Are you a Chinese student currently studying here in the UK?

Are you hoping to stay on after you’ve finished your studies?

Depending on your future plans, you will probably need to apply for a new visa. The type of visa you require will depend on whether you intend to, carry out work experience, obtain paid employment or set up your own business.

Here is an outline of the main visa options:

  Student Visa (Tier 4)

If you have been studying here in the UK, you will already be in possession of a Tier 4 (student) Visa.

After your studies, providing that your course has been for a minimum of 12 months, you will normally have four months to decide your future plans and apply for a relevant visa to allow you to stay on in the UK. If you have recently completed a PhD, you have an extended period of 12 months to look for and start work.

  Work Visa (Tier 2)

If you plan to seek a suitable graduate-level job here in the UK after you have finished your studies, you will need to apply for a licensed Tier 2 sponsored Visa.

  Government-authorised exchange Visa (Tier 5)

This visa will allow you to stay in the UK, usually for up to 12 months after you have completed your studies, in order to gain work experience related to your academic course.

  Graduate Entrepreneur Visa (Tier 1)

You must obtain this visa if you intend to set up your own business here in the UK, following completion of your studies.

To be eligible, you will need to produce a highly detailed business plan which must be submitted to the Home Office. You will also be required to prove your financial assets (normally around £200,000) to show that you will be able to support yourself whilst your business is getting off the ground.

  Investor Visa (Tier 1)

In order to apply for an investor visa you will normally need to be in possession of sizeable assets worth at least £2million. Unlike an Entrepreneur Visa, you will not be required to produce a business plan but there are certain restrictions regarding how you can invest your money so it is important that you seek specialist advice from an accountant who specialises in helping high net worth international investors.

What help is available?

The process of putting together a business plan can be daunting which is why it is important to seek professional advice to ensure that your plans are robust and will withstand Home Office scrutiny – whose job it is to ensure that your business proposals are viable.

At Salhan Accountants, we are able to help you put together a strong business plan. We can also assist with gathering together evidence to demonstrate that you meet the ‘proof of assets’ requirement.

We have helped a number of overseas students in making successful visa applications and can also put you in touch with specialist legal advisors who will be able to help both with your visa submission and, in time, an application to become a UK citizen. Our Chinese speaking team can help ensure you get the advice and support that you require.

To find out more about our specialist services for Chinese students, particularly for those hoping to launch their own business enterprise or make investments here in the UK, please contact us.

Or if you are a WeChat user, why not make contact via 07932 810 460.

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