UK offers variety of visas for investors and skilled workers visiting and remaining in the UK

- By Teni Shahiean of OTS Solicitors

The UK offers variety of ways to visit and remain in the UK for businessmen and their personnel.  Whether you look into investing in share capital and bonds, or setting up and running a business, expand your business by having a representative present in UK or sending company Employees to the UK based branch, you will find a relevant visa category to rely on.

It is little wonder that the UK has been so careful in crafting a clear framework for business immigration. The United Kingdom is currently one the most sought out country by international business community.

There are many reasons for this and below we least the principal ones.

Global trading hub

It is a well know fact that the United Kingdom is one of the leading economies in the world. The UK holds leading position in great number of industries and it currently is one of the most attractive countries for doing business in. London alone is host to 40% of the European business headquarters. It also hosts large amount of non-European businesses. There are number of reasons that make the UK number one choice for business and the vibrant market is but one of those.

One feature that makes the UK so attractive is the extremely divers and rich market it offers. Not only it’s one of the largest markets in the EU, but through its affiliation with EU and EEA, it offers access to the Europe’s single market, which is globally number one largest single market. This is not a negligible advantage. It is also important to understand that compared to the other countries that comprise the European single market, the UK offers considerable advantages, making it more attractive than its continental counterparts. 

When looking for a base to start trading in the European single market several reasons must be considered. This is where the UK takes a clear lead. The UK is the fourth largest stock exchange in the world and offers excellent access to international equity assets. UK, especially London, is one of the leaders in financial sector. This puts UK in the top position for equity investments as well as FDI. However, the importance of strong financial sector is of outmost importance to any type of business as it opens the door to different financing opportunities.

Another major reason to invest in the UK is the ease of setting up a business here. The UK is one of the easiest countries to set up a business in. It is possible to set up a company in as little as 24 hours with minimal costs and start trading in as little as 3 days.  The corporate governance laws are transparent and easy to follow. Moreover, English law is comprehensive in offering protection to minority shareholders, who usually are considerably more vulnerable under other jurisdictions.

Investor Visa


Fast Track to British Citizenship by Tier 1 Investment

An investor would need to apply under the Tier 1 Inverstor Visa to remain in the UK and enable him or her to gain British Citizenship. The level of investment in the UK needed are as follows:


  • £2,000,000 to invest, which would lead to settlement in 5 years and Biritsh Citizenship and passport thereafter;

  • £5,000,000 to invest, which would lead to settlement in 3 years, and Birtish Citizenship and passport thereafter; or

  • £10,000,000 to invest, which would lead to settlement in only 2 years and British Citizenship and passport thereafter


For a in-depth review of the requirments and your eligibilty for the Tier 1 Investor Visa category, please Visit our Entrepreneur page here.


entrepreneur visa

An Entrepreneur looking to invest money into a business in the UK will need to meet the requirments for a Tier 1 Entrepereneur Visa by:


  • Investing either £200,000 ; £100,000; or £50,000 in the UK

  • A £200,000 investment must be proposes in a UK business

  • A £100,000 investment may be accepted if you are one of two partner teams investing

  • A £50,000 investment would require your funds to be from a ventrue capital virm regulated by the FSA


For a in-depth review of all the requirments and your eligibilty for the Tier 1 entrepreneur visacategory, please Visit our Entrepreneur page here.

Highly skilled and flexible labour market

Yet another extremely important factor to consider when looking for new shores to expend your business is the availability of the right skills and the flexibility of the labour market.

When referring to the availability of the skills we mean both the professional services as well as the skills needed to develop the business.

The high level of professional services available in the UK is one of the reasons that the major businesses choose to set up in this country. The United Kingdom is home to highly valued legal and accounting services providers. It is also important to give due weight to the fact that English law remains one of the most used jurisdiction in cross-border commercial contracts. In addition to legal and accounting services, the UK is also highly competitive in advertising sector.

The high performance of the above mentioned professions is resting on the fact that the UK is home to one of the highest ranking Universities in the world. This further contributes to overall high levels of skilled professionals in the UK. Moreover, the UK as one of the leading economies, also attracts highly skilled migrants. This in return offers a vast pool of talent for the businesses based in the UK. Combined with one of the least restrictive Employment laws in the Europe, UK is indeed an attractive place to set up a business. 

Low Taxes

The United Kingdom is also extremely attractive for business costs as the UK has one of the lowest corporate taxes in the Europe. With corporate tax rate at 20% UK has amongst the lowest rates in the EU and the lowest of the ten most developed EU member countries. It is also the lowest tax rate in the G20 and G7.

Moreover, the UK does not impose tax on dividends received by UK companies, irrespective of the location of the subsidiary. This can prove to be a considerable saving for a business of a complex structure. Further to this, the UK does not practice withholding of a tax on dividends paid by a UK company to a foreign one, a practice widely spread in other developed countries.

 In addition to this there is a very well developed network of double tax treaties. In conjunction with comprehensive rules on deduction of expenses, including interest deductibility on certain types of loans, this reduces significantly the tax burden on the businesses.

Tax incentives on research and development also play an important role in making the UK an attractive shore for business.

Excellence of infrastructure and industrial zones

For a truly operational business infrastructure is a major concern. The country is connected to the world by an extensive network of transportation by sea, air and roads. The UK boasts one of the largest transport systems in the Europe.

In addition to the transport links, it also has an excellent broadband coverage and is one of the best locations for secured servers.

The UK also has a large Research and Development sector. The country is the top rated major world economy in the Global Innovation Index.

Exporting from the UK

Being part of the EU, the UK offers great opportunities in accessing the European market. Free movement of the goods means UK businesses have access to the single market without being hindered by export taxes or paperwork. Moreover, UK has a great trading network with the other parts of the world as well. There is a well developed framework of bilateral treaties in place to aid the process.

In addition to access to single market, UK sets itself aside from the other EU countries by a relative low level of red tape. In fact, this issue is one of the cornerstones of Britain’s current pursuit for reformed EU.


OTS Solicitors is a City of London law firm recognised as one of the UK's leading immigration law and immigration Management firms. We are instructed daily by private individuals, SMEs, to large corporate entities and organisations. The firm has invested heavily on legal knowledge and continuous professional development which has seen the firm grow rapidly and establish a reputation for providing exceptional immigrationservices and advice for its corporate clients.