Opportunities for Overseas Businesses to bring in talent to the UK

14 March 2019 | Jonathan Martin

The UK Government has signalled its intention to make all inward migration to the UK subject to the same Rules. This is regardless of whether the applicants are coming from Europe or beyond, so it is a good time for companies looking to set up in the UK – or to bring in talent from overseas – to take advantage of the predicted Brexit bounce that will occur in the economy once there is greater certainty in future plans

In this environment, businesses outside the UK who have no presence may think now is a good time to establish their business here. The best way to do so is to send a senior employee with a Representative of an Overseas Business visa.

The advantages of this route is that there is no need to put forward a full business plan or provide firm evidence of the financial backing – both of which are needed in Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) applications. The application is straight forward and all you need is the following:

  • The company can have no presence in the UK;
  • A senior employee needs to be selected who has decision making powers in respect of establishing the business in the UK but they cannot be a majority shareholder;
  • The individual must be an existing employee of the business and have relevant industry experience;
  • They have to satisfy the financial requirements to show they can support themselves for a few months, this means providing some bank statements; and
  • They have to satisfy the English language requirements.

Some supporting evidence from the company is required but the application should be relatively simple to prepare and certainly easier to obtain than Tier 1 Investor or Entrepreneur visas.

Once the business is established in the UK, other employees can be brought over. This is provided the business obtains a Sponsor Licence. For existing employees, Tier 2 (Intra Company Transfer) visas can be obtained. New hires need Tier 2 (General) visas.

Under current proposals any business wanting to employ workers from outside the UK will need a Sponsor Licence. The Home Office sets out clear requirements that businesses have to meet when they have a Licence and they must be able to show they have the HR capabilities to know where their workers are and that they are carrying out the work they have been hired to do. That is why the Home Office wants evidence of the genuine nature of the business.

Thus within a short period of time, and for comparatively small initial outlay, overseas businesses can quickly establish themselves in the UK and those already here can give themselves the option of getting talent from wherever they need in the world.

What does all this mean for my business?

After examining the real state of play in UK business immigration it is clear that the UK remains open for business and is keen to encourage skilled migrants.

It is essential to properly select the correct route of entry and to submit an error-free application to maximise your business’ chances of successfully delivering the talent it requires. The system is tough and there are no appeals or opportunities to correct mistakes without going through the whole process again.

At Abbiss Cadres, we have immigration clients of all shapes and sizes. We can represent both individuals and companies – from a small start-up to a well established multi-national. If you need to bring in talent from overseas, or maintain an overseas workforce here, then you will have to deal with the Home Office. To make sure the process runs as smoothly as possible, get in touch.

Contact Us

If you have any queries on how these changes will impact your business, get in touch.


Content is for general information purposes only. The information provided is not intended to be comprehensive and it does not constitute or contain legal or other advice. If you require assistance in relation to any issue please seek specific advice relevant to your particular circumstances. In particular, no responsibility shall be accepted by the authors or by Abbiss Cadres LLP for any losses occasioned by reliance on any content appearing on or accessible from this article. For further legal information click here.

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The author

Jonathan Martin
Senior Consultant
Business Immigration
Global Mobility
D: +44 (0) 207 036 8397
T: +44 (0) 203 051 5711
F: +44 (0) 203 051 5712

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12 August 2021
Guide to obtaining a Representative of an Overseas Business visa
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