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Tier 2 General / Sole Representative

Sponsored Skilled Workers

For those who cannot qualify under the various immigration categories of Tier 1, the next nest immigration status derives from the various provisions below. Most sponsored skilled workers are governed by Tier 2. There are 5 forms of skilled worker. These are

· Tier 2 (General)
· Tier 2 – Ministers of Religion
· Tier 2 – Sportspersons
· Tier 2 – Intra- Company transfers
· Romanian and Bulgarian Nationals

Tier 2 General sponsored workers

The main disadvantage under Tier 2 is that you need to have a job offer from a UK based employer who is prepared to sponsor you and that sponsor has the relevant immigration licenses, then you can apply for permission to enter or stay in the United Kingdom.

The requirements under the Tier 2 General, skilled worker category, are:
· You must have a sponsor; and
· You must have a valid certificate of sponsorship.

The application process will look at the following criterion before deciding whether to grant immigration status or not:
· English language ability
· Maintenance – i.e. available funds
· Qualifications;
· Future expected earnings; and
· Nature of sponsorship;

Only those who are outside the United Kingdom, in the United Kingdom but under a “switchable” immigration category or those who are in the UK already as a sponsored skilled worker can apply to the immigration authorities for further permission to remain in the UK as a sponsored skilled worker. Similar, but not identical provisions apply to sportspersons, ministers of religion or Intra-company transfers. Please contact our experienced immigration lawyers for further advice, details and representation.

As can be seen from the above, the issue relating to job offers and sponsorship licenses are complex. Our specialist immigration lawyers will be able to assist with these requirements whether you are business seeking to employ worker in these immigration categories or whether you are an individual seeking guidance or representation in becoming a sponsored skilled worker.

For workers from the European Economic Area and Switzerland
As is well known the immigration provisions for nationals of countries that make the EEA and Switzerland are on the whole generous to applicants. Nationals of those countries are free to enter and take up work without the need to inform or seek permission from the immigration authorities.

Registration Certificates, Family Member Residence Stamps and Registration
Cards can be applied for, but they are not needed before work is undertaken.  The European immigration rules for dependents are based largely around a distinction between family members and extended family members. The immigration rules for European nationals gaining settlement and citizenship are not dissimilar for those who have lawful stay in the United Kingdom. Our specialist immigration lawyers are on hand to assist with these European applications.

Other European Countries

There are separate provisions for nationals of other European countries. If you are a national of the following countries please call our top immigration lawyers for a detailed consultation for a fixed fee:

· Bulgaria
· Romania
· Czech Republic
· Estonia
· Hungary
· Latvia
· Lithuania
· Poland
· Slovakia
· Slovenia

Our leading immigration lawyers are on hand to advise nationals of these countries as to all their options as regards family members, settlement, rights and responsibilities.

Amongst Manchester immigration lawyers, barristers, or solicitors, we are confident to provide professional, honest, and the best immigration legal service for our clients from local or around the world.

Intra Company Transfer

Intra Company Transfers allow a Tier 2 licensed employer to transfer and recruit employees from companies that they have links to abroad.

As immigration lawyers specializing in Intra Companies, it is crucial to apply best practice to this fast changing area.

The main requirements are that the Employer must have a Tier 2 license, not just to employ Tier 2 General workers but specifically to cover Tier Intra Company Transfers.

The immigration authorities will also require that the Intra Company transfer fits within the following 4 categories:
1. Long-term staff – this is for established and skilled employees. These are employees who the immigration authorities agree are to be transferred to the UK division or branch of their company for a period greater than twelve months to fill a vacancy that cannot be filled by a UK based recruit.

2. Short-term staff – this is similar in nature to category 1 above, but as well as being for established and skilled employees to be transferred to the UK division or branch of their company, these are employees that for 12 months or less will be filling a post that cannot be filled by a new recruit from the UK.

3. Graduate trainee – our immigration lawyers are experienced in using this route, which allows the transfer of recent graduate employees to take employment at a UK branch of the same company. This will be part of a structured graduate training programme. This programme must be clearly defined and should lead to a managerial or specialist role in the future.

4. Skills transfer – this route allows the transfer of new and graduate employees to a UK division of the same company. The difference is to obtain the skills and to learn the knowledge required to perform their job overseas. Thy can also be used to train so their specialist skills and knowledge are transferred to the UK workforce.

An appropriate salary and certificate of sponsorship will also need to be obtained.

The applicant’s maintenance and English requirements will be assessed by the immigration authorities.

The amount of time obtained in the visas will depend on the 4 categories above.

Please contact our experienced immigration lawyers for further guidance.

Amongst Manchester immigration lawyers, barristers, or solicitors, we are confident to provide professional, honest, and the best immigration legal service for our clients from local or around the world.

