We assist companies and individuals to obtain temporary and permanent visas, around the world. This includes everything from discussing your options to compiling documentation, filing paperwork and making appointments.
Many leading businesses that rely on talented staff from overseas have called on our services for decades. To give just one example, we have managed immigration filings for one of America’s largest healthcare systems, which recruits top clinicians and research scientists from around the world to work in its US hospitals and research institutes, for more than 20 years. We also act for banks, IT companies and employers across a broad range of other sectors.
In the UK, where employers are responsible for issuing their own work permits, we help businesses to obtain sponsor licensing and assist them with compliance. ‘Many companies need advice on when they can issue certificates of sponsorship – there are very technical rules,’ says Philip Barth, part of the UK immigration team. And we routinely advise on audits, or cases where a company’s sponsor license has been revoked.
We are particularly experienced in helping with unusual cases, such as when we acted for a diving company that had won a contract to clean the UK’s decommissioned nuclear plants, and needed to import specialist staff to do so.
Investor and entrepreneur visas
Many countries offer visas to people who make a significant investment or establish a business. This is a popular option with many of the successful international families for whom we act, and we regularly advise on the requirements of different jurisdictions including the US, UK, Australia, Portugal and Cyprus.
Once you have chosen a suitable location, we can further help you to apply for an investor or entrepreneur visa, compiling the relevant documentation and mitigating any complicating factors. One Brazilian client for whom our New York office had arranged a Caribbean passport recently consulted us again, seeking to apply for a US investor. The US State Department initially declined the application on the grounds that it had been filed in Barbados, which was not our client’s country of residence, but we pressed them to accept it, pointing out that their own rules obliged them to do so.
Our London office acted for an Indian investor whose complicated financial arrangements meant that her investment had technically been borrowed against, which is not allowed under the UK investor visa rules. ‘We did something we always do if there’s an issue: flag it and argue why there shouldn’t be an issue, rather than try to conceal it, which will result in a very hard line being taken,’ says Philip Barth.
Keeping couples and families together is one of the most rewarding aspects of our work as immigration lawyers. We assist with visa applications for spouses, civil partners and unmarried partners, as well as children and other dependents, of people who already have the right to live in their chosen country. We have experience in applying for visas for stepchildren and children born internationally through surrogacy. In one particularly difficult case, we were able to assist a naturalized British citizen in bringing his teenage nephew to the UK.
In the US it’s called extraordinary ability; in the UK exceptional talent; in Australia distinguished talent. However you label it, world governments welcome people with special ability in their field, and we have significant experience in demonstrating that our clients have it.
They might be a sportsman such as a footballer or racing driver; a musician, a fashion designer or an academic. We have recently helped a Greek artist to get a US visa and secured permanent UK residence for a Turkish author on the basis of their extraordinary abilities in the arts.
While we have acted for many household names, we have also had tremendous success winning cases for people who are relatively unknown. Theda Fisher, an associate in our New York office, once filed an application on behalf of a Brazilian party planner, compiling an extensive portfolio of his work and arguing that table decorations and floral arrangements constituted an art form. ‘We’re probably the only law firm in America that’s ever filed that application,’ she smiles, but it was approved.
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