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Skilled Worker visa provides a shareholding solution for Tier 2 General migrants

22 February 2021

Tier 2 General migrants must not have a shareholding of more than 10% in their limited company sponsor, however the Skilled Worker route does not include this restriction. So how can a Tier 2 General migrant take advantage of this change if they are offered a shareholding that would take them above the 10% threshold?

Unfortunately, the change in the Rules does not operate to remove the shareholding restriction from existing Tier 2 General migrants. This is because, if they do not continue to meet the requirements of the Rules their visa was granted under (including the maximum 10% shareholding requirement) their visa could be cancelled.

However, individuals in relevant Tier 2 categories (including Tier 2 Sportsperson and Tier 2 Minister of Religion as well as Tier 2 General) can apply for and be granted immigration permission as a Skilled Worker if they wish to increase their shareholding above 10%.

Perhaps more importantly, those who previously could not use the Tier 2 route because they were a significant shareholder can now apply under the Skilled Worker route. Some of those who could not use Tier 2 previously may have had to use the Tier 1 Entrepreneur route, which is an inflexible option for entrepreneurs due to its various restrictions. Alternatively, they may have had to re-arrange shareholdings or defer their move to the UK. The lifting of the maximum shareholding requirement for the Skilled Worker route should open doors to more businesses and business founders wishing to work in the UK.

If you have any queries about this topic, please get in touch with a member of our Immigration Team.

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