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Watch: GNICE answers your queries about start-up and innovator visa to enter UK.

Dubai: New immigration routes have opened for applicants to work, live and study in the United Kingdom, following Brexit.

Speaking at the three-day Gulf News Immigration and Citizenship Exhibition (GNICE), which concluded in Dubai on Thursday, Ramit K Mandhwani from Dubai-based

Capprricorn Advisors LLC gave a low-down on UK’s points-based immigration system. He also explained how skilled workers can avail of the points-based system and for students to get a graduate visa that can give them permission to stay in UK for at least two years after successfully completing a course in the country.

How points are awarded

Mandhwani said the prospective immigrant should get a job offer at the right skill level with minimum salary threshold, must have English proficiency and the requisite educational qualification. The applicant must be paid at least £25,600 (Dh126,394) and in line with set amounts for particular jobs in the UK’s four nations (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland).

Visa options

There are also several visa options to enter UK, including startup visa, innovator visa, sole representatives of overseas business, global talent visa and investor visa.

Mandhwani noted: “To apply for a start-up visa, the applicant must be endorsed by an authorised body that is either a UK higher education institution or a business organisation with a history of supporting UK entrepreneurs.”

The applicant must also be able to show that the business idea is a new idea or different from anything else in the market. It must be innovative and viable.

Holders of start-up visa can stay in UK for two years. They can also work in another job, travel abroad and return to the UK and bring their partner and children — if they’re eligible — as dependents. One can also switch to a start-up visa from some other visa categories, according to Capprricorn Advisors LLC.

Start-up visa holders, however, cannot apply for most benefits (public funds) or state pension. They cannot also work as a professional sportsperson or coach or settle in the UK on this visa alone.

Among the required documents are endorsement letter, valid passport, bank statement, proof of English language proficiency.

Innovator visa

Prospective immigrants can apply for innovator visas if they want to set up or run a business in UK. They must also be from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland and must meet other eligibility requirements. The business or business idea must be endorsed by an approved body.

Funds needed must be at least £50,000 in investment. It is not needed if the business is already established and has been endorsed for an earlier visa or the applicant has changed the business and already approved by the endorsing body. The applicant must be able to show that the business idea is new, innovative and viable with potential for growth.

Capprricorn Advisors LLC said the earliest one can apply for an innovator visa is three months before the travel date and applicants should get a decision of visa application within three weeks after they applied from outside UK.

Holders of innovators visa can stay in UK for three years.

Application assistance

Capprricorn Advisors LLC, with its presence across the UAE, Bahrain, Georgia, India, UK and soon expanding its operations in Oman and Pakistan, said they can provide assistance with all kinds of visa categories, including start-up visa, innovator visa, global talent visa, sole representative visa, and investor visa. The company said: “Our prime objective is to give professional advice to clients so that they can have stress-free immigration.”

Our Group of Companies:

UAE | Bahrain | Georgia

Coming Soon... Oman & Pakistan

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Updated: Mar 2, 2021

From 1 January, the free movement of people and goods and services between the UK and the EU will end. This means significant differences to how people live, work and travel.

Here are some of the most important things that are changing.

1. European travel rules change

From January, UK nationals will only be able to travel without a visa to Schengen area countries for up to 90 days in any 180-day period (this includes most EU nations and Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein). In addition, you will need to:

  • Have at least six months left on your passport, except for trips to Ireland.

  • Have travel insurance with health cover. Your current EHIC card will be valid until its expiry date and will be replaced by a new scheme in the future, but the government still advises you to get travel insurance with health cover.

  • Make sure you've checked roaming charges with your mobile provider, as the guarantee of free roaming will end.

  • Have obtained an animal health certificate from your vet at least 10 days before you travel - if you are travelling with your pet - including from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. The current EU pet passport scheme will no longer apply.

  • Use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens at border control.

2. Duty-free shopping will return

When the UK was an EU member, you were allowed to bring unlimited amounts of alcohol and tobacco back from an EU country without paying any duty at the border, as long as duty had been paid in the country where you bought it and you could prove it was for your own use.

From 2021, duty-free shopping will be available if you travel to the EU, although there will now be limits to the amount you can bring in duty-free from the EU, as there are for arrivals from non-EU countries.

The permitted amount of duty-free tobacco and alcohol will increase however. So you will be able, for example, to bring 18 litres of still wine and 42 litres of beer.

