The United Kingdom is a beautiful place to live and an excellent country to do business in. The economy is strong, and many opportunities exist for businesses of all sizes. If you’re thinking of starting a business in the UK or expanding your current business into the UK market, there are a few things you need to know about setting up a business in this country.
One of your priorities is knowing how to obtain a visa.
What Visa Do You Need?
There are different visas for business people depending on what type of business you plan to do in the UK.
1. Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa
This is for individuals who graduated from UK universities or the UK government have endorsed as having entrepreneurial talent.
You are eligible to apply if:
- You are endorsed by a UK university or the Department for International Trade (DIT)
- You are from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland
- You meet the other eligibility requirements
You can stay in the country for one year on this visa if your application is successful. You may extend it for another year to show that your business is making progress. If you are unsure of your options, consider hiring legal experts for tier 1 graduate entrepreneur guidance.
2. Standard Visitor Visa for Business People
If you’re planning to go to the UK for business purposes such as attending meetings or conferences, you need to apply for a standard visitor visa. This visa is valid for six months and can be extended for another six months if necessary.
You need to show that you have enough money to support yourself during your stay and that you have a return ticket booked. You may also need to provide evidence of your business activities in the UK.
3. Exceptional Talent Visa (Tier 1) or Global Talent Visa
In February 2020, the UK replaced the Exceptional Talent Visa with the Global Talent Visa.
This visa is for highly skilled individuals in the fields of science, engineering, medicine, digital technology, and the arts. You also need to be endorsed by a recognized body in your field before applying for this visa.
The application process is similar to the tier 1 entrepreneur visa, and you must show that you have funds to support yourself and your family. The validity is up to five years and allows you to live and work in the UK without restrictions.
4. Investor visa (Tier 1)
This is a visa for individuals who want to invest in the UK economy by investing at least £2 million. You should invest this fund in UK government bonds, share capital, or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies.
It is valid for three years that can be extended for another two years. After five years, you can apply for permanent residency. Also, you must show that you have access to the required investment funds and that you meet the other requirements.
5. Innovator Visa (Tier 1)
The innovator visa is for experienced entrepreneurs with an innovative, viable, and scalable business idea. You need to be endorsed by a designated competent body before applying. In most cases, you need at least £50,000 to be qualified or have already invested such an amount of money.
It is valid for three years, and you may be eligible for indefinite leave to remain in the UK after five years.
6. Start-up Visa (Tier 1)
If you have a new and innovative business idea, you may be eligible for a start-up visa. You should have had at least £1270 in your bank account for 28 consecutive days before you apply.
You can stay up to two years in the country, which doesn’t have an extension. If you want to stay longer, you need to apply for another type of visa.
7. Other Visas
The following are the other types of visas available for businessmen:
- Tier 5 Temporary Worker
- Creative and Sporting Visa
- Sole Representative of an Overseas Business Visa
You have to remember that you can be denied a visa if you don’t meet the requirements or provide the necessary documents.
Additionally, the information provided here is just a guide and not an exhaustive list of all available options. The best way to know which visa suits your needs is to consult with an experienced immigration lawyer. Learn more here about how it works.
Starting a business in the UK requires sufficient money to support yourself and your business. The minimum amount of funds you need depends on the type of visa you’re applying for.
Moreover, it’s always best to hire an immigration lawyer to deal with your case, whether during your application or when you were denied. This is to make sure that you understand the visa process and improve your chances of success.