Is there a limit on share % ownership for Skilled Worker sponsor licence and work visa

Some foreign nationals may wish to set up a business in the UK in order to obtain Skilled Worker sponsor licence and employ themselves on the Skilled Worker visa at their own UK company.

Under the old Tier 2 General visa regime there was 10% limit on the share ownership in the business to be able to obtain a Tier 2 General visa. The exception was if the applicant was a ‘High Earner’, which meant gross salary in the region of £160k.

The Tier 2 General visa was replaced with the Skilled Worker visa in December 2020 and the good news is that there is no limit on the share ownership for the Skilled Worker visa. Therefore in theory, the Skilled Worker visa applicant can own 100% of the UK business. The UK immigration is usually not as straightforward as simple ‘YES’ or ‘NO’ and when there is one general immigration rule you also have to take into account many other immigration rules and policies. The same applies to the business ownership and Skilled Worker visa.

To summarise, it may be possible to be employed on a Skilled Worker visa in your own company, but it depends on the circumstances of each case and those must be carefully assessed for each applicant before making any immigration applications.

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