Self-sponsorship: An innovative immigration route to the UK

Savannah Puri

Table of contents

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The case background

Client X, a very renowned entity in the Indian film industry, wanted to set up their film production house in the UK, given the growth opportunities in the UK market. They would cater services to international filmmakers coming to the UK, especially filmmakers from the Indian diaspora. They had already identified their business partner in the UK, Mr Y, with whom they wanted to start the business.

Client X resided outside the UK, while the co-founder was based in the UK. To run the business successfully, both would need to be in the same location, as the business model requires the physical presence of the business owners.

Client X approached our firm for assistance in obtaining the necessary visas and permits to enable them to establish their film production house in the UK and work alongside their co-founder. We assessed their specific requirements and recommended the self-sponsorship route.

The problem

It is important to note here that ‘Self-sponsorship’ is not an official visa but an innovative approach to immigration where two visa routes, sponsor licence and skilled worker, are combined to form an innovative approach to immigration known as self-sponsorship. This approach requires careful planning, stage-wise execution and preparing evidence to justify the genuine nature of the employment under the route, immaterial of the employee/office holder having shares in the business.

Client X’s impressive and extensive skills and experience in the production field helped the case greatly.

How did City Legal assist with self-sponsorship?

Our work began with developing a business plan for Client X, which showed all the details about business operations, organisational structure, financial requirements, and the owner’s profile. Although a business plan is not a necessary requirement for the self-sponsorship route, it does help establish the credibility of the business.

Our immigration solicitors prepared a thorough case from start to finish. We included evidence of the client’s qualifications, work experience, financial stability, and business plan to gather evidence of their ability to meet the requirements for the route.

Our team prepared the sponsor licence application for the business including key details and documents. We also worked closely with the client to gather all necessary documents and ensure that everything was in order before submitting the application to the Home Office. The aim was to prepare a strong application for the Home Office that shows the need for Client X to be present with their co-founder in the UK to run the business.

After submitting the application, we maintained regular communication with the Home Office to provide any additional information or clarifications that were requested.

What was the outcome of our approach?

The outcome of our approach was that the Home Office granted the business a sponsor licence that allowed the business to hire skilled workers, which in this case would be Client X themselves.

This meant that Client X was able to legally work in the UK and contribute to the success of the business. The sponsorship licence also opened up opportunities for the business to attract other skilled workers from around the world, ultimately helping the business grow and thrive. Overall, our approach had a positive outcome for both Client X and the business, creating a win-win situation for all parties involved.

Further assistance from City Legal

We further assisted our client by onboarding them to our compliance portal, our latest sponsor licence compliance solution for sponsor licence holders.

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Our team provided the business with thorough training on the compliance portal, ensuring they understood how to use the tool effectively to maintain their sponsor licence obligations. We also conducted regular check-ins with the client to ensure they were meeting all their compliance requirements and provided ongoing support whenever needed.

Overall, our comprehensive assistance and support ensured that Client X was able to successfully navigate the complexities of the UK immigration system and remain compliant with all relevant regulations. We are proud to have played a crucial role in helping them achieve their goals and look forward to continuing to support them in the future.

If you have any cases that need an immigration solicitor’s assistance, contact us at 020 8175 4000 or email us at


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