Category Archives: Information For Individuals

1 Day Visa for Business People from India

David Cameron is on a three day visit to India with a 100 strong group made up of parliamentarians, business leaders and academics, in a drive to improve our links and trading relationship with a country which has the second fastest growing economy in the world and a population of 1.22 billion. This is one of the biggest trade delegations in British history and according to reports in the FT, Mr Cameron declared Britain could forge one of “the great partnerships of the 21st century” with India.

1 Day Visa for Business People from India

While visiting Mumbai yesterday he declared that he wanted Britain to be India’s partner of choice and announced plans for a one day visa for Indian business people who need to come to Britain at short notice. His vision is that British architects and contractors will play a leading role in developing a corridor of business between Mumbai and Bangalore a distance of 988 km or approximately 614 miles. He urged India to dismantle trade barriers in banking, insurance and retail. India is well known for its expertise in IT and electronics and this morning it was reported on BBC Breakfast that in Delhi he announced the setting up of a joint project to tackle cyber crime.

No Cap on Foreign Students Allowed in Britain

While addressing workers at Hindustan Unilever he stated that there is no cap on the number of foreign students allowed into Britain as long as they have basic English and an offer of a place at a university here. Unfortunately there is an unfair and inaccurate perception that it is not possible to do post study work in Britain and this needs correcting.

Watching the reports here on the news of his cricket playing we are left in no doubt that David Cameron is going all out to bat for Britain.

If you are an expat studying for a PhD or an MBA, we, and our partners can help you

* Obtain a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa.

or

* Find an employer able to employ you on a Tier 2 (general) work visa.

Call Commonwealth Contractors on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your details now and we will get right back to you.

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Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Migrant “Genuine Entrepreneur” Test

Why is the Genuine Entrepreneur Test Required?

On the 30th January the Immigration Minister Mr Harper laid before Parliament a written ministerial statement setting out the changes to the Tier 1 (Entrpreneur) Migrant route with effect from the 31st January 2013. Following the tightening of other migration routes the Entrepreneur route is apparently targeted by applicants who are recycling funds amongst different applicants and creating artificial businesses. Mr Harper stated that he was introducing a “genuine entrepreneur” test which will give UK Border Agency caseworkers the ability to test the credibility of suspicious applicants.

One of the main changes is that the UKBA make ask for verification that funds claimed to be available in the application are still available at a later date. The funds can be in the applicant’s own possession or in the financial accounts of an incorporated business of which the applicant is a director or available from the third party or parties named in the application. The viability and credibility of the applicant’s business plans and market research into their chosen business sector will be assessed. Their previous educational and business experience, immigration history and previous activity in the UK will also come under scrutiny. The introduction of these tests will inevitably lead to delays for applicants.

The Immigration Minister Mark Harper is confident that students will still want to come here to study. Figures released by UCAS showed an increase in applications to study at UK universities by non-EEA students. The most significant figures were a 9.9% increase in application from China and a 19.3% from India. He said “This shows that despite rhetoric to the contrary, students continue to want to come to the UK to study in our world class universities.” However, these students had applied before Mr Harper changed the rules.

In the Spectator on January 25th it was reported by Alex Massey that Canada  has just announced a program that will grant immediate permanent residency to qualifying entrepreneurs from 1st April 2013. The Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney plans to recruit the super bright foreign nationals from Asia who are working in technology in the US but may have to leave before they can get the US Green Card.

Barack Obama possibly had this on his mind when, in his Immigration Speech on the 29th January 2013 in Los Vegas as reported in the Washington Post, he said
“Now is the time to do this so we can strengthen our economy and strengthen our country’s future. Think about it. We define ourselves as a nation of immigrants. That’s who we are, in our bones. The promise we see in those who come here from every corner of the globe, that’s always been one of our greatest strengths. It keeps our workforce young. It keeps our country on the cutting edge. And it helped build the greatest economic engine the world has ever known.”

Later he added “We’re giving them all the skills they need to figure that out. But then we’re going to turn around and tell them to start that business and create those jobs in China or India or Mexico or someplace else. That’s not how you grow new industries in America. That’s how you give new industries to our competitors. That’s why we need comprehensive immigration reform. Now…”

Will the UK match Canada in offering permanent residency to high flyers? We will have to wait and see. In the meantime our partners at Commonwealth Contractors have experience in helping entrepreneurs, both with visa applications and in some cases with funding.

Contact us:

  • for tier 1 entrepreneur visa help
  • if you would like to meet similar individuals to make up an entrepreneurial team
  • for help with funding if you have a proven ability for your business to generate revenues of > £200k pa.

To find out more call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your details now and we will get right back to you. Please be prepared to send a copy of a recent CV so that we can pass to interested partners.

