Business visas for Chinese nationals

In the midst of the UK’s hostile environment towards migrants, the Government has repeatedly insisted that the UK is open to welcoming the “brightest and the best” from across the globe. There has been a lot of emphasis on visas for highly skilled migrants and high net worth individuals from certain regions around the world; specifically China and Hong Kong. LEXVISA regularly assists Chinese nationals successfully applying for UK Business Visas and are able to advise applicants on a number of available options during an initial consultation which can be held over telephone or video call for international clients. Our Immigration Solicitors in London are experts in business immigration applications and offer a bespoke service to suit the needs of busy individuals who are looking to invest in the UK, therefore contact a member of our team today to find out more about our services and how we can assist in getting a UK Business Visa for Chinese nationals.

What is the Tier 1 Investor Visas for Chinese Nationals?

The Tier 1 Investor Visa is a Points Based System application which is available to high net worth Chinese nationals who wish to invest a minimum of £2 million in the UK. Successful Tier 1 Investor applicants will be granted a visa for 3 years and 4 months and this visa allows for settlement after the usual 5 years as well as an accelerated settlement after 2 or 3 years depending on the size of the investment. The main requirements are outlined as follows:

  • Applicants must be 18 or over and have good character;
  • Applicants must be a national of a country from outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland;
  • Applicants must have opened a UK bank account;
  • Applicants must hold and have control of at least £2 million (“the investment amount”). The investment amount must be held in one or more regulated financial institutions and freely available for investment in the UK;
  • Applicants must be able to prove that the investment amount is from a legitimate source;
  • There is no maintenance or an English language requirement for this application; and
  • Dependents may also apply to join the main applicant.

Last year there was a huge crackdown on the Tier 1 Investor Visa in order to stop money laundering. In light of this, it is extremely important that Chinese investors are able to provide adequate evidence to prove the legitimate source of the investment amount. Our Immigration Solicitors in London give our Chinese investor visa clients a bespoke documents list tailored to this specific Immigration Rules and individual’s circumstances in order to make sure the correct documents are submitted. We also conduct a thorough and comprehensive review of these documents before the application and documents are submitted to the Home Office.

What is the Tier 1 Start-up/Innovator Visa for Chinese Nationals?

The Start-up and Innovator Visa applications are made in accordance with Appendix W to the Immigration Rules and were introduced last year to replace the Tier 1 Entrepreneur and Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa routes. The Start-up and Innovator Visas allow Chinese nationals looking to set up and establish a business presence in the UK or take over an existing business. Dependent family members may also apply to enter with or join the main applicant in the UK. Unlike the former Tier 1 Entrepreneur category, Applicants do not need to get a certain number of points; however, an endorsement must first be secured in order to successfully make the visa application to the Home Office. A list of the endorsement bodies can be found directly on the Home Office website for Start-up and Innovator visas.

Unlike the Tier 1 Investor visa and previous Tier 1 Entrepreneur routes, Chinese nationals applying for the Start-up visa do not need to invest in the business immediately, but it is essential that they present a well-prepared business plan. Many Applicants fail as they cannot adequately pass the genuine entrepreneur test; however, our business immigration solicitors in London have affiliations who can help prepare a strong business plan, which is the first step in being able to secure the Start-up visa. The Start-up visa is granted for a period of 2 years and there is no route to settlement. However, Chinese nationals who have the Start-up visa can switch into the Innovator visa towards the end of their visa period.

The Innovator visa is for more experienced Chinese business people and requires an investment of at least £50,000. To secure an endorsement, Applicants must meet the innovation, viability and scalability requirements along with the maintenance requirement, English language requirement and suitability requirements. Chinese innovators can apply for extensions of their visa and may apply for settlement after 5 years.

What is the Sole Representative Visa for Chinese Nationals?

Chinese nationals who have an existing company registered outside the UK may be able to open a branch or subsidiary in the UK and appoint a senior member of staff to work in the UK on a Sole Representative Visa. Other key requirements for this visa include:

  • The company must have been operating for at least 12 months outside the UK and must be a genuine business;
  • The full-time employee must receive a proper basic salary;
  • Adequate maintenance and accommodation must be met;
  • There is an English language requirement which must be met;
  • The Employee must spend a minimum of 9 months per year in the UK or no less than 4 months per year if the absence can be justified by proof of genuine business needs and interests; and
  • The visa application must be made from outside the UK.

The Sole Representative bias can also lead to settlement in the UK.

What is the Tier 2 (General) Visa for Chinese Nationals?

The Tier 2 (General) visa is a popular visa option for highly skilled Chinese workers who wish to work in the UK and requires sponsorship from a Tier 2 sponsor. The Tier 2 Visa is a Points Based System application and Applicants, therefore, need to acquire a total of 70 points in order for their application to be successful. This includes:

50 points for attributes Applicants must be able to show that the job offer has satisfied the Resident Labour Market Test (“RLMT”), provide a valid CoS number and be awarded the appropriate salary. It is possible to be exempt from the RLMT in certain circumstances which would need to be clearly put forward to the Home Office for the avoidance of doubt.

10 points for maintenance Applicants must be able to show that they can be maintained and accommodated in the UK without recourse to public funds by submitting 90 days’ worth of bank statements showing the Applicant has access to a specified amount of money. It is also possible for employers to certify their employee’s maintenance on the CoS in order to meet this requirement.

10 points for the English language – Applicants must meet a minimum level of CEFR level B1 in reading, writing, speaking and listening or have an academic qualification that was taught in English.

Chinese nationals who were in the UK as a Tier 4 (General) student can apply to switch into the Tier 2 (General) category from within the UK and can apply for a visa duration of up to 5 years and 14 days either in one go or through extensions. Applicants are able to apply for settlement or switch into other visa categories from within the UK.  Family members of the main applicant may also apply under the rules and policy guidance for dependent family members of Points Based System and Appendix W migrants.

What are the UK Settlement options for Chinese Nationals?

All of the above visas lead to indefinite leave to remain (settlement) in the UK. There are various benefits in holding indefinite leave to remain status in the UK such as having no time restriction on how long you can remain in the UK and you will not be required your extend their visa every 30 months.  This will allow Chinese nationals to save money on Home Office applications fees and the Immigration Health Surcharge payments. More importantly, applicants will not be required to repeat the daunting application process. After holding indefinite leave to remain for 12 months; Chinese nationals can apply for British nationality under the British Nationality Act 1981.

Using our Immigration Solicitors in London to submit a UK Business Visa application for Chinese Nationals

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to submit a UK Business Visa application for Chinese Nationals.

Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your UK Business Visa application for Chinese Nationals succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided. Our immigration solicitors in London are able to assist you throughout the entire visa process.

This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative; our immigration solicitors in London can help ensure that your UK Business Visa application for Chinese Nationals meets the Immigration Rules.

Successfully apply for a UK Business Visa for Chinese Nationals

Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. Our immigration solicitors in London offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your immigration status and the merit of your UK Business Visa application for Chinese Nationals before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. Our immigration solicitors in London can assist you with the preparation and submission of your application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.

We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients. LEXVISA is just minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.

Preparation is the key to a successful UK Business Visa application for Chinese Nationals. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation.

Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.

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