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.Continue reading
Are you a highly skilled IT Consultant? Do you hold a Tier 1 General Visa? If so Commonwealth Contractors can maximise your contract earnings AND help you to qualify for a Tier 1 visa extension or ILR!
If you possess a Tier 1 General visa you’re in a very fortunate situation as now that the visa class has been cancelled the only other real option is a restrictive employer sponsored Tier 2 General Visa (formerly UK Work Permit).
Tier 1 General gives the holder a large degree of freedom however if you possess the visa and you would like to work as an IT Contractor you need to be careful to pick your steps carefully. If you go for the ‘quick wins’ and use a contracting vehicle that is to tax efficient you could find that you fail in your all important visa extension.
At Commonwealth Contractors we have developed a Contracting Solution specifically for highly skilled IT Consultants on Tier 1 General visas.
To discuss your situation with an experienced professional call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you!
Qualifying for a Tier 1 Extension
Traditional contracting solutions (i.e. Umbrella Companies, Contractor Limited Companies, Offshore Payment Vehicles etc) can cause major problems when it comes to extending a Tier 1 General Visa.
At Commonwealth Contractors our specifically designed Tier 1 General Solution includes;
- A professionally represented Tier 1 General Extension application (terms apply)
- Market leading retention rates (maximise your net contract retention today!)
- Tier 1 application planning to ensure you meet all requirements
- European Contracting Solutions – take on assignments in;
- The Netherlands
- Republic of Ireland etc
- Claimable Business Expenses, including;
- Accommodation & Utilities
- Travel & Subsistence
- Flights to a from the UK
- Visa Costs (reclaim government and professional fees)
- Computer Supplies
- Manuals & Textbooks
- Postage & Stationary
To find out more call now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you!
Qualifying for Indefinite Leave
At the moment you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (also known as Permanent Residence) if you spend at least 5 unbroken years in the UK on a Tier 1 General Visa (please note that a break is considered to be any more than 90 days in any one year).
At Commonwealth Contractors our IT Consultants benefit from;
- Professionally represented Indefinite Leave to Remain Applications
- Employment Letters & References to validate employment income
- Up to date news regarding changes to the ILR system
- Guidance on contracting solutions post ILR
Switching to Tier 2 General
If you’re unable to qualify for a Tier 1 extension don’t despair, as you may be able to ‘switch’ in country from Tier 1 General to Tier 2 General.
Each year many highly skilled IT Consultants find that they are unable to qualify for a Tier 1 extension, with reasons including;
Insufficient earnings during the qualification period
Insufficient funds to validate the maintenance requirement
Inability to prove earnings due to the payment structure used e.g. Contractor Limited Company or Offshore Payment Vehicle
At Commonwealth Contractors our Tier 2 licensed consultancy partners may be able to assign an unrestricted Certificate of Sponsorship and transfer you from Tier 1 General to Tier 2 General (formerly the old UK Work Permit scheme) where a project based assignment exists for a minimum £250 per day for a minimum 3 month period.
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To find out more about Commonwealth Contractors call now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you!Continue reading
Are you interested in growing your business in order to apply for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Extension Visa? Do you already hold a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa? If so Commonwealth Contractors can help!
Requirements For Tier 1 Entrepreneur Extension
Within 3 months
You must have complied with the requirement to
Either: become a Director of a UK business (either new or existing)
Or: Registered as Self Employed with HMRC
Within 2 years
Within a MAXIMUM of 2 years, you must have created 2 new full time (>30 hrs pw) PAYE (not self employed) jobs for UK ‘settled workers’ (or a net increase of 2 if taking over a pre existing business) ; these jobs must be shown to have existed for at least 12 months before you apply to extend the visa (this will be c3yrs after the initial approval, hance the need to create them within 2 years). This must be proved by:
- Proof the employees are settled workers (passport pages)
- copy of form P11 (or, if the P11 does not mention the start date, the original P45 or P46); the hourly rate to the employee must be mentioned to allow the hrs worked to be determined from the total pay.
- Duplicate wage documents issued to the worker covering the whole period of employment of the worker.
- Accountants letter confirming the new posts have been created
NB The above was last updated in Jan 2012. Regulations are subject to change and may not be the same when you come to apply to extend.
Accelerated settlement: New rules introduced in March 2011
If within 3 years you have
EITHER: Turned over £5m
OR Created 10 jobs,
then you may be able to apply for settlement after 3 years.
Settlement is conditional on, among other things, you not having spent more than 180days/year out of the UK in each year, and on passing a ‘Life in the UK’ test.
As with most parts of the UK immigration system, the above ‘tick boxes’ have been turned into notional points based requirements. The points based technicalities are summarised below:
Investment in UK Business (20 Points Available)
You must be able to prove that you have invested the level of funds detailed at the ‘initial application’ stage in the business.
Investment in UK Business
|You have invested, or had invested on your behalf, not less than £200,000 in cash directly into one or more businesses in the UKORYou have invested, or had invested on your behalf, not less than £50,000 in cash directly into one or more businesses in the UK (if you were awarded points in your initial application for having funds of £50,000 from registered venture capital firms, entrepreneurial seed funding competitions or UK government departments for the purpose of establishing or expanding a UK business)||
Registered as a Director or Self Employed (20 Points Available)
Registered as a Director or Self Employed
If you are currently in the UK under Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) status, you must have registered no more than 6 months after:
Engaged in Business Activity (15 Points Available)
Engaged in Business Activity
|You are engaged in business activity at the time of your extension application, and you can prove that within the last 3 months earlier you have been:
Created New Jobs (20 Points Available)
Created New Jobs
If you are currently in the UK under Tier 1 (Entrepreneur), the jobs must have existed for at least 12 months of your current permission to stay
English Language Requirement (10 points)
You will automatically meet this requirement if you are applying for a visa extension as you will have had to prove it when getting the initial visa.
Maintenance Requirement (10 Points)
You must be able to support yourself and your dependants without requiring access to public funds. Therefore the meet the maintenance requirement you must have, for yourself:
- £2,800 in personal savings if you are applying from outside the UK, OR
- £800 in personal savings if you are applying from Inside the UK
Also, for each dependant
- £1,600 in personal savings if you are applying from outside the UK, OR
- £533 in personal savings if you are applying from Inside the UK
(obviously most extensions will be from within the UK)
You may also like to read:
Tier 1 Entrepreneur Consulting Business
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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!Continue reading