Sports persons

The UK has a long tradition of hosting sporting events and attracting the finest sportspersons to compete here. The Immigration rules reflect this.

To enter the UK as a sportsperson, there are 4 broad requirements.
1. The applicant must have a certificate of sponsorship. This essentially means that he has an employer who has a licence to employ sportspersons. So an example, if a professional football wished to sign for UK club and he had no permission to work in the UK, he could then only join a football club which held the appropriate Tier 2 licence.

2. The applicant must also have the endorsement of his designated body – each sport has a professional overseeing body which will endorse the sportsperson as broadly skilled enough that he deserves a certificate in his favour. In the above example, the Football Association would grant this endorsement and without it the club could not sign the player. The Football Association, like all governing bodies has general criteria to assess the player’s skill. It is usually based on their promise or whether they have played in 75% of their country’s international games over a specific period of time.

3. The sportsperson must have the ability in English Language. This is usually set at IELTS 6.5. If they do not have this then there is an option to apply for a temporary visa to play as a sporting worker under Tier 5 which does not require English Language.

4. That the appropriate maintenance levels appear in their bank accounts. This should cover the previous 3 months and cover all dependents. The employer can certify that they will cover all the costs of the applicant and his family in the alternative.

Of course, these provisions do not apply if the applicant has alternative permission to work. These can include:
The applicant is a national of a EEA country (European Economic Area) or a national of Switzerland – see the European nationals page.

• The applicant is a British overseas territories citizen,
• The applicant is a Commonwealth citizen, because at least one of your grandparents was born here – see the UK   ancestry page for further details.
• The applicant has indefinite leave to remain in the United Kingdom

Contact our leading immigration lawyers for further guidance.

Amongst Manchester immigration lawyers, barristers, or solicitors, we are confident to provide professional, honest, and the best immigration legal service for our clients from local or around the world.

Minister of Religion

As experienced immigration solicitors are aware, the UKBA allows those providing pastoral care to enter the UK under the Tier 2, (Minister of religion) category. The visa category is for people who are due to commence employment or a role within their religious communities in the UK.

The various positions they can undertake include:
• Acting as ministers of religion;
• Acting as missionaries; or
• Acting as members of religious orders.

The types of duties can include the following:
– General Pastoral Duties;
– Leading worship ceremonies;
– Giving religious education by preaching;
– Giving religious education by teaching;
– Holding marriage and other ceremonies;
– Offering counselling and welfare support to members of the faith;
– Interviewing and Training and Co-ordinating the work of any local volunteers and lay preachers;
– Missionary preaching;
– Missionary training.
– Translating religious texts

The 3 main requirements are that
(a) The applicant has a certificate of sponsorship from an organisation that has Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) Licence
(b) That the applicant can prove his level of maintenance
(c) Can provide he has made out the English Language requirements

Please contact our experienced Immigration Lawyers for more guidance

Domestic workers in private households

The rules for domestic workers changed on 6 April 2012. If you had applied on or before 5 April 2012 for a visa to come to the UK as a domestic worker in a private household, please see the
Workers who applied for entry on or before 5 April 2012 section.

The ‘domestic worker in a private household’ category allows overseas employers to bring their domestic workers with them when they visit the UK for up to 6 months. To come here as a domestic worker, you must be an established member of your employer’s staff – you must have worked for your employer for at least a year before you apply for a visa.

Domestic workers include cleaners, chauffeurs, cooks, those providing personal care for the employer or a member of the employer’s family, and nannies. You must work in your employer’s household in the UK.

You will be given permission to stay in the UK for up to 6 months. You must return home at the end of the 6 months or when your employer returns home, whichever is sooner. We will not extend your permission to stay past 6 months or past the time that your employer is in the UK.

You are not allowed to change employer while you are in the UK or change to a different type of employment.

You cannot bring your dependants with you but they may apply to come here in their own right, for example as visitors.

If you are already in the UK as a domestic worker and your visa is for less than 6 months, the Extending your stay page explains how you can apply to extend your permission to stay for up to the maximum of 6 months. You cannot switch into the domestic worker category if you are currently in the UK in a different immigration category.

Representatives of overseas business (Sole Representative)

You can apply to come to the UK without a certificate of sponsorship as a ‘representative of overseas business’.

You may be able to come to the UK under this immigration route if you are:
– the sole representative of an overseas company,
– intending to set up a wholly owned subsidiary or
– register a UK branch for an overseas parent company;

Can you apply?

This page explains whether you can come to the UK as a representative of an overseas business.

If you do not meet the requirements below, you cannot come to the UK in this immigration category.

You must have been recruited and employed outside the UK by a company whose headquarters and principal place of business is outside the UK.

You must not intend to take employment in the UK except as described on this page.

