Our business immigration practice offers practical and commercial advice to businesses and individuals and their dependents about coming to live and work in the UK.


Advising employers sponsoring migrant workers

Addleshaw Goddard (AG) helps established UK employers through the process of becoming a licensed sponsor and advises on issuing certificates of sponsorship to migrant workers. We guide on the duties of licensed sponsors and how to ensure that all HR systems are compliant and provide assistance at every stage of sponsoring non-European Economic Area (EEA) nationals. 

Audit of immigration systems

We undertake audits of immigration and HR systems to check for compliance with immigration laws and sponsorship duties - including in the form of a ‘mock audit’ to replicate the process that UK Visas and Immigration might follow when assessing systems.

Business visitors

If you are an overseas company wishing to send an employee to the UK on business for a short period, we can help you identify whether the Standard Visitor (previously Business Visitor) category is appropriate and guide you through its requirements.

Entrepreneurs and investors

We advise high-net-worth individuals who wish to invest in the UK and those seeking to establish a business there on the requirements under the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) and Tier 1 (Investor) categories of the immigration points-based system. We also advise sole representatives of overseas companies setting up branches in the UK.

Long-term immigration planning

AG guides individuals on their long-term immigration requirements, including applications for indefinite leave to remain in the UK and naturalisation as a British citizen.

Preventing illegal working

We help on compliance with employer verification obligations, advising on dismissals for alleged illegal working and avoidance of potential race discrimination claims.

Free movement of EEA nationals

The team advises on the requirements regarding the free movement of EEA nationals and the residence documents required by European citizens.


Our recent experience includes:

  • Auditing the UK immigration systems of a global bank
  • Advising a leading international private investment firm regarding its application for a Tier 2 (General) and Tier 2 (Intracompany Transfer) sponsorship licence, allocation of sponsorship certificates and compliance with sponsorship duties
  • Advising a strategic consultancy business on its application to become a Tier 2 licensed sponsor and satisfying the requirements of the resident labour market test
  • Advising a global engineering business about its application to become a Tier 2 licensed sponsor, the allocation of sponsorship certificates and compliance with its sponsorship duties
  • Advising an AM100 US law firm that is currently establishing a UK presence on visa applications under the sole representative and Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) categories
  • Advising a real estate sector consultancy regarding its application for a Tier 2 sponsorship licence, assigning certificates and applications for further leave to remain under Tier 1 (General) for its employees 
  • Advice on compliance with the Standard Visitor rules and work experience arrangements 

Key Contact

Meet the team
Michael Leftley

Michael Leftley

Partner, Head of Employment & Immigration Group
London, UK

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Sarah Harrop

Sarah Harrop

Partner, Employment & Immigration

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