Sunday, November 29, 2009

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UK BUSINESS VISA


What constitutes a business?


For immigration purposes 'a business' refers to an enterprise as:

•a sole trader

•a partnership

•a Company registered in the UK

You must obtain a visa or entry clearance to set up in business in the UK. Please read the section below for information about making your application. All applications are referred to the Home Office in the UK before a decision can be made and a visa or entry clearance issued.

What do I require to set up in business in the UK?

To qualify you must:

•have at least £200, 000 under your control, which is disposable in the UK and held in your name (not held by trust or other investment arrangements) with the intention of investing in a business in the UK

•have sufficient additional funds to maintain and accommodate yourself and any dependants adequately without recourse to public funds, or taking employment (other than work for the business) until the business provides income

•intend to be actively involved full-time in trading or providing services on your own account or in partnership, or in the promotion and management of the company as a director

•intend to maintain a level of financial investment proportional to your interest in the business

•intend to have either controlling or equal interest in the business, and any partnership or directorship must not amount to disguised employment;

•be able to bear your share of any liabilities

•intend to provide investment and services for which there is a genuine need in the UK

•expect to receive a share of the profits from the business which will be sufficient for to maintain and accommodate yourself and any dependants adequately without recourse to employment (other than the business) or public funds

•not intend to take or seek any other employment in the UK other than your work for the business


Additionally you must satisfy one of the following:

If taking over or joining as a partner or director in an existing business you should provide:

•a written statement of the terms on which you will join or take over the business

•audited accounts from the business for previous years

•evidence that your services and investment will result in a net increase in employment provided by the business and thereby create at least two new full-time jobs for persons already settled in the UK

If you are establishing a new business in the UK you should provide evidence that:

•you will bring to the UK sufficient funds of your own to establish the business

•the business will create at least two new full-time jobs for persons already settled in the UK The

above applies to self-employed Doctors and Dentists.

Who qualifies under the European Community (EC) Association Agreement?


In addition to the general rules about setting up in business detailed above, certain nationals may apply for entry clearance to establish themselves in business under the special provisions of the EC Association Agreements. If you qualify for entry clearance you do not require a work permit. The nationalities covered by this agreement are:

•Bulgaria

•Czech Republic

•Estonia

•Hungary Latvia

•Lithuania

•Poland

•Romania

•Slovak Republic

To qualify for entry clearance you must:

•put into the business money which is under your control and which is sufficient to establish yourself in business in the UK

•have sufficient additional funds to maintain and accommodate yourself, and any dependants, adequately without recourse to public funds or to employment (other than work for the business) until the business provides income

•receive a share of the profits of the business which will be sufficient to maintain and accommodate yourself and any dependants adequately without recourse to public funds or to employment (other than the business

•not intend to take or seek any other employment in the UK other than your work for the business

•If you are establishing yourself in a new business or taking over an existing company you must provide evidence that:

•you are a national of one of the countries listed above

•you will have a controlling interest in the company

•you will be actively involved in the promotion and management of the company

•the company will be registered in the UK and be trading or providing services in the UK the company will be the owner of the assets of the business

•you are taking over or joining an existing business and provide audited accounts for the past three years

If you are establishing yourself in self-employment or as a partner in an existing business you must provide evidence that:


•you are a national of one of the countries listed above

•you will be actively involved in trading or providing services on your own account or in partnership in the UK

•you alone, or together with partners, will own the assets of the business

•where you are a partner in a business,

•your part in the business will not amount to disguised employment you are taking over or joining an existing company and provide audited accounts from previous years

All applications to set up in business in the UK are referred to the Home Office in the UK for approval before an entry clearance can be issued.

How do I qualify as a member of the legal profession?


Members of the legal profession may qualify under special concessionary arrangements outside the Immigration Rules. Applications do not need to be referred to the Home Office in the UK.

Solicitors and law consultants, whether establishing or entering into a partnership in an existing practice in the UK, and barristers setting up in chambers, may enter the UK provided that the following evidence is seen and/or action taken:

Barristers:
•you must produce a letter of admission from the General Council of the Bar (England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland ) or, alternatively, evidence of a place in chambers

•evidence that you have sufficient funds to meet a share of the cost of rent and the employment of staff

Solicitors:
•you must produce a letter of admission to the Roll of Solicitor from the appropriate law society (England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland)

•you must have sufficient funds to either set up a new practice or enter into partnership with an existing practice from which you will receive a share of the profits

Consultants in overseas law:
•you must show evidence of your qualifications you must produce a letter from the appropriate law society (England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) confirming that there is no objection to you being given entry clearance for this purpose

•you must have sufficient funds to either set up a new practice or enter into partnership with an existing practice from which you will receive a share of the profits

The requirements for investment and job creation are waived for persons setting up in business within the legal profession in the UK.


The requirement for maintenance and accommodation are the same as for the other types of business covered in this leaflet.

Can my family join me in the UK?

Your husband or wife and your children may apply for entry clearance to join you in the UK provided they can show the following:

Spouse:


•he or she is married to you

•you hold an entry clearance as the main applicant (for the purpose of setting up in business)

•you both intend to live together for the period of your stay and your marriage is subsisting

•there is adequate maintenance and accommodation for you both, and any other dependants, without recourse to public funds

•he or she does not intend to stay in the UK beyond any period of leave granted to you as the main applicant

Dependent child:

•he or she is your child and that you hold entry clearance as the main applicant

•he or she is under 18 years of age

•he or she is unmarried, has not formed an independent family unit and is not leading an independent life

•he or she will be adequately maintained and accommodated without recourse to public funds

•he or she does not intend to stay beyond any period of leave granted to you as the main applicant

•both you and your spouse are being issued with entry clearance, except where

◦you are the sole surviving parent

◦you have sole responsibility for your child's upbringing

◦there are exceptional reasons for allowing entry and suitable arrangements have been made for your child's care

Your dependants must obtain an entry clearance before travelling to the UK. If they travel without entry clearance they will be refused admission to the UK.


