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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7430
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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RA - amm

Customer Question

I am a US citizen looking to start a small business with a UK citizen in London. How can I legally work in the UK?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: UK Immigration Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.

What money do you have to invest in your business?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Other funds are available however, my business partner and I are planning an initial startup investment of 10,000GBP each. Is there standard investment amount which would qualify me to work?

Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.

Are you in a relaionship with anyone and if so what is their immigration status in the UK?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

as in personal relationship? no. just a business partnership.

Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for your patience.

The options for you are thin I’m afraid. If you wish to come to the UK to start and invest in your own business then this would normally be by way of a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa but as you can see from the following page it is a requirement that you must have 200, 000gbp available to invest:-

If this is not an option for you then you would have to find another traditional job and run the business in your spare time. This means that you would be looking at applying under the Tier 2 Sponsored Skilled Workers Visa provisions. You will have to see if there is a job that you could do in the UK on the shortage occupation list:-

You would have to then secure a job offer from a UK employer who is or would become a licensed sponsor of skilled migrants:-

If your job is not on this list then this means that you employer would have to apply to become a licensed sponsor of skilled migrants and also confirm to the UKBA that they have carried out a the Resident Labour Market Test. This test is effectively to show that their are no resident/eea national in the locality that can perform your role, though this might be difficult if there are other accounts officers who could do the role.

If they are willing to sponsor then you will also have to meet the requisite number of points under the Tier 2 points based system:-

You will see at the top right hand side there is an option to use their calculator to work out how many points you are eligible for.

There is lots of information on Tier 2 Sponsored Skilled Workers visas here:-

Apart from that I cannot see any other options for you I’m afraid.

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Kind regards,

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

if i could inquire further.... if my business partner has already established the business, is there a "simple" way for him to have the newly-formed company of which i will be a partner, sponsor me?

Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.

What form woudl the business take - limited company? simply partnership?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

the company is set up as a limited company.

Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.

Would you be a shareholder please?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

would acquiring work permission be easier if I were to become a shareholder? i would be an equal partner, and not quite clear what the difference is.

Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.
The key concept is that it cannot be a company formed for the sake of getting you/he a visa.

It would not work if you were a shareholder, for sure.

The reality is that if the company is going to be very small and your business partner disclosed your reltionship (as he would have to) then the UKBA would take the view that this is simply a company to get you a visa.

I really would not advise applying on this basis and would instead refer you to the options outlined above, thin as they are.

Please rate my answer.


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