific training (2 years) to enable a short-term exchange of knowledge
  • International Agreement. Where the worker is coming to do a job which is covered by international law, e.g. employees of overseas governments
  • Youth mobility scheme. This category is for young people from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Monaco, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Republic of Korea and Taiwan who want to come and experience life in the UK.

Ongoing duties

Once the sponsorship licence has been granted, the employer has continuing obligations over its foreign workers.  It is important for employers to understand the various checks, rules and behaviours required of them by UKVI – and to have the appropriate HR systems in place to ensure compliance.  UKVI are known to carry out unannounced visits, and action can be taken against an employer who is non-compliant with these duties.

We offer training to businesses so that they are fully aware of their responsibilities as an employer/licence holder, an understanding of how the Home Office works and the workings of the actual work visa process.  Our training gives you the confidence you need around the common Immigration issues you can expect to come across as an employer.

Business Immigration Audit

Given that compliance is so critical when employing workers from overseas, we also offer an audit service.

Employing UK and non-UK employees in your overseas operations

Immigration processes vary enormously between countries.  As an employer, compliance is vital and the risks of getting it wrong are significant legally and financially (and in some cases reputationally).  Given the penalties, it is important to find a credible expert to support you and develop your understanding of your obligations in the relevant country.

Our global immigration partner understands the complexities and shifts of immigration, tightly linked to geopolitics.  They are experts in their field, appreciating how important talent mobility is for your business and are able to guide you to employ your talent in the location you need it.  And as talent mobility can be delicate, they are adept at supporting your employee and their family through the immigration process too.

Our partner can work with you strategically on your global talent plans too.  Insight into a country’s immigration environment can provide compelling information for relocation, expansion or reduction of your operations.

We are please to offer a free 20 minute consultation to discuss your talent mobility requirements and plans.



Contact Menzies Law for a free 20 minute consultation

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