Do I need a visa?

Yes.You must have a visa before travelling to the UK. You will be refused admission to the UK if you arrive in the UK without a visa.


How do I qualify to travel to the UK as an Investor?

You will need to show that you:

•intend to make the UK your main home

•have not less than £1 million of your own money, which is under your control and disposable, that you intend to take to the UK

•intend to invest not less than £750,000 of your £1 million capital, as per the restrictions detailed below

•are able to maintain and accommodate yourself and any dependants without recourse to public funds or working as an employee

What type of investments can I make?

You may invest in the UK by way of UK Government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK companies. For example:

•Unit Trusts: you can invest in a regulated collective investment scheme such as a unit trust provided that £750,000 of the funds are invested in companies which meet the requirements of the investor rules

•Private companies: you must provide evidence of shareholding or loan certificates in the form of legal documents signed by or on behalf of the company

Investments must be made in your name as a general rule to be acceptable to the Home Office, who decide the suitability of applications.

What types of investment can I not make?

•You may not invest in: Property companies: The Immigration Rules refer to companies principally engaged in property investment. This means companies whose main function is to own or manage land or buildings. It does not include companies principally engaged in construction or, for instance, in manufacturing or retail which own their own premises such as hotels or departmental stores. However, once you have invested at least £750,000 of your capital as required you may invest the remaining £250,000 in property companies. Offshore companies: Investment in or via

•offshore companies is not acceptable. You must invest your money in the United Kingdom. You may, however, invest your money in a United Kingdom subsidiary which is wholly owned by an offshore company, by means of loan capital, provided the company is registered in the United Kingdom and is active and trading and would be the direct beneficiary of the loan.

•Banks and building societies: You may not keep your entire capital on deposit with a bank. Once you have invested at least £750,000 in the United Kingdom as required you may keep your remaining capital on deposit in the United Kingdom.

Can I re-invest my shares in different companies in the United Kingdom?
You can re-invest your shares provided the new investment meets the requirements of the Immigration Rules and you can provide evidence of your continuing investment.

Can my investments or assets count towards my capital in the United Kingdom?

Once you have invested at least £750, 000 of your capital as required, your remaining capital may include investments and major durable assets in the United Kingdom, such as unmortgaged property and significant works of art, provided they do not account for more than £250,000. Personal effects such as jewellery and antiques do not count as major assets unless it is clear that these items are held for purely investment purposes (valuation must reflect the actual, not insurance replacement, value).

Can the capital be in joint names?

Yes. The capital may be held in joint names of husband and wife if you, as the principal applicant, are to be accompanied by your spouse as a dependant and you both apply for entry clearance at the same time and you both have unrestricted rights of transfer and disposal. No other person should have a controlling interest in the money.

Must I make the United Kingdom my only home?

No. You should, however, spend more time in the United Kingdom than away from it to continue to qualify for limited leave to remain as an investor.

Can my family or I take employment?

You cannot work as an employee but you can engage in business or self-employment, such as a consultant or non-executive director. Your spouse and dependent children, provided they have been given permission to accompany or join you, may take employment, within the existing employment legislation, for the duration of their permission to stay in the United Kingdom as your dependants.

Will I qualify for permanent residence?
You will be able to apply to the Immigration and Nationality Directorate of the Home Office for permanent residence if you:
•have made the United Kingdom your main home throughout the four years

•have spent a continuous period of four years in the United Kingdom as an investor. You will not be refused settlement because you have spent a short time outside the United Kingdom. You are expected to keep absences to a minimum; if you spend more time away from the UK than in it, this may result in you being granted further limited leave rather than permanent residence

•have kept a capital sum of £1 million in the United Kingdom throughout that period and £750,000 of your capital has been invested as required

•have maintained and accommodated yourself and any dependants without recourse to public funds or working as an employee

How do I qualify as a retired person of independent means?

You will need to show:

•you are at least 60 years of age

•you have an annual income of not less than £25,000 that is under your control and that you are able to transfer freely to the UK

•evidence of any property in the UK

•evidence that there are no regulations that would prevent you from transferring your money to the UK that you are able and willing to maintain and accommodate yourself and any dependants indefinitely without working, assistance from anyone else or recourse to public funds

•that you intend to make the UK your main home

If you are in doubt about the acceptability of your evidence please contact your nearest British diplomatic mission that provides a visa service for advice.
In addition to the financial requirements you will also need to show that you have a close connection with the UK.

How do I show I have a close connection with the UK?

The following may show a close connection to the UK:

•you have close relatives in the UK

•you have lived in the UK at any time

•you have long service with a British company

•you have long established business contacts in the UK

You should describe your circumstances in detail and provide any letters of support that you have at the time you make your application

Can my family join me in the UK?

Your spouse and children under 18 years of age may join you in the UK under the following provisions:

•they hold a visa or entry clearance for this purpose

•there is adequate maintenance and accommodation for them without recourse to public funds or taking employment

Do I need a visa?

You must obtain a visa before you travel to the UK. You should contact your nearest UK Overseas Mission with a visa section. If your nearest mission does not offer this service they will be able to advise you where to apply.

Visa Fee:

Visa fee for Business visa of UK is £ 205.00

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