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Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Expansion | 1000 Extra MBA Places

While most areas of UK visa policy are getting tighter, the red carpet is still rolled out for the world’s high flyers.

In December 2012 Theresa May, UK Home Secretary, announced that

  • Phd students will be given 12 months from completing their course to seek work or  as entrepreneurs to start businesses in the UK
  • An extra 1000 Tier 1 ‘Exceptional Talent’ visas will be for MBA students.

The announcement followed London Mayor Boris Johnson’s public support for expat students coming to learn in the UK, and reports that British business schools thought overseas students had been reluctant to study here for an MBA as a direct result of the tightening on the immigration rules that limit their stay after graduation.

It remains to be seen if these very selective freedoms for top postgraduates will alter the perceptions created by generic UK government and opposition statements that the UK wants fewer immigrants.

Certainly the 28th January 2013 FT Business Education supplement, looking at global MBAs highlighted the extra 1000pa Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visas being released from April 2013, and it is to be hoped that prospective MBA students will be able to see that the UK really wants them.

So where in the UK should you study for your MBA?
According to the FT’s MBA 2013 college rankings there are 11 schools in the global top 100 with the London Business School at the top of that 11.

Other interesting points made in the supplement include:

  • People are thinking more carefully about taking two years off work to complete an MBA.
  • Students are not interested in learning about business in isolation. For example at Oxford Said Business School 6% of their 200 students are on their 1 + 1 MBA programme which combines the in-depth study of a specialist masters degree with the breath of a one year MBA.
  • Contacts made through MBA Alumni networks are important for opening doors to the future and networking is often an important factor when decided to study for an MBA.
  • The inclusion of trips immersing students in other cultures are now a key part of an MBA. The FT has teamed up with the Global Fund for Children (GFC) and created a challenge for teams of students where there is an intenational mix i.e. One student has to be studying in Europe, a second in the Americas and a third in Asia and Africa. See link below.

If you are an expat studying for a PhD or an MBA, we, and our partners can help you

* Obtain a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa.

or

* Find an employer able to employ you on a Tier 2 (general) work visa.

Call Commonwealth Contractors on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your details now and we will get right back to you. We are ready to help smooth the path to your future.

FT Links: FT Education and FT and Global Fund for Children MBA 2013 Challenge

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Tier 4 Students – 12.12.12 Deadline To Switch To T1(E)

The new guidance for Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa applicants after 13th December 2012 means that most Tier 4 students will have to go home to apply.

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UK – Big Brother is watching immigrants

In September 2012 the UK Border Agency  intends to deploy the ‘National Allegation Database’, (more…)

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Tier 4 students – stay in the UK with Tier 2 sponsorship

  • Are you on a student in the UK on a Tier 4 visa?

  • Would you like to stay in the UK and become a consultant?

If you can demonstrate an ability to generate >£250/day billings, our partners  may be able to help.

Contact us with your CV.  If you join a consultancy as a Tier 4 student, they can sponsor a Tier 2 work permit to keep you here.  This is one of the rare cases where a UK work permit for a non-shortage job paying under £150k pa can be sponsored without the employer advertising to give first refusal to local applicants

If you have not yet secured a contract offer, don’t worry.  Often it can be difficult to even see a company until they know your visa will not be their responsibility.
We can also help with advice on marketing yourself so that you get the offer that may unlock sponsorship, and so you talk to people who don’t just discard expat CVs.

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To find out more about our solutions call now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you!

Check out our immigration guides for details on how Tier 2 work permit sponsorship can lead on to Indefinite leave to Remain (permanent residence) and then British nationality / passport.

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Tier 5 Extension to your Working Holiday Visa

If you are enjoying the UK on your Working Youth Mobility Visa,  aTier 5 extension is something we can help you with.

The usual next step is sponsorship of a Tier 2 Work Permit visa, which can later lead on to Indefinite leave to Remain (permanent residence) and then British nationality / passport.

The great thing about being on a Tier 5 working holiday visa is that it allows a UK client / employer to get to know your work, so you can get a foot in the door (and, by being helpful and charming, start accumulating favours owed to you by people), and it can all happen before they need to think ‘am I prepared to go to some extra effort for this person’?

Your main options will be

  • Work for a consultancy, which may be viable if you can bill >£250/day, and are in a sector suited to outsourcing, or
  • Work directly for an ‘End User’

In either case, unless you are in an occupation recognised as being in shortage, or have a very high salary (currently £150,000pa, although after April 2012 this figure may be reduced to £70-100k),  sponsorship will only be possible if a recruitment advertising campaign fails to find suitable local alternatives.

We partner with consulting companies who may be prepared to sponsor you if appropriate, and with OISC registered immigration professionals who can help if your employer apply for a sponsor licence if they do not already have one.

You can’t move from Tier 5 to Tier 2 within the UK, so plan on a trip home for visa stamping.

