Charles Russell Speechlys China Series

China Series: Immigration and moving to the UK

What are the key factors and requirements for clients considering moving to the UK? Rose Carey provides us with an overview (with Mandarin subtitles) followed by a presentation from Owen Chan in Mandarin.


Welcome, I’m Rose Carey, Partner and Head of UK immigration at Charles Russell Speechlys.

Our firm is headquartered in London with offices in the UK, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Our international connections mean we can work with you anywhere in the world. Our unique approach to law has made us a leader in the world of dynamic growth and family businesses, and among the worlds leading creators and owners of private wealth and their families.

When it comes to Private Wealth, we go way back. Our private clients have shaped our business and we’ve worked with some of them for more than a century. This means that we know getting it right for them is about far more than financial advice. It means making an authentic connection and being part of the conversation about where they want to go and how to get there. Our expertise may be built on our heritage but we keep an eye on the future so we can guide our clients to success today and for generations to come.

In this video, my colleague Owen Chan, will talk about the immigration work we do for private individuals and their families who are relocating to the UK.

Hello. My name is Owen Chan and I am an associate in the Immigration team here at Charles Russell Speechlys. I am a fluent Mandarin and Cantonese speaker and I frequently assist Chinese and Asian families, and their businesses, in relation to their UK immigration matters. This gives our clients the benefit of experienced legal advice delivered in their native language. 

In this video I will talk about the work we do for private individuals and their families who are relocating to the UK and things to consider to help identify the most suitable immigration route to take.

It’s worth noting that we also assist with a range of immigration options for companies setting up in the UK or sending employees here, but today we’ll focus on the immigration options for individuals rather than businesses.

At Charles Russell Speechlys we assist clients with every aspect of their UK immigration journey, from initial discussions about the best type of visa, guiding clients through the application process, through to extension, permanent residence and citizenship applications.

UK Immigration can be complicated and the rules and processes created by the UK government change constantly. Sometimes it is difficult to know what type of application to make. There are many things to consider before relocating to the UK and the best visa type will usually depend on what you are trying to achieve, whether that’s education for your children, the opportunity to pursue new employment or business opportunities, or simply to establish a new life overseas. A few important questions we would usually ask our clients include:

  • What are your main reasons for considering a move to the UK
  • Will you need to work in the UK
  • What level of funds you have available to you
  • Will you be accompanied by a partner or children 
  • How much time do you plan to spend in the UK each year
  • Is your ultimate goal permanent residence or British citizenship. 

Our clients often have complex international business interests and are looking to balance their professional responsibilities with the needs of their families, so it is really important to first understand your priorities and reasons for applying for a UK visa. We can then guide you through your options and help you to decide on the most appropriate immigration strategy.

Two categories that may be of interest are the Innovator visa and the Global Talent visa. The Innovator visa is for relatively experienced applicants looking to establish a business in the UK for the first time. It must be a business concept which is innovative, viable and scalable and the applicant must have endorsement from a UK government-approved body. While this visa is more restrictive in terms of the criteria to be met, it requires a lower level of funds for the initial investment into the business; £50,000. Innovator visas can also lead to permanent residence in the UK after 3 years if the business meets certain conditions such as job creation or revenue generation. Less experienced entrepreneurs also have the option to first apply after having been endorsed for a Start-Up visa, which can be granted for a period of 2 years before a person then switches to the Innovator visa. 

Global Talent visas are for individuals who are leaders or potential leaders in their chosen field, whether that be academia or research, arts and culture or digital technology. You must have endorsement from a UK government-approved body or have won a prestigious eligible award. Successful applicants are required to work in the UK in their specialist field and may be eligible for permanent residence after 5 years.

All three of these visa categories allow partners and children under 18 to apply for dependant visas at the same time, although usually family members will need to be resident for 5 years to obtain permanent residence.

So why should you choose us to help you? As I said earlier, the UK immigration system is complicated and government policy changes frequently. As immigration lawyers we often see clients who have had a visa application refused because they either didn’t meet all the requirements or they failed to submit the right evidence to show that they do. These mistakes are often avoidable and getting it right the first time can save a huge amount of time and stress, as well as money in terms of wasted application fees. Having a visa refusal on your record can also make subsequent applications harder.

It’s also really important that clients understand at the outset what requirements they must meet if they wish to extend their visa in future, and to eventually apply for permanent residence in the UK. Early mistakes or a lack of knowledge about the requirements to be met can often cause significant problems further down the line, especially for clients who need to frequently travel. We will ensure that you have all the guidance and advice you need to make informed decisions and to plan your relocation properly so you can be confident that you are on the right path and have a trusted advisor to guide you every step of the way.

Thank you for watching. I hope you’ve found this video helpful and that we will have the opportunity to work with you.

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