Author: Nichola Carter

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Nichola Carter

Nichola heads the immigration team at Carter Thomas ( A lawyer with 20 years' experience, she also sits on The Law Society’s Immigration Committee. Nichola's main work relates to advising businesses, universities and schools on sponsor applications and compliance, and individuals seeking to come under the Global Talent, family and other routes . She regularly provides media comment including for the BBC and FT and is happy to be contacted for comment. Nichola tweets from @carternichola and her email is

The UK Expansion Worker visa is part of the Global Business Mobility route. It enables overseas businesses seeking to expand into the UK to temporarily assign senior managers and specialist employees, including business owners, to the UK to establish a British operation. Opening on 11 April 2022, it replaced the...

25th August 2023
BY Nichola Carter

The Government Authorised Exchange (GAE) category of the Immigration Rules is one of the least known of all the UK’s visa options. It can be found in Appendix Temporary Work – Government Authorised Exchange to the immigration rules. The temporary work routes offer visas for temporary workers. According to the...

24th March 2023
BY Nichola Carter

When the pandemic first hit in March 2020 the Home Office was quick off the mark in allowing employers to conduct right to work checks remotely. Rather than having to meet job applicants and employees needing to renew their status in person, they were able to do so via a...

26th September 2022
BY Nichola Carter

The High Potential Individual visa is a new offering from the Home Office aimed at individuals who have graduated from a top global university. There is considerable international competition to attract these sorts of individuals, who ministers like to call the “brightest and best”. A visa aimed at them can...

19th August 2022
BY Nichola Carter

Sponsoring a foreign worker isn’t cheap. Application fees and visa taxes typically run to thousands of pounds. Since the UK left the European Union, the costs of sponsorship have also applied to employers who want to hire EU workers under the Points Based Immigration System. Some of the fees are...

27th April 2022
BY Nichola Carter

There is a UK visa for overseas domestic workers, first introduced in 2002. Although the Immigration Rules do not define “domestic workers”, the route is typically used by nannies, cleaners, chauffeurs, cooks, personal carers and protection staff. The domestic worker route has undergone a number of changes over the years,...

22nd February 2022
BY Nichola Carter

The Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration (ICIBI) is to inspect the relationship between the immigration system and the higher education sector. The call for evidence, which is open until 15 November 2021, confirms that the ICIBI will adopt a “broad perspective”, assessing the extent to which the Home...

5th November 2021
BY Nichola Carter

Many UK immigration categories impose a requirement that the visa holder must not be outside the UK for more than 180 days in any 12-month period — that is, if the person wants to apply for indefinite leave to remain. Joanna and Nath have explored the 180-day absence rule, and...

30th September 2021
BY Nichola Carter

International students are worth billions to the UK economy in higher education fees and indirect expenditure, benefitting local communities financially as well as enriching them in non-economic terms. Being able to attract overseas students is crucial to the economic viability of many education providers, but only those with a sponsor...

21st June 2021
BY Nichola Carter

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) has confirmed that with lockdown easing, it is resuming sponsor licence compliance visits. Initial visits will be focused on organisations that have a pending sponsor licence application. Confirming the resumption of visits in a recent message on the Sponsorship Management System, UKVI was keen to...

12th April 2021
BY Nichola Carter
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