Non-sponsored Immigration for businesses expanding or investing into the UK

Our immigration team can advise on the various visa categories available for entrepreneurs, scale-up businesses, and overseas businesses wishing to establish a presence in the UK.

There are various visa categories available for entrepreneurs, scale-up businesses, and overseas businesses wishing to establish a presence in the UK. Our Immigration Team can advise both individuals and businesses on all aspects of these visa routes.

High potential individuals

This route is aimed at graduates from certain overseas universities who have graduated within the last 5 years and wish to relocate to the UK to work or seek work.

A High Potential Individual (HPI) visa gives permission to stay in the UK for at least 2 years without needing to find sponsorship.

Applicants do not need to have a job offer to apply.

HPI visas cannot be extended but individuals on this route may be able to switch to a different visa, for example a Skilled Worker visa, before the expiry of their 2 year HPI visa.

Global Talent

Global Talent visas have been introduced to enable leaders in the fields of academia or research, arts and culture, or digital technology, to work in the UK.

Applicants can only apply for a Global Talent visa if they have successfully applied for an endorsement from a Home Office approved endorsing body, to prove that they are a leader or potential leader in their field, or they have won an eligible award.

Individuals can live and work in the UK for up to 5 years at a time and there is no limit to the number of times a Global Talent visa can be extended.

Innovator Founder visa

Innovator founder visas are aimed at entrepreneurs who wish to set up an innovative business in the UK. In order to obtain an Innovator founder visa, applicants must be endorsed by an authorised endorsing body (either a UK higher education institution or a business organisation with a history of supporting UK entrepreneurs such as business accelerators).

Visas are initially granted for 3 years, although applicants may apply to extend this visa, or switch into different visa categories after this time, if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Scale-up visas

Companies that require specialist skills and talent to grow their business may recruit individuals who hold a Scale-up visa. This visa route enables high-growth businesses in the UK to be more competitive and attract talent for their fast-growing companies from outside the UK.

The Scale-up visa is initially a sponsored route, and so businesses wanting to sponsor workers under this route must first obtain a Scale-up Sponsor Licence.  Our Immigration team frequently advise on all aspects of the Scale-up Sponsor Licence application process and businesses’ ongoing obligations once the Licence is in place. While there is no limit to the number of employees a business can sponsor under this route, a Scale-Up Sponsor Licence cannot be renewed beyond the four-year period it is granted for.

We also advise individuals who are making visa applications on the Scale-up worker route.

In addition to supporting applicants with initial applications and extension applications under the above routes, our Team also assist with applications for settlement in the UK after the relevant qualifying period has been met.

Get in touch

We are lawyers you can count on to deliver. If you’d like to find out more about our services and whether we can help you, click the button below and get in touch.

Our team will be responsive and accessible – a valued partner ready to assist you every step of the way.

Contact us
Alt Contact Image

Sign up for legal insights

We produce a range of insights and publications to help keep our clients up-to-date with legal and sector developments.  

Sign up