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24 February 2021
Tier 2 (General) migrants cannot have a shareholding of more than 10% in their limited company sponsor; however, the skilled worker route does not include this restriction. 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 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 that 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), Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) and 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, individuals who previously could not use the Tier 2 route because they were a significant shareholder can now apply under the skilled worker route. Some individuals 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 United Kingdom. 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 United Kingdom.
For further information on this topic please contact Andrew Osborne or Naomi Hanrahan-Soar at Lewis Silkin by telephone (+44 20 7074 8000) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com). The Lewis Silkin website can be accessed at www.lewissilkin.com.
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