Category Archives: UK Visas

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.

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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 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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UK Visas

This guide is directed at individuals.

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Extending your Stay After a Tier 1 Post Study Work Visa

Are you already in the UK, working on a Tier 1 post study work visa, and looking to establish a long term visa and career in the UK?

We may be able to help.

If you can work for your prospective sponsor for 6 months before your visa expires,  your extension/sponsorship does not need to rely on there being no suitable locals.  (normally, unless you are in a ‘shortage occupation’, or earning a very high salary, you can only be sponsored if an advertising recruitment campaign does not yield suitable locals).

Our solutions 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 may be able to help your client sponsor you directly if the contracting / outsourcing route is not appropriate.

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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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EU Contracting | Visa to Europe from the UK

The UK can be a great base from which to work on projects for clients across the EU especially financial services, engineering and IT jobs in Europe. If you have a UK work visa, EU laws relating to provision of services can allow your employer to send you to work at client sites on the continent without requiring a fresh work permit issued by the destination country.

Before you read on please note that this European Visas for contractors guide is directed at individuals.If you are an Agency: CLICK HERE for our agent’s guide to deploying non-EU nationals to meet the needs of your clients in Europe

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Alternatives to Tier 2 Licensing

Securing a Tier 2 Sponsorship License and continually ensuring Immigration compliance can be an expensive and time consuming matter. If you are planning to sponsor 10+ workers the time and expense may be worthwhile, however if you need unique skill and experience combinations for shorter periods of time other options may be better. (more…)

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Sponsor Ratings

The UK Border Agency assigns Tier 2 Licensed Employers a rating based on their compliance with Tier 2 rules and processes. ‘A-Rated’ License Holders have no evidence of abuse and comply with all necessary Tier 2 systems, ‘B-Rated’ License Holders have been found to lack adequate systems to maintain compliance.  (more…)

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Sponsorship Duties

If you secure a Tier 2 Sponsorship License with the UK Border Agency you will be required to meet a number of ongoing Sponsorship Duties. This guide is a summary, and is not a substitute for professional advice. If you do not meet these duties you may find that your license is downgraded or cancelled. (more…)

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