After your UK entity has commenced business or hired UK based employees, often the only way to bring key overseas employees to work in the UK is for your UK entity to obtain a sponsor licence from the UK immigration authorities.

The current timing for a company to apply for and obtain a sponsor licence is typically at least three months from the sole representative arriving in the UK, depending on how quickly the UK entity can arrange a UK bank account.

Once the licence is in place, non-EEA employees can come to work for your UK entity under a Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) or Tier 2 General work visa, provided that the company has complied with any applicable conditions.

Once the UK office has issued a certificate of sponsorship (electronic work permit), the visa application process overseas usually takes around two to four weeks from submission, but again careful planning is required.

There is only one chance to bring over a non-EEA national as a sole representative during the life of the entity in the UK.

We enclose an overview of the various visa categories available to businesses and their employees.