Skip to main content

Are you ready for the new points based immigration system?

Our leading business immigration solicitors can help your business prepare so you are confident and fully compliant with the new immigration rules.

The new points based immigration system (PBS) came into force on 1 January 2021 and applies to EU citizens coming to the UK to work. Our immigration experts can provide clear, practical advice enabling you to fulfil your workforce requirements under the new immigration rules. We also provide training at every level to ensure your staff are confident, compliant and fully understand the new immigration rules.

Being able to recruit from overseas is a business-critical issue for many employers who need to ensure their workforce has the necessary skills, experience and depth of resource and talent.

However, business immigration law is complex and constantly changing. It is often difficult and time consuming for employers and HR professionals to keep up to date with the rules and navigate through what is actually required.

Our business immigration specialists advise employers across many sectors including FTSE100 companies, multinational organisations, educational establishments, NHS bodies and technology start-ups. We also work with entrepreneurs, investors and high net worth individuals, bolstering the breadth of our experience and expertise.

Whatever your situation, we make your life easier. We deliver clear, practical advice tailored to your needs and objectives. We advise on every aspect of business immigration, including:

  • Applying for a sponsor licence
  • Compliance and advice on sponsor duties
  • Sponsorship of skilled workers (formerly Tier 2 and Tier 5)
  • Preventing illegal working and challenging civil penalties
  • Business visitors
  • Global Talent, Innovator and Start-Up visas

All our immigration specialists are employment lawyers, meaning we advise seamlessly between any immigration and employment law matter.

Breaching sponsor duties or immigration rules can lead to serious financial, operational and reputational risks. Ultimately, sanctions can include revocation of your sponsor licence by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), and civil and criminal penalties. Getting it right is vital. 

  • How we determine our price

    This section applies to our advice to you in respect of the preparation and submission of your immigration application. It does not, however, relate to any application for asylum or otherwise for entry to the UK where you believe that your rights may have been violated.

    For more details on the services we offer, please see our website: https://www.weightmans.com/services/employment-pensions-and-immigration/business-immigration/

    We have set out below the fees that we would typically charge you for handling certain types of application. In some cases, if the circumstances of your case are more complex, we will let you know and we will provide you with a quote.

    For a straightforward application under the Immigration Rules, we estimate the cost to be around:

    • Visit visas – between £1000-£1500 plus VAT
    • Spouse and partner applications, including fiancé(e)s or proposed Civil Partners – £1500-2000 plus VAT
    • Applications for work or business under the Points-Based System – £3000-4000 plus VAT
    • Dependent relative applications – around £1000-2000 plus VAT
    • Ancestry visas – £3000-4000 plus VAT
    • Other categories, such as applications on the basis of long residence / Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) – around £3000-4000 plus VAT
    • Settled or pre-settled status applications around £1,000 plus VAT.

    Please note that the fee range stated above reflects the work that we would expect to carry out in respect of a typical application, and would include:

    • considering documents
    • attending on you, the client
    • taking your instructions and advising you
    • assisting with the preparation and submission of your application
    • advising you on timelines and the outcome of your application.

    What costs may arise?

    You may have to pay certain expenses and other costs to third parties. The costs and expenses most likely to arise are Home Office fees for making your application, which you must pay directly to the Home Office as part of the application process.

    A note of these fees can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/visa-regulations-revised-table/8-october-2018

    Timescale and key stages of the process

    The timescales for advising on and the processing of an immigration application will depend on various factors, including the type of application being processed and the currently estimated timescales of the Home Office’s UK Visas and Immigration department (UKVI), in addition to our own time in compiling the information we need and advising you.

    For example, an application for a general work visa (known as a Tier 2 visa application) will take a different amount of time depending on whether the application is made inside or outside of the UK and depending on whether it is made by post or in person. Timescales can be expedited by paying an additional fee in many cases. We can usually advise on a Tier 2 visa application and on whether you qualify, within a few days.

    If your prospective employer is required to advertise in the UK the position for which you are applying (by way of what is known as a “resident labour market test”), that may take 4-6 weeks to conclude. In some cases, further time will be needed to hear back from UKVI before an application can be processed.

    Visit visas can vary depending on which country you are applying from and on factors such as the length of the visa.

    Our timescales for giving advice vary depending on the type of application and the urgency of the matter. In many cases, it may take around 2-4 weeks for us to obtain information and paperwork from you to assist with your application before it is submitted. In some cases, we may be able to process an application more quickly. In other cases, if the matter is more complex it may take longer. We will advise you of the timescales and we will keep you updated.

    If you are applying for indefinite leave to remain in the UK (ILR), this can take up to six months from submission, in addition to the preparation time. In some cases, it may be longer.

    Who will be dealing with your application?

    Your application will typically be handled by a solicitor in our Employment, Pensions and Immigration (EPI) team, supported as necessary by our trainees/paralegals. A solicitor acting for you may be described in correspondence as a “Partner”, a “Principal Associate”, an “Associate” or a “Solicitor”. A Principal Associate is, generally, more experienced than an Associate and an Associate is, generally, more experienced than a “Solicitor”. Our trainees/paralegals are not (yet) solicitors and usually have no other formal legal qualification.

    We will always ensure that the solicitor acting for you has the requisite level of experience to handle your case competently. In any event, all work will be supervised by a Partner, being the most senior member of the team allocated to you.

    If we do not provide you with a fixed fee quote, or if we do additional work for you which is outside our fixed fee quote, please note that our hourly rates (exclusive of VAT) for each type of solicitor or other team member who may be involved in your transaction, are as follows:

    Partner £320 per hour
    Principal Associate £295 per hour
    Associate £280 per hour
    Solicitor £230 per hour
    Trainee £180 per hour
    Paralegal £180 per hour

    If we need to rely on our hourly rates, we will endeavour to provide you with an estimate of the time that each member of the team is likely to take in order to conclude your application.

    Once you know who will be on the team allocated to your transaction, you will be able to find out more information about the team by visiting the EPI section on our website.

    If you have any queries, please contact Mandy Higgins on 0151 243 9894 or at mandy.higgins@weightmans.com in the first instance.

Mandy Higgins
Mandy Higgins

Partner

+44 (0)151 243 9894 Email Mandy

Immigration training

Our immigration specialists can provide training at all levels on the new points based immigration system to ensure that you are up-to-speed and fully compliant.

Find out more

Business immigration insights

View all insights

Immigration training

Our immigration specialists can provide training at all levels on the new points based immigration system to ensure that you are up-to-speed and fully compliant.

Find out more
Share on Twitter