3. The rules change for UK citizens who want to move to the EU

If you're already living in an EU country, you will have certain protections under the withdrawal agreement.

But even then, you should check that country's specific rules. You may need to register or apply for residency, get new documents, or meet specific requirements - like having a job.

For example, UK nationals living in France will need to obtain new residents' permits.

4. There are new rules for EU citizens in the UK

If you're an EU citizen living in the UK by 31 December 2020 - or from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland - your rights remain the same until 30 June 2021.

But you should check if you can stay after that.

If you have "indefinite leave to remain" or "indefinite leave to enter" the UK there's no need for you to do anything. If you don't, you'll need to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme or become a UK citizen if you qualify.

Again, because of the Common Travel Area, rights of Irish citizens will not change.

5. There'll be a new UK immigration system

From January, there'll be a new points-based system for foreign citizens (except Irish nationals) wanting to move to the UK. The government says it'll treat EU and non-EU citizens equally and will aim to attract people who can contribute to the UK economy.

6. If you want to buy or sell with the EU, things get trickier

The UK and the EU have agreed there'll be no taxes on each other's goods when they cross borders and no limits on the amount of things that can be traded.

However, traders in England, Wales and Scotland (for the case of Northern Ireland, see below) will need to make customs declarations as if they were dealing with countries elsewhere in the world - this means a lot of paperwork.

Some products, including plants, live animals and some foods, will also need special licences and certificates. Others will have to be labelled in specific ways.

There will no longer be automatic recognition of professional qualifications - people will need to check each country's rules to make sure their qualifications are still recognised.

And while the UK government has chosen to delay - by six months - the imposition of full controls, the EU will be carrying out checks from 1 January.

Even though trade with the EU will become trickier, the UK is free to negotiate its own trade deals with other countries, like the US. Brexit supporters say this will benefit the economy in the long run, although critics say it's more important to remain close to the EU.

7. Northern Ireland becomes an exception

The UK and EU have agreed to keep an all-but-invisible border, without checkpoints, between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland (which remains in the EU).

Northern Ireland will continue to follow many of the EU's rules, meaning that lorries can continue to drive across the border without having to be inspected.

However, some new checks will be needed on certain goods arriving into Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK (England, Scotland and Wales) instead.

Food products - such as meat, fish and eggs - will need to be checked to ensure they comply with EU standards.

However, in order to reduce any potential disruption, supermarkets will be given an initial three-month "grace period" where the rules will not be enforced on the food they bring into Northern Ireland. Certain meat products will have a longer, six-month grace period. What happens after this period is unclear and will be the subject of future negotiations.

An agreement has also been reached to eliminate tariffs - extra charges on goods - for most trade between Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) and Northern Ireland. Some new paperwork will nevertheless be required from 1 January and businesses will need be ready for the changes.


New immigration rules will be "simple and flexible", ministers have promised, as the UK's points-based post-Brexit system went live.

From Tuesday most foreign nationals, including from the European Union, who want to work in the UK from 1 January will have to apply online for a visa. Those seeking a skilled worker visa will need a job offer, to be proficient in English and earn at least £25,600. Free movement from and to the EU will come to an end on 31 December.

The UK left the EU on 31 January but has been largely following its rules during the subsequent 11-month transition period, as the two sides try to reach agreement over a trade deal. As talks continue in London, the UK is stepping up its preparations for leaving the EU's single market and customs union at the end of the year. The government has announced it is setting up a new Border Operations Centre, which it says will ensure round-the-clock surveillance of goods and passengers coming in and out of British ports for the first time.

What is changing in immigration?

The UK's new immigration system will determine who can work in the country from 1 January. Online applications for visas via a range of new "routes" will open on Tuesday.

Applications for skilled worker visas will be judged on the basis of a points system, which is modelled on the system in place in Australia for many years.

Points will be awarded for a job offer at the appropriate skill level in an eligible occupation, knowledge of English and whether applicants meet a salary threshold - which will typically be at least £25,600. Applicants will have to wait about three weeks to find out whether they have been successful.

Can people come to the UK to study?

There will be no limit on the number of international students who can come to the UK to study. The new student visa application system allows them to apply six months before they are due to start a course if they are applying from outside the UK.

A new graduate visa will be launched in summer 2021, to allow students who have completed a degree to stay in the UK for two years. This will rise to three years for those who have done a PhD.

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