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To find out more about a Tier 5 extension and our visa solutions call now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you!

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Tier 2 Visa Sponsorship for Contractors

Do you have a contract offer and require Tier 2 Visa Sponsorship, but the client can’t or does not want to sponsor you?  Our Partners may be able to help if:

  • The daily rate is >£250.00 + vat
  • The client is prepared to give a deliverables-based (and not an agency worker based) contract
  • The role is not one that can be readily filled by an EU resident

UK Sponsorship visa solutions can be particularly relevant if you already have a contract you are performing on a temporary visa such as Tier 1 post study work visa, Tier 5 Youth Mobility (working holiday) visa, or even a Tier 4 Student visa. There are a limited number of companies that will give Tier 2 visa sponsorship.

If you have not yet secured a contract offer, don’t worry.  Often it can be difficult to even see a company until they know your visa will not be their responsibility.

We can also help with advice on marketing yourself so that you get the offer that may unlock sponsorship, and so you talk to people who don’t just discard expat CVs.

These solutions work particularly well in the IT, Engineering and Finance spheres.  If you are in another sector, don’t worry, we can discuss your individual situation.

Find out More

To find out more about our solutions call now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you!

Check out our immigration guides for details on how Tier 2 visa sponsorship can lead on to Indefinite leave to Remain (permanent residence) and then British nationality / passport.

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UK Tier 2 Visa

This guide is directed at individual skilled professionals who would like to work in the UK on a sponsored Tier 2 visa work permit .

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If you are a skilled individual wanting to work in the UK, our OISC registered partners can help your employer sponsor a Tier 2 work permit for you. If you have a contract offer, but the client can’t or does not want to sponsor you,  Our Partners may be able to help if:

  • The daily rate is >£250.00 + vat
  • The client is prepared to give a deliverables-based (and not an agency worker based) contract
  • The role is not one that can be readily filled by an EU resident

The solutions work particularly well in the IT, Engineering, and Financial spheres.  If you are in another sector, don’t worry, we can discuss your individual situation.

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To find out more about our solutions call now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details now and we will get right back to you

Listed below is the index to our detailed guide to UK Tier 2 visas (work permits)

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Tier 1 Visas for High Value Individuals

How to extend your visa and get Permanent Residence

If you have a Highly Skilled Tier 1 (General) visa – well done.  You got in before the programme was closed to new entrants.

If you want to establish a UK base for the long term, it is essential that you ensure that you qualify to extend your visa.  Most people will need to extend twice; once after 2-3 years to get a second Tier 1 visa, and then again after a total of 5 years in the UK to get UK Permanent Residence (technically called Indefinite Leave to Remain or ILR).

At both the Tier 1 extension, and later UK Permanent Residence application, you will need to show that in the year before applying you continued to meet the Tier 1 criteria – ie that you have earned enough to get the required points.

Gaining points for your earnings can be more complicated for contractors.  With PAYE salary & bonus earnings, it is clear cut, but UKBA have more than once changed their treatment  of other types of earnings such as dividends paid by a personal service company, and Allowances paid to employees.

The treatment of expenses can make the difference between success and failure, especially for those on expat packages which including significant accommodation, schooling, and car allowances.  Such allowances may be included in your earnings in some circumstances but by default most tax-optimised allowance structures will not.  

Pension contributions can be structured so that they are part of your qualifying earnings, but the default treatment eg where an employer makes pension contributions on your behalf to a company scheme, is that they will not be included.  

By working with experts who understand both visas and contracting, you can ensure that your tax planning decisions are taken in the light of your needs to prove earnings for any visa extension applications, and so ensure the smoothest possible path along the usual steps of Tier 1 extension, then permanent Residence (ILR) and finally, if you so desire,  eventual UK nationality and passport.

Particularly for contractors, it is best to contact us and put things in place long in advance of making an application, and ideally in advance of the 12 month qualifying period during which your earnings will be assessed.  The ideal time to talk to us is two or more years in advance of making the application.  This can allow for the restructuring of allowances / expenses in ways that do not result in permanent tax losses, and for insurance against gaps in your contracting.

If, we have not been able to put in place advance insurance, and for example due to a career disaster, you are going to fall short of the required earnings during your qualifying period, then all is not necessarily lost.  You may well be able to ensure UK continuity by getting an employer-sponsored Tier 2 visa.  This gives you far less freedom than Tier 1,  but can be preferable to leaving the UK, particularly of after your career blip things are now looking positive.

Our partners offer solutions that work particularly well if you are a contractor,  but even if you are not, contact us and we can look at the options.  Our OISC registered partners can help you with visa extension applications, and can help an employer obtain a Tier 2 sponsorship licence and then sponsor you directly of that is needed.

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To find out more about our solutions call now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you!

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