Directors who are not UK or EU citizens and wish to work in the UK would need to obtain a Skilled Worker visa. The Skilled Worker visa is a type of work visa that replaced the Tier 2 (General) visa in December 2020.
What Qualifications Does a Director Require as a Skilled Worker?
To be eligible for a Skilled Worker Visa, the director must have a job offer from a UK employer who is a licensed sponsor. The job must be at the required skill level, which is usually RQF Level 3 or above (equivalent to A-levels or higher education). The director must also be able to speak, read, write, and understand English at the required level.
Additionally, the director must meet the minimum salary requirement, which is currently £26,200 per year. However, the minimum salary requirement may be lower in some cases, such as for jobs on the Shortage Occupation List or for new entrants to the labour market.
If the director meets these requirements, they may be able to apply for a Skilled Worker visa. The visa will usually be granted for up to 5 years, and the director may be able to extend their stay in the UK or apply for settlement after a certain period of time.
Can Foreign Directors Apply For a Skilled Worker Visa?
It’s important to note that immigration laws and requirements can change over time, so it’s always a good idea to check the official government websites for the latest information and guidance on UK skilled worker visas for directors.
Directors can apply for a Skilled Worker visa in the UK if they meet the eligibility criteria. To be eligible, a director must have a job offer from a UK employer that holds a valid sponsor license, and the job must be on the UK government’s list of eligible occupations.
In addition, the director must be able to demonstrate that they meet the relevant skill level and English language requirements. The skill level requirement is usually set at RQF Level 3 or above, which is equivalent to A-level qualifications.
The English language requirement can be met by passing an approved English language test, or by having a degree-level qualification that was taught in English or is recognized by UK NARIC as being equivalent to a UK degree.
If the director meets these requirements, they can apply for a Skilled Worker visa. The visa will typically be granted for up to five years and can be extended if the individual continues to meet the eligibility criteria.
It’s worth noting that Skilled Worker visas are subject to an annual cap, which means that there is a limit on the number of visas that can be issued each year. It’s therefore important for directors to apply as early as possible and to ensure that they meet all the eligibility criteria to maximize their chances of success.
If you meet these requirements, you can apply for a Skilled Worker visa through the UK government’s online application system. The application process typically involves providing biometric information (such as fingerprints) and attending an appointment at a visa application centre.
It’s worth noting that there are also other types of visas available for business directors in the UK, such as the Innovator visa and the Start-up visa, which may be more appropriate depending on your specific circumstances and business goals.
As far as I’m aware, there are no specific restrictions on Skilled Worker visas for directors in the UK beyond the general eligibility requirements that I mentioned in my previous response.
However, it’s important to note that Skilled Worker visas are tied to a specific job offer from a UK employer, and the visa is only valid for the duration of that job. This means that if you change jobs or stop working for your sponsoring employer, you may need to apply for a new visa or leave the UK.
Additionally, Skilled Worker visa holders are subject to certain restrictions and conditions, such as a prohibition on accessing public funds and a requirement to maintain their immigration status throughout their stay in the UK.
Yes, a skilled worker can become a director. The role of a director typically involves overseeing the management and operations of a company, as well as setting strategic goals and making important decisions. While there is no specific educational or professional background required to become a director, many successful directors have a diverse range of skills and experience that can be acquired through various career paths, including those of skilled workers.
In fact, having a strong background as a skilled worker can be an advantage in certain industries, such as manufacturing or construction, where technical expertise and hands-on experience are highly valued. Additionally, many skilled workers have developed valuable leadership and problem-solving skills that can be transferable to a director role.
However, it is important to note that becoming a director typically requires a strong understanding of business operations, financial management, and legal regulations, among other areas. Therefore, it may be beneficial for skilled worker to supplement their experience with additional education or training in business management or other relevant areas.
Are There Any Legal Restrictions On Foreign Directors On A Skilled Worker Visa?
Skilled Worker Visa workers are not allowed to enter self-employment, set up a business or join another business as a director or partner without obtaining permission from the Home Office. They are also not allowed to hold more than 10% shares in the sponsor company or change jobs or employers unless they apply to update their visa.
Company directors run limited companies on behalf of shareholders.
Directors have different rights and responsibilities from employees and are classed as office holders for tax and National Insurance contribution purposes.
If a person does other work that’s not related to being a director, they may have an employment contract and get employment rights.
If you have any specific concerns or questions about Skilled Worker visas for directors in the UK, I would recommend consulting with an immigration lawyer or contacting the UK government’s immigration and visa services for more information.