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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7617
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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I have been offered a 1 year home exchange (my home is in the

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I have been offered a 1 year home exchange (my home is in the US & the exchanger's home is in London). My family are all US citizens. I have a US consulting business and many clients in London. We would like to do this 1 year exchange, but understand I can only spend 6 months out of the year as a business visitor. I'm not planning to move my US-based company, but I would like to work from London for 1 year. Given I have all of these London clients (and a London home), do I have any options?

I note you say that your family are US citizens, are you yourself also a UK citizen without any UK ancestry?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I am a US citizen, as is my wife and children. While my ancestry (many generations back) includes England (as well as France and Germany), I don't think this would be relevant.


Are you the majority shareholder in your US company?

I will probably only be able to answer in about half an hour..

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I own the company 100%. It is an LLC (Limited Liability Corporation) based in California. My clients include the largest companies in the UK.


Thanks for your patience.

You would not qualify or a Sole Representative of an Overseas Company visa because you are a majority shareholder in the company in the US unfortunately:-

Presumably you would just be consulting for a number of companies in the UK and would not be employed by any one company so would not qualify for a Tier 2 sponsored skilled worker visa either:-

The business visitor provisions are only for 6 months so this is ruled out too:-

There is not appropriate category in the Immigration Rules that you can apply under so far as I can see.

The UKBA is permitted to grant discretionary leave to remain in the UK outside the immigration rules, which is a specialist application. It is usually for people who are already in the UK and is based on a family relationship they have here which affords them human rights under the Human Rights Act. Yours would simply be on the basis that there is no other category which fits you and I would not be very confident that you would be successful I’m afraid.

I am very sorry but I cannot see a way forward unless you are prepared to take a risk with a discretionary application.

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Kind regards,

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Realizing that rules are not always forward-thinking, it still seems illogical to me that there is not an option for extending from 6 months to 1 year. I had spent time reading the UK immigration site previously. Simply, a one-year home exchange seems reasonable, particularly given I already do business in the UK and have no intentions of staying beyond one year. Although I could consider opening a London office. Have you had significant experience with immigration law in the UK? Have you ever done a discretionary application? Based on your reply, I can decide whether it makes sense (or not) to seek out a specialist. Thank you.

I will be able to respond in 20mins..

Visit visas are subject to a maximum of spending 6 months out of any 12 in the UK. Therefore a business visitors visa is not appropriate for you.

Similarly there is no short work visas within the UK immgiratoin rules that is appropriate for you.

I am a practicing immigration solicitor and have done discretionary applications before but not of this type because the overwhelming majority relate to where human rights arguments apply (eg. where a person has a child resident in the UK).

This is the only application that I can see that has a chance of succeeding, and it's not a particulaly good chance I have to be honest.

A solicitor would charge in the region of £1000 + VAT to draft the application for you and arrange the supporting documentation.

Please remember to rate my answer.

Kind regards.


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