UK Self Sponsorship Visa | Obtain Permanent UK Residency

The United Kingdom (UK) offers various visa options for individuals seeking to visit,
work, study, or settle in the country. One such visa category is the Self-Sponsorship
Visa, which provides a unique opportunity for individuals to sponsor themselves and
live in the UK. Self-Sponsorship means applying to work in the UK for your own
business without needing a UK Sponsor. This can eventually lead to you and your
family getting permanent residency and British citizenship. In this comprehensive
guide, we will explore the key aspects of the UK Self-Sponsorship Visa, including
eligibility requirements, application process, and the benefits it offers. The SelfS ponsorship Visa, also known as the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa, was previously
available to individuals who wanted to set up or invest in a business in the UK.

Eligibility Criteria:

• Genuine Entrepreneur Test: To apply for the Self-Sponsorship Visa, you must
demonstrate that you genuinely intend to start a new business or take over an
existing one in the UK. This is typically assessed through a business plan,
financial viability, and your entrepreneurial experience.

• Funding Requirement: As a self-sponsor, you will need to show that you have
sufficient funds to support yourself and your business in the UK. The specific
amount may vary based on the visa type and individual circumstances. There
is no set minimum or maximum investment amount required for your business
venture. The investment needed will depend on the specific requirements of
your business, and it could range from £25,000 or even more.

• English Language Proficiency: You will need to prove your English language
proficiency through recognized language tests unless you are from an
English-speaking country or hold a degree taught in English. The ability to sit
and pass an approved English language test at Level B1 is a requirement for
certain visa applications in the UK. Level B1 refers to the Common European
Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) level, and it indicates an
intermediate level of English proficiency.

• Age Restrictions: The Self-Sponsorship Visa may have age restrictions, and
some visa categories might only be available to certain age groups.

UK Self-Sponsorship Visa Application Process:

• Business Idea and Plan: Begin by developing a comprehensive business idea
and a well-structured business plan. The plan should outline the nature of
your business, market analysis, financial projections, and how it will benefit
the UK economy.

• Financial Requirements: Ensure you have the required funds readily available
to invest in your business and support yourself during your stay in the UK.

• Application Submission: Submit your visa application along with all supporting
documents to the relevant UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) center or online
through the UK government’s official visa application website.

• Biometrics and Interview: Depending on your country of residence, you might
be required to attend a biometric appointment to provide your fingerprints and
photograph. In some cases, you may also be called for an interview.

• Decision Time: The processing time for the Self-Sponsorship Visa application
can vary depending on your country of residence and other factors. Be
prepared to wait for a decision patiently. Approximately it would range from 6
to 8 weeks.

• Non-Resident of UK: It is to be noted that you will be required to appoint a
UK-based director initially. This means that someone who resides in the UK
must be designated as a director for your organization or business at the
outset. It is necessary to have a director who is based in the UK to fulfill the
legal requirements and regulations of the country. This UK-based director will
act on behalf of the company and take responsibility for its operations and
compliance with local laws. Once this requirement is met, you can proceed
with your business activities in the UK. It is important to ensure that the
appointed director possesses a good command of the English language to
effectively communicate and conduct business within the country.

UK Self-Sponsorship Visa How to Apply:

For a UK company, to meet the required documentation, you must provide a
minimum of 4 of the following documents:

• Most recent UK bank statement, showing funds in the account (the amount
required will depend on the type of business you are planning to run).
• Employer’s Liability Insurance.
• VAT certificate.
• PAYE and Accounts Reference Number.
Additionally, it is advisable for the UK company to have the following:
• A functional website (if applicable) showcasing your company’s products,
services, and contact information.
• A company email address to maintain professional communication.
• A business plan, particularly if your business is in its early stages, outlining
your company’s goals, strategies, and financial projections.
• An organization chart – showing the current staff and any vacancies you have
within the company, highlighting the reporting structure.
• A formal letter confirming various details about your company, such as
business information, operating hours, available vacancies, and your salary
as a director. This letter should be concise and clearly written, providing all
the necessary information in a simple and understandable manner.
Having these documents and information readily available will not only help ensure
your compliance with UK regulations but also facilitate smooth business operations
and communication within the country. As you apply for a sponsor license, it is
essential to have the required policies and procedures in place to sponsor skilled
workers. This process typically takes around two days to complete.
During these two days, you need to prepare and implement the necessary policies
and procedures within your company to meet the requirements for sponsoring skilled
workers. This includes setting up the appropriate systems and protocols to support
and manage sponsored employees in compliance with the UK’s immigration rules.

Benefits of the Self-Sponsorship Visa:

• Flexibility: The Self-Sponsorship Visa provides flexibility in terms of running
your own business and being your own boss in the UK.
• Long-Term Residence: Depending on your visa type and circumstances, you
may be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) after spending a
certain period in the UK.
• Family Inclusion: You can also bring your spouse/partner and children under
certain visa categories, allowing your family to reside with you in the UK.
• Any business can qualify for the self-sponsorship route
• No possibility of visa termination as you’ll be your own sponsor.

Another Noteworthy Aspects:

The Self Sponsorship Visa is valid upto 3 to 4 years. During the 4th year period of
your Sponsor Licence validity, if your business does not perform well, and you face
challenges with its operations, it could impact your visa status and the future of your
sponsorship. Also you will need to apply for a renewal with the Home Office. To
ensure a successful renewal, it is essential to maintain an active and trading
business throughout the entire duration of the licence. You can be one of the
majority shareholders in the UK business, and the job title may range from Managing
Director, Director of Operations and any other relevant role you may take to run your
business. And also you can have 100% of shares and you could be the Director.
There may be an option to take on supplementary employment in line with your job
classification also.


The UK Self-Sponsorship Visa provides a valuable opportunity for enterprising
individuals to establish themselves in the UK through their own business ventures.
As with any visa application, it is essential to thoroughly understand the eligibility
criteria, prepare a strong business plan, and ensure that all requirements are met
during the application processe. One such visa category is the Self-Sponsorship
Visa, which provides a unique opportunity for individuals to sponsor themselves and
live in the UK. Upon the approval of your UK company Sponsor licence, you will
require a Defined Certificate of Sponsorship. Failure to renew the visa may result in
the termination of your visa status, leading to potential complications and difficulties
in staying in the country. To safeguard your visa status and Sponsor Licence, it is
vital to monitor the performance of your business and take appropriate measures to
ensure its continued operation and compliance with the Home Office’s requirements.
Seeking professional advice and guidance can be beneficial in navigating through
any challenges and maintaining your legal status in the UK.

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