Working in the UK for non-UK contractors
The UK can offer attractive opportunities for contractors who are non-UK and non-EU citizens. The first step towards these opportunities is to get a visa giving the contractor the right to work in the UK. Without a valid visa a contractor can be removed from the UK, may not get paid for work done and may also possibly be sued by their UK employer for breach of contract.
Getting a visa
There are two main ways to get a visa. Commonwealth citizens can apply if they have at least 1 UK citizen grandparent. All other applicants must apply under a ‘Tier’ system operated by the UK Border Agency (UKBA). The system has five ‘Tiers’ with each Tier being applicable to a different type of application. The Tier type most commonly applied for by non-UK citizen contractors is the Tier 1 – High Value Migrants (General) category. This category is for highly qualified and experienced workers.
The points-based system
The application process involves completing a points based system of assessment. If the applicant doesn’t have enough points, the application will fail. The UKBA provides an online ‘points-based calculator’ tool which helps potential applicants do a self-assessment prior to applying. This gives an idea of what is required and lets potential applicants see if they are likely to have the number of points needed to apply.
Having enough points is just part of the process. A further element is the submission of specific supporting documents. Exact documentation may vary but can include:
- A valid passport
- Certificates of all qualifications
- Verifiable proof of financial assets and savings
- Verifiable proof of income, including details of the contractor’s Limited Company and certified accounts, payslips and dividend vouchers
- Birth and marriage certificates of grandparents (if applying as a Commonwealth citizen)
- Proof of English language skills and UK experience
If an applicant is unable to supply original or, in some cases, certified copies of the required documents, their application will fail.
Verifiable proof of income
Some accountants do not charge for providing the documentation you need for your Visa application, but they then only provide you with the bare minimum. If your application is then rejected you have to start again, and a resubmission can be expensive as well as time consuming. At Intouch Accounting we charge a small fee for the preparation of Visa documents so that we can spend the time collating everything you need, certified by us, to give you the best possible chance of success.
This blog has been prepared by Intouch Accounting. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this blog has been obtained from reliable sources, Intouch is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. This blog should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting advisers. If you have any specific queries, please contact Intouch Accounting.