Christmas Special: Law Tale (1): Magic Workshop Inc announces plan to open its first UK branch and Santa is coming


The pandemic has adversely impacted on Magic Workshop Incorporation, co-founded by Santa and his wife, Mrs Claus. The pandemic particularly affected Santa's business operation which involves travelling to different countries and delivering presents to children. Magic Workshop Inc will be announcing it's biggest business expansion in recent history - Magic Workshop Inc is going local by setting up branches globally which will manufacture toys for that region. Magic Workshop Inc will only need to be deal with Santa's hectic travel schedule and not the issues of shipping the cargo. Whilst Magic Workshop Inc HQ will remain in the North Pole, the UK is set to have one of the largest manufacturing and distribution centres of all the branches being established. 

It is Santa's ambition to become a global citizen because he's fed up of being questioned at the border about his identity and his "special status". Santa wants a hassle free entry to all countries especially during this very busy festive period.   

So, what does Magic Workshop Inc and Santa need to consider before putting this plan into motion? 

To avoid unnecessary costs, delay, frustration, headache and a huge tax bill, Magic Workshop Inc and Santa must plan ahead and get legal advice. 

On a private individual level, Santa will benefit from legal advice on how to arrange his assets and set up structures which are tax efficient before he becomes a resident of a country. Magic Workshop Inc is considering opening a branch in the UK and Santa wants to be able to come and go as he pleases. 

There are several immigration routes available to Magic Worksop Inc to achieve its objectives and Santa's long-term goal:  

1. Santa can apply for a Representative of an Overseas Business visa (aka a Sole Representative visa) 

Magic Workshop Inc was co-founded by Santa and his wife, Mrs Claus. There are three directors; Santa (Managing Director), Mrs Claus (Financial Director) and Shinny (Chief Product Officer and Head of the Elves workforce) and they all hold shares in the Company, equally. 

Santa will be the sole UK representative of Magic Workshop Inc. In order to be eligible for this visa, Magic Workshop Inc HQ must remain overseas, Santa must intend to set up its first UK branch or wholly owned subsidiary. Santa will also need to show:

i. He has the skills, experience and knowledge to do the role (his CV can be found here) and he holds a senior position within Magic Workshop Inc; 

ii. He can speak the English language to at least CEFR level A1, unless he already has an academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognised by ECCTIS as being equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or PhD; and  

iii.  He has enough money to support himself without help from public funds 

This route leads to settlement after 5 years of residence in the UK. This route does have its restrictions which Santa may not like. If Santa prefers a route which allows him to be more flexible in terms of how he conducts his business, the Skilled Worker route may be the preferred option. 

2. Skilled Worker route 

Depending on how fast Magic Workshop Inc wishes to commence it's expansion, it is possible for Magic Workshop Inc to nominate a trusted party based in the UK to assist with opening their first UK company. Once set up, the UK company may apply for a Sponsor licence from the Home Office which will allow the company the ability to sponsor Santa as a Skilled Worker. 

Santa's role must be skilled, he must be paid the appropriate salary level and he will need to pass a higher level of English (CEFR level B1). 

This route also leads to settlement after 5 years of residence in the UK. 

3. Business visitor visa

If Magic Workshop Inc wanted to conduct market research and have more data about the UK market before committing to setting up a UK branch or subsidiary, Santa could apply for a Business visitor visa which would allow him to conduct certain business activities under Appendix V. 

4. Global Mobility Business route?

The sole representative route may become unavailable as the global mobility business visa is due to commence in Spring 2022. The global mobility business visa will encompasses 5 different routes for overseas businesses to establish a UK presence or to transfer employees to the UK company. The Home Office are yet to set out in detail what the requirements will be, but we know that applicants will need to be sponsored. Therefore, Magic Workshop Inc will need to consider applying for a Sponsor Licence.   

Tune in for the next special tale of Magic Workshop Inc.  

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