What we do: Business immigration law firm
Our specialist business immigration solicitors are experts in providing strategic advice to businesses to help them meet global mobility requirements. We advise on applications to recruit non-EEA highly skilled nationals, as well as advice and training on meeting UKVI compliance obligations under the sponsor licence. We also provide legal assistance across a wide range of private immigration matters such as entrepreneur, spouse/unmarried partner and children visas.
People are at the heart of immigration, and we appreciate that acquiring the right global talent can have huge commercial and legal implications for businesses. We understand that the complexities of immigration law can be difficult to navigate for private individuals who may seek to join family in the UK, so we pride ourselves on offering a personal and efficient service that takes into account the latest Home Office immigration rules.
Our immigration legal service covers several areas:
Visa applications and sponsorship
We can advise on a diverse range of visa applications under the Points-Based System (PBS) for students, international workers, entrepreneurs, investors and business owners looking to expand internationally or remain in the United Kingdom, including:
- Tier 1 (Start-Up)
- Tier 1 (Innovator)
- Tier 1 (Investor)
- Tier 1 (Global Talent Visa – formerly Exceptional Talent)
- Tier 2 (General)
- Tier 2 (Intra Company Transfer)
- Tier 4 (Students)
- Tier 5 (Temporary Workers)
- New hires including assistance with the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT)
- Switching visa categories
- Business visitors
- Dependant applications
We also deal extensively with:
- HR training within an immigration context
- Sponsor compliance obligations
- Meeting requirements on the prevention of illegal working, and right to work checks
- Home Office audits
- Challenging Home Office decisions
- Acquisitions/TUPE/sponsor licence changes
- Management of the sponsor licence system
- Private immigration matters including family and European applications
- EU Settlement Scheme
- Nationality enquiries such as British Citizenship
- Brexit preparation and planning
Processing and administration
Employing highly skilled professionals from outside Europe involves assessing the latest Immigration Rules and applying these to the preparation of a formal visa application. We work alongside third-party providers used by the Home Office to ensure visa applications are fully prepared. Our solicitors can help you to:
- Liaise with government departments including the Home Office, British Consulate and the UKVI.
- Complete all paperwork with third-party providers such as VFS Global and Teleperformance.
- Review and complete visa application forms to ensure all legal requirements are met.
- Offer an expediated service for priority processing visa applications made both outside and inside the UK.
- Draft and assign Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) with employers to finalise Tier 2 applications.
- Following successful approval of the relevant visa, post instructions for employers to meet ongoing compliance obligations with the Home Office. For individuals, we can ensure the intended date of entry to the UK can be achieved and that formal Biometric Residence Permits (BRPs) have been collected within 10 days of arriving in the UK.
Compliance auditing and immigration training
The UKVI reserve the right to conduct both announced and unannounced audits on any sponsor licence holder in the UK. A UKVI Compliance Officer (CO) can issue suspension or revocation proceedings should your business fail an audit. Being accused of failing to meet compliance obligations can cause your business significant reputational damage. We specialise in auditing businesses for compliance with the latest Home Office immigration rules.
We can also provide training to employers and HR on how to protect the A-rated status of your company’s sponsor licence and avoid the UKVI initiating suspension or revocation proceedings. We provide detailed training seminars to HR staff to ensure elements like right to work and prevention of illegal working legislation are being met daily by your organisation. If you have received a suspended or revoked sponsor licence, we have expertise in submitting representations against any allegations made by the UKVI. Please see below for a list of specialised services we offer within compliance auditing and training:
- Dealing with both contentious and non-contentious immigration matters.
- Adhering to the latest right to work guidance.
- Prevention of illegal working legislation.
- Preparing for announced and unannounced Home Office compliance audits.
- Comprehensive training seminars for HR staff on fully integrated immigration HR systems and future-proof Brexit planning.
- Challenging and defending UKVI decisions on suspended and revoked licences.
- Reviewing civil penalties imposed by the UKVI.
- Dealing with enforcement notices and Judicial Review proceedings.
Who we help: Businesses, universities and educational establishments, entrepreneurs, investors and more
Whether you’re thinking of hiring specialist overseas staff or your business already operates across multiple jurisdictions, we can help. We can act for businesses and organisations of all types and sizes across a range of diverse sector groups, from SMEs and start-ups to large multinational organisations. We specialise particularly in global immigration advice for acquiring talent for the IT and tech sector, which aligns with our firm’s specialism in advising disruptive and innovative industries.
We advise high net worth individuals within the recently launched Tier 1 (Start-Up) and Tier 1 (Innovator) visa schemes introduced by the UKVI by reviewing business plans and assessing the likeliness of receiving an endorsement from an relevant body. We are also well versed in advising clients on the EU Settlement Scheme, spousal and unmarried partner visas and more complex private immigration matters.
Our business immigration solicitors are highly experienced and skilled in providing sound legal advice to ensure visa applications are successfully approved.
Why choose our corporate immigration lawyers?
Over many years, our solicitors have helped and advised clients across a number of different business immigration matters.
Our solicitors speak multiple languages, with some being fluent in Bengali, Hindi, Sylheti and Urdu.
We have contacts within the appropriate immigration channels which allow us to ensure visa applications are processed expediently, whether made at a visa centre in the UK or a VFS centre abroad.
Our three transparent pricing packages are designed to give you the widest possible access to high-quality legal advice, whatever the size and nature of your business:
Straightforward access to senior solicitors at a competitive rate.
An affordable solution for businesses needing one-off legal support. Receive ‘City’ partner-level expertise at a fraction of ‘City’ prices.
Have legal peace of mind for £189 per month with additional support from £99 per hour.
A monthly subscription legal support package specifically designed for start-ups and smaller businesses.
For businesses requiring 60+ hours of support a year, with prices equivalent to £99 per hour.
Fully account managed quarterly subscription service for businesses with more complex legal needs.
What our clients say
We pride ourselves on delivering an excellent service for clients, but don’t just take our word for it.
As a University spin-out getting the right team of lawyers to support our emerging business was fundamental and the team are always available to provide us with the invaluable guidance and support we require.
David Hodgson, CEO
We use Harper James because they understand the venture capital sector we operate in, know our business inside out and are always on hand to assist us in any way we need.
Doug Scott, CEO
My colleagues and I have found them to be adept at dealing with the variety of challenges facing early stage companies. They are a trusted source for sound, sensible advice and practical deal management.
Jill Shaw, CEO
Over the years Harper James have helped us navigate complex legal issues and red tape, providing distilled options and legal consultancy that far exceeds the service levels we’ve previously experienced from more traditional law firms. The team act like our own in-house counsel so, regardless of which lawyer we work with, we feel supported and that they truly have our best interests at heart.
Michael Edwards, Co-Founder
Always great to have HJ on hand
Lucy Lam Po Tang, Head of Operations
Kite Global Advisors
Harper James are our trusted legal adviser and having them by our side at key moments in our business growth, knowing we are protected, is immensely reassuring.
Chris Mason, CEO