You must be able to maintain yourself and any dependants adequately without needing public funds.

There are additional requirements, which depend on whether you are coming to the UK as:
– the sole representative of an overseas parent company.
– Our specialist immigration lawyers are on hand to assist with these European applications.

Sole representative of an overseas company

To come to the UK as an overseas parent company’s sole representative here, you be a senior employee (but not a majority shareholder in the company) who intends to establish a commercial presence for the company in the UK. This may be a registered branch or a wholly owned subsidiary concerned with the same type of business activity as the parent company.

The company must have no branch, subsidiary or other representative in the UK. If the company has a legal entity in the UK, but this does not employ staff or transact business, you may still be able to come here as its sole representative.

You must have full authority to take operational decision’s on the company’s behalf. To show why you have been appointed, you must be able to demonstrate a very good track record in the same or a closely related field of work.

If the company has previously employed a sole representative here, who has left the UK at an early stage before the UK branch or subsidiary has found premises or started to trade, we may allow you to come here as a replacement sole representative.

You must also be able to demonstrate your English language ability.

Our specialist immigration lawyers are on hand to assist with this applications.

Sole representative of an overseas company

You must provide:
– a full description of the parent company’s activities, including details of assets and accounts; and
– your own job description, contract of employment and salary details.

You must also provide evidence that:
– you are directly employed by the parent company and not acting as an agent marketing its goods;
– you have been employed by the parent company for some time and hold a senior post, with full authority to take operational decisions on its behalf without reference to the parent company;
– you were recruited to the parent company outside the UK and intend to work full-time as a representative of that company in this country;
– you are not a majority shareholder in the parent company;
– you do not intend to carry out any other work while you are in the UK;
– you can maintain yourself and any dependants without recourse to public funds; and
– you are competent in the English language to the required standard (such as your degree or test certificate, or your passport to prove that you are a national of a majority English-speaking country).

Conditions of your stay

If you meet all the requirements for this category and you successfully apply for a visa, you will be allowed to come to the UK as a representative of an overseas business for an initial period of 3 years. You will then be able to apply to extend your stay for up to another 2 years.

After you have been in the UK for a given period (currently 5 years), you may be able to apply for permission to settle permanently in the UK. For more information, see the Settlement page.

While you are in the UK as the representative of an overseas business, You are expected to work full-time for that employer. You may not do business of your own, or represent any other company’s
interests.

During your stay, you will have no recourse to public funds, and you must register with the police if we require you to do so. For more information about these and other requirements, see the Rights and responsibilities section.

Additional conditions for sole representatives of overseas companies

If the company’s circumstances change and you have been in the UK for at least 2 years, you may continue to stay here as a sole representative even if your company appoints a superior. After some time, you may be able to apply for permission to settle here if you are still filling a genuine vacancy and the company wants to retain your services.

If either party terminates a sole representative arrangement, a replacement will normally have to apply for under the points-based system. This application can be made by the outgoing sole representative, or by a solicitor on behalf of the company.

Applying to extend your stay

You can apply if you are currently in the UK as the representative of an overseas business, or in the former immigration categories of:
– sole representative of an overseas business  representative of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation
-You must enrol your biometric information (fingerprints and facial image) and obtain a biometric residence permit as part of your application.
-You must be in the UK to apply, and you must apply at least 4 weeks before your permission to stay in the UK ends.

Our specialist immigration lawyers are on hand to assist with this application.

Settlement

You may be able to apply for permission to settle permanently in the UK (also known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’), if you have been in the UK legally for at least 5 years as a representative of an overseas business, and/or in the former immigration categories of:
– sole representative of an overseas business
– representative of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation

If you have been in the UK as a sole representative for less than 5 years, you should Apply to extend your stay page.

To qualify for settlement, you must:
– currently have permission to stay here in one of the above categories;
– have maintained and accommodated yourself and any dependants without the use of public funds throughout the 5 years;
– and still be required for the employment for which you have had permission to stay in the UK, as certified by your employer; and
– have sufficient knowledge of language and life in the UK.

During the continuous residence period, you cannot be outside the UK for more than 180 days in any 12 consecutive months. The absences must usually be for a reason that relates to the purpose of your leave in the UK, or for a serious or compelling reason (such as serious illness). Your sponsor must confirm the reason for the absence if it was related to your work. You must do so for a serious or compelling reason.

Bringing your family

You can bring your family members( known as ‘dependants’) to the UK as a representative of an overseas business. A dependant is a wife, a husband, a civil partner, a same-sex partner, an unmarried partner or a child under the age of 18 years.

Applications for dependants should be made at the same time as your own application and using the same form. Dependant children over the age of 18 years will have to make their own separate application. Our specialist immigration lawyers are on hand to assist with these applications.