Business Immigration routes to the UK

Author: Hamza Malik

The Brexit noise is deafening for those wishing to migrate to the UK. However, the UK Immigration routes remain open for business. Businesses who have utilised these routes have been able to utilise global talent to further their business needs.

The Business Immigration Routes to the UK primarily come under the Points Based System (PBS) of UK Immigration Law except for Representatives of an Overseas Business Visa or those entering for the purposes of a Visit. This means that the applicant needs to obtain a certain number of points before they become eligible for a particular immigration route.

PBS is then further divided into Tiers, which are Tier 1 (High Value migrants), Tier 2 (Sponsored employment), Tier 4 (Students) and Tier 5 (Temporary workers). Whilst the Tier 4 route is a route for students into the UK, it is still important for businesses to understand that those under this route have less onerous conditions to switch into a relevant business route, for example they do not need to complete the Resident Labour Market Test and are not subject to the annual cap.

Tier 1

The Tier 1 route is aimed at those are considered high value to the UK. This could be because of the amount of investment they bring into the country (Tier 1 (Investor) and Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)) or that through their Talent (Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) or Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur).

Tier 2

Tier 2 is for those who intend on being sponsored for employment in the UK. Their employer (the business) must have a Sponsorship Licence in place in the relevant category before they can sponsor the applicant. Tier 2 is further divided into sub categories which include a Tier 2 (General), for those applicants intending on remaining in the UK permanently, and Tier 2 (Intra Company Transfer or ICT), for Intra Company transfer of linked overseas companies on a temporary basis.

Tier 5

Businesses can also employ those on a Tier 5 visa, albeit on a temporary basis. This category also has two sub-categories, the Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme and Tier 5 Temporary workers, in the creative, sporting, charity, religion, government authorised exchanges and international agreement schemes.